Broccoli Salad Recipe

This Broccoli Salad Recipe is unlike most others! We lightened up this crunchy salad with a tangy balsamic dressing instead of mayonnaise!

Crispy, crunchy broccoli with bacon, sliced almonds and pomegranate seeds is like a flavor explosion! Not only do we make this broccoli salad for parties and holidays, but we use it in our weekly meal prep instead of regular salad. Add chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal!

brocoli salad in a white bowl with napkin

A No Mayo Broccoli Salad

Mayonnaise is literally my most favorite condiment. Mix it with honey or sriracha (or both) or use it on its own for sandwiches, wraps and just about anything.

But the one place I don’t love mayonnaise is tossed with broccoli. And raw broccoli – even worse. I’m not sure why I’m not a fan of raw broccoli, because I truly do love the veg…I just like it cooked a tad.

Nothing major, no place here for mushy, overcooked broccoli either. But a quick blanch and a rinse in cold water does the trick. Super crunchy (but not raw) broccoli salad is just about one of the tastiest vegetable sides you can make.

Ingredients for broccoli salad recipe

Ingredients For A No Mayo Broccoli Salad Recipe

The balsamic dressing is as follows:

  • Balsamic Vinegar: The type of balsamic vinegar that you use does make a difference. Try buying one that’s aged for at least 12 years so that the vinegar is a little sweeter instead or tart. We love using balsamic vinegar from Modena that is aged for 60 years, you can pour it on your salads straight up!
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is our go to for flavor, but you can also use other oils like avocado oil that have a more mild flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard: Dijon adds flavor but also works to emulsify the dressing so that it doesn’t break apart.
  • Honey: Of course honey adds a delicious sweetness to the dressing but also helps to bind it together and thicken it up.
  • Garlic: Well, because, garlic goes in just about everything.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Black Pepper: Most all of our recipes use these two ingredients, and they are key to boosting the flavor in any recipe!

Broccoli florets in a bowl with almonds for salad recipe

For the add ins we like using diced red onion, sliced almonds, shaved parmesan cheese, pomegranate seeds for a burst of color and flavor, and of course crispy bacon. I’m telling you guys, this broccoli salad is so good, people are going to be begging you for the recipe!

Can You Use Raw Broccoli In This Broccoli Salad Recipe?

Absolutely! If you do like raw broccoli, which is more traditional in broccoli salad, then definitely go ahead and skip the blanching step and use it raw. With raw broccoli, I like to cut the florets smaller so that you have a bite sized piece of broccoli that you don’t have to cut apart.

Broccoli Salad Recipe in a white bowl

How Do You Blanch Broccoli?

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli florets, pushing down to submerge in the water. Quickly bring the water back to a boil with the heat on high.

Once the water is back to boiling, cook the broccoli for 1 minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. Place the broccoli in a bowl with cold water and ice to stop the cooking process. Let the broccoli sit in the ice bath for 15 minutes, then drain well and use in this salad recipe or for dipping into Ranch!

Broccoli Salad in a bowl with serving spoon

Can You Make This Salad Recipe Ahead Of Time?

Yep!!! So not only is this broccoli recipe super delicious, but it can be made ahead of time for meal prepping, parties and holidays! Just keep the dressing separate and toss about an hour before serving and you’re good to go!

Looking For More Salad Recipes?

Top view of broccoli salad in a white bowl next to a cloth napkin.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Try this Broccoli Salad Recipe for your next holiday or BBQ! We love this salad so much, we make it for meal prepping during the week instead of a regular salad!



  • 3 heads of broccoli, stems removed and cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion, soaked in ice water for 5 minutes, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked diced bacon (about 5 strips of bacon)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, raisins or craisins
  • 1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese

For The Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic (about 3 small cloves)
  • Good pinch of kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of kosher salt and then add the broccoli florets. Bring the water back to a boil, quickly, over high heat. Once the water is back to a boil, let the broccoli cook for 1 minute, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Add the broccoli florets to a bowl of cold water with ice and let sit while you make the dressing.
  3. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a container or salad cruet. Shake well to emulsify the dressing.
  4. Drain the broccoli florets and place on a paper towel to dry. Add the red onion, bacon, almonds, pomegranate seeds and parmesan cheese to a large bowl. Add the blanched broccoli florets and along with the dressing and then toss to combine.
  5. Cover the broccoli salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

Once tossed with the dressing, the broccoli salad will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. If you want to make this broccoli salad ahead of time, leave the dressing separate and then toss the salad an hour before serving.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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