Classic, Creamy, Loaded Broccoli Salad

This classic, creamy and loaded broccoli salad is a true crowd-pleaser at potluck dinners or at home for a delicious side dish! It certainly will please a lot of your guests this coming long holiday weekend! And for good reasons:

First of all, broccoli salad is a super simple dish and easy . . . easy . . . EASY! Ya gotta love that!

Classic broccoli salad is chock-full of healthy raw broccoli, crisp thick-cut bacon crumbles, chunks of cheddar cheese, crunchy sesame seeds and nuts, and tart dried cranberries in a creamy dressing. I can’t figure out which ingredient is enjoyed the most. Classic broccoli salad is so popular simply because it’s got it all and comes together so deliciously!

Plus, you can customize this classic broccoli salad in so many ways. A few recommendations are listed below for you on how to change up this recipe in delightfully delicious ways!

Classic Creamy Loaded Broccoli Salad

Not only is this classic broccoli salad recipe a great make-ahead dish, but it keeps for a good week in the frig. It holds up that well!


A classic Broccoli Salad is so super easy and fast to put together . . . what a plus for those with busy schedules and the challenge of preparing a nice meal!

  • Always use the freshest, crispest broccoli for that desired crunchy texture. If left too long in the frig or on the counter, broccoli becomes rubbery.
  • Always wash the broccoli before anything else.
  • Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces, using the stems if you prefer (as does my family).
  • Add in the other dry ingredients (options provided next).
  • In a separate bowl, prepare the creamy dressing using the ingredients that you prefer (options provided next).
  • Mix half of the dressing into the broccoli mixture until evenly coated, refrigerate and toss in the remaining dressing before serving.
  • ENJOY!

Other Options To Include:

When it comes to a classic broccoli salad, there are many variations on the classic recipe. Try any combination of these ingredients in your broccoli salad:

  • fresh or dried blueberries or cherries
  • slivered or sliced almonds, chopped pecans (or praline pecans too!)
  • chopped fresh apple
  • shredded carrot
  • green, white or yellow onions if you don’t prefer red onions
Classic Broccoli Salad

My kids will seriously eat this classic broccoli salad straight out of the serving bowl even before any of it is on a plate!

More Fresh Salad Recipes To Inspire You:

Ruth’s Chris {Copycat} House Chopped Salad

Perfect Chopped Salad

Classic Italian Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Classic Creamy Cucumber Salad

Caprese Salad with Cherry Tomatoes

Fresh Thai Salad with 2 Dressing Recipes

Plus check out all of our SALAD RECIPES here!

Something that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND for you or as a gift! My daughter gave this to me for Christmas, 2019 and I will always cherish it! You can customize it with whatever you’d like it to say.

Personalized Cutting Board


PIN For Later!


Classic, Creamy, Loaded Broccoli Salad


Classic, Creamy, Loaded Broccoli Salad


Yield: 6 - 8

Classic, Creamy Loaded Broccoli Salad

Classic, Creamy Loaded Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is an all-American classic recipe that is enjoyed at potluck dinners or anytime! Chock full of healthy raw broccoli, crisp, thick bacon, tart dried cranberries, and smooth cheddar cheese, and dressed with creamy mayonnaise, this salad is super easy to put together and disappears in a flash!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 5-6 cups broccoli flowers, stems removed, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups medium or sharp cheddar cheese, either shredded or cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1-1/2 cups thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds (60g)
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced


  • 3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise (my family prefers Miracle Whip brand)
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper


    1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, pecans, bacon, and sunflower seeds.
    2. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well-combined.
    3. Toss the salad with half of the dressing.
    4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two (for best flavor results).
    5. Toss the salad thoroughly with the remaining half of the dressing.
    6. Serve immediately.
    7. Refrigerated left-over salad.


  • Although most recipes call for the broccoli stems to be cut off and either used in another recipe or discarded, my family actually prefers the stems and so they are included and just cut into small, bite-size pieces.
  • A fast shortcut is to use packaged broccoli flowers that are already cut up.
  • Add any typical delicious ingredient that you prefer: apple chunks, grapes, shredded carrots, etc.
  • You can substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise.
  • You can substitute honey for the sugar.
  • You can add some Dijon mustard for a bit more tanginess to the dressing.


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