Fresh Broccoli Grape Salad with crunchy bacon pieces is a delicious creamy balance of the best flavors – this salad makes the most PERFECT side dish salad!
It may not seem like it, but spring is just around the corner, and side dish salads will be all the rage. They are amazing for a quick lunch, perfect for get-togethers, feeding a family, and typically keep a few days so you can enjoy them more than once.
This Broccoli Grape salad with seedless red grapes, cuts of crunchy fresh broccoli, bits of bacon, and a little bit of spicy red onion is the perfect balance of flavors that will dance on your tongue.
Why you will love Making Broccoli Salad with Grapes
This is a great salad for those of you who are looking to get your greens in. It’s also very easy and quick to make, making it an excellent side dish or lunch option!
I love this recipe because the broccoli adds some crunch while still keeping things light and fresh tasting.
The dressing has just enough sweetness that balances out all the other flavors nicely. This would be perfect as part of any summer picnic menu – especially if you have friends over with kids!
- Broccoli – This particular salad uses small bites of raw broccoli taken from the broccoli head. However, it is also fine to blanch bite-sized broccoli florets if you prefer.
- Seedless Red grapes
- Red onion – Raw onions (like red onions) can be very powerful. I love that flavor, and it’s a perfect fit for me in salads like this, but to remove some of that spicy flavor, simply soak cut red onions in cold water or a bowl of ice water for 30 minutes, drain water, and pat onions dry before adding to the salad.
- Mayonnaise – Making Broccoli Grape Salad Mayo Free – While I do believe that mayonnaise is the best flavor for juicy grapes, you can substitute mayo easily for unflavored Greek Yogurt. This will also make the creamy dressing less of a tangy dressing. Additionally, I have tried a half mixture of mayo and sour cream.
- Apple cider vinegar + white granulated sugar = a perfect homemade dressing.
- Black pepper & pinch of salt
- Bacon – Center-cut bacon should be cooked. We prefer to brown bacon in the air fryer or oven bake the bacon.
- Sunflower seeds– Sunflower seeds make some of the best tasty ingredients with a perfect salty crunch.
These instructions are based on all raw broccoli into florets being prepped and ready for the final assembly of the broccoli salad recipe. I like to cut mine small, so there is a bit of broccoli in each bite. If you would prefer to blanch the broccoli first, please see below for instructions.
How to make Broccoli Grape Salad
- Add fresh bite-sized pieces of crunchy broccoli florets (balanced works great), grapes, and red onion to a mixing bowl and mix well.
- In a separate medium bowl, add mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and one tablespoon of crumbled bacon. Mix custom salad dressing well. Season with black pepper and a bit of kosher salt.
- Pour delicious dressing over broccoli mixture and toss well to evenly coat. A slotted spoon also works well to stir up creamy broccoli salad.
- Cover Broccoli Grape Salad and refrigerate for 2 hours to let flavors mingle.
- Stir well and serve topped with remaining bacon and sunflower seeds.
Variations & Expert Tips
- Make sure to get seedless grapes. There is nothing worse than getting home and realizing that all the grapes have seeds in them.
- Looking for more crunch? There are other nuts that go well in summer parties, like crunchy pecans.
- Other ingredients that go well in a retro broccoli salad recipe are sliced green onions, larger slices of bacon, celery ribs, and changing red rapes to green grapes (also sweet grapes) for a more complex flavor. Some people even like cheddar cheese (but I prefer blocks of cheese if I add them to my salad recipes).
- There is no pasta in this broccoli salad recipe, but to make broccoli grape pasta salad, just add cooked and cooled bowtie pasta.
How to blanch the broccoli.
Blanching means cooking vegetables briefly in boiling water before cooling down quickly under cold running tap water. You want to cook your veggies until tender without overcooking or burning them, which only takes a few minutes or less.
This also makes the broccoli a bright green color. The trick here is to ensure there is NO MOISTURE left in broccoli.
- Add ice and water to a large bowl (enough to fit the broccoli amount you are blanching).
- Rapid boil water on the stove.
- Once water is boiling, add broccoli florets to rapid boiling water for 2 minutes. You do not want the broccoli to be too soft. It should be just barely tender.
- Remove immediately and lower into an ice bath. Once cool, let drain on paper towels before proceeding with salad.
Is Broccoli and Grape Salad Low Carb?
While this recipe does add a bit of sweetness with the white sugar, if you want to go low carb and are ok with a bit less sweet over tangy, just leave the bit of sugar out. Either way, it has a delicious flavor.
Are there any other Vegetables that go well in this Salad?
Sure! You can add in seedless black (for sweet flavor) or green grapes. Additionally, cut the number of broccoli florets in half and add a raw cauliflower head. (about five oz. of each). Lastly, golden raisins are a nice little bright flavor.
Can broccoli salad sit out at a potluck?
This salad tastes the best cold and should not sit out, for bacteria reasons, for more than a few hours. We suggest sitting ice in a disposable foil container and this mixing bowl of salad on top of that to keep it cool.
Can pasta be added to this broccoli salad?
Must I let this salad sit in the fridge for two hours?
I know; a ton of recipes say that and salads in particular. But you would be cutting off some valuable, bright flavor if you skip letting it sit in the fridge.
Can I make this broccoli grape salad in advance?
You CAN eat this salad immediately, but it’s BETTER if you wait. This salad can also be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.
Related Broccoli Side Dish Recipes
- Turn heads of broccoli into a summer side dish with this raisin broccoli salad recipe.
- Keep it healthy with this Keto Broccoli and Cheese salad!
- Oven roasted broccoli takes on a new life when you smother it in this cheese sauce recipe!
- A great casserole dish, layered broccoli ham casserole uses all of the leftover holiday ham up.
- Hands down, this broccoli cheese ritz casserole recipe is a family favorite side dish that readers rave about!
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