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Broccoli Salad with Mandarins, Red Onions and Bacon

A delicious and easy Broccoli Salad with mandarin oranges, red onions, bacon and a creamy tangy mayo dressing. A perfect side dish recipe.

If you’re looking for a delicious, flavourful and fresh side dish, this Broccoli Salad is perfect! This family favourite recipe makes appearances at many of our holiday dinners and barbecues.

a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad

About this Broccoli Salad:

This broccoli salad is a mixture of crunchy broccoli florets, sweet mandarin oranges, red onions, smoky bacon, sharp cheddar all tossed in a creamy tangy mayo dressing. And it is ABSOLUTELY delicious.

a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad
a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad

Perfect for potlucks, picnics and holiday dinners!

This Broccoli Salad is so versatile! It’s hearty enough to take to picnics, potlucks and bbq parties. But my favourite time to serve it is at holiday dinners, especially Easter…it’s amazing with ham and scalloped potatoes…mmmm. But it’s also perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. The combo of sweet + crunchy makes it a perfect side dish to main meats like ham or turkey.

an image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad

Broccoli Salad Recipe Tips:

  • Broccoli: Use fresh broccoli florets, cut into small, bite-sized pieces. I used about 2 heads of broccoli to make this salad.
  • Mandarins: You can use 1 – 2 fresh mandarins, or 1 – 284 mL can.
  • Bacon: Tip! We love maple bacon in this salad!
  • Cheese: I like to add shredded sharp cheddar cheese, but you can also cut it into small cubes. Use any of your favourite flavourful cheeses.
  • Vinegar: I use regular white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar works well too!
  • Mustard: Don’t have dry mustard? You can use regular prepared mustard, or if you like dijon mustard you can use that too.
  • Can I serve this immediately? Yes! I do recommend letting the salad marinate for at least 30 minutes, but you can serve it immediately if you wish.
  • Ingredient Options:
    • If you like mushrooms, feel free to add 1 cup sliced mushrooms.
    • If you don’t like raisins or dried cranberries, feel free to leave them out.
    • Adding chopped apples or grapes is delicious too!
    • Love nuts or seeds? You can add a couple tablespoons of chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts, or add sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for 1 – 2 days. The broccoli will lose it’s crispness, but the salad is still delicious…I actually really like it when it’s soft.
  • Can I make this ahead of time? This salad is best served the day it is made. When it sits too long it does get a bit soggy.
a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad
a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad
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Broccoli Salad

a top down image of a wooden bowl filled with broccoli salad

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A delicious and easy Broccoli Salad with mandarin oranges, red onions, bacon and a creamy tangy mayo dressing. A perfect side dish recipe.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Units Scale

Mayo Salad Dressing:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar (see tips)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Broccoli Salad:

  • 45 cups broccoli (cut in bite size pieces) (about 2 heads)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or a mix of both)
  • 810 slices cooked and chopped bacon
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated (or 1 (284 mL) can mandarins)
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup shredded or cubed cheddar cheese

Instructions

Make the dressing first:

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cornstarch and mustard until smooth.
  2. Add the vinegar and water, bring to a light boil then simmer until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in mayonnaise. Cool slightly.

Putting the salad together:

  1. In a large bowl, toss the dressing with the broccoli then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
  2. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss in the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
  3. If you love fresh ground black pepper, feel free to season to taste (a couple of grinds)
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe adapted from Best of Bridge

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I hope you enjoy this easy broccoli salad recipe as much as we do! Have a delicious day!

Broccoli Salad with Mandarins, Red Onions and Bacon {A Pretty Life}

Please note, this post was originally published in 2014. I have since updated it with new images and helpful recipe tips!

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12 Comments

  1. I have been force feeding myself broccoli over the past couple of months, cause apparently it’s good for you. Still trying to get past the texture. This looks like an awesome recipe. I’m pinning for later!

  2. Great timing Jo-Anna; I was going to take a broccoli/grape/sunflower seed salad over to the school for sharing night Thursday, but I think I’ll do this one now (unless you have plans on taking this !)
    Cheers,
    Elizabeth

  3. Looks like a hearty salad that would be good to take to a potluck too! I’m with you on the time change, Jo-Anna. How can one hour make such a big difference. I seldom wake up to my alarm and this week I could’ve pressed snooze every day!