The best broccoli salad

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The best broccoli salad – My FAVORITE recipe for the classic salad with a spicy dressing that everyone LOVES! Taste and texture galore in this EASY salad that's perfect for parties, picnics, and shared meals!

The BEST broccoli salad recipe

My mom makes an amazing broccoli salad and it's one of those nostalgic foods for me that I can eat, eat, and eat a little bit more. It doesn't hurt that broccoli is really one of my favorite foods. For real. And then cookies, of course.

I've never shared a recipe for grape broccoli salad because I thought it might be a regional thing limited to just shared meals and picnics in the Midwest where I grew up. But a month or so ago I was at an event in Northern California, and one side was a low, frozen broccoli salad. He was in the crucifix heaven.

My mom's easy recipe for broccoli salad includes broccoli, bacon, celery, green onions, red grapes, raisins, and sunflower seeds, all in a tart dressing made with mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. If you've never tried this strange combination of ingredients, it's one of those don't hit it until you try it because everything actually works and it's delicious type of recipes

So many textures and flavors in every bite, including crispy broccoli, crispy celery, salty bacon and sunflower seeds, juicy grapes, and sweet raisins.

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What is in the broccoli salad?

To make the raisin and broccoli salad, you will need:

  • Raw broccoli
  • Seedless red grapes
  • Celery
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins
  • Green onions

And to prepare the spicy broccoli dressing, you will need:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Granulated sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Celery seed
  • Black pepper

How to make broccoli salad

Mix together broccoli, grapes, celery, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins, and green onions. Then, beat the broccoli salad dressing and stir with the broccoli mixture.

Serve right away or let the broccoli and bacon salad cool for a few hours first.

How long is the broccoli salad?

This sunflower seed broccoli salad is best eaten in 24 hours, as broccoli, grapes, and green onions release moisture over time. If you want to make this recipe earlier, I recommend storing the salad and dressing in separate containers and mixing the two just before it's ready to serve.

Can I use frozen broccoli?

No, this broccoli grape salad should only be made with fresh, raw broccoli florets.

Tips for making the best broccoli salad

There are tons of recipes for broccoli bacon salad, and some use almonds instead of sunflower seeds, some don't have raisins, some use red onions instead of green, some use red wine vinegar, etc. If you don't like a particular ingredient, skip it or change it because it's a very flexible recipe. Just don't skip the broccoli.

Note that you can save time by using precooked bacon to make this broccoli and bacon salad. Just microwave it for about 1 minute to heat it up, then cut it into pieces for the salad.

I like to make this sunflower seed broccoli salad about 4 hours before I plan to serve it, then chill it to allow the flavors to marry and the dressing softens the broccoli and soaks into every corner of the flowers.



  • 6 cups small raw broccoli flowers (from about 2 large broccoli heads with discarded stems)
  • 1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup cooked bacon, diced
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds (I use salty)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3 green onions, cut and thinly sliced


  • 1 cup of mayonnaise (light use)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or as desired for consistency
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste


    1. To a large bowl, add broccoli, grapes, celery, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins, green onions; set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, pepper and whisk to combine. If necessary, add additional apple cider vinegar so that the dressing can be poured but still thick.
    3. Evenly pour dressing over salad and stir to combine.
    4. The salad can be served immediately, but I prefer to cover it and refrigerate it for 2 to 4 hours to cool it down before serving it.


  • Tip: Save time using precooked bacon and microwave for about 1 minute to cook

Nutritional information:



Portion size:

one Amount per proportion: Calories: 396 Total Fat: 28 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Unsaturated Fat: 22 g Cholesterol: 26 mg Sodium: 1058 mg Carbs: 30 g Fiber: 5 g Sugar: 19 g Protein: 11 g

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