This Healthy Broccoli Salad with Bacon will be the star of your next gathering. The avocado mayo, cheddar cheese, bacon, and pecan pieces make this an easy side dish that no one can resist!
Healthy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
What happens if you eat almost all of the side dishes that you were supposed to take to Thanksgiving lunch? Asking for a friend, of course. My healthy broccoli salad complete with bacon and cheese is so good! I’m sad to say, of course, there will be no leftovers for you to take home if you share this with friends and family. It’s just that good. In fact, you’ll find even the kids who are picky will beg for more of this salad recipe.
The combination of fresh broccoli, red peppers, some cheese, pecans, and bacon is delicious with a light healthy dressing.
How is This a Healthy Broccoli Salad?
While your traditional broccoli salad is packed with calories and fat this one has been lightened up but no flavor has been sacrificed! We’ve used avocado mayo instead of regular mayonnaise (Chosen Foods is our favorite which we buy at Costco but it is also available on Amazon – although at a higher price).
What to look for when shopping for cheese:
- Organic whole milk
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
What to look for when shopping for bacon:
- No antibiotics or preservatives
- Little to no added sugar
- Try a brand like Applegate or 365 (Whole Foods brand)
Do I Have to Use Fresh Broccoli in My Healthy Broccoli Salad?
Yes. It truly is necessary to use fresh broccoli. Frozen broccoli just won’t give you a good texture or flavor in this salad. Thankfully, broccoli is one vegetable that while not “in season” year-round, is readily available in the grocery. Just cut the florets off the stalk and dice into bite-sized pieces.
ProTip: Want a different variation? Use cauliflower or a mix of cauliflower and broccoli instead of just broccoli!
Can I Add Cubed Cheese Instead of Shredded?
While shredded cheese blends into this easier with a smaller amount needed, you can cube cheese instead. Often, I find a better deal on organic cheeses when sold in blocks. Just cut the cheese into pea-sized cubes and mix them into the recipe instead of the shreds.
There are some great kitchen gadgets that allow you to cut larger pieces of cheese into cubes in just seconds. I found a great vegetable slicer that works well with cheese. Especially if you freeze the cheese for an hour before cutting.
More Delicious Side Dishes
For your next family gathering or holiday buffet, add some tastier healthy side dishes. Along with the healthy broccoli salad, you can take more sides that are delicious but rich in nutrients. I always try to make and take at least one healthier dish when I go to any potluck. It helps me to not feel as guilty when I reach for a treat.
You will readily see cakes, cookies, and bread, but those healthier sides are often missing. Forget the green bean casserole. Instead, make our Garlic Asparagus my favorite Sweet Potato Cubes and Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash. A great salad side is this Fall Cauliflower Salad recipe.
This was originally published on November 28, 2018, and updated on December 20, 2019.Print
This lightened up broccoli salad with bacon will be the star of your next gathering. The avocado mayo, cheddar cheese, bacon, and pecan pieces make this a side dish that no one can resist!
- 5–6 heads of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP coconut sugar
- 1/2–1 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 1/4–1/2 cup avocado mayo (1/4 cup to 1/2 cup, depending on how many heads of broccoli you used)
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3–4 strips of bacon, cooked and then chopped
- 1/2 cup pecans, pieces or chopped
- Wash and chop broccoli into small pieces and place into a large bowl
- Chop red onion and add to the mixing bowl with broccoli
- Combine avocado mayo, sea salt, ACV, and coconut sugar and add to mixing bowl
- Cook and chop bacon, add to mixing bowl
- Add cheddar cheese and pecans
- Combine all until mixed through
- Serve cold
To make it easier to combine try adding half of the chopped broccoli into a large mixing bowl and half of the avocado mayo mixture. Stir to combine. Add the remaining broccoli and additional ingredients and stir until all is combined.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: American