Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Cheddar & Almonds

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This Southern-style broccoli salad with bacon, Cheddar and crunchy almonds is ideal for a picnic or BBQ.

This broccoli salad recipe was given to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Kelly Santoro. I’m not usually a big fan of raw broccoli so I was skeptical but Kelly insisted it was delicious, and she was right! The broccoli soaks up the creamy dressing — softening a bit but remaining crisp — and marries beautifully with bits of salty bacon, tangy Cheddar and crunchy almonds.

What You’ll Need To Make Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Cheddar & Almonds

ingredients for broccoli salad

How to Make Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Cheddar & Almonds

Step 1: Cook the Bacon

frying the baconIn a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

draining bacon for broccoli saladStep 2: Temper the Red Onion

soaking red onions in ice waterTo temper the bite of the raw onion, soak it in ice water for 10 minutes, then drain. This step is optional, but if you’re a raw onion-phobe like me, I recommend it.

Step 3: Make the Dressing

In a bowl large enough to hold all of the salad ingredients, combine the mayonnaise, honey, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.

salad dressing ingredients in bowl

Whisk well to combine.

whisked creamy dreamy dressing in mixing bowl

Step 4: Toss the Salad

Add the broccoli florets, Cheddar, and red onions to the dressing.

adding the broccoli, Cheddar and red onions to the dressing

Mix well. This can be done several hours ahead of time (in fact, all the better to allow the broccoli to soak up the flavor).

tossed broccoli salad

Right before serving, add the bacon and almonds.

adding the bacon and almonds to broccoli salad

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.

finished broccoli salad

Transfer the salad to a serving platter or bowl and enjoy!

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Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Cheddar & Almonds

This Southern-style broccoli salad with bacon, Cheddar and crunchy almonds is ideal for a picnic or BBQ.

Servings: 6-8


  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-in pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 9 cups broccoli florets, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (you'll need about 2 pounds of broccoli crowns)
  • 1 cup lightly packed shredded sharp cheddar cheese, best quality
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  1. Set a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  2. Place the onions in a small bowl of ice water for ten minutes. Drain, then blot the onions dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl (big enough to hold all of the salad ingredients), whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, honey (or sugar), salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the broccoli, Cheddar, and red onions to the dressing; toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate the salad until ready to serve. (The salad can be made up to this point several hours ahead of time.)
  5. Before serving, set aside some of the bacon and almonds to use as a garnish for the salad. Add the remaining bacon and almonds to the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the salad to a bowl or serving platter and garnish with the reserved bacon and almonds. Serve cold or room temperature.
  6. Note: Broccoli crowns are trimmed just under the broccoli head, whereas broccoli bunches have stalks that are about 5 inches in length. If you can only find bunches, be sure to buy a bit extra to account for the weight of the stalk.

Nutrition Information

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  • Calories: 444
  • Fat: 39 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 445 mg
  • Cholesterol: 40 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • This has become one of my family’s favorite salads! You can taste each ingredient, and tossed together it is one big bowl of crunchy yumminess! Everyone goes back for seconds. Oh, and it’s still good the next day if you happen to have leftovers.

    • — Coleyn O. on January 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • This has been awesome!

    • — Liz on December 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    I am wondering how long will this keep in the refrigerator?
    Thank you so much!

    • — Melissa on July 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Melissa, this should keep nicely for 2 to 3 days.

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2021
      • Reply
  • This was delicious!! Four of us ate it all…
    This is so easy and simply to make. I used bacon bits but next time I will definitely take the time to cook bacon! I can only imagine how heavenly it will be then.

    • — Barb from BC on July 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another amazing and perfect recipe from Jenn. I made it exactly as written and it was DELICIOUS. My 70 year old aunt practically licked the bowl. Tastes even better the next day — savory, crunchy and creamy perfection. Make this recipe and you’ll be a hero! The crowd went wild over this one – eaters of all ages, including picky foodies!

    • — S from DC on June 28, 2021
    • Reply

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