The tangy dressing in this keto broccoli salad makes it a winning dish. It's the perfect low carb salad to take along to share with family and friends at your next potluck or summer picnic.
I’ve always enjoyed salad made with broccoli so I came up with a version that has fewer grams of carbs than my original recipe! It’s a little different than my sweet broccoli salad recipe which adds sugar-free dried cranberries.
Why you'll love it
This low carb broccoli salad recipe has been a family favorite at summer parties and picnics. It's the perfect keto side dish to bring to all my family gatherings because it's something my whole family enjoys.
The crisp-tender broccoli, crumbled bacon, soft bits of cheese, and crunchy sunflower seeds along with a keto-friendly sweet dressing gives it loads of flavor. But what I like best about this broccoli bacon cheese salad recipe is that it's super easy to prepare.
Some broccoli salad recipes include chopped red onion, but I left that out to minimize the carbs on a keto diet. I’ve also seen the salad made with ham instead of bacon. I like to add cheese, but you can leave that out.
You can also use raw broccoli in the salad, but I find it easier to eat if the florets are steamed to crisp-tender first.
There are two parts to this low carb recipe - the actual salad and the dressing. Trust me, save the recipe for the salad dressing. You will want to use it on so many other chopped salads that you create. It is so tangy!
The main ingredient in this salad is fresh, raw, crispy broccoli florets. They should be chopped up into bite-sized pieces. Broccoli is a great low carb vegetable that most of those on a keto diet are already very familiar with.
Bacon Bits And Cheese
Adding in crispy bits of bacon and shredded cheddar cheese really ups the flavor in a keto broccoli salad. And if you’re dairy-free, feel free to omit the cheese or use a non-dairy substitute.
I added shredded cheddar cheese on top. You can use your favorite cheese but, I think cheddar tastes the best with the dressing. You can also swap it with goat cheese, feta cheese, or even shredded parmesan.
Don't forget the bacon! Not only does it give this salad more protein, but it adds a savory flavor that the dish really needs to round itself out. Remember to always use bacon that does not have added sugars like those made with maple syrup.
Homemade Broccoli Salad Dressing
The dressing in this simple low-carb broccoli salad is sweet and tangy. It's a blend of:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Avocado mayonnaise
- Stevia sweetener
You can change up the ingredients to suit your own preferences.
It's best to use a homemade mayonnaise that uses healthy oil. If you do use a prepared mayonnaise, I like to buy one made with avocado oil. I use this mayo when I don't have the time to make mayonnaise.
However, it really doesn't take much time at all to make your own mayonnaise to use in this keto broccoli salad. You don't even have to cook the egg yolks first!
To make your own mayo, you can just whip it up in a container with a stick blender. It's super quick to prepare.
I like to use a stevia sweetener and the SweetLeaf brand packets are the ones I typically use. However, the pure powder extract or liquid extracts work well too. Just use my handy sweetener conversion chart to substitute any sweetener in the recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although I use apple cider vinegar in the recipe, red wine vinegar is another option. And, for the mayo, I prefer using avocado mayonnaise because avocado oil is healthier than seed oils.
Please note: Check out the recipe card at the bottom for a full list of ingredients used to make this low-carb recipe.
- Add more veggies. This is a really simple recipe. Add some chopped cauliflower and cucumber to give it a variety of textures and crunch.
- Serve the dressing on the side. If you won't be eating this right away, I suggest storing the dressing on the side. Only add it right before you plan to serve it.
- Make it spicy. Add a bit of heat to this tangy salad with some chopped jalapenos.
You may want to have the following items on hand for this easy broccoli salad. The following were used:
I also recommend doubling or even tripling the recipe if taking it to share at a summer potluck gathering. That way, there will be plenty of servings for a crowd.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the exact instructions for making this keto broccoli salad. Here is a quick overview, along with some more tips.
Prep The Ingredients
The most time-consuming step is prepping all the ingredients.
It does take a little time to chop up the broccoli but you can buy it already chopped if you want to save time.
You'll want to cook the bacon strips in the oven for about 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees F until they are nice and crisp. I don't even bother to preheat the oven first either.
To see more, you can check out my post on baking bacon in the oven. It's a lot cleaner to bake bacon rather than fry, especially if you line your pans with foil.
Add The Dressing
After you mix all the ingredients in the bowl, add the salad dressing. I like to make the salad dressing ahead of time. I store it in the refrigerator in a mason jar with a lid and it stays fresh for up to 5 days.
Mix-In Your Favorite Toppings
I usually don't mix the sunflower seeds into the low-carb broccoli salad if I add them. Instead, I like to sprinkle them on each individual serving so they are nice and crunchy.
Sliced almonds are another option if you don’t care for sunflower seeds. Other nuts like pecans or walnuts would work as well.
What To Serve With Keto Broccoli Salad
If you are going to serve this as a side salad, add your favorite chicken recipe as the main course. The tanginess of the salad dressing tastes so good with chicken cordon bleu casserole or a basic keto chicken salad.
The bacon in this salad makes it taste perfect with pork chops too. Try it with my air fryer pork chops recipe!
Before we get to the recipe card, here are some questions people often ask about low-carb broccoli salad with bacon.
The best way to store this salad is without the dressing. The dressing will eventually soften the broccoli, making it not as appetizing. If you store it with the dressing, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat it within 3 days.
Yes, broccoli is a very keto-friendly veggie. It is really high in fiber! In fact, 1 cup of chopped broccoli only has 2g net carbs.
Other vegetables taste great in the salad too. Some of my favorites to add are arugula, avocados, cauliflower, cucumbers, kale, and spinach.
When you need something really simple, make this keto broccoli salad! It has so many flavors and textures that all mesh well together. This became one of my favorite ways to eat broccoli.
When you need to feed a crowd, browse my list of keto casseroles. Here are some more salads and meals that you can take to potlucks too.
- Cauliflower Potato Salad tastes just like potato salad, but it doesn't have any potatoes in it.
- Basic Cabbage Slaw has a really tangy dressing and is the perfect topping for burgers or to eat on the side by itself.
- Greek Salad With Zoodles has Kalamata olives and feta cheese, for a Mediterranean salad that everyone will love.
- Cucumber Broccoli Salad is another way to serve these two low-carb veggies.
- Easy Thai Chicken Salad has a tangy peanut butter dressing and uses canned chicken. It's a super-easy recipe you can throw together last minute.
Keto Broccoli Salad with Cheese and Bacon
- Lightly steam broccoli for a minute or two. Drain and cool.
- In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar and stevia with a whisk.
- Toss the broccoli and cheddar cheese into the dressing.
Array ( [serving_size] => 156 [calories] => 390 [carbohydrates] => 9 [protein] => 9 [fat] => 36 [saturated_fat] => 8 [cholesterol] => 36 [sodium] => 416 [potassium] => 418 [fiber] => 3 [sugar] => 2 [vitamin_a] => 745 [vitamin_c] => 90.9 [calcium] => 122 [iron] => 1.2 [serving_unit] => g )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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First published on August 4, 2010. Updated on March 18, 2021, with new images and additional recipe information.