This Creamy Broccoli Salad is a delicious make-ahead side dish perfect for potlucks, summer cookouts and picnics. Fresh crisp broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, and raisins are tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing for a side dish everyone always raves about!
The best part is that this salad comes together in just 20 minutes – even faster if you’re quick at slicing and dicing! Most of the ingredients can be easily substituted for what you have on-hand (except the broccoli, of course!).
- Raisins – Golden raisins can be substituted for dark raisins. Dried cranberries are delicious as well!
- Mayonnaise – Low fat or fat-free mayo can be used, but of course I love it best with full-fat mayo.
- Carrots – Save time by buying a small bag of the pre-sliced julienned or “matchstick” carrots in the produce section.
- Apples – Any type of apple can be used, but I love the tart flavor of Granny Smith apples in this recipe. Prevent apples from browning by tossing them in a little lemon juice before using in the salad.
- Walnuts – can be substituted with your favorite nuts such as pecans or sunflower seeds.
- Red onion – I do not recommend substituting any other type of onion in this recipe, since red onions are sweeter and milder.
- Salt and pepper – Adjust the amounts to your personal preference (or completely omit).
How to Make it
This couldn’t be easier to prepare!
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Toss the broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, raisins and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the broccoli mixture. Toss to coat evenly.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!
Absolutely! Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve the next day.
This will last up to three days, but is best served within 24 hours.
More Summer Side Dishes
Creamy Broccoli Salad
For the dressing:
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the salad:
- 5 cups small fresh broccoli florets bite size pieces
- ¾ cup chopped granny smith apples
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup julienned or “matchstick” carrots
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped red onion
For the dressing:
- Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate while you’re preparing the salad.
For the salad:
- Toss together broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, raisins and red onion in a large bowl.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Low fat or fat-free mayo can be substituted for regular mayonnaise.
- To prevent browning, toss apples in a little lemon juice before adding to salad.
- Your favorite nuts can be substituted for walnuts, such as sunflower seeds or pecans.
- Dark raisins, golden raisins or dried cranberries can be used.
- This is best when served within 24 hours, although it will last up to 3 days in the fridge (when properly stored in an airtight container).
- Adjust salt and pepper to your personal taste or omit if desired.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.
This post was originally published in March 2012, and updated with new photos and text in June 2020.