An easy cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe chock full of hearty ingredients like bacon, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and raisins. This simple broccoli cauliflower salad with bacon keeps well and is the perfect side dish for a potluck, BBQ, or during the holidays. It's always a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
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Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Bacon
When I think of potluck dinners and summer BBQs, a cold broccoli salad or broccoli and cauliflower salad with mayo version always seems to be served at our get-together. For over two decades this has been one of my assigned family recipes, so I have this one memorized!
A traditional recipe for broccoli cauliflower salad calls for lots of hearty sweet and savory ingredients like bacon, mayonnaise, cheese, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit. If you've been following our site for a while you probably know my husband has been on a keto diet for over year, if you're wanting a sugar free version, you can also peak at our keto broccoli salad recipe or read the swaps below the ingredient list.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Broccoli cauliflower salad is a hearty salad that keeps for days and doesn't get soggy.
- It's super hearty with a delicious blend of sweet and salty, plus soft and crunchy.
- It's a perfect recipe for holidays, a BBQ, or lunch meal prep too.
- The cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe is already gluten-free and lower-carb, and includes sugar-free and keto friendly adaptions below.
Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad Ingredients
What is so great about this fresh cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe is that it's easy to swap ingredients if you want to change it up. Feel free to use all broccoli, all cauliflower, use ham instead of bacon, use a different type of seed or nut, PLUS you can use fresh fruit like grapes, blueberries, or apples instead of raisins.
- bacon, cooked & chopped (about 4-5 pieces)- looking for a different protein? Substitute cubed ham or smoked turkey.
- red onion
- cheddar cheese
- salted sunflower seeds - any type of salted nut would be great here including almond, walnuts, or cashews
- raisins - or dried cranberries or dried berries
- mayonnaise - Best Foods or this is our favorite no sugar mayo
- lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- sugar -swap erythritol or monk fruit for no sugar, use can also use honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup.
- Instead of making a homemade dressing for broccoli salad, you can also just add Ranch dressing or Italian dressing.
- Use sour cream instead of mayo, it doesn't have as much flavor but add any seasoning you'd like
- Instead of dried fruit, make a broccoli salad with fresh fruit like grapes or apples
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad Recipe Substitutions
- One of the beautiful things about broccoli cauliflower salad is super adaptable! Cheese: No cheddar? Try swapping it out for some feta or gouda or shredded Colby Jack.
- Dried fruit: If you're not a fan of raisins, dried cranberries, dried berries, or chopped dates will also do the trick.
- Nuts/Seeds: Instead of sunflower seeds you could also use pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, or macadamia nuts,
- Dressing: Not into mayo? Greek yogurt or a mix of olive oil and vinegar can be used for the dressing.
Keto/Low Carb- to bring the carbs from 12 net carbs per serving down to 3, do these easy swaps. Leave the raisins out entirely, use a keto-friendly no sugar mayo like Sir Kensington's or Primal Kitchen, and instead of sugar, swap the sweetener for 2-3 tablespoon erythritol or monk fruit.
Paleo / Whole 30 - skip the raisins since they have added sugar, you could swap them with a paleo-friendly fruit whether it be fresh or dried as long as it doesn't have sugar. Don't add the cheese, use a no-sugar paleo-approved mayo like Primal Kitchen, and instead of sugar, swap the sweetener for 2-3 tablespoon of paleo-approved sweetener (or don't use sweetener at all).
Vegetarian or vegan? To make this cold cauliflower broccoli salad recipe vegetarian or vegan, use vegan cheese or don't add it at all, leave the bacon out or use a vegan/vegetarian substitute, maybe even mix a little nutritional yeast in? (I have not tried that but I love nutritional yeast!), and use a dairy-free mayo.
How to make Cauliflower Broccoli Salad
To make this delicious broccoli cauliflower salad recipe, you'll want to start by making the salad dressing. This is a mayo based dressing and you wouldn't even know it had mayo in it since you can't taste it at all!
Some cauliflower broccoli salad variations out there use a mix of mayo and sour cream, we have tried that and it does NOT have as much flavor as just using mayonnaise. We ONLY make the mayo version, the key is to use a high-quality mayo like Best Foods, Kraft, Sir Kensington's or Primal Kitchen's Olive Oil Mayo that's sugar free and paleo/keto friendly.
Make the Dressing
Mix the mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Please do not use lemon juice concentrate in this step, it never turns out as well as buying fresh lemon. In a pinch it's better to use apple cider vinegar than trying to make this with lemon concentrate.
The recipe calls for 1 broccoli head and 1 cauliflower head, you'll want to cut off just the top. I don't worry if I get little bits of stem pieces in the salad, but most of the broccoli should just be the heads.
Using the remaining unused broccoli for riced broccoli or cauliflower rice is a perfect way to use up the rest of the broccoli.
Chop the Broccoli
Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into very small pieces and put into a medium-size bowl. Here's a visual on how small of pieces we cut the broccoli and cauliflower into.
Combine the Salad Ingredients
Add the diced onion, shredded cheddar, chopped bacon, raisins, and sunflower seeds to a large bowl, along with the chopped cauliflower broccoli pieces.
Mix the vegetable mixture together. You could, in theory, add the broccoli salad dressing before mixing the vegetable mix together and just do this as one step. I personally like to combine the vegetables and other ingredients just to make sure it evenly combines.
Add the cauliflower and broccoli salad dressing to the rest of the vegetable, cheese and bacon mixture and gently combine. Let sit in the fridge for at least one hour before serving so flavors can blend.
How to serve this recipe for Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Serving this salad is perfect as a side dish for your favorite grilled meats – think BBQ chicken, steak, or even some juicy grilled tofu. Or you can go ahead and serve it as a light lunch on its own, maybe with some crusty bread on the side. It's also a hit at potlucks and picnics because it travels well and can be made ahead of time.
How to store leftover Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad
Add the leftover salad into an airtight container and stash it in the fridge. It'll stay fresh and tasty for about 3-5 days. The flavors actually tend to meld and improve after a night in the fridge, so you might find it's even better the next day! We do not recommend freezing this salad since it was made with raw vegetables and would turn soggy.
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad Common Questions
Making the cauliflower and broccoli salad ahead of time is a smart idea. At a minimum, you'll want it to rest in the fridge for one hour to help the dressing and salad flavors to blend together. This is one of those salad recipes that the longer you let it sit the better it tastes! I usually make this low carb broccoli salad the morning of when I need it later that afternoon or evening. It's perfectly fine to make the day before too!
Because the broccoli cauliflower salad with bacon is perfect as a make-ahead salad recipe, this is probably one of the reasons we always have it for the holidays. No one has time to cook an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner in one day, adding in a couple of make-ahead dishes really helps out immensely.
Broccoli cauliflower salad is good for up to 4 days in the fridge. Be sure to store it in a container with a lid or covered in plastic and then stir it together before serving again. The cold broccoli cauliflower salad is also a terrific option for lunch meal prep since the broccoli and cauliflower hold their shape and don't get soggy like lettuce greens do.
It’s possible the broccoli and cauliflower weren’t dried well enough with paper towels after cleaning them before making the salad. Broccoli salad can get watery if the salt in the dressing draws out the natural moisture in the veggies, however, we’ve never had this happen. To avoid this, you can try salting the broccoli and cauliflower florets, letting them sit in a colander for a bit to drain some moisture, then rinsing and patting them dry before adding the rest of the ingredients.
The carb count in your broccoli cauliflower salad can depend on your specific recipe and the exact quantities of ingredients you're using. Our recipe as written is 8 net carbs per serving, to reduce the carbs even more and to make a keto broccoli cauliflower salad, swap the sweetener for monk fruit, the lemon juice for apple cider vinegar, and skip the dried cranberries. We also have a keto broccoli salad recipe on our site and with those swaps, the net carbs is 4 net carbs per serving.
More Broccoli Recipes
- Pan-Fried Broccoli Fritters
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Roasted Broccoli Recipe
- Homemade Cheese Sauce
- Riced Broccoli
- Chicken Casserole with Broccoli
- Keto Broccoli Salad with Bacon
We'd love to hear how the cauliflower and broccoli salad recipe turns out! Post comments and feedback below or post your photos on the Pinterest pin.
And be sure to pin the recipe for later on Pinterest so you can easily get back to it!
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