Deli-Style Broccoli Salad

Deli-style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!

This recipe is one of my favorites to take to a picnic, party, or family dinner because everyone loves it and it always hits the spot. Don’t save the recipe for the warm months either; it’s great for family dinners during the holidays, too! I’m planning on this for our Thanksgiving menu and I’m more than excited about it.

This broccoli salad recipe tastes just like the kind you get from the deli and is packed with sunflower seeds, onion, dried cranberries, and bacon. If you’d like, you can also add things like grated carrots or cubed cheddar cheese or you can leave it just how it is. It’s a great side dish for feeding a crowd and I have included make-ahead instructions in the tips and tricks section, too.

Do you have to cook the broccoli for broccoli salad?

My secret to making perfect broccoli salad is to blanch (or cook) the broccoli for just one minute before making the salad. The broccoli turns a gorgeous bright green, it’s still tender crisp but the stems aren’t nearly as hard as when the broccoli is left uncooked. It’s an added step to the recipe but it’s one that I feel like makes a huge difference in the end product. Just be sure to let the broccoli drain well before using so you don’t have extra moisture in your finished salad.

Deli-Style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!

Tips and Tricks for Making Broccoli Salad:

  • You can add other things that you like to this salad such as crumbled feta cheese or cheddar cheese.
  • If you are making this salad ahead of time, prepare all of the ingredients but keep the dressing separate from the rest of the salad. Add the dressing right before serving.
  • Blanching the broccoli makes the broccoli tender crisp and perfect for eating in a salad. I think it’s much better this way than just using raw broccoli. Be sure the cooked broccoli is not wet before using (you can do this step well in advance so that it has time to dry).
  • I bought this strainer basket to go in  my Instant Pot and it happens to fit right in my stove-top stock pot, too. I just added my broccoli to the strainer, dipped the whole strainer into the boiling water for one minute, and then pulled it out and stuck it right in my water bath. It made the blanching process really easy!

Deli-Style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!

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Deli-Style Broccoli Salad


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 min
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings

Description

Deli-style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!


Ingredients

  • 8 cups small broccoli pieces
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet or red onion
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon (about 6 pieces cooked)

Instructions

  1. In a pot of boiling water, blanch the broccoli for one minute. Remove the broccoli from the hot water and put it straight into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When the broccoli has cooled down, remove it from the ice water bath and place it in a colander. Let the broccoli drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. To make the dressing, add the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper to a small bowl. Stir well to combine.
  3. When the broccoli is well drained and no longer wet, add the broccoli to a large bowl. Add the dressing, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, onion, and bacon. Stir to combine and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve right away.

Notes

  • You can add other things that you like to this salad such as crumbled feta or cheddar cheese.
  • If you are making this salad ahead of time, prepare all of the ingredients but keep the dressing separate from the rest of the salad. Add the dressing right before serving.
  • Blanching the broccoli makes the broccoli tender crisp and perfect for eating in a salad. I think it’s much better this way than just using raw broccoli. Be sure the cooked broccoli is not wet before using (you can do this step well in advance so that it has time to dry).
  • I bought this strainer basket to go in  my Instant Pot and it happens to fit right in my stove-top stock pot too. I just added my broccoli to the strainer, dipped the whole strainer into the boiling water for one minute, and then pulled it out and stuck it right in my water bath. It made the blanching process really easy!

Broccoli salad is a great recipe to take to a party, and here are a few other great party-ready recipes:

There you have it, one very simple but delicious side that you can make all year long, take to a party, or even show up to a nice holiday dinner with. I can’t wait for you to make it and see just how easy it is to make and enjoy.

 

Deli-Style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!
Deli-Style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip!
Deli-Style broccoli salad made with all your favorites like bacon, onion, cranberries, and more, plus a secret tip! #sidedish #broccolisalad #salad #broccoli
2 Responses
    1. Melissa

      I use it ALLL the time because it fits in my Instant Pot too. It works better than the trivet things too for lots of things like boiled eggs, you just pull the whole thing out!

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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