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Healthier Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese

Healthier Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese

I’ve had broccoli salad a few different ways at different restaurants so I decided to make it a little healthier while still including all of the things that I love about broccoli salad, like bacon and cheddar cheese. Notice I said healthier, not healthy! This is still full of flavor from mayo, bacon and cheese – I just used a few tweaks to make it better for you when compared to a “regular” broccoli salad recipe.

I like to use mayonnaise with olive oil because it tastes better than lite mayonnaise and it’s a little better for you than regular mayo since olive oil is good-for-you fat. I also use stevia instead of sugar. I’m always looking for ways to cut calories without losing flavor but I don’t like to use artificial sweeteners. For this recipe, it measures just like sugar so you shouldn’t have to adjust the recipe if you’re not using stevia.

I use center cut bacon in all of my recipes that include bacon because it’s a leaner cut with less fat and plenty of flavor. I also bake it in the oven instead of frying it to shave off a few more calories and some of the fat. Place the bacon on a rack in a shallow pan so most of the fat drips off. Depending on how crispy you want your bacon you’ll need to cook it 20-30 minutes. This is just another easy way to cut some calories without sacrificing too much flavor. If you don’t care about cutting calories than fry up your favorite bacon and add a few extra pieces to the mix.


Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is one of my favorite salads. The bacon, yellow raisins, cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds are perfect with the mayonnaise and red wine vinegar dressing that coats the broccoli.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 5 servings
  • 3 large broccoli crowns
  • ½ cup gourmet yellow raisins
  • 8-10 pieces of center cut bacon
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced purple onion
  • 2 tbsp. stevia
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise with olive oil
  • ¾ cup 2% milk cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
  1. Bake the bacon on a rack over a shallow dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool then crumble it.
  2. While the bacon is cooking, cut the broccoli florets off of the stems. I've shaved the broccoli with a mandolin in the past but cutting it at a diagonal with a knife gave me basically the same results with a lot less of a mess to clean up.
  3. Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
  4. Grind the pepper over the top of the salad before serving.
I use the gourmet yellow raisins because they are bigger and not as sweet as purple raisins.

The fresh ground black pepper has more flavor but you can use regular black pepper if you don't have a grinder.

I serve the sunflower seeds in a bowl on the side because not everyone in my house likes them. (I think that they are delicious and should always be included.)

Broccoli Salad with Bacon recipe -

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