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
Broccoli salad 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this the night before?
How long does this last in the fridge?
This will last up to 3 days, but is best served within 24 hours.
What goes good with broccoli salad?
More Summer Side Dish Recipes
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Fresh crisp broccoli, apples, walnuts, carrots, red onion and raisins are tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing. An easy and delicious make-ahead side dish!
For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the salad:
- 5 cups small fresh broccoli florets (bite size pieces)
- 3/4 cup chopped granny smith apples
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup julienned or “matchstick” carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 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.
- Category: Side Dishes
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: creamy broccoli salad, broccoli salad
This post was originally published in March 2012, and updated with new photos and text in June 2020.