Southern Broccoli Salad with Bacon is a tried-and-true favorite

Easy old-fashioned Southern Broccoli Salad is a crowd favorite and always a hit at potlucks and summer cookouts. It’s irresistibly delicious with crisp, chopped fresh broccoli, juicy cherry tomatoes and Craisins.

Add cheddar cheese, crunchy bacon and roasted pecans, top it with a creamy homemade dressing, and this classic, make-ahead broccoli salad is a low-carb wonder and the vegetable side dish of your dreams.

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Sharon’s tips:

  • For the best results, cut off most of the tough stalks and then cut the broccoli florets into pieces no bigger than a small grape.
  • Leftovers will keep for two to three days covered in the fridge. They do not freeze well.
  • I like to use a salad spinner to wash my broccoli. Place the raw broccoli heads in the spinner, fill it with water, and swish them around. Be sure to allow the broccoli to drain thoroughly and let it dry before making your salad.
  • Leftover salad dressing makes a terrific coleslaw dressing.
  • Since this recipe calls for a small number of nuts, the easiest way to roast them is in the microwave if your pecans aren’t already roasted. First, chop them up and put them on a microwave-safe plate. Then, microwave them on high in 30-second increments until they are done. This usually takes about two to three minutes total.
One of the great things about this broccoli salad is its versatility, both in how to serve it and its ingredients.

Southern Broccoli Salad Recipe

Serves 8


3 stalks of raw broccoli

6 slices bacon

½ cup Craisins dried cranberries

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks

½ cup sliced ​​cherry tomatoes

½ cup roasted pecans

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

Pinch of ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse, drain and let the broccoli dry. Cut off the stalks, save for another use or discard, and then cut the florets into small bite-size pieces.

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