Classic broccoli bacon salad is an addictive mix of creamy, crunchy, savory and sweet. This salad is a summer icon and staple side dish for any barbecue or gathering. Even with a healthier spin, it’s sure to remain a hit!
While this recipe got a little bit of an upgrade, all the key flavors and textures remain. Truly, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, but I simply made some swaps to create a higher quality, healthier version of a classic. And, don’t worry, I still kept an ample amount of bacon! That is in large part what makes this salad so delicious.
To give this salad a healthy makeover, I did several things in terms of ingredients. I used avocado oil mayonnaise (versus the typical kind made with canola or soybean oil), cut back on the sugar and opted for an unrefined variety instead, went with oil-free raisins, un-roasted raw sunflower seeds (the roasted variety usually have canola oil and are heavily salted) and no-sugar added bacon. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of regular white vinegar. It offers a bit more sweetness than white vinegar, and has more nutritional benefits too.
Additionally, I found ratios that I thought worked best and didn’t overdo the sweet, creamy dressing either. I opted for just enough to keep the salad from being gloopy. I think it’s all just right and tastes exactly like I remember, but better!
Interested in other summer salad recipes? Check out my creamy herb and cucumber salad and dairy-free buffalo chicken potato salad.
Cheers and enjoy!
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Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad
For the salad:
- 8 cups broccoli florets, chopped small
- 1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins, preferably oil-free
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- 6 pieces good-quality no sugar-added bacon, cooked and chopped
For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- Mix all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust flavor, as desired.
- Pour dressing over the salad mixture and stir to coat. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, but longer if possible.