Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe

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Even people who don’t like vegetables call this Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad recipe a “keeper!”

The males in my house would gladly live without ever eating vegetables, but they’ll ask for seconds and sometimes third servings of this Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad recipe. That’s why I’m glad that it lasts for days in the fridge.

If you’re looking for an easy salad or vegetable side dish to go with grilled meats or your favorite sandwich, look no further. This one is full of crunchy creamy goodness in every bite. Plus, there’s bacon. Everything is better with bacon, isn’t it?

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe served in a bowl

A Tip to Aid Digestion

For some people, eating raw broccoli or cauliflower causes gas or stomach pains. That’s because they’re cruciferous vegetables which contain a hefty amount of fiber and raffinose — the same culprits that cause people problems after they eat beans.

Here’s the way to avoid stomach pain or gas after eating cruciferous vegetables: blanch them a bit. The cooking process helps begin breaking down the fiber and lowers the raffinose, so you can enjoy these foods without discomfort.

Optional Blanching Instructions

To blanch the vegetables in this Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe:

  1. Bring a big pot of water to boil and add the broccoli.
  2. Wait 1 minute then add the cauliflower.
  3. After 2 more minutes, drain the vegetables and transfer them immediately to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  4. Run them through a salad spinner, or pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, before you continue with the recipe.

Blanching will also preserve the vegetables’ vibrant colors and keep them crisp even after you’ve added the dressing. Just be sure to watch the timer while you blanch; you don’t want to actually cook them.

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe in a blue bowl on a wood table

Don’t Toss the Stems

Before we get to the recipe, here’s a trick to help you get the most out of a head of broccoli and cauliflower: use it all! After you’ve broken off the broccoli florets, peel the stem with your vegetable peeler and slice it up. Chop up the cauliflower core and use it, too.

Want an Alternative to Mayo?

If you’re counting calories or fat, you can still enjoy this Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad Recipe. Instead of using mayonnaise in the dressing, try your favorite Greek yogurt or even a combination of the two.

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Try Using Stevia Instead of Sugar

If you’re not a fan of white sugar, using Stevia in its place works just fine. Depending on your tastes, you can even skip the sweetener altogether, but I think the dressing’s sweetness helps disguise the veggie taste that my guys ordinarily don’t like.

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad topped with shredded cheese

Optional Stir-Ins

You can jazz up this recipe even more if you like. I sometimes add finely shredded cheddar and minced red onion, depending on what else we’re having at dinner. My mother-in-law loves to add sunflower seeds to hers. Another friend tosses in a handful of raisins.

One thing we all agree on: the bacon. But, hey, you don’t even have to add that if you don’t want to, though it’s the only way I can get my guys to eat their vegetables without whining.

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad

This easy side dish is a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables. Blanching is optional but will preserve the vegetables’ bright colors and crispness for several days, plus it aids digestion. 
Print Recipe
Broccoli, Cauliflower and Bacon Salad served in a bowl
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:4 mins
Chilling Time:1 hr
Total Time:1 hr 19 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 large head broccoli roughly 2 lbs
  • 1 large head cauliflower roughly 2 lbs
  • 6 pieces bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar to taste (can substitute Stevia or another sweetener)

Optional Toppings

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds shelled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4 cup red onion minced

Instructions

  • Break the broccoli and cauliflower heads into bite-sized florets. Peel the broccoli stems and slice it thinly. Chop the cauliflower core into bite-sized pieces.

If blanching (OPTIONAL STEP)

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.
  • Add sliced broccoli stems and cauliflower core to boiling water and cook 1 minute. Add broccoli florets and cook 1 minute. Add cauliflower stems and cook 1 minute. Drain the entire pot and transfer the contents to the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Remove vegetables from the ice bath after 2 minutes and dry them in a salad spinner or with a clean kitchen towel before continuing.

Make the dressing

  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, milk, and sugar.

Make the salad

  • Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the dressing and crumbled bacon along with any optional toppings you’re using. Stir well.
  • Chill 1 hour before serving for best flavor. Stir before serving. Keeps well in the refrigerator up to 5 days. 

Notes

NOTE: Nutritional information does not include optional toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 286mg | Potassium: 805mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 631IU | Vitamin C: 158mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Katie Berry

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10 Comments

  1. Lina Bickel says:

    This sounds delicious so I’m going to make it over the weekend.  I’m currently hooked on three bean salad for lunch (I use Truvia in the dressing recipe for that one) and this salad would be a nice alternative. 
    http://oldmarriedlady.com

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s one of my go-to salads because it’s so easy to make. I’ll have to look for a three bean recipe like you described. I bet that would keep nicely in the fridge, too!

  2. Terry Gillett says:

    Always looking for new salad ideas, and this one sounds great!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thanks, I hope you like it! I’m posting a macaroni salad tomorrow, but I imagine it’s not healthy enough for you and your kickboxing hardbody. 🙂

  3. amy donovan says:

    this sounds awesome! i actually made broccoli as a side dish last night + used the stems, too – i always do! i actually like them a bit better than the ‘tops’ if you can believe it. i’ll definitely have to try this salad soon!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s such a retro salad that I feel like June Cleaver every time I make it, and wonder if I shouldn’t be serving tomatoes in Jello and a meat ring slathered in mayo as well. But we like it (not the other dishes, though… don’t ask how I know). My son and I have a deal when it comes to broccoli: he eats the “tree” part, and I eat the “trunk”. 

    2. amy donovan says:

      full confession: i love jello salad + it always makes me feel super retro when i make one! 

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Have you ever tried the Watergate Salad, which isn’t really a salad at all…and uses pudding, not Jello, now that I think of it. That’s my favorite retro salad, except it’s not that retro for me: my 2nd grade teacher pulled a TV into the classroom so we could watch Nixon’s resignation.

      Yeah, I’m old. *sigh*

    4. amy donovan says:

      I just looked up watergate salad + i cannot deny that it looks/sounds just like the random type of thing i’d looove. jello/pudding salads are total comfort food to me. will definitely be making it soon!

    5. Katie Berry says:

      It’s definitely a comfort food for me! Will you post photos when you make it?