Broccoli Bacon Salad (Whole30)

This is the best ever healthy Paleo and Whole30 Broccoli and Bacon Salad recipe! Tiny bite-sized pieces of broccoli are 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!

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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, healthy salads have been kind of my jam lately. And this healthy broccoli salad is awesome!

Why I love this healthy Whole30 Broccoli Salad Recipe:

This Whole30 and Paleo Broccoli Bacon Salad with a creamy lemon garlic dressing is definitely ultra simple and super flavorful, too! It totally hits AAALLLLL the crave-worthy points I think every salad should have.

  • Every time I make a salad, I imagine a little checklist in my mind, because every salad should have something sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy.

Don’t you think so too? I’m planning to make this broccoli and bacon salad next week as a healthy side dish for our Thanksgiving dinner, but I like to make it in the summertime for picnics or backyard bbqs, too!

Broccoli Bacon Salad - Finished Dish. A large glass bowl sits on a white marble board. The bowl is filled with bite sized pieces of broccoli, chopped bacon, sliced red onion, sunflower seeds, and diced dates. A large wooden spoon is ready to stir the whole thing up!

Yes, you can make it in advance!

I’m always into make-ahead meals, and this salad is no exception. You can definitely prepare this healthy broccoli salad in advance, but I’d recommend waiting until just before serving to toss it with the dressing.

My first Whole30, when we had to walk to school in the rain, uphill both ways:

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 remember being shocked to find out that basically every bacon out there is made with sugar or sweeteners!

But times are changing!

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, because 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!).

Broccoli Bacon Salad - Finished Dish. A large bowl sits on a white marble board. The bowl is filled with bite sized pieces of broccoli, chopped bacon, sliced red onion, sunflower seeds, and diced dates. A wooden spoon is in the mixture, mixing it up into creamy, crunchy salad goodness!

Healthy Broccoli 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!  

If you prefer blanched broccoli:

Personally, I prefer teensy tiny pieces of raw broccoli in this salad, 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 liked this recipe, be sure to check out some of the other healthy and delicious salad recipes on my blog, like my:

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4.2 from 5 votes
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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. 

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 324 kcal

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 the salad dressing 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. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper

Recipe Notes

To blanche the 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
Nutrition Facts
Whole30 Broccoli & Bacon Salad (with Keto & Vegetarian Options)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 324 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 417mg18%
Potassium 352mg10%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 405IU8%
Vitamin C 55mg67%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.