Skip to Content

Broccoli Salad With Sunflower Seeds

We’re elevating the humble broccoli salad with a twist on a classic! This isn’t just a side dish; it’s a flavor explosion in every bite.

Packed with vibrant colors and crunchy textures, it’s the perfect addition to summer parties, potlucks, and even weeknight dinners.

Broccoli salad in a clear glass mixing bowl.

This broccoli recipe gives the classic dish a modern twist with the addition of crunchy sunflower seeds, creating a satisfying contrast to the creamy dressing and tender broccoli florets.

Why You’ll Love Classic Broccoli Salad

  • The recipe is fresh, easy to make, and will feed a crowd.
  • Broccoli has a lot of nutrients, and it’s the perfect summer salad.
  • The textures are crunchy and creamy, all rolled into one delicious side.
Broccoli salad in a white dish next to a large bowl of the salad.

Ingredients for the Best Broccoli Salad Recipe

  • Fresh broccoli
  • Diced cooked crispy bacon
  • Diced red onion
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or cheese cubes
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sour cream
  • Granulated sugar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

Broccoli salad in a large mixing bowl.

How To Make Broccoli Salad

Four pictures of making broccoli salad.
  1. Remove the florets from the broccoli stems and cut them into bite-sized pieces, about ½-inch to 1-inch in size. Aim for 6-8 cups of chopped broccoli.
  2. Combine the chopped broccoli, cooked bacon, diced red onion, shredded cheese (or cubed cheese), dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. Give it a gentle stir to mix everything together.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, white wine vinegar, and pepper in a separate bowl until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the dressing ingredients over the broccoli mixture and stir gently until everything is coated.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the dressing to soak into the broccoli.
  6. Serve chilled, and enjoy the classic broccoli salad.
Broccoli salad in a white dish next to a large bowl of the salad.

FAQs

  • Can I use something other than sunflower seeds? Absolutely! Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds are great alternatives.
  • What if I don’t have red onion? Green onions or even a sprinkle of chives can offer a milder oniony kick.
  • Less bacon, please! No problem! Adjust the amount to your taste. Even a sprinkle can add salty goodness. You can also use real bacon bits if you don’t want to cook the bacon.
  • Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! This salad actually gets better as the flavors meld, so make it up to a day in advance.
  • Leftovers? Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Broccoli Salad With Sunflower Seeds Recipe

This isn’t just a broccoli salad, it’s a celebration of fresh, vibrant ingredients and bold flavors. And if you are a broccoli lover, you will want to keep this delicious broccoli salad recipe.

This is the perfect salad for pleasing a crowd. It’s a great addition to any meal. So grab your ingredients and whip up this crunchy, creamy, and undeniably delicious healthy salad recipe. You won’t regret it!

P.S. Share your broccoli salad creations and tips in the comments below!

Broccoli salad in a large mixing bowl.

Broccoli Salad With Sunflower Seeds

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A healthy Broccoli Salad recipe with sunflower seeds, crisp veggies, and tangy dressing is ideal for a quick lunch, side dish, or potluck. The easy recipe has so much flavor!

Ingredients

  • 4 heads of fresh broccoli
  • ½ cup diced cooked bacon
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • ½ cup shredded cheese or cheese cubes
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the florets from the broccoli stems and cut them into bite-sized pieces, about ½-inch to 1-inch in size. Aim for 6-8 cups of chopped broccoli.
  2. Combine the chopped broccoli, cooked bacon, diced red onion, shredded cheese, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Give it a gentle stir to mix everything together.
  3. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour the dressing ingredients over the broccoli mixture and stir gently until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the dressing to soak into the broccoli.
  6. Serve chilled, and enjoy the classic broccoli salad.

Notes

For best results, be sure to follow these tips.

  • Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving, and this helps the flavors meld. Give a gentle stir right before serving.
  • Broccoli Salad can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered container for up to five days.
  • Leftover broccoli stems can be peeled and cut into small ¼-inch pieces and used in the salad along with the cut florets.
  • It’s important to thoroughly rinse fresh broccoli before using it to remove any debris that may be in the crowns.
  • When preparing the bacon for this salad, it is important for it to be cooked crispy. This helps it hold up in the salad, and bacon that still appears to be raw will not look good in the salad. A half cup of real bacon crumbles could also be used in this recipe as an alternative.
  • Red onion is known to have an intense, sometimes harsh, onion flavor. To remove some of the harshness, place diced onions in a small bowl and fill with white vinegar until they are covered. Allow onions to sit in vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes, drain well, and onions are ready to use.
  • A firm cheese works best in this recipe. Sharp cheddar was used in this recipe, but mild cheddar, sharp white cheddar, or colby cheese would work. A soft cheese would become too soft from the wet dressing and kind of “melt” into the salad.
  • If shredding the cheese, be sure to have a thicker shred and not fine. This helps the cheese hold up to being stirred and not get too soft from the dressing. 
  • Golden raisins can be used in place of the dried cranberries.
  • White distilled vinegar can be substituted for the white wine vinegar in the dressing.
  • Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds could be used in place of the sunflower seeds.
  • A cup of your favorite store-bought slaw dressing could be used instead if desired.
  • Store any leftover broccoli salad in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 406mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Skip to Recipe