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You only need a few minutes of prep work before chilling to make this super easy broccoli salad with bacon and cheese. Loaded with fresh, crunchy broccoli florets, shreds of creamy cheddar cheese, and bits of perfectly cooked bacon, this simple side dish is perfect for summer picnics and BBQs.
Making this broccoli bacon cheddar salad is a great way to use up some extra broccoli you have, especially when it’s in season and abundant. Plus, adding the cheese and bacon is an easy way to get the kiddos and other family members to eat more veggies in this barbecue side dish without even noticing it.
This incredibly simple broccoli salad with bacon and cheddar cheese side dish goes by another adorable name in the Midwest. It’s called Piggly Wiggly Salad! If fun named dishes are your thing, you’ll enjoy this cowboy caviar, it’s as delicious as the name is cute.
This old fashioned broccoli salad is perfect to take to potlucks, cookouts, holidays, and more. If you’re in need of more easy potluck dishes, try my tri color pasta salad, old-fashioned potato salad, and heirloom tomato salad.
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Mayo— combines with the vinegar to create the coating all over the salad
- White Vinegar— complements the mayo to create the dressing or sauce in the broccoli salad
- Cooked Bacon— You can use whatever kind of bacon you like
- Granulated Sugar— adds just the right amount of sweetness to counteract the bite of the vinegar
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese— creamy cheesy goodness
- Salt and Pepper— to taste
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Plastic wrap for covering the salad in the fridge
- Serving Bowl
- Rubber Spatula for stirring the ingredients together
How to make broccoli salad with bacon and cheese
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until combined.
Step 2: Add the broccoli, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese. Toss to coat in the dressing.
Step 3: Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (or until ready to serve).
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any longer and it will get too soggy after sitting for so long.
I do not recommend trying to freeze leftovers. They will not have the same crunch once thawed and will be disappointing. I also typically don’t recommend freezing recipes with mayo in it.
Expert tips and tricks
- Don’t forget to chill. This bacon cheese broccoli salad needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Optimally, you’d let it chill for a few hours before serving. This gives the broccoli time to soak up that creamy mayo dressing.
- Don’t forget to stir. Once this bacon cheese broccoli salad has sat for a bit, give it a good stir to make sure each scoop you get is well coated and has a little bit of all the ingredients.
- Customize as necessary. This is a great base recipe to work from. I’ve included some other add-ins you can try below to change things up to suit your taste buds and needs.
- Go for thick bacon. Using thick bacon slices helps give you bacon crumbles or pieces that will hold up nicely with the mayo dressing, and won’t get lost in the salad with all of the other ingredients you’re adding in. You can use whatever bacon you want, but using thick bacon is always a good choice.
Bacon cheese broccoli salad FAQ
Since this recipe has broccoli as the prevalent ingredient, it’s important to use fresh broccoli. When picking a head of broccoli, you want a bright green head with a firm crown. Additionally, it’s ideal to have florets that are compact and still tight together.
Yes, you can make this dish up to 3 days in advance. Cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it. Then simply give it a good stir before serving.
When I want to change things up, I like to add in cauliflower, red onions, or bell peppers. These vegetables complement the broccoli and go great in this dish. You can also add in raisins, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and/or sunflower seeds for addd taste and texture. When adding extra ingredients, keep in mind that you may want to increase the amount of dressing you make to efficiently coat and cover all of the ingredients.
More summer sides and salads
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Boston Baked Beans
- Red Skinned Potato Salad
- Creamed Corn
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Ham and Pea Salad
- Kale Blueberry Salad with Avocado and Chilis
- Caprese Pasta Salad
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 head broccoli cut into florets (approximately 3 cups)
- 3 strips of cooked bacon chopped
- ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, white vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until combined.
- Add the broccoli, bacon, and shredded cheese. Toss to coat in the dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (or until ready to serve).