Raisin broccoli salad with chopped walnuts is a sweet and salty salad that is fantastic as a picnic, potluck or lunch side dish that holds up for days. Al dente salad with bright and gorgeous broccoli florets with a combined tangy dressing isn’t your mama’s traditional broccoli salad recipe.
While this broccoli salad has no bacon and is a step away from the normal old fashioned broccoli salad recipe, adding raisins and nuts make it extra special.
Skip the same old, same old for new bold flavors and give this simple side salad recipe a try – you will love it!
This delicious side dish salad recipe will require a handful of fresh ingredients you may need to pick up. Check the ingredient list prior to proceeding to recipe instructions.
- broccoli crowns – 2 large broccoli crowns that can be broken into bite sized florets.
- raisins – it’s fine to use regular raisins, golden raisins or a mixture to add some sweetness.
- mayonnaise – My preference is Duke’s or Hellmann’s.
- balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
- chopped walnuts – while I believe chopped walnuts are the perfect addition to this salad, other nut options are pine nuts, chopped almonds or chopped pecans and all give the most perfect crunch.
- fresh green onions
Consider adding a chopped or coarsely chopped apple (red or green, depending on what taste you prefer) and dried cranberries or dried cherries.
Prepping Broccoli Al Dente
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.
- Add broccoli and heat for 3-5 minutes or until broccoli is bright green but still crunchy.
- The water will most likely not continue to boil after you add the broccoli and that’s fine.
- Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Shake well to remove excess water.
Remove excess moisture from broccoli
The best way to remove broccoli of excess moisture after boiling is a salad spinner, like this one here.
However, if you do not have one, after draining as much water as possible, lay broccoli on paper towels for a few minutes.
How to make Homemade Dressing
Steps 1-4: In a large mixing bowl (large enough to dump salad ingredients in the next step), add mayonnaise, Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well. Set dressing aside while prepping salad.
How to make Raisin Broccoli Salad
Step 5: Clean Raisins of excess sugar.
Step 6: Cook broccoli al dente so it includes a bit of crunch but is not completely raw.
Steps 7-8: Add broccoli, raisins, walnut pieces and green onions to a bowl.
Step 9: Prep dressing (see above).
Step 10: Pour dressing over raisin broccoli salad and mix well to evenly coat. Typically using a spatula works well for this in order to get all the dressing from the bottom and sides of the bowl on those veggies. Serve Raisin Broccoli Salad immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
IF SERVING LATER: Mix well before serving to ensure no settling of dressing and ingredients.
It is easy to forget that raisins are a FRUIT and all fruits should be washed before eating. Additionally, raisins often have excess sugar you may not want in your salad, therefore soaking them gives the added benefit of removing the extra ingredient from the broccoli salad.
Add 1/2 cup boiling water to a small bowl of raisins.
Let stand for 10 minutes. Drain water and save raisins.
Mayo is one of those ingredients that my whole family will throw down over. My daughter is a Duke’s through and through, my son is Hellmann’s but we can all agree on Chick-Fil-A. The mayo really has the most impact on the final flavor so choose something that you personally love and enjoy!
Yes, this salad can be made ahead HOWEVER, do not add nuts until right before serving. The dressing can slightly soften the walnuts overnight , therefore in order to keep this salad the best, add right before serving, mix to coat and then serve.
Dressings in fresh salads tend to settle, but this recipe can be kept in an airtight container for about 3 days, stirring well prior to enjoying again.
Side salads like this broccoli salad go so well with other ingredients and its easy to add the ones you like the most. I personally think square chunks of cheddar cheese, substituting golden raisins instead of regular raisins and of course crunchy bacon all make great additions.
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