Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

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Fresh broccoli with dried cranberries, bacon, and red onion tossed in a tangy sweet dressing makes for a crave-able Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad.

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

Broccoli Bacon Cranberry Salad

There are so many flavors and textures in this cranberry broccoli salad, the first time I made this, I found myself going back to the fridge several times for just one more bite.

With just 5 basic ingredients tossed in a creamy dressing, it was borderline ridiculous how much I enjoyed this simple salad. It will pair nicely with a sandwich for lunch or a cookout with friends.

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Dried cranberries bring the perfect sweetness to the mild broccoli, while the salty bacon and sharp tang of the onion perfectly balance the slightly sweet dressing. I’ll admit that I’ve made an entire meal of just this salad when I’m left alone with it.

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad ingredients

One of the best things about this salad is getting a forkful of all the flavors and textures in each bite. Cutting the broccoli into bite-sized florets and slicing the stem into matchsticks creates a pleasantly crunchy broccoli experience while also keeping the broccoli pieces small enough to mix throughout the salad nicely.

My kids don’t always love a broccoli salad, but this one was a hit. There was just a tiny portion left over after dinner and I very happily claimed it for myself the following day.

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

Broccoli Salad with Cranberries

You may be tempted to skip the mustard in the dressing, it really is such a tiny amount, but please don’t. The sweet dressing needs the ever-so-slightly bitter tang from the mustard along with the lemon juice to create balance in the dressing.

Just a teaspoon of mustard works magic in this salty, sweet, acidic combination. And speaking of dressing, this is precisely the right amount. At first glance, it might look like it won’t be enough, or maybe you think it could be too much, but trust me here.

While you can serve a broccoli salad immediately after making it, I recommend allowing it to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours first. Broccoli has small crevices and a porous surface, which allows the dressing to seep in and coat each piece. The dressing also helps to break down the tough fibers in the broccoli, making it more tender and flavorful.

The flavors of all the different ingredients will come together nicely as the broccoli soaks up some of the dressing. Give the salad a final stir just before serving to make sure any dressing at the bottom of the bowl will be mixed in again.

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad with dressing being poured

Cranberry Broccoli Salad

You will need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • bacon 
  • broccoli 
  • red onion
  • dried cranberries
  • mayonnaise
  • fresh lemon juice
  • sugar
  • Dijon mustard 
  • kosher salt 

Instructions (scroll down for the printable recipe)

  1. Cook the bacon however you like and transfer it to a paper towel to absorb some oil while it cools. (I recommend cooking bacon in the oven.) While the bacon is cooking, combine the broccoli, red onion, and cranberries in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and mustard. Taste and add salt only if needed.
  3. Chop the bacon and add it to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days.
Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

Salads for a Picnic

Broccoli salads and coleslaw are perfect for picnics and sharing at potlucks as they travel well and are easy to keep cool over ice. They can hold for hours and even days as long as they are kept cold.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw is a kicked-up version of our Memphis Coleslaw with a hint of heat from hot sauce and a barely wet dressing.

Purple Cabbage Slaw is sweet and tangy and it is one of my go-to sides for potlucks and summer picnics. It can be made in advance and gets better as it rests.

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad with tiny broccoli florets, diced red pepper, red onion, and cheddar cheese in every bite is a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Dill Pickle Potato Salad boasts plenty of tart pickles mixed with a creamy dressing to make this absolutely unforgettable. Creamy and fresh with a bit of tang, this German Cucumber Salad brings back happy memories. 

Fresh corn, bell peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, and onion are tossed with lime and a sprinkling of spices to create this Southwest Corn Salad.

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

4.50 from 2 votes
Fresh broccoli with dried cranberries, bacon, and red onion tossed in a tangy sweet dressing makes for a crave-able Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices bacon about 6 ounces
  • 1 pound broccoli about 4 cups of florets and matchsticks
  • cup red onion finely chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Dressing Ingredients

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the bacon however you like and transfer it to a paper towel to absorb some oil while it cools. (I recommend cooking bacon in the oven.) While the bacon is cooking, combine the broccoli, red onion, and cranberries in a mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and mustard. Taste and add salt only if needed.
  • Chop the bacon and add it to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.
  • Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavors to mingle. This will keep nicely for 2 days. Stir before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal · Carbohydrates: 16g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 15g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g · Monounsaturated Fat: 4g · Trans Fat: 0.03g · Cholesterol: 9mg · Sodium: 270mg · Potassium: 267mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 11g · Vitamin A: 485IU · Vitamin C: 69mg · Calcium: 42mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @bestvegetablerecipes or tag #bestvegetablerecipes!
Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad

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  1. Janice says

    5 stars
    This looks delicious!
    Can you make this salad the day before? You stated leaving the salad for a few hours to absorb the dressing, but I wondered about making it the evening before our party.
    Thanks.

    • Mary says

      Hi, Janice! You should be able to make this salad in advance. I would recommend refrigerating the salad, then adding the dressing a few hours before your party; that way the vegetables will remain crisp. However, if you just add the dressing the evening before, the salad should still hold up nicely for the next day.

  2. Brian Williams says

    I love your salad recipes, it looks so healthy and delicious, plse add me to your comment followers