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Have the sticks of butter been flying off the shelves in anyone else’s kitchen lately? In the name of balance, today I have a Broccoli Cranberry Salad for you. It’s the perfect way to sneak a little green onto your table in a way that still feels decadent and tastes delicious.

Healthy broccoli cranberry salad with bacon

This healthy broccoli cranberry salad is a play on the one my aunt used to bring every year to our Christmas dinner.

Like this Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, it’s a little bit naughty (ahem, bacon), a little bit nice (the recipe contains no mayo; also bacon is pretty nice), and the festive red-and-green colors make it fit for a holiday spread.

My aunt’s original broccoli salad recipe called for a creamy mayo-based dressing, but I opted for a lighter vinaigrette-style dressing instead.

The the salad nice and crunchy (I find that creamy-style dressings tend to make the broccoli salad become mushy as it sits), and a broccoli cranberry salad without mayo is better for you too.

Even if the broccoli cranberry salad nutrition isn’t a concern for you, this dish is still a winning choice. It has lots of interesting flavors and textures, from the crunchy broccoli and toasty pepita seeds to the chewy cranberries and smoky bacon.

It can withstand long hours at room temperature, and since it gets even better the longer it sits, it’s a great make-ahead recipe too.

This easy Broccoli Cranberry Salad is the BEST. Actually stays crunchy and it disappears everywhere I bring it! A simple, healthy broccoli salad recipe with bacon, pepitas, and a zippy honey vinaigrette. Recipe at | @wellplated

5 Star Review

“This was fabulous! Served this to my entire family for our Christmas get together, and it was a true hit. I think I could drink this dressing.”

— Tami —

How to Make Broccoli Cranberry Salad

When your spread cries out for something green, this healthy broccoli cranberry salad is the perfect choice.

With its crisp pizzaz and interesting blend of ingredients, it tastes like anything but an afterthought.

The Ingredients

  • Broccoli. While other recipes may ask you to steam broccoli for broccoli salad, a quick blanch is all that’s needed here. The broccoli develops the ideal crisp-tender texture.
  • Bacon. The salad addition that takes this broccoli salad from good to YUM!


I love to use my method for Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon to ensure I get the crispiest and most delicious bacon every single time.

  • Cranberries. Colorful and scrumptious little jewels of sweetness.
  • Green Onions. For freshness and bite.
  • Dressing. Instead of a broccoli cranberry salad with Greek yogurt or mayo, this version uses a light, vinaigrette-style dressing. A little olive oil, rice vinegar, black pepper, salt, and honey come together to create a truly tasty dressing for this salad.
  • Pepitas. For a little added crunch. You could also make this broccoli cranberry salad with almonds or walnuts.

The Directions

  1. Cook and crumble the bacon. Blanch the broccoli then add it to a large bowl with the cranberries and green onions.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture, tossing to coat. Top with bacon and pepitas just before serving. ENJOY!
A healthy holiday side on a platter

Leftover Ideas

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for 2 to 3 days. The bacon will become somewhat soft, but it will still taste delicious.

Meal Plan Tip

The salad can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance. Top with bacon and pepitas just before serving.

What to Serve with Broccoli Cranberry Salad

This healthy broccoli salad goes with so many main dishes. Here are a few ideas:

Broccoli cranberry salad without mayo served in a bowl

Recommended Tools to Make Broccoli Cranberry Salad

More Healthy Holiday-Worthy Salads

Broccoli Cranberry Salad

4.78 from 9 votes
Broccoli Cranberry Salad with Bacon, Pepitas, and Honey Dressing. Easy, delicious, and can be made ahead, so it’s perfect for parties and potlucks.

Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: 8 servings



  • If necessary, cook the bacon according to one of my easy cooking methods listed below. Once cool, crumble and set aside.
  • Blanch the broccoli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Add the broccoli florets and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Remove from the hot water with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into the ice bath to stop the cooking and set the green color. Drain, spread on a clean kitchen towel, and pat dry. Transfer to a large kitchen bowl, then add the green onions and cranberries.
  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, pepper, salt, and 1 tablespoon honey. Taste and add a little more honey if additional sweetness is desired. Pour over the broccoli mixture, then toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, top with crumbled bacon and pepitas.


  • *Easy bacon cooking methods: Oven Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon.
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to 1 day in advance. Top with bacon and pepitas just before serving.
  • TO STORE: Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, though the bacon will become somewhat soft.


Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 130kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Is it weird that I love broccoli?! It’s always been one of my favorite vegetables. But it’s never looked better than in this salad… I love the different textures and colors! :D

  2. This sounds like a very nice salad.  I like the idea of a vinaigrette for it, and appreciate the fact that you don’t leave the broccoli raw – I just have never cared for raw broccoli.  It will be interesting to see if I could find reduced sugar dried cranberries.  

  3. I am adding this to my Whole30 list for January – a couple quick mods and I’m good to go!! Thanks babe, it’s gorgeous!

  4. Looks so vibrant, Cranberries in a salad like this works so much better than putting it on a turkey. Nice work (:5 stars

  5. This was fabulous! Served this to my entire family for our Christmas get together today and it was a true hit. I think I could drink this dressing. First time I’ve ever tried rice vinegar — you are really expanding my horizons — and we all enjoyed this beautiful salad. Had just a bit left and I will be enjoying it tomorrow! Thanks for sharing such wonderful, beautiful and tasty recipes!5 stars

    1. YAY!!! I’m so happy to hear that Tami Thank you so much for trying this recipe and not being afraid to go for the rice vinegar. I love that you went for something new. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi! I haven’t tried either of these substitutions, so both would be an experiment. The fresh cranberries wouldn’t need to be cooked, but you should be aware that they will have a very tart taste compared to the dried. I would recommend sticking with the maple vs. Truvia for the dressing. In addition to sweetness, it also adds a nice flavor to the recipe that Truvia alone would not. If you decide to make the recipe, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  6. Made the salad today in order to take to a BBQ. Looks beautiful. Vineagrette tastes yummy. Curious, if you had “liquid” on bottom of bowl?? Does it hurt veggies? Looking forward to supper. 5 stars

    1. Deanna, I am so happy you enjoyed this! The liquid won’t hurt anything. You can either transfer the salad to a different bowl (discarding the liquid) or simply serve with a slotted spoon. Happy Fourth of July!

  7. Hi Erin:

    I ‘m looking for holiday sides and this looks great. My family are all vegetarian so I’ll omit the bacon but just curious if you have any ideas for a vegetarian alternative for the bacon?

    1. Hi Julie! You could sprinkle some feta on the salad! That would be so pretty and add a bit of saltiness (bacon is salty, so it’s a good option). I hope you love it!