Broccoli Salad with Raisins is a fresh, easy side salad for your next BBQ or potluck. It only takes less than 30 minutes to make.
This is a vintage potluck side dish that I have made for many years. It is crispy, fruity, creamy and oh so very good!
Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Broccoli is a Superfood!
“It is a very good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), potassium and copper. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin and selenium.” (Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods) It is also an anti-inflammatory, which, in turn, makes it an anti- carcinogen!
What you need
- broccoli – use the broccoli either raw or very quickly blanched. Cut florets into very small pieces so that they are easier to chew. Save the large stems for making vegetable stock. Don’t use previously frozen broccoli.
- vinegar – use apple cider vinegar, white vinegar or white wine vinegar
- red onion – you can substitute yellow or white onion but we prefer red onion.
- bacon – crisp up your bacon. We love using our air fryer to crisp bacon.
- golden raisins – you can substitute black raisins but the golden add a better flavor.
- sunflower seeds kernels or pepitas – don’t use the whole sunflower seed. Just the kernel.
- mayonnaise – use a good quality mayo like Duke’s or Hellmann’s, not salad dressing.
- sugar – use white sugar or raw sugar
How to make it
I usually use the broccoli raw, which I love, but some people prefer the broccoli blanched.
- Cut broccoli florets into very small pieces so they are easier to chew.
- Blanch the broccoli for only about 2 minutes so that it doesn’t lose it’s beautiful color.
- When you blanch veggies, be sure you have ice water ready to cool them down, quickly. Drain the broccoli well. We find a salad spinner to be very helpful with this job.
- Add ingredients for dressing to another small bowl.
- Stir to mix well.
- Add broccoli to a large bowl. Then add onions and raisins. Mix with dressing.
- Just before serving, add the crisped bacon and sunflower kernels. Toss to combine.
Important recipe tips
- Make sure you add the bacon and sunflower kernels at the last minute so they do not get soggy.
- Use either fresh or freshly blanched broccoli. Only blanch for about 2 minutes so that the broccoli still has some texture.
- If you are blanching the broccoli it is really important to dry it well. A salad spinner works great for this job. If you don’t have one. Drain well and lay out on paper towel. Pat the top dry with another paper towel. If you don’t dry it the dressing will become watery.
- Get the bacon quite crisp before breaking it into bits.
Can you make it ahead of time?
Yes. You can make this salad up to a day ahead. Just remember to add the bacon and sunflower kernels at the last minute so that they do not get soggy.
How to store leftover broccoli salad
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a covered container. Eat it within 3 days.
Do not freeze.
The golden raisins add a lovely sweetness to this salad and the pepitas, or sunflower kernels add a bit of crunch.
The bacon… well I don’t suppose I have to describe the bacon! 🙂 If you eat it, you love it. If you don’t, well…. I’m sorry!
Want to learn how to grow your own broccoli? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!
Some variations for this salad
- Instead of sunflower kernels, you can substitute any type of nuts you like. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts, whatever.
- To make this salad a light meal, add your favorite protein. Leftover chicken, pork or beef are all great.
- Add about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the salad.
- Instead of the golden raisins, add black raisins or dried cherries or cranberries. Pieces of dried apricot are good as well.
- Use less mayonnaise and add Italian dressing to the mayonnaise mixture.
- You can use white or yellow onions for this salad but we prefer red.
More delicious salads
Tools I use
As you can see this broccoli salad with raisins is so easy but not only that, it’s so good that you will get the kids loving broccoli too!
If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook over medium heat just until crisp; drain on paper towels. You can also crisp bacon in your air fryer.
- Cut broccoli into small pieces. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and blanch until bright green and slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Drain well, run under cold water to stop the cooking, and drain again. Or place in a water bath
- In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, onion, sugar and raisins. Add the broccoli and toss the coat with the dressing. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Just before servings, fold in the sunflower kernels and the bacon pieces. Serve immediately
- It is important to drain broccoli well. Use your salad spinner after draining.
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