Spiriteds, how do you feel about raw vegetables? Specifically, raw broccoli? I, for one, never cried over spilled milk growing up. However, I did pout over raw vegetables, and I only begrudgingly starting eating them as an adult to try to be healthier. Like, maybe eating only the cherries in the can of fruit cocktail is a start. But maybe actually eating raw greens is better. Enter Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad. It’s a cinch to throw together, includes crispy-crunchy bacon, and boasts next-level flavor. Eating broccoli has never been easier or tastier.
But what did the family think of the Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad? Believe it or not, FOUR OUT OF FOUR people in our house enjoyed it. Even Toodle, our resident quality control specialist, liked it. If raw vegetables aren’t usually your thing, then make this salad anyway and let the bacon, pepper, onion, and olive oil do their jobs. Your tastebuds won’t be disappointed. Even better? You get all this deliciousness in a gluten-free, dairy-free salad recipe. No sacrificing flavor just to eat healthy.
Meanwhile, I’m over here with my face in a bowl of Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad. And, by the way, this salad recipe makes a lot of servings so everyone gets a chance to put their face in a bowl. No one will be left out. It just wouldn’t be right. This bowl of greens deserves full-on attention, it’s so yummo, so savory, so worth every bite.
Because foods with crunch are my jam, I also add chopped cashews to my Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad. Many broccoli salads include some kind of cheese, often parmesan or cheddar. Since we are dairy-free, cashews add just the right amount of crunch with a hint of dairy flavor. Honestly, cashews are nothing short of amazing.
And let’s just say you drizzled a little bacon grease over your salad, well then, in our house you’d be in good company. As for that bacon, I typically look for a brand that has as few ingredients as possible. Paleo bacon is available on the market, if you are so inclined. And you’ll know it when you see it, if only by looking at the price tag. We have a local farmer who sells a brand in our grocery store that, although not paleo, contains few ingredients and very little sugar. The key to finding the right bacon is doing your research. I go to the store without the kiddos and read labels until I find one I like. If I don’t know what an ingredient is, I look it up on my phone and go from there.
Finally, we let the bacon and onion shine by keeping the dressing simple. Some broccoli salads include a sweet dressing with sugar and mayonnaise. Admittedly, I wanted to keep sugar to a minimum, and I’m not much on mayo. So this recipe boasts a simple savory salt and pepper dressing. Say that three times fast. Or better yet, just make it and drizzle it over your salad.
Seriously, Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad is where it’s at this spring! Happy much-crunching, Spiriteds!
Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 8 to 9 servings 1x
- 1 pound bacon, crispy-fried
- 8–9 cups fresh broccoli (approximately 2 heads), chopped into florets
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup cashews, chopped, optional
- Fry one pound of bacon in skillet to crispy consistency. Place on napkins or paper towels and pat dry. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, break broccoli into small florets, trimming stems as necessary, rinse and let dry. Stir in red onion, olive oil, pepper, and sea salt until evenly mixed. Add more olive oil, if necessary.
- Crumble bacon into pieces and add to salad. Top with cashews, if desired.
- Although this salad will keep for about 1-2 days in the refrigerator, it is best enjoyed immediately.
When we make this recipe, we start with 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup red onion and add more from there as desired. If you are eating this salad immediately, you can probably err on the side of more pepper and onion rather than less. If you will be letting it sit for an afternoon, or even a day or two, then I would suggest starting with smaller amounts of pepper and onion. As the salad sits, the flavor will intensify. And, if you are making this for a get-together, I would suggest preparing your ingredients separately ahead of time and then adding everything together just before serving.