Broccoli Salad With Craisins

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20 minutes

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This Broccoli Salad with Craisins makes a delicious and beautiful salad that’s perfect for every occasion. Chewy craisins give this classic salad extra sweetness and flavor that everyone will rave over.

Originally published September 2021 – Updated April 2023

Easy broccoli salad with craisins
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Broccoli Craisin Salad

What’s not to love about this easy broccoli salad recipe! It tastes amazing, is filled with good-for-you ingredients and it can be whipped up in no time!

Bite-sized pieces of crisp broccoli are combined with savory bacon and sweet, chewy craisins, then tossed in a tangy homemade dressing to tie it all together. I think you’ll wholeheartedly agree that the textures and combination of flavors is just irresistible!

This is seriously the best broccoli salad recipe and makes the perfect side dish for your next gathering. Easy and delicious, it’s a crowd pleaser for sure! Need more side dishes for your cookout or potluck? You’ll also want to try these bacon baked beans or this vinegar coleslaw recipe!

Close-up of a broccoli salad with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and shredded cheese.

Why We love this Easy Broccoli Salad

  • Great anytime of the year: While some side dishes work best for a specific time of year, for example roasted sweet potatoes in fall, this tasty recipe is great anytime.
  • Versatile side dish: It’s so versatile that it works as both a perfect summer side dish for your favorite grill recipes or the perfect addition to any potluck or holiday party.
  • Healthy option: Broccoli is both healthy and delicious! Not only is it a great source of protein and fiber but it also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, potassium, calcium, and more.
  • Easy recipe: You can whip up this side dish in very little time (which busy moms everywhere can appreciate!)


Ingredients for broccoli salad recipe with craisins
  • Broccoli
  • Craisins
  • Crispy bacon – you can use real bacon bits if you need a shortcut
  • Mayonnaise
  • Red Onion
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice

How To Make Broccoli Salad With Craisins

Step 1. Chop raw broccoli into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

Tip: You can blanch the broccoli for just a minute or two if you prefer it softer.

Chopped broccoli in bowl

Step 2. Next, combine the chopped broccoli with onions, sunflower kernels, cranberries, cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles. Mix well.

Broccoli with remaining ingredients for brocolli salad

Step 3. In a separate medium bowl, mix mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

 Ingredients for broccoli salad dressing

Step 4. Whisk together until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

Dressing for broccoli salad in bowl

Step 5. Toss to coat the broccoli pieces, bacon and cheese mixture in the dressing until the salad is evenly coated.

Step 6. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Large bowl filled with broccoli salad with craisins

Variations and Add-ins

  • Broccoli: The main ingredient, this is what adds the crunch and nutrition to this popular salad recipe. We used regular broccoli but you can use precut, fresh broccoli florets if you prefer.
  • Craisins: Wo love how these dried cranberries add extra sweetness but if you don’t have them in the pantry, feel free to substitute raisins instead.
  • Broccoli salad dressing: While classic broccoli salad uses mayo, you can change the flavor up a little by using honey mustard instead. IFor a healthier version, swap out the mayo for Greek yogurt instead.
  • Onion: If you prefer a milder onion, you can swap the red onion for green onions instead.
  • Cheese: You can use finely grated sharp cheddar cheese, mild or a blend.
  • Nuts or seeds: We used sunflower seeds to add a little crunch but you can give this healthy salad a fall twist by using pumpkin seeds instead. You can also swap them for pecan or walnut pieces.
  • Pasta: Turn this recipe into a pasta salad by adding a sturdy cooked pasta, such as cavatappi or fusilli.
Broccoli salad with bacon in white bowl

Homemade Broccoli Salad FAQs

Can broccoli salad be made ahead of time?

Yes! Combine the salad ingredients (broccoli, onions, cranberries, cheese and crumbled bacon but keep the crunchy sunflower seeds separate. Prepare the dressing but keep it separate as well. Refrigerate until ready to serve then, toss the broccoli mix, dressing and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl and serve.

How to store leftovers?

Your broccoli salad will stay fresh for up to 48 hours if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, for the best flavor, it’s a good idea to eat it within 24 hours of making it.

Do you serve broccoli salad hot or cold?

While broccoli can be eaten hot or cold, this delicious side dish is best served cold.

Can you use frozen broccoli?

I don’t recommend using frozen broccoli for this recipe. Once frozen, it holds too much water and can make your salad soggy.

Can I make this broccoli salad with cranberries?

The simple answer is yes. Just keep in mind that fresh cranberry salad will have more of a tart flavor.

Broccoli salad with craisins from above

Other Favorite Side Dishes

If you liked this recipe, you may want to check out some of our other favorite side dishes too…

4.92 from 34 votes

Broccoli Salad With Craisins

Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
This broccoli salad with craisins is both delicious and nutritious, making it the perfect easy side dish for any occasion!


  • 8 cups broccoli chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds shelled
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg bacon cooked crispy & crumbled

For the dressing


  • Chop broccoli and place in a large bowl.
    8 cups broccoli
  • Add onions, sunflower seeds, craisins, cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon. Mix well.
    1/3 cup red onion, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup craisins, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 1 pkg bacon
  • In a separate medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Mix well.
    1 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Fold dressing into broccoli mixture until the salad is evenly coated.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Make this recipe ahead of time by keeping the broccoli mixture, sunflower seeds and dressing in separate containers. Combine when ready to serve.
  • You can save time by buying a bag of bacon crumbles from the grocery store. One cup of bacon crumbles is about the equivalent as a pound of bacon.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 659IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

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