Broccoli Salad with Everything Bagel Spice, bacon, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and goat cheese dressing is the perfect summer side. Make-ahead friendly, gluten free, and kid-approved!
The Best Broccoli Salad:
Truly, this is what all broccoli salads aspire to be: cool, crunchy, creamy, and bursting with summer-fresh flavors. This broccoli salad is unique because it’s tossed in a creamy goat cheese dressing and flavored with everything bagel spice!
This spice blend includes everything you’d normally find on an everything bagel—sesame seeds, dried minced garlic and onion, poppy seeds, and a hearty dose of sea salt. It’s salty, onion-y, umami-rich, and most notably, super versatile. I either purchase it from Trader Joe’s or World Market, however you can also make your own (see recipe notes below).
What is in Broccoli Salad?
In short, most broccoli salads are a combination of raw broccoli florets, bacon, onions, dried fruit, nuts or seeds, and a creamy dressing. In this version, however, we’re going rogue with some of the staples and amping up the flavor profile. Here’s what you need:
- Raw broccoli florets: No need for blanching or steaming here!
- Crunchy diced bacon: You can cook the bacon one or two days ahead to make prep even easier, or exclude it if making vegetarian.
- Sunflower seeds: I love using roasted, salted seeds to add more toasty goodness, however you could also use raw, unsalted.
- Diced red onion: This adds that nice little bite to cut through the richness of the dressing.
- Cherry tomatoes: A little unorthodox, however these summer stars make the salad taste like a BLT, which is always a crowd pleaser.
Next, let’s talk dressing! The goat cheese dressing is tangy with crave-worthy creaminess and a salty, garlicky bite. It requires minimal ingredients, yet makes a big impact in the salad. Additionally, it uses Greek yogurt in place of mayo to add a jolt of protein, calcium, and probiotics.
Broccoli salad is incredibly simple to make, especially when the bacon is cooked and cooled in advance. Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine! You can serve the broccoli salad right after mixing, however it’s best to let it sit for an hour. This allows the broccoli to slightly soften, as well as the flavors to meld.
What Pairs with Broccoli Salad?
In short, just about anything fresh off the grill pairs well with broccoli salad. For example, burgers, fish, BBQ chicken, or tofu skewers. Alternatively, serve it alongside homemade sandwiches or your protein of choice for streamlined suppers. Lastly, if you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations!
More Easy Salad Recipes:
- 5 cups chopped broccoli florets (from 1 small-medium head)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 to 3 oz. goat cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Everything Bagel Spice (homemade or store-bought)*
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- Place broccoli, tomatoes, bacon, red onion, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine goat cheese, yogurt, vinegar, Everything Bagel Spice, and sugar; whisk until smooth. Stir in chives.
- Pour dressing over broccoli salad and mix until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for best results.