Broccoli Apple Salad

There’s a million recipes out there for broccoli salad…you know, the ubiquitous mix of broccoli and raisins served by every cafeteria-type place in town and your great-aunt Edith.  I love broccoli salad, except almost every version is loaded with sugar.  One recipe that I found had 1/2 cup of sugar in the dressing!  Yikes!

This recipe is a mixture of Waldorf salad and broccoli salad.  Instead of being loaded with processed sugar, it is naturally sweetened by the sugar in the apple and just a touch of honey.  Throw in some dried cranberries for tartness and chopped bacon for a little salt and smokiness, and you have a nicely balanced salad full of different flavors and textures.  As any salad, it is very versatile  – add about anything you’d like.  A bit of chopped celery, slivers of red onion, slices of red bell pepper, julienne carrots… lots of possibilities depending on what’s in the vegetable drawer.  Also this can easily be made vegetarian with the omission of the bacon.


  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 crisp apple, cut into smallish dice
  • 1/3 cup (heaping) walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or cherries, raisins, other dried fruit)
  • 3 slices crisp, cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
  • ~1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • ~2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Blanch broccoli for about 1 minute in boiling water; pour into colander in the sink and cool with running cold water.  Drain well.

Place broccoli, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and bacon in a medium sized bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, and honey to a smooth consistency (just eyeball the amounts…it’s pretty flexible).  Adjust seasoning to your taste with salt and pepper.  (You may also want to add more mayonnaise, honey, or vinegar, depending on how tart you like the dressing.)

Add the dressing to the broccoli/apple mixture and toss well to combine.  Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Let’s keep going with the blues, shall we? Tampa Red was a formidable figure on the blues scene for decades, and this one, Don’t Jive Me is from his latter days, but man, is it sweet. Strangely, his voice here sounds a lot like Randy Newman, but the guitar playing? All Tampa Red. Great, great stuff!


11 thoughts on “Broccoli Apple Salad

      1. Just made this today for a picnic with my pals! Really tasty!
        Only two minor variations–I subbed yoghurt for the mayo and had to leave the bacon out. Didn’t have time to make mayo from scratch this time, and didn’t feel like cooking up bacon…
        Still delicious! I think I’d try it again with homemade mayo and bacon though. ; )

  1. Thanks, Alex! It’s good to know that yogurt can be substituted for the mayo, especially for those people that avoid eating eggs.

  2. I have been craving a good broccoli salad lately but can never find a recipe that is just right. The sugar turns me off too! I have a big Costco bag of broccoli that must be used (like today) so this is probably going to happen later considering I actually have all the ingredients! Loving your site!

  3. This recipe looks heavenly. I had a variation of this today bought at Planet Organic. I am going to make this recipe & replace the mayonaisse with vegenaise and leave out the bacon 🙂

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