Pair tonight’s entrée with Light and Easy Broccoli Salad for a chilled and refreshing dish complete with bacon, sunflower seeds, garlic, and honey!
A flavorful side dish (or main dish!)
Sometimes steamed broccoli as a side dish can get old. When this happens, my go-to is always a fresh, crisp, light and easy broccoli salad! Not only does this recipe give us a different way to enjoy broccoli, it also provides a refreshing and satisfying taste.
This dish uses all of the classic broccoli salad ingredients (onion, mayo, bacon), but with a slight twist. I made a couple of swaps to keep things on the healthier side, which you can read about below!
Broccoli salad requires only 30 minutes of prep time, and it lasts for up to 5 days in the fridge. It’s a great option for enjoying throughout the week. We also love bringing this broccoli salad recipe to potlucks or bbqs. It’s really the best broccoli salad recipe! Let’s dive in!
Everything used in simple broccoli salad recipe
Simple broccoli salad uses so many delicious, savory ingredients. We’ll start off with a broccoli base before adding on turkey bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds, and many other goodies!
- Broccoli: First up on the ingredient list is 1 lb of broccoli, chopped into small pieces. 1lb should amount to roughly 2 medium heads. No need to boil them ahead, you’ll want to use raw broccoli florets!
- Red onion: For onion, diced up 1/2 cup. I love to use red, but white or yellow will work too!
- Sunflower seeds: Next up, add texture and subtle flavor with 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds. You could really use any crunchy nut in this dish, almonds or cashews would be perfect, too.
- Raisins: The same goes for raisins! Add a dash of sweetness with 1/2 cup. Dried cranberries would be a great substitute!
- Turkey bacon: Add 6 slices of cooked and chopped turkey bacon for a delicious and savory touch.
- Greek yogurt: We’ll be using 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt to help reach the desired consistency.
- Mayonnaise: Next up, match the yogurt with another 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.
- Apple cider vinegar: Add a slight (but not overpowering!) bite with 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.
- Honey: 2 tbsp of honey will serve as a yummy all-natural sweetener.
- Garlic: Include 1 clove of minced garlic.
- Salt: Add 1/2 tsp of salt for flavor.
- Pepper: Last but not least, finish things off with 1/4 tsp of pepper.
Tools needed to create this dish
For measuring, you will need 1/2 tsp, 1 tbsp, and 1/2 cup.
How to make light and easy broccoli salad
This is one of the simplest side dishes, because absolutely zero cooking time is required! Just chop, mix, and combine. Oh, and don’t forget to let it sit in the fridge for a bit!
To begin, pour the chopped broccoli into a large bowl.
Add the onion, sunflower seeds, raisins, and chopped turkey bacon.
In a small bowl, mix the remainder of the ingredients until well incorporated. This will be the dressing.
Pour the dressing over the bowl of broccoli and other ingredients.
Stir really well, coating each piece in dressing.
Let the salad sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving, but honestly, the longer the total time, the better.
Here are some quick tips for making the best quick broccoli salad.
Let it sit for longer than 30 minutes
The recipe recommends letting the salad sit for at least 30 minutes, but it tastes even better when it’s refrigerated for 2-3 hours! This gives the ingredients and flavors time to combine and really set in.
Finely chop the broccoli
Some people leave large florets in their broccoli salad, but I recommend chopping it into very small pieces. This gives you the opportunity to mix things thoroughly and to enjoy all of the flavors in each bite.
Cheese is always a good idea, including in this salad! Add cubes or small pieces of your favorite. Provolone, cheddar, Swiss, and pepper jack are all great options!
Broccoli salad should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 5 days.
How this simple broccoli salad is healthier
I made a few swaps in this broccoli salad to make it healthier than what you may find otherwise. With just 3 ingredient substitutes, there’s a world of difference nutrient-wise!
First, I swapped regular bacon with turkey bacon. This is an easy swap that has far less calories but still packs a flavor punch.
Next, I used Greek yogurt to replace part of the mayonnaise. This contributes the same consistency while adding less calories. Because we’re still using part of the mayo, the correct flavor remains.
Ways to enjoy broccoli salad
Serve up broccoli salad alongside your favorite main course — it works with practically anything! Here are some of my favorite pairings.
Broccoli salad paired with Apple Turkey Burgers is a great way to satisfy cravings and sneak in feelings of summer.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Want some more delicious side dish recipes? Here are some flavorful options featuring yummy garlic sesame green beans and deliciously fruity cranberry quinoa salad.
- Easy Veggie Fried Cauliflower Rice
- Garlic Sesame Green Beans
- Cranberry Quinoa Salad
- Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 1 lb broccoli, chopped small (roughly 2 medium heads)
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 6 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 0%)
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Pour broccoli into a large mixing bowl.
- Add onion, sunflower seeds, raisins, and chopped turkey bacon.
- In a small bowl, mix together the remainder of the ingredients. This will make the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the bowl with the broccoli and other ingredients.
- Stir really well, coating each piece in dressing.
- Let sit in fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
- Keep in fridge for up to 5 days.
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