Keto Broccoli Salad is made by making just a few minor adjustments to the dressing portion of the traditional recipe. This low carb side dish is made with fresh broccoli, red onion, crispy bacon, crunchy sunflower seeds, and cheddar cheese in a creamy mayonnaise based dressing. It is perfect for summer cookouts and barbecues.
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One of my favorite places to eat when I was younger was Ruby Tuesday. I lived for their salad bar and baked potatoes. Hands down, my favorite item on the bar was the broccoli salad, and if I’m being honest, the chocolate pudding was pretty high up there, as well. Ruby Tuesday’s broccoli salad was pretty unbeatable in my mind back then.
While I haven’t visited a Ruby Tuesday in quite some time, I did recently attend a birthday dinner for a close family member. One of the side dishes served was broccoli salad. It stirred up all kinds of happy memories and of course I decided to learn how to make it. Little did I know how simple it actually is to make, and it’s just as simple to modify into a keto-friendly version.
Even with a few minor changes, this Keto Broccoli Salad recipe is still sweet and savory, very much like this recipe for Keto Coleslaw, another keto side dish perfect for summer.
Why This Recipe Works
This is such a quick and easy recipe to make. The salad itself contains just 5 ingredients and the dressing is made with pantry staples. It all comes together in less than 30 minutes, and even quicker if you decide to keep the broccoli raw.
It’s a delicious side dish to serve all summer long. It is especially great to serve a crowd at barbecues and cookouts. Simple double or triple the recipe as needed.
This version is low carb, keto-friendly and gluten free. The only alternatives to the classic recipe are using a keto-friendly mayonnaise and erythritol in place of sugar. Should you have stumbled across this recipe and you’re not keto, or want to make different batches for different family members or guests, you can easily use any mayonnaise they like and regular sugar.
How To Make Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli Florets: fresh is best
- Red Onion: or shallot, finely diced
- Bacon: cooked and crumbled
- Sunflower Seeds
- Cheddar Cheese: shredded
- Dressing: mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, erythritol, salt and pepper
The entire recipe and instructions can also be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. You can also print the recipe from the card, if needed.
You can add the broccoli raw, blanched, or fully cooked using any other cooking method that you like.
I prefer to blanch it in boiling, salted water for just 1 minute, then rinse it under cold water. This will brighten the color of the broccoli while keeping it crisp-tender. If you decide to blanch or fully cook the broccoli, allow it to cool before continuing.
If needed, cook and crumble the bacon, dice the shallot and shred the cheese.
Chef’s Tip: shred the cheese from a block to avoid added starches in pre-shredded bags of cheese.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, erythritol and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Combine the broccoli, red onion, bacon, sunflower seeds and cheese in a medium bowl.
Pour the dressing into the bowl of vegetables and toss to combine.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.
Tips and Techniques
- You can add the broccoli to the salad raw, blanched or fully cooked. To blanch broccoli, add it to a pot of salted water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. If you blanch or cook the broccoli, allow it to fully cool before adding to the salad.
- For best results, shred cheese from a block. This is to avoid added starches in pre-shredded bags of cheese.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 2 days for best results. If the broccoli salad was left out for 2 hours or longer, discard it.
How Long Ahead Of Time Can Broccoli Salad Be Made?
Broccoli salad can be made up to 4 days in advance, if you keep the salad and the dressing separate. If the salad is fully prepared, it will last for 2 days if kept in the refrigerator.
How Long Can Broccoli Salad Sit Out?
Broccoli salad should not sit out longer than 2 hours at room temperature and even less in hotter temperatures.
Should you need to serve guests for a longer period of time, keep some in the refrigerator until needed, discarding the leftover from the first batch when necessary.
Can You Freeze Broccoli Salad?
While you can freeze broccoli salad, it is not recommended. Mayonnaise does not thaw well and the texture may not be pleasant.
More Keto Summer Side Dish Recipes
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Keto Broccoli Salad
- 1 pound broccoli florets (bite size, raw blanched or cooked - see notes)
- 1/4 cup red onion (or shallot, diced fine)
- 6 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1/4 sunflower seeds
- 1 cup keto-approved mayonnaise
- 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granular erythritol
- salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste)
- Combine the broccoli, red onion, bacon, sunflower seeds and cheese in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, erythritol and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing into the bowl of vegetables and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.