Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds

4.97 from 27 votes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This is the best Broccoli Salad recipe ever! It’s a sweet and simple salad with fresh broccoli, salty sunflower seeds, crispy bacon and a creamy homemade dressing. This salad is the perfect side dish with so many different meals. Make it at your next summer BBQ alongside some burgers and fries.

Broccoli salad in a serving bowl with serving spoon

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This tasty little broccoli salad with sunflower seeds will blow your mind! What sets this one apart? Homemade dressing and all the bacon! The best part is you can adapt this salad to fit your liking and did I mention, all the bacon!?

While the original recipe posted here calls for golden raisins or Craisins (dried cranberries), I recently tried a friend’s version that had halved red seedless grapes…and wow! It was amazing. I highly recommend! Raisins, Craisins or grapes bring a chewy, sweet flavor to the whole salad.

Ingredients For Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Just a short list of ingredients to make this mouthwatering broccoli salad!

  • fresh broccoli florets– or heads of broccoli, cut into smaller pieces
  • red onion 
  • celery
  • sunflower seeds
  • bacon– cooked and crumbled. Could also use real bacon bits instead.
  • raisins, craisins or grapes– optional
  • pantry staples– salt, black pepper

For the creamy dressing:

  • granulated sugar
  • real mayonnaise– If you’re not a fan of mayo, plain greek yogurt would also work.
  • white vinegar– or apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar- using these will slightly change the tangy flavor of the dressing.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

It’s definitely one of the better fail-proof recipes I have in my custody that I am in LOVE with. It’s easy, has a good crunch factor, has the right broccoli to bacon ratio plus that sweet dressing turns otherwise unassuming broccoli into magic. Here is how to make it. For full recipe details, see the printable recipe card down below.

1. Cook Bacon + Prep Veggies

Chop all the vegetables making sure to cut the raw broccoli into bite-size pieces. Cook bacon according to your liking, allow to cool on paper towels and then cut up into small pieces.

While a classic broccoli salad can include various types of cheese (goat cheese, feta cheese or extra sharp cheddar cheese), mine does not. I find it doesn’t need it, while it still has plenty of great flavor.

2. Combine in a Large Mixing Bowl

Place all chopped broccoli salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.

close up view of broccoli salad ingredients in a bowl

3. Make the Creamy Dressing + Toss to Coat

In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients (sugar, real mayonnaise, white vinegar and salt + pepper) together to combine. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Storing + Make Ahead Instructions

Broccoli salad is one of those salads that honestly tastes better the second day! By then the dressing has had time to marinate and soak into everything. Yum!

Store any leftover broccoli salad in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Beyond this time, the broccoli will start to wilt.

Make Ahead: The best part about this salad is you can chop all the veggies, store it in your refrigerator and add the dressing right before serving. It’s a definite crowd pleaser and is fabulous for holidays and potlucks.

broccoli salad in a serving bowl

What to Serve With Broccoli Salad:

Other Salad Recipes You Might Like:

What others are saying about this Broccoli Salad Recipe:

This crunchy broccoli salad with salty sunflower seeds is the perfect salad for summer parties and it feeds a large group! Below is the printable recipe card! Have a great day and enjoy, friends!

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

broccoli salad in a serving bowl with spoon
PrintPrint Pin ItPin It
4.97 from 27 votes

Broccoli Salad with Sunflower Seeds and Bacon

This is the best Broccoli Salad recipe that will be devoured at your next barbecue! It's sweet, creamy and crunchy with fresh broccoli, homemade dressing and lots of bacon!
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 8 cups fresh broccoli florets chopped, bite size
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup raisins or Craisins optional

For the dressing:


  • Chop all the vegetables making sure to cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Cook bacon according to your liking and cut up into small pieces, or you could buy bacon bits.
  • Place all salad ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix dressing ingredients together to combine. Pour over salad and toss. Serve or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 526mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 82.7mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli salad, broccoli salad recipe, broccoli salad with bacon, summer salad

Share a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating

66 Responses
  1. Grandma's Cucumber Salad Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] for potlucks, family get togethers and BBQ’s: Simple Macaroni Salad, Classic Coleslaw, Amazing Broccoli Salad, Southwest Chicken Chop […]

  2. Classic Coleslaw Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] isn’t your summer salad of choice, be sure to check out my macaroni salad, cucumber salad, broccoli salad or southwest chicken chop salad. All fabulous sides for the hot summer […]

  3. Simple Macaroni Salad Recipe | Lauren's Latest

    […] your summer salad of choice, here are a few other delicious options: coleslaw, cucumber salad, broccoli salad, southwest chicken chop […]

  4. Kathryn Wolff

    5 stars
    So many varieties of this special salad! We add the onion and raisins (Craisins) to the mayo mixture and let it set up over night – plumps the raisins

  5. Carrie Monts

    5 stars
    Oh I love broccoli salad and this one is just different enough that I HAVE to try it! All the ingredients made the shopping list!

  6. Teresa

    5 stars
    I made this on Saturday night for our Easter dinner. I couldn’t wait to eat it and it was worth the wait. It was delicious. I did add the rasisins and some shredded carrot that I had after making your carrot cupcakes. This will be made again.

  7. 25 Perfect Picnic Salad Recipes - Dishes and Dust Bunnies

    […] from Moneywise MomsGreek Salad from Cooking ClassyMiddle Eastern Chickpea Salad from RecipeTin EatsMom's Broccoli Salad from Lauren's LatestAsparagus Pasta Salad from I Wash You DryChipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Tomatillo Avocado Ranch […]

  8. Mare T.

    5 stars
    My Mom would make this often. My three brothers’ Dad and I loved it. Made it for my Hubby, he loved it and said, “you can make this again,,anytime”. I will.

  9. Life Without Meat Diary - Week 2: My Fridge Has Never Had So Many Vegetables - Green Queen Health & Wellness Hong Kong

    […] the best dish I’ve had all week. Pat (our helper) is back and made Laura Simonsen’s Broccoli Salad paired with my friend Laila’s pumpkin humus! and it was lick-the-place delicious. Definite […]

  10. Elizabeth

    I am probably around your mom’s age, and this recipe has been a staple since before by now 34 year old was born. Good things last forever, I think. I find the slight differences in recipes to be interesting…like you, definitely no raisins, but sliced mushrooms have always been there.

  11. Julio Gonzalez

    5 stars
    I use heavy cream instead of mayonnaise (find the mayo too heavy) and always use craisins! This has become a favorite at every gathering, even with those who don’t like broccoli!

  12. Karly

    Making this for Mother’s Day! Will I ruin it by adding shredded cheddar? I kind of add shredded cheddar to everything. 😉

  13. Sarah

    Craisins yes raisins not a chance. Also use red wine vinegar. Makes a big difference. And add shredded cheese. Mmmm. One of our favs

  14. Annie S

    5 stars
    One of my family’s all time favorites! Your broccoli salad is pretty identical to mine, with a couple small changes I’ve made over the years…
    rather than raisins, I use fresh organic grapes, halved if they are large , and I frequently use walnuts or pecans rather than sunflower seeds as both are very tasty in it. I use about half that amount of dressing, made with a blend of mayo and unsweetened yogurt.
    Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Kathy Evans

      I like Annie’s idea – half mayo half yoghurt. I think most or all of the sugar could be left out. Looks like a delicious recipe.

  15. PJ Aringdale

    Just looking at the picture makes me hungry for some. Thanks for posting such beautiful pictures. We love broccoli salad at our house too. I use sliced almonds in mine, not sunflower seeds and yes love the raisins. I don’t care for celery much so I would omit that.

  16. Cindy W

    The craisins are really good in it. I agree on the raisins though. I use red wine vinegar in mine. I’ll have to try adding celery next time.

    1. PJ Aringdale

      Love craisins they are delish…raisins too. I always put which ever I have on hand. It is a wonderful blend of flavors and textures for sure!

  17. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek

    I happen to LOVE broccoli and broccoli salad is delightful. When we lived in the city and would have dinners at Sweet Tomatoes (boys favorite spot….so many choices) I always put a couple of scoops of their broccoli salad on my plate.