A sweet-and-savory make-ahead Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is the perfect side dish for busy weeknights, potlucks, or holiday buffets. You'll love the combination of crisp broccoli and cauliflower florets mixed with cranberries, pecans, red onion, and bacon in a simple homemade dressing. Best of all, it's ready in just 15 minutes!
Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
I created this twist on my old-fashioned broccoli salad recipe as a more seasonally-appropriate side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the cool weather months. The Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad is delicious alongside fancier meals like a holiday turkey or a beef tenderloin, but it's equally appropriate with more casual family suppers -- like a roasted chicken, fried shrimp, or Sloppy Joes! When you're ready for a break from the usual oven-roasted broccoli, try this easy broccoli cauliflower salad recipe for a quick way to add veggies to any meal.
How to Make Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
Sweet, salty, crunchy and smooth — this salad definitely hits all of the taste and texture highlights to make your mouth happy!
- Red onion
- Sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins)
- Mayonnaise (I prefer Duke's brand)
- Sour cream
- Salt and pepper
How to Cut Broccoli and Cauliflower for a Salad
Before you assemble the salad, you'll need to cut the raw broccoli and cauliflower florets into bite-size pieces. To do so, hold the vegetable by the stem in one hand and carefully use a knife to make downward cuts on the outer edges, separating the florets from the thick center stem, leaving about 1″ of the smaller stem intact. This part of the stem is edible, tender and delicious. Gradually work your way into the deeper parts of the crown.
Once you have the larger florets separated from the big stalk, some of the florets might need to be cut into smaller pieces. To do so, use a paring knife to carefully make a vertical slit in the small stem of a floret (do not actually cut through the top of the floret). Then pull the floret apart with your fingers along the cut line. Ta-da! Smaller pieces that are perfect for your salad -- without a shredded mess of riced cauliflower on the cutting board.
Step 1: Combine Salad Ingredients
Place broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, cranberries, pecans and bacon in a large bowl.
Step 2: Make Dressing
In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.
What kind of vinegar to use in Broccoli Cauliflower Salad?
I typically use a basic white vinegar in this homemade dressing, but you can also feel free to use red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar if that's what you have on hand.
Step 3: Toss Dressing with Salad
Pour the dressing over the salad and gently stir to make sure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
Step 4: Chill
Cover the dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Then serve and enjoy!
What to Serve with Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
This bright, fresh salad goes well with a variety of dinner entrées. Here are a few good options to get you started:
- Apple Cider Brined Roasted Turkey
- Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
- Hamburgers and hotdogs
- Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham
- Pineapple Glazed Ham
- Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin
- Crock Pot Cola Glazed Ham
- Barbecue — such as Crock Pot Ribs, Pulled Pork, Beef Barbecue or even just Grilled Chicken
- Crispy Fried Chicken or Fried Chicken Tenders
This salad gets better as it chills, so prepare the dish at least 2 hours ahead (or the day before). Cover and refrigerate so that the ingredients can absorb the dressing and soften a bit.
Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad, since the creamy dressing will likely "break" when thawed. The vegetables will also have a watery, soggy texture if frozen and thawed.
Recipe Variations -- Broccoli Cauliflower Bacon Salad
- Swap out the dried cranberries and use raisins instead.
- Instead of pecans, try walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds for that nutty crunch.
- Add cheese. Feta or goat cheese would be great in this salad, or try cubed cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey Jack.
- Swap out the sour cream for an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt in the creamy dressing.
Tips for the Best Broccoli Cauliflower Salad Recipe
- Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into very small florets. This makes each bite easier to enjoy!
- Cook your bacon until it's very crispy before adding it to the salad. You don't want limp, soggy bacon in the salad, so starting with really crisp pieces is key for flavor and texture.
- Allow plenty of time for the salad to chill in the refrigerator after assembling (at least 2 hours). It just gets better as it sits, the vegetables soften, and the flavors come together.
- If you want the pecans to be crunchy, wait to stir them into the salad just before serving.
- Do not use frozen and thawed broccoli or cauliflower in this recipe. The thawed frozen vegetables will not stay crisp and firm in the dressing, but instead will get soggy. Raw, fresh vegetables are the way to go!
More Salad Recipes That You'll Love
- Southern Macaroni Salad
- Rice Salad with Corn, Bacon and Pimentos
- Classic Wedge Salad
- Three Bean Salad
- Potato Salad
- Winter Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- 4 cups bite-size broccoli florets (about 1 crown)
- 4 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (slightly less than 1 large crown)
- ¾ cup diced red onion
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
- ½ cup chopped, cooked bacon
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the broccoli, cauliflower, onion, cranberries, pecans and bacon in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Spoon over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.