This broccoli slaw salad is a vibrant mix of crunchy broccoli slaw, sharp cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and nutty sunflower kernels, all tied together with a sweet and tangy dressing.
This broccoli slaw is full of flavors and textures that you are sure to love!
Broccoli slaw is similar to broccoli salad, but instead of broccoli florets being used, you use broccoli slaw. Broccoli slaw is a mix that is typically made up of shredded broccoli stalks, carrots, and cabbage.
This broccoli slaw is perfect for all kinds of occasions such as family picnics, BBQ's or even just a family dinner.
It's the perfect side dish for many different dishes.
We love eating this broccoli slaw - it's delicious! Here are some of the reasons why we love this recipe so much:
- it's delicious! I mentioned that above and I mean it. We find it so tasty.
- We also like how versatile this is. Going off the base recipe, we can alter it based on what we have in our pantry/fridge or even what we're craving for that moment. It's easy to omit the bacon or add in some nuts.
- As always, we are always trying to get more veggies in us and our kids. This is another great option that isn't the typical side salad that we so often serve in our house.
- It's such an easy side dish to make!
Ingredients for Broccoli Slaw
Broccoli Slaw Mix: This is the star of the show, providing a crunchy base for the salad. It's packed with nutrients and adds a vibrant color to the dish. You can find pre-packaged broccoli slaw mix in most grocery stores, but if you prefer, you can also make your own by shredding broccoli stems, carrots, and red cabbage.
Mayonnaise: This forms the base of the dressing, lending a creamy texture that beautifully coats the slaw. It also helps to mellow out the flavors and bind all the ingredients together.
Sugar: This ingredient adds a touch of sweetness to the dressing, balancing out the tanginess of the vinegar and the savory flavors of the cheese and bacon. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.
White Vinegar: This adds a tangy kick to the dressing, which contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the mayonnaise and the sweetness of the sugar. You could also experiment with apple cider vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.
Cheddar Cheese: The cheese adds a sharp, savory note to the salad, which contrasts nicely with the sweet and tangy dressing. We recommend using a sharp cheddar for the best flavor, but feel free to substitute with your favorite cheese.
Bacon: Bacon adds a smoky, savory flavor and a bit of crunch to the salad. It's a delicious contrast to the fresh, crunchy slaw.
Sunflower Kernels: These add an extra crunch and a nutty flavor to the salad. They also add a bit of protein, making the salad more filling. You could also substitute with other nuts or seeds if you prefer.
How to Make Broccoli Slaw
Start by preparing the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, and white vinegar. Once the dressing is well combined, set it aside for a moment.
Next, it's time to assemble the main components of the salad. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli slaw mix, shredded cheddar cheese, finely chopped cooked bacon, and sunflower kernels.
Now, pour the dressing over the top of the slaw mixture in the large bowl. Stir everything together, making sure that the slaw ingredients are well coated with the dressing.
Cover the bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld together and the slaw to absorb the dressing, resulting in a more flavorful salad.
Tips for Making the Best Broccoli Slaw
Here are our best tips for making broccoli slaw:
- Prep Ahead: You can prepare the dressing and cook the bacon ahead of time. This way, when you're ready to assemble the salad, it's just a matter of mixing everything together.
- Use Pre-Packaged Broccoli Slaw: This is a great time-saver. Pre-packaged slaw is readily available in most grocery stores and saves you the time of shredding your own vegetables.
- Customize Your Add-Ins: Feel free to add in other ingredients you enjoy. Dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apples could add a sweet contrast, while sliced almonds or pecans could offer a different kind of crunch.
- Let It Chill: Don't skip the chilling step. Allowing the salad to chill for at least an hour lets the flavors meld together and the slaw to absorb the dressing, making it even more flavorful.
- Cook Extra Bacon: When you're cooking bacon for breakfast, cook a few extra strips to use in this salad. You can store the cooked bacon in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for longer.
- Shred Your Own Cheese: While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, shredding your own from a block often results in a fresher flavor.
More Summer Salads You'll Love
If you end up with any leftovers of this broccoli slaw, simply place them in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.
It should stay fresh for about 3-5 days.
It's important to note that the salad will continue to absorb the dressing over time, so it may not be quite as crunchy after a day or two, but it will still be delicious.
As for ideas on how to enjoy the leftovers, there are several creative ways to repurpose this salad:
- Wrap or Sandwich Filling: Use the leftover salad as a filling for a wrap or sandwich. It pairs well with grilled chicken or turkey. You could add some lettuce and tomato for extra freshness.
- Topping for Baked Potatoes: Warm up the leftover salad slightly and use it as a topping for baked potatoes. The creamy, tangy salad complements the starchy potato beautifully.
- Add to Green Salads: You can also add a scoop of the leftover Broccoli Salad Slaw to a green salad for an extra crunch and flavor.
Variations and Substitutions
There are so many different ways you can change this salad up to make it one that you'll absolutely love. Here are some ideas:
- Veggies: If you can't find broccoli slaw mix, you can use a combination of shredded broccoli stems, carrots, and red cabbage. You could also add in some shredded Brussels sprouts for a different flavor.
- Protein: Instead of bacon, you could use diced ham, cooked chicken, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.
- Cheese: If cheddar isn't your favorite, feel free to substitute with another type of cheese. Monterey Jack, Colby, or even crumbled feta or blue cheese could work well.
- Nuts and Seeds: If you're not a fan of sunflower kernels, you could use sliced almonds, chopped pecans, or even pumpkin seeds.
- Dressing: You could substitute the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt or use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar for a slightly different tang.
- Add-Ins: Feel free to add in other ingredients you enjoy. Dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped apples could add a sweet contrast, while a handful of fresh herbs like parsley or dill could add a burst of freshness.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 16 ounces broccoli slaw mix
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 5 strips bacon cooked and finely chopped
- ½ cup sunflower kernels
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the broccoli slaw mix, cheddar cheese, cooked bacon, and sunflower kernels to a large bowl. Stir to mix.
- Pour the dressing over the top of the slaw ingredients and stir to coat.
- Cover the bowl and chill for at least one hour before serving.
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