A deli classic, made easier on the waistline! You’ll love this healthy broccoli salad, with or without bacon. It’s a crowd pleaser at any barbecue and it keeps well in the fridge.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: The dressing is made with yogurt instead of mayonnaise. You won’t be able to tell the difference.

How long it takes: 20 minutes, but allow an extra hour for chilling time. The salad has better flavor if it has a chance to marinate.
Equipment you’ll need: large mixing bowl, measuring cup
Servings: 8

Broccoli salad with bacon, raisin, onion.
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I don’t know who first decided to combine raw broccoli, bacon, onions, and raisins in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, but I’m certainly not upset about it. There are lots of recipes for broccoli salad but I wanted to create a healthier broccoli salad. The original version is a little calorie-heavy, especially for a salad, with all the mayonnaise and bacon.

Some of you may be thinking, what’s broccoli salad without the bacon? Don’t worry, my philosophy is everything in moderation (except popcorn), so I didn’t ditch the bacon. For me, bacon is a once-in-awhile treat so I go ahead and splurge once in awhile

Now, that being said, you can certainly skip the bacon. My mom is NOT a bacon fan so she substitutes toasted sunflower seeds and I have to say that sunflowers seeds are really good in this salad, too.

Broccoli salad on a blue and white plate.

About This Broccoli Salad Recipe

So you may be wondering, how is my recipe for broccoli salad any healthier than the original? Good question!

Secret ingredient in the dressing. Instead of mayonnaise, I use plain Greek yogurt, usually lowfat or nonfat. Skipping the mayonnaise reduces the fat content of the salad and you really won’t notice the difference. I substitute yogurt for most of or all of the mayo in my creamy dressings. Try my healthy coleslaw or dill potato salad.

Stays true to the classic salad. Other than the lightened-up dressing, this recipe is pretty true to the deli salad you find in grocery stores. Fresh broccoli, red onions, crispy bacon, chewy raisins — they’re all in there. They each bring their own unique qualities to the salad and the combination is a home run every time.

Another little secret. If you’re not a fan of raw onions, be sure to read my tip about how to eliminate the some of the strong flavor. Even though my husband doesn’t care for raw onions, he loves this salad. He still tries to pick around the red onions but he said, “I ate one by accident and they aren’t too bad.” High praise, indeed.

Broccoli salad on a platter.

Recipe Tips

Reduce the bite of onions. If you soak the chopped onions in ice water for about 10 minutes before adding them to the salad, it takes the aggressive bite out of them. They stay crisp and have just the right amount of onion flavor. Red onions are a great addition to this salad even if you think you don’t love raw onions! For a different onion flavor, you could try pickled red onions.

Add extra flavor to the dressing. The dressing recipe includes celery seeds which have a very distinctive celery flavor. It’s a little drift from the classic deli-style broccoli salad, but try it, and I bet you’ll love it too. Be sure to buy the tiny brown seeds; celery salt is not the same thing.

Try jumbo raisins. I loooove these jumbo raisins. You can use any old raisins but these add a special something and are extra chewy and juicy.

Make it vegetarian. If you want to leave out the bacon, add roasted sunflower seeds for a nice crunch. Sometimes I use both!

More Broccoli Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Storage Tips

Broccoli salad keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. The broccoli will soften slightly and the bacon won’t be as crisp but the salad still really does taste excellent.

More Salad Recipes


Healthy Broccoli Salad

4.55 from 33 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
A deli classic, made easier on the waistline! You'll love this healthy broccoli salad, with or without bacon.
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  • 6 cups (heaping) coarsely chopped fresh broccoli (3 crowns or 1 large head)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion (½ large red onion)
  • ½ cup crumbled or chopped cooked bacon, optional (8 slices)
  • 1 cup raisins (regular or golden)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste (or granulated sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt!)
  • teaspoon ground black pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, onion, bacon, and raisins.
  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together dressing ingredients: yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour dressing over broccoli and stir to combine until all broccoli is coated with dressing.
  • For best flavor, refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir again before serving.


  • You can use full fat, low fat, or nonfat yogurt. I’ve noticed that the salad gets a bit watery the next day with nonfat yogurt. If you’re not a fan of yogurt, mayonnaise is great, too. I often make the dressing with a combination of yogurt and mayonnaise.
  • To take the bite out of onions and make their flavor less strong, soak the chopped onions in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain them well and pat dry before adding them to the salad.
  • If you prefer, use turkey bacon or leave the bacon out altogether. Roasted sunflower seeds are a great substitute.



Serving: 1cup, Calories: 269kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.05g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 487mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 440IU, Vitamin C: 62mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.55 from 33 votes (33 ratings without comment)

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  1. Olivia says:

    I made this and it came out so good. Made it three times now! I leave out the bacon and add grapes. 

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment.

  2. Kristine says:

    This is a keeper! I used what I had in the house: plain regular yogurt, celery salt (needed to double the amount), dried cranberries and toasted sunflower seeds instead of bacon. It was so easy and turned out great! Even my teenage son liked it!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Yum! Great swaps! So glad you liked it, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  3. Charlotte H says:

    This was a really good recipe that was easy to make! I’m vegan, so I left out the bacon, and added chopped pecans instead. I also used Silk Cultured Coconut in place of the yogurt. It was fabulous!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment with your adaptations!

  4. Melissa says:

    I’m making this for Easter. Super excited. I know you got a little push-back about the bacon, but I’m with you. Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Bacon for life! ;) I joked the other day that a certain cookie flavor changed my life and my son (he’s six) said: “A food can’t change your life! Except that one time when I tried bacon.” I agree with him. I hope you love this salad!

  5. Barbara Koblinsky says:

    Actually pork is an unclean meat because of the way the pig digests its food. Read…The Makers Diet. He explains why we shouldn’t eat pork. Plus pohs are actually very intelligent animals.

  6. Jenny Brown says:

    I don’t know how this salad can be described as “healthy” when it includes bacon, a known carcinogenic. It is also a product that causes horrible animal suffering. This salad is perfectly nice without it !

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You are welcome to leave the bacon out of this recipe if eating it doesn’t fit in well with your beliefs.

    2. Kristen Brown says:

      Uncured, pasture raised and humanely butchered bacon is actually a healthy source of protein/fat.

      1. Rachel Gurk says:

        Very true! Everything in moderation, right? :)

    3. Barbara KoblinskyB says:

      I totally agree with you. It is also not a clean meat because of the way a pig digests their food. They are intelligent animals also and scream when being butchered.

  7. Melissa Griffiths says:

    Broccoli salad is my love language!!! This looks so good!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you!!!

  8. cakespy says:

    “Don’t worry, it still has bacon!” LOL! This looks incredible!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Life without bacon is not a life I want to live. ;)