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Be the hero of socially-distanced summer gatherings, potlucks or weeknight dinners with this delectable Broccoli Salad with Bacon! This addictive broccoli salad is easy to make and will convert even the most stubborn of broccoli haters. A refreshing side salad recipe ideal for Canada Day, 4th of July and Labor Day barbecues or simply a warm summer lunch or dinner, it’s also Paleo, Whole30 and low FODMAP.
A True Story about Broccoli Salad
Jeff: *spoons a massive amount of broccoli salad onto his plate*
Me: “That’s an awfully big spoonful of broccoli salad for someone who hates broccoli.”
Jeff: “Are you calling me fat?”
Me: *rolls eyes*
My husband, Jeff, used to hate broccoli. This broccoli salad with bacon happened, and BOOM: broccoli lover. He cannot get enough of this salad (figuratively speaking), and neither can I (literally speaking).
And no, I was not calling him fat. That’s Jeff’s response to just about any question relating to him and food. And sometimes even questions that have nothing to do with food.
Anyways, broccoli salad with bacon is my ‘go-to’ side dish to bring to summer gatherings, potlucks, and so on. We also have it about once a week during the summer at our house. It’s addictive as it has the perfect balance of sweet and savoury flavours and acidity. If I didn’t have others to share with or a problem with FODMAPs, I could eat the whole bowl in one sitting.
No fancy equipment required! The equipment I use to make this broccoli salad includes:
Broccoli Salad with Bacon: Ingredients and Tips for Success
Broccoli (Heads Only)
As I mentioned in my Chimichurri Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet post last week, Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App lists the heads of broccoli as tolerable for most people with IBS in quantities of up to 3/4 cup per serving. This recipe calls for 4 cups of broccoli heads total, which comes to about 1/2 cup per serving. Broccoli stems are higher in FODMAPs and should be given to your neighbour. If you’re not concerned with FODMAPs, feel free to use a mixture of heads and stems if desired.
When everything is put together, this broccoli salad comes to about 6 cups in its entirety, so if you are concerned with FODMAPs, you’ll want to keep your serving size to about 3/4 cup (good luck), which is about 1/8 of the total salad. I rarely manage to keep to one serving because it’s sooo good, and while it rarely upsets my stomach, everyone is different.
Chop the broccoli heads into bite sized florets. For low FODMAP, try remove as much of the stem as possible without making the floret fall apart too much.
Some FODMAP sources tell you to stay away from grapes; however, Monash University, the authority on FODMAP research, says that neither red nor green grapes contain any FODMAPs. Zero. And that’s great, because they add an amazing bite of sweetness to this salad.
Scallions (Green Tops Only)
For the oniony element, I use 1/2 cup of the chopped green tops of scallions (a.k.a. green onions). If you aren’t concerned with FODMAPs, you can use 1/3 cup of chopped red onion instead if you prefer.
To add some crunch and protien to thte salad, I add 1/2 cup of finely chopped, raw pecans. You can chop them with a sharp knife or use a food chopper like a Slap Chop, which makes things a bit easier. Yet, be careful not to chop them too finely – you don’t want to chop them into dust as they’ll just disappear into the salad.
FODMAPwise, pecans are considered tolerable for most people with IBS in quantities of up to 10 halves (or 20g), which comes to about 1/8 cup. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup total, which comes to about 1 tbsp per serving.
Bacon adds so much yummy flavour to this an pretty much any dish. While it is FODMAP free, too much bacon can sometimes be problematic when consumed in excess, according to Monash, and they say 2 slices (they call them rashers in Australia) per serving is okay for most people with IBS. We’re only adding enough to come to less than one slice per serving.
If you have bacon leftover from breakfast, you can easy add it here; otherwise, I cook my bacon in a large skillet while I chop all the produce. It’s usually cool enough by the time I get done chopping and mixing to crumble and add to the salad.
It only takes four ingredients to make the tastiest dressing for this salad: dairy-free mayo (which I have linked here for reference but buy cheaper at Costco), freshly squeezed lemon juice, pure maple syrup (which we affectionately call “Canada” around here – see my Instant Pot Chili con Canada post to find out why) or coconut aminos if on a Whole30, and sea salt. I highly recommend the pure maple syrup option as it goes sooo well with the bacon, but if you’re on a Whole30, coconut aminos adds some sweetness as well as some umami flavour. It’s still incredibly yummy.
I use a low sodium bacon as that’s the only type I can find without sugar or additives, so so if you are using non-low sodium bacon, you may not need to add as much salt. I typically add 1/2 tsp of salt to the dressing before mixing everything together. If you are making this for the first time, I suggest waiting to add the salt until after the produce and dressing are mixed together and you can taste the salad to see how salty the bacon you use makes it.
Ideally this salad should be served after having some time to chill in the refrigerator, but I typically don’t chill it before and don’t notice a huge difference. If you prefer it chilled, cover and chill in the refrigerator for a half hour before serving.
1 tbsp pure maple syrup (substitute ½ tbsp coconut aminos for Whole30)
¼ – ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
In a large bowl, add the chopped broccoli heads, red grapes, scallions, pecans and bacon and stir with a large spoon to combine. Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the mayo, lemon juice, maple syrup or coconut aminos, and sea salt* and whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing onto the produce mixture and stir with a large spoon until the produce is evenly coated in dressing. Taste the salad and adjust salt to taste. Serve immediately or chill covered in the refrigerator before serving.
Makes 6 cups of salad total – about 3/4 cup per serving.
*I use a low sodium bacon, so if you are using bacon with a regular amount of sodium, you may not need to add as much salt. I typically add 1/2 tsp of salt to the dressing before mixing everything together, but if you are making this for the first time, I suggest waiting to add the salt until after the produce and dressing are mixed together and you can taste the salad to see how salty the bacon makes it.
Keywords: broccoli salad, broccoli salad with bacon, side dish recipes, summer recipes, barbecue side dish recipes, canada day recipes, 4th of july recipes, labor day recipes