Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is a delicious and easy side dish that is perfect for any occasion. The combination of crisp raw veggies, bacon, cheese, and seeds tossed in a tangy dressing makes this recipe a crowd-pleaser.
I grew up eating this salad at big family gatherings in the summer. My mom would set up tables in the backyard and make tons of food for our entire extended family to enjoy. She always included this bright, flavorful broccoli cauliflower salad that I just loved scooping onto my plate along with the burgers, baked beans, pasta salads, and other classic cookout foods.
Now whenever I make this salad it brings back warm memories of laughing with cousins while enjoying my mom’s summer picnics. The crunch of the broccoli and cauliflower coated in the sweet and sour dressing is so nostalgic for me. I think you and your family and friends will also fall in love with this easy-to-make crowd-pleasing side.
Can I Substitute Greek Yogurt for the Mayo?
Absolutely! Greek yogurt is a great healthy swap for the mayonnaise called for in the original recipe. Just use an equal amount of plain nonfat Greek yogurt instead.
The tangy flavor of the yogurt allows you to cut back a bit on the vinegar in the dressing too. And it makes the salad nicely creamy while cutting calories and fat.
I suggest sticking with regular sugar though instead of trying to use a substitute when making the swap to yogurt. The sweetness balances best with the tart yogurt.
Why Does the Salad Taste Better the Next Day?
Leaving this broccoli cauliflower salad to marinate overnight in the fridge allows time for the flavors to really develop. The vinegar softens the crunchy veggies while the salt and sugar permeate them.
Letting it sit also gives the broccoli and cauliflower time to release some of their water. This allows the dressing to coat them more evenly so every bite is packed with flavor.
Prepping this salad the day before you need to serve it guarantees you’ll have the best, most flavorful version of the recipe.
Can I Prep the Ingredients Ahead of Time?
You absolutely can prep the broccoli, cauliflower, bacon, onion, and other ingredients in advance. Getting the veggies washed, trimmed, and chopped ahead makes putting together the full salad even faster.
I recommend storing the prepped ingredients separately in the fridge until you are ready to make the full salad. Then simply toss everything together with the dressing when you need it.
Storing the prepped ingredients together too far in advance can cause them to get watery. But keeping them separate ensures you’ll have crisp, delicious ingredients ready to mix and enjoy.
What Dressing Ingredients Are Most Important?
The mayonnaise and vinegar provide key moisture, creaminess, tang, and binding properties to the dressing. So those two ingredients are definitely essential.
After that, the sugar, salt, and optional sprinkle of mustard powder add crucial balancing flavors. Getting the right combo of sweet, salty, sour, and savory notes is what makes this dressing sing.
So while you can tweak and substitute the mayo or other elements, I don’t recommend eliminating anything completely or the flavor will be off. Stick close to the full ingredient list for best results!
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with its mix of colors, textures, flavors and memories is a potluck staple for a reason. Crunchy fresh veggies coated in craveable creamy dressing never goes out of style. I hope you and your family love this bright, tangy side as much as mine does! Let me know if you have any other questions.
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad Recipe
- Cauliflower: 1 head, cut into florets
- Broccoli: 3 small heads, cut into florets (roughly 4 cups)
- Bacon: 12 slices, diced and cooked (tips for creating bacon crumbles are available in the post)
- Cheddar Cheese: 1/2 cup, shredded
- Sunflower Seeds: 1/4 cup
- Red Onion: 1/2, small, diced
For the Dressing:
- Mayonnaise: 1 cup (light mayonnaise can be used)
- Red Wine Vinegar: 2 tablespoons
- Sugar: 2 tablespoons
- Kosher Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
- In a large bowl, mix together the cauliflower, broccoli, bacon, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and red onion.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt until well blended.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss everything together to ensure an even coating. For tips on preparing this salad in advance and storing leftovers, refer to the detailed instructions in the post.
- The broccoli and cauliflower are used raw in this salad. The dressing slightly softens them, creating a delightful texture.
- Nutritional information is calculated using light mayonnaise.
This Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is not just a side dish; it’s a celebration of fresh, wholesome ingredients, perfect for any gathering or a sunny day picnic.