Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad

4.75 from 4 votes
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This easy bacon cheddar broccoli salad recipe takes minutes to make and is a perfect easy side dish for potlucks, summer picnics, and BBQs. Loaded with fresh, crunchy broccoli florets, shreds of sharp cheddar cheese, and bits of crispy bacon, it is no wonder this classic broccoli salad is a family favorite!

Broccoli salad with bacon and cheddar cheese in orange and green serving bowl.

This delicious broccoli salad recipe 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. 

Top-down photo of broccoli salad with crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.

If you need more easy potluck dishes, try my tri color pasta salad, old-fashioned potato salad, and heirloom tomato salad. They are all delicious, flavor-packed options, especially for summer time!


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.

Ingredients for broccoli salad: head of fresh broccoli, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, shredded cheese, and bacon.
  • Broccoli— Wash, drain, and dry your fresh broccoli before cutting it into bite-sized florets. You can also use pre-cut broccoli florets as a shortcut.
  • Cooked Bacon— Use your favorite brand. Cook crispy and chop into small pieces before making the salad.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese— Creamy cheesy goodness.
  • Mayonnaise— The base of the broccoli salad dressing.
  • Vinegar— A bit of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) adds flavor to the dressing.
  • Granulated Sugar— adds just the right amount of sweetness to counteract the bite of the vinegar.
  • Salt and Black Pepper— added to taste.

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 bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until combined.

Creamy dressing in large glass bowl with a rubber spatula.

Step 2: Add the broccoli, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese. Toss to coat in the dressing.

In process photos of broccoli salad being made, before and after mixing ingredients into the homemade dressing.

Step 3: Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour (or until ready to serve).

This easy broccoli side dish is perfect for serving up alongside BBQ brisket, chili dogs, or hamburgers.


You can store leftovers in an airtight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Any longer and it will get too soggy after sitting for so long. Just be sure to give it a good stir before seving.

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.

Close up side view of broccoli bacon cheddar salad in serving bowl.

Tips for the Best Broccoli Salad

  • 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.
  • Stir before serving. 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. 

Additions and Variations

  • Add extra veggies: Try adding cauliflower, red onions, cherry tomatoes, or bell peppers. These vegetables complement the broccoli and go great in this dish. 
  • Add mix-ins: Add in raisins, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and/or sunflower seeds for added taste and texture.
  • Note: 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

Broccoli salad with bacon and cheese.
4.75 from 4 votes

Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
This cold broccoli salad loaded with bacon and cheddar cheese makes the perfect summer side dish or potluck recipe. Plus, it is super simple to make with just a few minutes of prep and great for making ahead.


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head broccoli cut into florets (approximately 2-3 cups)
  • 3 strips cooked bacon chopped
  • 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).


Tasty mix-ins to try: red onion, cauliflower, raisins, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, sliced almonds.
This recipe can be doubled for a larger crowd.
Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 536mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1062IU | Vitamin C: 136mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 1mg
Broccoli salad with bacon and cheese.

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5-Star Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Salad Pin.

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