Sunday, September 4

Wicked Broccoli Salad

A few weeks ago I went to a wedding shower and had the most amazing broccoli salad.  No, not a salad with lettuce and broccoli, but more of a pasta salad that you’d find at Whole Foods, except without the pasta (if that makes any sense!).  This salad has a slight creaminess similar to traditional pasta salads, but it contains ingredients such as bacon, golden raisins and sunflower seeds that make it a really unique and fun dish to serve at a barbecue or small gathering.

Plumping the raisins

This dish is very easy to assemble.  Because it’s easy to assemble, DO NOT take shortcuts.   The salad includes chopped bacon and even though it would be easy and quick to buy Bacon Bits, don’t do it!  The flavor is just not the same as making your own.  It’s only a few extra minutes to cook the bacon and chop it up.  I also found that when you buy bacon from the store it’s sold by the pound.  We never cook bacon at home so I decided to freeze the remaining half pound of uncooked bacon.  Next time I make this dish, however, I plan to prepare the full pound of bacon and save the remaining amount to use throughout the week on BLT sandwiches or add the chopped bits to our salads.

Chopped into small pieces for the salad

This was one of the side dishes I served at our barbecue with my parents over the holiday weekend.  It tasted very similar to the salad I was trying to re-create and overall everyone enjoyed it.  The dressing is just the right consistency and the perfect amount as it doesn’t smother the broccoli.  The raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon intensify the salad by adding a nice texture.  The dressing has a sweet flavor which my husband thought was a little too sweet for his liking, but my parents and I really enjoyed the flavor.  I have to say this salad was a major win as my dad does not eat any vegetables that are dark green in color, however he decided to try my salad after hearing my mom explain how good it was.  Not only did he like it, but he finished his serving. 

Wicked Broccoli Salad
Servings: 9-10
Prep Time: 15 mins.
Total Time: 25-30 mins.


  • 2 heads fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds (shells removed)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Add raisins to a small bowl and cover with warm water.  Let stand 5 minutes before draining (this helps plump the raisins).
  2. Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Lay on paper towel to absorb grease while using another paper towel to blot the grease on top.  Cool and chop into small pieces.
  3. Chop the onion and cut broccoli into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and combine with bacon, raisins, and sunflower seeds.  Mix well.
  4. In a small bowl prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar.  Whisk together until smooth. Pour on top of the salad and stir until well combined.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator and serve.  For best flavor allow to chill in the fridge a few hours before serving.


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