Raisins, sunflower seeds, and a tangy, slightly sweetened mayonnaise dressing make this broccoli salad a delicious dish for any season or occasion. Frozen (thawed) peas make this version a little different from the classic broccoli salad. They add extra texture and flavor, but you may leave them out or use a peas and carrot combination instead. Tailor the salad to suit your tastes and make it your go-to broccoli salad.
Walnuts or toasted pecans make a nice addition to the salad; replace the sunflower seeds with them if you like. Dried cranberries or chopped dried cherries used instead of raisins will add a fruity, tart flavor with pleasant sweetness.
One reader commented that it was a hit with her family, but rather sweet. You might want to experiment with just 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar and add then taste before adding more. Or make it with an equivalent amount of sugar substitute. Another person suggested cooking the onions with the bacon, a good idea if your family isn't fond of raw onions. Take a look at the variations for more possible substitutions and additions.
For best flavor, make the salad a few hours in advance; refrigerate it to chill thoroughly before serving. Store leftover broccoli salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The salad is an excellent dish to take along to a party or potluck, and the recipe is easily scaled up for a crowd.
- 5 to 6 cups broccoli florets (fresh)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed
- For the Dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and thawed frozen peas; toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
- Add the dressing to the salad and toss to mix well; chill thoroughly before serving.
- Replace the sunflower seeds with pine nuts, walnuts, toasted chopped pecans, or slivered almonds. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, just until they are lightly browned and aromatic.
- To make a day in advance, combine the vegetables and bacon in the serving bowl. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. About an hour before serving time, toss the salad with the dressing.
- For extra color and crunch, add 1/4 cup of shredded carrot or chopped fresh celery to the salad.
- To lighten the salad a bit, replace some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt and use less bacon.
- Replace the sugar with a drop or two of a sugar-free sweetener such as liquid sucralose or stevia.