SUMMER BROCCOLI SALAD! Salads are a big part of our lives during the summer months! I love experimenting with them, especially with all sorts of fresh veggies. I have had a variety of broccoli salads, some of my own, and some made by others, but I don’t think I have ever had one that is as refreshing as this one! I blame the dressing.
I have always loved the “creamy” broccoli salads, but sometimes they are so smothered in dressing it’s hard to taste anything other than the dressing. I wanted the “creamy” feel without the thickness of mayo or cream cheese, and this dressing does just that, PLUS its a much healthier option too.
I use a variety of different ingredients within this salad, and all of the toppings are optional or can be substituted for something else! I have used pecans instead of sunflower seeds. I have used white sharp cheddar cheese instead of yellow sharp cheddar cheese. I have removed the red onions. I have used raisins instead of cranberries! Really the possibilities are endless when it comes to the toppings your use!
Overall, this salad is pretty easy to toss together. Blanching the broccoli takes a few extra steps, but I do think it makes a difference in how the broccoli tastes. However, as mentioned in the recipe it is definitely a personal preference and completely optional.
The full recipe is listed below! Be sure to let me know if you test this one out or tag me on Instagram (@littlehouseinop), I absolutely love seeing these recipes in your homes and in your kitchens!
- 2lbs freshly cut broccoli
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 2/3 cup of sharp shredded cheese
- 4 slices thick cut bacon (diced)
- 1/2 non-fat plain greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Prep the broccoli, by chopping it into 1 inch pieces.
- (OPTIONAL): Blanch the broccoli. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set a large bowl of ice water next to stove, and have a colander near by as well. Add broccoli to boiling water and let cook for 30-45 seconds before quickly transferring veggies to colander and then into the ice bath. The ice bath ensures that the veggies will stop cooking! Return veggies to colander and shake off as much excessive water as possible. Then place veggies in a bowl, wrapped in paper towels. You want to make sure to get off as much of the water as possible, set aside while prepping other ingredients.
- In a medium skillet, cook diced bacon, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 10 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked. Drain all bacon grease, but leave 1.5 tablespoons of grease in pan, along with the cooked bacon.
- Turn off heat. Stir in Dijon mustard, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix together until combined. Let sit over warm burner for 30 seconds before removing and sitting aside, allowing mixture to cool.
- Using a small mixing bowl, combine greek yogurt, honey, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Whisk together.
- Remove bacon mixture from skillet and combine with yogurt mixture. Make sure to scrape the bacon and all of the drippings into the yogurt mixture. Whisk together.
- In a large salad bowl, pat dry your broccoli, removing any last bits of water, and toss into the large salad bowl. Add green onions, 1/2 red onion, cranberries, cheddar, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle bacon dressing over the top and toss. Store in fridge for an hour before serving, this allows the broccoli to soak in the dressing, and gives for a better taste.
- Best if stored in an airtight container inside of the refrigerator, salad will last up to three days!
- I chose to “blanch” my broccoli before mixing it together with the other ingredients but that is completely optional. Blanching just allows for your veggies to cook for a short period of time.