My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad is one of the best side dishes and a recipe that you must have in your repertoire. Tender broccoli combines with crispy bacon, roasted cashew nuts and dried cranberries. A tangy, creamy dressing coats all the ingredients. The broccoli soaks up the bright flavours of the dressing, complemented by the roasted cashews which provide great textural contrast. The flavour profile is a delicious balance of salty, sweet and tangy flavours.
Why we love this recipe:
A few simple ingredients come together in this easy and delicious side dish which is wonderfully tasty. It is a versatile salad, suitable as a side dish for meat, poultry or fish. As well, it is delicious served as a light meal.
Whilst many broccoli salads use the raw vegetable, this recipe contains broccoli florets which I briefly blanch in boiling salted water until they are tender but still crisp. The blanching slightly softens the flavour and removes the raw “edge”.
As broccoli is known as a “superfood,” I like to include it in my diet in as many ways as possible. This recipe has proven to be popular with friends and family – even younger members of the family!
One great advantage is that my Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad can be made all year. It has enough depth to serve during the coldest months but is right at home as a fresh-tasting side dish during summer.
This recipe has been gifted to me by the mother of one of my dearest friends. It is a dish that I have enjoyed at their house on several occasions over the years. I was very excited to get the details of it one day, and couldn’t wait to share it with you all.
Ingredients in this recipe:
Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.
- Mayonnaise – use good quality, whole egg mayonnaise, either a commercial variety or your own.
- Apple cider vinegar – adds acidity.
- Sugar – a little sugar balances the flavours.
- Celery salt – a flavour booster.
- Freshly ground black pepper – add to your taste.
- Broccoli – choose heads of broccoli that have tight green florets and firm stalks. Avoid broccoli with yellowing florets or soft stems.
- Bacon rashers – add a salty element.
- Spring onions/scallions – a member of the onion family, I use the white part and some green.
- Unsalted roasted cashew nuts – add crunch.
- Dried cranberries – provide colour, great texture and a tangy flavour.
Step by step instructions:
- Make the dressing first as it must be properly chilled when adding to the salad ingredients.
- To do this, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
- Then, cut the broccoli florets into bite-size pieces and blanch them briefly in boiling salted water. Drain, then place into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. Drain again then spread the florets on a clean tea towel or paper towel to dry.
- Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces, place them into a medium-size non-stick frying pan and fry until crisp, moving them around occasionally. Slice the spring onions/scallions on the diagonal into slices about 1 cm (1/3 inch) wide. Use the white part and some of the green. Then cut the cashews in half. Add the broccoli, bacon, cashew nuts, spring onions/scallions and cranberries to a large bowl. Shortly before serving, add the dressing and toss the ingredients together. Season to taste with celery salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Tips for success and FAQs:
Cut the broccoli florets to similar size pieces so that they cook evenly.
Do not overcook the broccoli; it should still be crisp. Make sure that it is as dry as possible so moisture does not dilute the dressing.
Whilst it is possible to buy prepared broccoli florets, I encourage you to buy a head of broccoli. Do not discard the stem; to me, it is often overlooked and unappreciated. Try the stem in my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw.
The salad is best enjoyed the day that it is made. However, you can prepare all the elements in advance and assemble the salad shortly before serving.
You can store it in the fridge well-covered for up to three days.
Because the Salad contains mayonnaise, it is not safe to sit out of the refrigerator longer than 2 hours. If you have some leftover, refrigerate it as soon as possible within that time. If you’re serving it outdoors and it’s a warm day, bring the salad out as you’re ready to serve as it could spoil in one hour. Discard the salad after this time.
More delicious recipes for you to try:
There are no boring salads around here! Try some more of our favourite salad recipes which are full of flavour:
- Charred Corn and Black Bean Salad
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- Thai Inspired Prawn Salad
- Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Thai Vermicelli Noodle Salad
- Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
- Pumpkin, Cranberry and Almond Salad
- Sweet and Sour Carrot Salad
- Char-Grilled Zucchini Salad
- Potato Salad with Peas and Mint
- Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint
- Or view our entire collection of Delicious Salad Recipes here.
I am certain that you will enjoy My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad. It is a delicious combination of flavours and textures. The crisp broccoli is complemented by salty bacon, crunchy cashews and tangy cranberries. These delicious ingredients are coated in a bright and tangy dressing made with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and seasoned with celery salt and freshly ground black pepper. It is a delightful combination of sweet and savoury flavours.
My Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad is a perfect side dish for meat, poultry or fish. It’s a great addition to a barbecue and it travels well so it is ideal to take to a potluck or on a picnic. Alternatively, it makes a delicious, light lunch.
This post was originally published in May 2019. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.
Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad
- 1/3 cup whole egg mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar See Note 1
- 1 tbsp sugar See Note 1
- 1 tsp celery salt
- freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- 1 large head of broccoli – stem removed See Note 2
- 2 bacon rashers
- 2 spring onions/scallions – some of the white part and green sliced on a diagonal about 1 cm (1/3 inch) wide
- 1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashew nuts – cut in half
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Put a large saucepan of lightly salted water on the stove and bring to the boil.
- Remove the stem from the broccoli. – See Note 2. Remove the florets from the broccoli and cut them into even bite-size pieces.
- Prepare a bowl of iced water and set aside.
- Add the florets to the boiling water, and cook for a couple of minutes, until just cooked but still crisp. Drain the broccoli and add the florets to the bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process and seal the green colour.
- Once cool, remove and drain well. I let the florets dry on some kitchen towel or a clean tea towel to remove excess moisture. – See Note 3.
- Trim the rind and excess fat from the bacon. Cut your bacon into bite-size pieces and fry in a small frying pan until crispy. Drain the cooked bacon pieces on some kitchen towel.
- Shortly before serving, add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the prepared dressing. Check the seasoning is to your taste. Enjoy! – See Note 4.
- The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust your measurements if necessary.
- Although I do not use the stem in the salad, I don’t discard it! I recommend you try my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw or enjoy the stem with dips. It is so delicious! But peel it first as the exterior is very fibrous.
- After removing the broccoli from the iced water, it is important to drain it well. If water remains on the broccoli it will dilute the dressing and thus reduce the flavour.
- The salad is best served the day it is made. You can prepare all the elements in advance, however, and then dress the salad shortly before serving.
- The original recipe was three times the quantities shown here, so you can easily double or triple the recipe if you want a big serve for a party. (It is always popular!)
- Please note, the nutritional information is based on this recipe serving four people as a side dish. The nutritional information is an estimate only.