I first had this Broccoli Bacon and Cheddar Salad during a heat wave when I was not wanting to heat up the kitchen. Coincidently, we find ourselves in the middle of another such heat wave, so out comes this salad recipe. I like it because it is hearty, packed full of tender broccoli, smokey bacon and coated in a creamy dressing. Another name for this dish is also, Sunshine Salad or Amish Broccoli Salad.
Broccoli Bacon and Cheddar Salad is loaded! It has a slightly sweet, creamy dressing and has tons of broccoli, bacon and shredded cheddar cheese. This is a favorite for family dinners and potlucks!
One of the things I like about this recipe is that you can change it up. There is no hard and fast rule as to how you make this. I like to add sunflower seeds or toasted pistachio nuts if I have those but, I have even used slivered almonds. I have added dried cranberries or golden raisins for added sweetness. When I have a bunch of cherry tomatoes, I toss in a few. Those are a nice pop of color and juiciness. However, my favorite change is to add a dash or two of cayenne pepper to the dressing for some kick!
I am someone who often likes to eat low carb and this recipe fits beautifully into that category. Broccoli Bacon and Cheddar Salad contains mostly low carb ingredients without even trying. If you choose to, you can make this dressing keto or low carb by changing the sweetener. I sometimes use regular granulated white sugar, but if I am watching carbs or know I am feeding someone who is keeping an eye on their carbs or sugar intake, I substitute Monk Sugar. The thing I like about Monk sugar is that it is measured out in exactly the same ratio as regular sugar.
Broccoli Bac0n and Cheddar Salad is packed full of flavor and filling ingredients. It is a perfect side dish to make ahead for dinner or to take to a crowd for a BBQ or Potluck dinner.
This salad is simple to make and is perfect for Summer, especially if you have a bunch of broccoli growing in the garden you can harvest. Start by cutting your head of broccoli into flowerettes. Then steam or cook your broccoli until just fork tender. Drain the broccoli and let cool. Meanwhile cook your bacon. The easiest way to cook bacon with the least amount of hassle or clean up, is to lay a piece of heavy duty foil on a cookie sheet, then lay your strips of bacon on the foil, making sure they are not touching. Then, bake at 350 until crispy. Once cooked, remove the bacon and place on paper towels to drain. Let the cookie sheet cool so you can pour the bacon fat into a jar (to use for other dishes later) or let the fat solidify a bit and fold the foil up and toss in the trash. Easy peasy!
In a large bowl, toss your cooled broccoli with your cooked and cooled, chopped bacon. Then, mix together the salad dressing ingredients, and pour over the broccoli and bacon in the bowl. Once the broccoli and bacon have been mixed with the dressing, sprinkle in the cheese and any extras you want and toss again to make sure everything is well coated. Cover this bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to get nice and cold. Stir before serving and then feast.
Broccoli Bacon and Cheddar Salad
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into flowerettes
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar OR low carb sugar substitute
- 2 tbsp granulated onion or 1/4 c chopped onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- *optional 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or craisins
- Cut broccoli into flowerettes, steam or cook until just fork tender. Cook bacon and chop into pieces. Let both of these cool.
- Mix dressing ingredients together.
- In a large bowl, toss cooled broccoli, chopped bacon, grated cheddar cheese and dressing. Add in optional ingredients like sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, then toss to make sure all is coated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator to cool. Stir before serving.
This Broccoli Bacon and Cheddar Salad is flavorful and satisfying. It keeps wonderfully in the refrigerator for additional meals later in the week. It travels well to potlucks and BBQ’s and is one you can customize to suit your family’s tastes. You can even substitute half of the broccoli for cauliflower if you prefer. I hope you make a big batch and enjoy with your family and friends!
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