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.
- 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)
- Bake the bacon on a rack over a shallow dish at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Let it cool then crumble it.
- 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.
- Mix everything together in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Grind the pepper over the top of the salad before serving.
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.)