Broccoli Bacon Salad (Whole30)

This is the best ever Paleo and Whole30 Broccoli and Bacon Salad recipe! Tiny bite-sized pieces of broccoli is tossed with dates, sunflower seeds, red onion, and creamy homemade lemon garlic dressing. We love it as a holiday side dish or to bring along to cookouts!

The more I cook, or maybe it’s just the older I get, the more I appreciate ingredients and flavors that are uncomplicated. It’s usually the simplest recipes that are the most impressive to me so simple salads have been kind of my jam lately. 

This Whole30 Broccoli and Bacon Salad with a creamy lemon garlic dressing is definitely ultra simple and super flavorful, too! And it totally hits AAALLLLL the crave-worthy points– combining something sweet, something salty, something creamy and something crunchy. I’m planning to make it next week as a side for Thanksgiving, but I like to make it in the summertime at picnics or bbqs, too.

Broccoli Bacon Salad - Finished Dish

Do you guys remember when Whole30 compliant bacon was super elusive? Back when I did my first Whole30 in 2013, I couldn’t find it anywhere! I was actually pretty shocked that basically every bacon out there is made with sugar or sweeteners! At that time, I was pretty unaware of how sugar was in… everything?

I’ve got to say, one of the coolest thing I’ve gotten to see as clean eating trends like Whole30 take hold is an increase in the availability of compliant products. Whole30 compliant bacon is still kind of a specialty item, but Whole30 compliant bacon is totally out there now! A lot of grocers are starting to carry it, so my Whole30s get to be a LOT more fun! My favorite Whole30 compliant bacon is Naked Bacon. It’s really, really, unbelievably delicious. HIGHLY recommend. 

So anyway, you know I’m a little on the lazy side (which, by the way, is why I LOVE meal kits. You use my affiliate discount to try Sunbasket, if you’d like!). But anyway, I’m always into make-ahead meals, and this salad is no exception. You can definitely prepare the Broccoli & Bacon Salad in advance, but I’d recommend waiting until just before serving to toss it with the dressing.

Whole30 Broccoli Bacon Salad - Finished Dish

Broccoli Bacon Salad Variations:

**KETO / LOW CARB option:

Omit the dates and cranberries. You can substitute fresh or dried blueberries if you’d like or just leave them off the salad completely.

**VEGETARIAN option:

Simply omit the bacon and substitute vegetarian mayo. You can include mushroom or coconut bacon, if you’d like, or just leave it out completely. Either way will be totally delish!  

**BLANCHED BROCCOLI option:

For me, I prefer teensy tiny pieces of raw broccoli in this salad, but but feel free to lightly blanch the broccoli if that’s better for you.

How to Blanche Broccoli:

  1. Boil a large pot of salted water
  2. Gently place the pieces of bite-sized broccoli into the boiling water
  3. Cook for about 1 minute, or just until bright green.
  4. Remove the broccoli and set in an ice bath until cooled
  5. Drain the water and pat the broccoli dry

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If you like this Broccoli Bacon Salad recipe, be sure to check out some of the other delicious salad recipes on my blog, like this Harvest Grilled Chicken Salad, or this fabulous Zucchini Caprese Salad.  And if you make any of my recipes, I’d love to see! Please tag me @cookathomemom!

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Whole30 Broccoli & Bacon Salad (with Keto & Vegetarian Options)

This is one of my favorite recipes for parties and cookouts. It’s nice and crunchy, and it hits all the salty, sweet flavor points. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Broccoli & Bacon Salad

  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets about two heads
  • 8 oz bacon, cooked
  • ½ cup any mixture of dried cranberries and dates, or if you can't find them, you can substitute or include dried apricots (they're usually sugar-free)⠀
  • ½ cup roasted and unsalted sunflower seeds⠀
  • 1/2 red onion

Lemon Garlic Dressing

  • 1/2 cup compliant mayo⠀
  • 2/3 tsp. mustard⠀
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, preferably raw
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Lemon Garlic Dressing

  1. Grate or finely mince the garlic, then whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. 

  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adding a touch more lemon juice to thin to desired consistency, if needed.

Broccoli & Bacon Salad

  1. Remove the stems from the broccoli and chop into bite sized pieces.

  2. Thinly slice the red onion and roughly chop any larger pieces of dried fruit.

  3. Just before serving, mix all salad ingredients together and toss with dressing. 

  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper