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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!

A close up image of a bowl of fresh broccoli and cauliflower salad dressed with a creamy dressing.
Table of Contents
  1. Cold Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
  2. Ingredients for a Classic Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad Recipe
  3. How to Make a Simple Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
  4. What to Serve with Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
  5. How to Make Ahead & Store Fresh Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
  6. Broccoli Cauliflower Bacon Salad Recipe Variations & Tips
  7. More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
  8. Broccoli Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Cold 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 chickenfried 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 great way to add fresh veggies to any meal.

Sweet, salty, crunchy, and smooth — this salad definitely hits all of the taste and texture highlights to make your mouth happy!

Ingredients for a Classic Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Below is an overview of the simple salad ingredients you need. This fresh salad requires no cooking and can be tossed together ahead of time — the flavors get even better the next day! As always, you can find the complete ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the end of the post. 

  • Broccoli: you’ll need one whole head of fresh broccoli for this salad.
  • Cauliflower: you’ll need just about one head of cauliflower.
  • Red onion: for crunch and flavor.
  • Sweetened dried cranberries (such as Craisins): adds the perfect touch of sweetness. You could also use raisins or dried cherries.
  • Pecans: for the perfect crunch.
  • Bacon: crispy bacon pieces are salty and savory in this fresh salad.
  • Mayonnaise (I prefer Duke’s brand): the creamy base of the dressing. You can use light mayo or Miracle Whip as well.
  • Sour cream: adds richness to the salad dressing.
  • Sugar: to balance the flavors and add a hint of sweetness to the salad dressing.
  • Vinegar: a key ingredient in the tangy dressing, and it helps to soften the raw cauliflower and broccoli.
  • Salt and pepper: to enhance the natural flavors in the dressing.
All of the ingredients for a cold broccoli and cauliflower salad in a large mixing bowl. The ingredients include chopped pecans, craisins, bacon, red onions, and cauliflower florets.
A small mixing bowl filled with a creamy dressing for cauliflower broccoli salad, mixed with a whisk.

How to Make a Simple Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

This sweet broccoli cauliflower salad recipe is so quick and easy to make for a family gathering, holiday dinner, or as an easy side dish for a delicious dinner. With simple ingredients and about 10 minutes of prep time, you can have this classic broccoli salad anytime.

  • Place broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, cranberries, pecans, and bacon in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a separate small mixing bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and gently stir to make sure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Cover the dish and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (or overnight). Then serve and enjoy!

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 small 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 bite-size 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.

What kind of vinegar do you use in Broccoli Cauliflower Salad dressing?

I typically use 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.

Do I have to cook the broccoli and cauliflower before making the salad?

No, you do not (and should not) cook the vegetables in this recipe! The delicious flavors in this salad come from the raw, simple ingredients — all uncooked. The creamy dressing really helps to tenderize the vegetables as the salad sits and the dressing soaks through the ingredients. That’s why this delicious salad is even better when made ahead or as leftovers the next day!

Fresh ingredients for broccoli and cauliflower salad mixed together in a large bowl with a creamy dressing.

Can I use frozen vegetables in this cauliflower broccoli salad recipe?

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!

Is this a healthy broccoli cauliflower salad recipe?

This is already a pretty healthy recipe! It’s low carb and keto-friendly. You can easily make it vegetarian by leaving out the bacon or even vegan with a few different ingredients. The fresh vegetables are, of course, also a great source of nutrients. Both broccoli and cauliflower are low in calories, high in fiber, and are great vegetables to work into your diet for weight loss and heart health. The creamy salad dressing is not terribly unhealthy, but there are plenty of ways to make this already great recipe even more health-conscious. 

  • Reduce or omit the sugar in the dressing. This will make the dressing more tangy but still creamy and delicious. If you still want a hint of sweetness, use Miracle Whip instead of mayo, or use a sugar substitute. 
  • Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and light mayonnaise instead of regular to cut down on fat and calories.
  • Omit the bacon. While I don’t recommend depriving yourself of the perfectly crispy bacon pieces and the extra flavor it adds to the salad, you can leave them out of the mix.
A square-cropped image of a large bowl of fresh broccoli and cauliflower salad topped with craisins, pecans, and a creamy dressing.

What to Serve with Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

This bright, fresh, and easy broccoli salad goes well with a variety of dinner entrées. Here are a few good options to get you started:

How to Make Ahead & Store Fresh Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

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.

To Store Leftovers: 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.

An overhead image of a fresh broccoli and cauliflower salad served on a tabletop with a large silver spoon.

Broccoli Cauliflower Bacon Salad Recipe Variations & Tips

  • Swap out the dried cranberries for another kind of dried fruit — regular raisins or golden raisins, dried cherries, dried apples, or even chopped dried apricots.
  • Instead of pecans, try walnuts, slivered almonds, crunchy sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds for that nutty crunch. You could also try salad toppers with candied nuts like glazed pecans or honey almonds for more sweetness.
  • Add cheese. Feta or goat cheese would be great in this salad, or try shaved Parmesan cheese, cubed cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or Monterey Jack.
  • Swap out the sour cream for an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt in the creamy dressing.
  • 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.
A close up side angle shot of broccoli and cauliflower salad, made with broccoli and cauliflower florets, onions, pecans, and craisins, all tossed in a creamy dressing.

More Salad Recipes You’ll Love

Close up side shot of a big serving bowl full of the best broccoli cauliflower salad recipe

Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 306 kcal
An easy make-ahead broccoli and cauliflower salad is a perfect side dish that's loaded with bacon, onion, cranberries, and pecans — and just 15 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

Salad Ingredients:

  • 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

Salad Dressing Ingredients:

Instructions

  • Combine the broccoli, cauliflower, onion, cranberries, pecans and bacon in a large bowl.
    4 cups bite-size broccoli florets, 4 cups bite-size cauliflower florets, ¾ cup diced red onion, ½ cup dried cranberries, ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted, ½ cup chopped, cooked bacon
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper.
    ¾ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar, Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Spoon over the vegetables and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

  • Swap out the dried cranberries for another kind of dried fruit — regular raisins or golden raisins, dried cherries, dried apples, or even chopped dried apricots.
  • Instead of pecans, try walnuts, slivered almonds, crunchy sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds for that nutty crunch. You could also try salad toppers with candied nuts like glazed pecans or honey almonds for more sweetness.
  • Add cheese. Feta or goat cheese would be great in this salad, or try shaved Parmesan cheese, cubed cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or Monterey Jack.
  • Swap out the sour cream for an equal amount of plain Greek yogurt in the creamy dressing.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the saladCalories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 6gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 291mgPotassium: 389mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 342IUVitamin C: 66mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: broccoli and cauliflower salad, broccoli cauliflower salad
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Mary says:

    5 stars
    I made this recipe for a 4 th of July side with barbecue beef. I followed the recipe exactly as written, Fantastic! Everyone loved this salad, even the kids! A perfect ratio of dressing to veggies! Make this salad, you won’t be disappointed!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, Mary! Happy 4th of July!