person holding a spoonful of broccoli salad

Make Ahead Broccoli Salad

  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1/2 cups 1x


Make ahead broccoli salad is an easy low carb recipe that is best for a crowd.  This healthy side dish has a creamy homemade dressing that compliments the fresh cold ingredients perfectly.  Serve this simple classic summer salad at your next dinner party.



For the Salad

  • 1/2 cup bacon, crumbled, roughly 6 slices (29 g)
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 6 cups broccoli florets (roughly 3 heads)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered (270 g)
  • 1/3 cup smoked Gouda, cubed (50 g)
  • 1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise (222 g)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar


Making the Dressing

  1. Whisk together the mayo, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl.  Adjust the amounts of sugar or vinegar to taste.  If necessary, add a bit of salt and black pepper.  If you want it spicy, add crushed red pepper flakes.

Making the Salad

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until done, turning once with a fork.  Drain on paper towels.  Let cool, then chop or tear into smaller pieces.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced almonds, stirring frequently for a few minutes, until they are light brown.  Remove from heat and put into a bowl.
  3. Rinse the broccoli head and stems.  Remove any leaves, cut off the bottom of the stem, then peel it.  Cut the stalk from the head, and cut the head into florets.  To make florets smaller, cut a slice down the middle of the stem, then pull apart.
  4. Rinse and quarter the grape tomatoes.  Cube the cheese, and finely chop the onion.
  5. Mix the broccoli and onion together.
  6. Add the dressing to the veggies and toss to combine.  Add most of the tomatoes, leaving some for garnish, then toss again.  Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to overnight.  Place the small bowls of bacon, almonds, and cheese in the fridge until the salad is ready to serve.
  7. Just before serving, add most of the bacon, almonds and cheese.  Stir to combine.
  8. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, then sprinkle the remaining bacon, almonds, cheese and tomatoes as garnish.  Serve immediately.


  • Add tomatoes one hour before eating and consume the whole salad within 24 hours for maximum freshness.
  • Skip the chill time, if you’re in a hurry.
  • Using frozen broccoli won’t taste the same and the texture would be too different.
  • Freeze the broccoli stalks for soup, slaw, stir fries, stem it, or eat it raw.  Coin, julienne, or chop the stem.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: broccoli salad, salad, recipe

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