Classic broccoli salad made keto-friendly with crispy bacon, sharp Cheddar cheese, and a creamy sugar-free dressing. You’ll love this healthy low-carb salad for make-ahead lunches, potluck parties, and keto meal-prep.
Easy Keto Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese
You’ll love this keto spin on a traditional broccoli salad. It’s crisp, crunchy and fresh — everything you want broccoli salad to be. And, it’s so incredibly easy to make!
Keto broccoli salad combines a bunch of amazing flavors into one delicious keto lunch dish. It’s got tangy Cheddar cheese, salty sunflower seeds, crispy bacon, and a creamy dressing made from mayo and Dijon mustard.
Plus, it stays crunchy for days! I think it even gets better after spending some time in the fridge. So, it’s the perfect recipe to pack with you for lunch, or to meal prep for the week ahead. I also love making this for potlucks and barbecues, because it’s always a big hit!
Ingredients in Keto Broccoli Salad
The star of the show, here, is fresh green broccoli. Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrition — it’s packed with fiber, nutrients, and vitamins C and K. Plus, broccoli is one of the lower-carb vegetables. 1 cup of chopped broccoli has about 3.5 net carbs.
This delicious salad includes:
- Fresh broccoli. You can buy pre-cut florets or about 2 whole heads for this recipe.
- Crisp bacon. Look for sugar-free bacon for the fewest carbs.
- Roasted sunflower seeds. You could also substitute sliced almonds.
- Diced red onion.
- Shredded Cheddar cheese. I like to look for thicker shreds of sharp Cheddar, instead of the very finely shredded variety.
- A tangy dressing made from sugar-free mayo, apple cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard.
To keep it low-carb, we’re omitting the sugary dried cranberries that you might see in a more traditional broccoli salad. If you have room in your macros, or aren’t counting carbs, feel free to add in a handful or two.
And, if you’re missing the sweetness that some broccoli salad dressings have, you can even add a tablespoon of keto-friendly sweetener to the dressing. That way, you’ll still get that little sweet/savory flavor in this recipe.
Do you Cook the Broccoli for Broccoli Salad?
I don’t pre-cook the broccoli for this recipe. I like it fresh, crunchy, and raw.
For best results, chop up the broccoli into very small bite-size pieces, and let the broccoli marinate in the dressing a bit before serving. The dressing softens the broccoli a bit, making for an irresistibly fresh salad.
That said, if you don’t like raw broccoli, you can blanch the broccoli florets before adding them to the salad. To do this, add the florets to a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer the florets to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the cooled broccoli well before using.
How to Make Low-Carb Broccoli Salad
This keto broccoli salad is one of the easiest salads to throw together. It will quickly become a favorite in your dinner rotation.
This first thing to do is make the creamy dressing. To do this, simply whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. And voila, you have the delicious dressing ready to go.
Next, start to cook the bacon if you don’t have any pre-cooked. I like to make extra-crispy bacon for this particular recipe.
While that’s cooking, you can prepare the veggies. First, wash and cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Make sure to drain it well, so it doesn’t make the dressing watery. Chop the onions, too.
Then, add all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and toss them together. Mix well so that everything is coated with dressing!
Before serving broccoli salad, I like to chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour. This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing!
Tips for the Best Broccoli Salad
- Cut the broccoli into small pieces. Because the broccoli stays raw for this dish, you’ll want to make sure the pieces are small enough to eat in one bite. Smaller pieces are easier to coat in the dressing and are easier to eat.
- Let it marinate. This salad is fine to serve right after it’s made, but it’s even better after an hour or two in the fridge. A little extra time allows the broccoli to soften and absorbs the flavors of the dressing.
- If you find raw red onions to be too strong, here’s a way to mellow the flavor. Place the diced red onion in a bowl and cover it with some vinegar or ice water. Let the onions soak for 10 minutes to take away some of the pungent flavors. Drain the onions well, and then add them to the salad.
How to Store Keto Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. In fact, I think the flavor and texture of this salad improve after a few hours in the fridge. You can keep the salad well covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Hint: It’s perfect for meal prepping!
Other Keto Recipes
For more keto vegetable dishes, try these:
- Low-Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Crispy Keto Zucchini Fritters
- Keto Loaded Cauliflower Casserole
- Keto Cauliflower Rice
- Creamy Keto Mashed Cauliflower
- 6 cups broccoli florets (about 2-3 heads)
- 6 strips bacon
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Drain, cool, and chop.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, red onion, cheese, sunflower seeds. Pour the prepared dressing over the broccoli and mix well.
- Serve immediately, or for better flavor, refrigerate for an hour before serving.
For a sweeter tasting dressing, add 1-2 tablespoons of erythritol sweetener to the mayo mixture.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 1057mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 6gSugar: 3gProtein: 11g
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