This is the BEST broccoli salad! Packed with crunchy bits of bacon, grapes, almonds and raisins. Our secret ingredient takes it to a whole new level and everyone asks for the recipe!
My mother in law has been making this delicious broccoli salad for as long as I have been a part of their family. I remember being totally skeptical of whether I would like it when I first saw the combination (I know we have talked about my previous aversion to all things covered in mayonnaise like 5 billion times) but it totally works! Sweet, salty, chewy, tangy, crunchy…I don’t mean to be rude but mmmmm. Mmm Mmm Mmm.
The whole adding grapes to a salad thing weirded me out for a long time but I have to tell you, it totally works in this recipe.
She started blanching the broccoli a few years back after she read an article about why consuming broccoli or cauliflower raw is super bad for you. I have no idea if that is true or not but became ridiculously obsessed with this broccoli salad after she started doing that.
Blanching the broccoli softens it just enough that it’s pleasantly chewy instead of the gnawing on bark chips sensation I have when I just keep chewing mouthful after mouthful of broccoli.
Added Bonus? It makes the broccoli salad absorb the delicious creamy dressing way better. Beautiful and useful. Yum.
Now don’t worry, blanching the broccoli is ridiculously easy!
Just heat up a teapot full of water and pour it over the chopped broccoli in a strainer in the sink. No need to do a real blanching in a boiling pot of water, this works just as well and is less messy.
It’s super satisfying to watch it turn from this darker kind of drab green to the vibrant “happy dance around in fields of green” kind of green. There you go Benjamin Moore there’s your next paint color name.
Adding almonds to the salad adds crunch and texture to the salad, this especially becomes noticeable after it has rested in the fridge for a few days.
You can also use chopped up cashews in this salad which I really love too!
But my slacker grocery store didn’t have one single bag of cashews which was unfair. Buy cashews if you can because….the cashew is a neglected nut and needs more love. And yes I realize what just happened there…but it’s true. Poor cashews.
Oh! And my favorite (is that even possible?) part of this broccoli salad recipe is that it holds really well in the fridge if you want to prep it ahead of time. Truthfully the reason I really love this part is that I hog all the leftovers for breakfast and they are perfection. I’m weird, it’s okay I get it.
My Best Broccoli Salad Secret Ingredients
Now for the moment of truth…the secret ingredient in this broccoli salad recipe is actually a few ingredients. Whoops sorry!
But in my defense we are replacing one ingredient….My mother in law used to make this recipe with Miracle Whip and swore by it. Ewwww.
I hated that it had high fructose corn syrup in it and all kinds of other junk. So I whipped up a combination of mayo, greek yogurt, honey, balsamic vinegar and a dash of mustard at all the right ratios and it’s even more flavorful and keeps this dish real food friendly!
Happy salad making!
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Best Broccoli Salad
- 1-2 heads of broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup diced red or white onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grapes
- 5 slices cooked bacon, cooled and chopped
- 1/3 cup almond or cashew pieces
- 1 Cup white raisins optional
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 2-3 tablespoons honey
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1. Blanch broccoli by placing all prepped pieces in a strainer, then pour a tea kettle full of hot water over them. They should change color but not become limp. Strain excess water.
2. Whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, balsamic vinegar, and mustard together.
3. Toss broccoli, onion, celery and grapes with dressing.
4. Top with bacon, raisins and as many nuts as desired.
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