Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Salad

by Kaylene
8 Servings
20 min

This creamy broccoli salad is the perfect dish for a summer party. It is easy to make and is packed full of delicious flavors. One of those flavors being bacon so you know it’s good. There is also dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and a dressing that provides a sweet and tangy taste.

This broccoli salad is one of my favorite dishes. The recipe came from a family friend, I can’t for the life of me remember which family friend but whoever it was, thank you!  Everyone claims to have to best broccoli salad recipe, but I have to say this one is pretty dang good. I make it several times during the summer because it goes well with so many things (especially barbecue) and it is easy to make.

It’s my go-to dish when I need something quick for a party or potluck. Are you thinking what I am thinking?! Fourth of July! It’s right around the corner and this is the salad to bring, everyone goes crazy for it. It doesn’t take many ingredients and you, of course, can play around with the recipe. Add golden raisins instead of dried cranberries, use pine nuts instead of almonds. The possibilities are endless! Just don’t mess with the bacon because well, it’s bacon.

Watch me make this recipe on  Afternoon live; a local Portland show. I go through step by step how to make this delicious salad and I use a fun local ingredient.

This salad starts with the broccoli (obviously it’s in the title) and it’s up to you what size to chop it into. I prefer a little smaller and my husband likes them bigger for a more dramatic crunch. So I compromise with him and do half big and half small. Same goes for the red onion, I prefer to chop in small pieces but you can cut into strips or big chunks.

Then comes the bacon. I choose to cut the bacon into medium pieces before cooking, I feel it produces move evenly cooked bits. Cooking in strips and breaking into pieces works just as well. Cook them low and slow. Cooking bacon on high causes it to be stiff and hard, not so good.

The dressing is made from mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, milk, and sugar. This is yet another chance to play around with this recipe. You can make the dressing more tangy by adding more red wine vinegar or more sweet by adding more sugar. It’s up to you! I like my dressing right in the middle, the sweetness at first with a tangy aftertaste.

This is put together in a snap. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl and then make your dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, cover with aluminum foil and shake! This coats the salad easily and you won’t lose any pieces by pushing it around with a spoon.

When finished you have a creamy, flavor-packed salad that everyone will love! Every bite is a bit different and a little bit better than the last bite. The salty bacon comes through then the sweetness of the cranberries, just when you start to enjoy that, the red onion says hello, all with a big broccoli crunch. Okay, so go make this salad right now, or for that ‘Merica party you are throwing…or do both because it’s that good.

Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Salad
Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 3-4 broccoli heads, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 8-10 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bacon grease (optional)

Cut raw bacon into medium-sized pieces. Cook bacon and set aside to cool.
Chop the broccoli into small to medium pieces and place in a large bowl.
Add diced red onion, cranberries, sliced almonds, and bacon bits to bowl and mix until combined.
In a small bowl add mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, milk, and sugar, stir until combined.
Optional: Add the bacon grease to the mayonnaise mixture.
Pour mayonnaise mixture over broccoli salad.
Cover bowl with aluminum foil tightly and shake until coated evenly.
Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Helena Brus Helena Brus on Sep 20, 2021

    Back story, before I retired, I earned money by proofreading; mostly for consistency. In this recipe, the ingredient list has dried cranberries; however, the instruction 3 lists golden raisins. I know what you meant, but novice cooks might not. Take care.

    • Kaylene Kaylene on Sep 21, 2021

      Thanks for pointing that out Helena! The recipe has been updated.