closeup of an easy broccoli salad recipe with bacon and grapes in a large white serving bowl

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Why I love this easy broccoli salad recipe

I remember the first time I had broccoli salad. I was hesitant to try it, but more than pleasantly surprised. The bacon and cheddar cheese made a seriously bland vegetable turn into crunchy perfection. And, the creamy dressing and sweet bite of grapes? Amazing.

It had been years since I had even considered making broccoli salad. I wasn’t really sure what to do without the option of cheese, but something about the challenge motivated me.

It took a bit of brainstorming, but I came up with the most ingenious cheese substitute. Are you ready? Unsweetened, toasted coconut shreds. I know it’s different, but hear me out.

overhead shot of an easy broccoli salad recipe with bacon and grapes in a large glass mixing bowl, before being mixed

The coconut adds a flavor dimension that is incredibly unique. The shreds hold up in the creamy dressing the way cheese would (they even soften a bit), and the toast-iness adds a really umami flavor to the broccoli salad.

Yes, it gives it a more tropical flavor. But, it rounds out the salad in the most surprisingly delightful way.

Here’s what you’ll need to make broccoli salad

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I recommend buying these toasted coconut shreds because they are larger and toasted until golden brown. You can also toast your own if you can’t find what you’re looking for, but I think we already spend enough time cooking, don’t we?

More dairy free broccoli recipes: broccoli cheese soup / oven roasted broccoli / chicken and broccoli / pasta with sausage and broccoli

whisk covered in a creamy dressing for a broccoli salad recipe over a glass mixing bowl of the dressing

How to make broccoli salad with bacon

Make the dressing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. You could also use a mason jar or mix it right in a large measuring cup.

If you’re making this ahead of time, put it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. It’s made with mayo, which means it’s made with eggs, so you want to keep it cold. (See also: are eggs dairy?)

Chop your ingredients. You really only need to chop the broccoli, onion and grapes for this recipe, which makes it relatively easy, as far as salads go.

Mixing it all together. When you’re ready, mix the dressing with the salad. I like to mix mine the morning I’m going to serve the salad, but you can do it just before or a day in advance. Whatever works best for your schedule.

easy broccoli salad with bacon and grapes being mixed together in a large glass mixing bowl

FAQs and Tips for making broccoli salad with grapes

What’s the best mayo for broccoli salad? I recommend using regular mayonnaise. Skip the low-fat versions unless you’re on a really strict diet. If you’re paleo or doing a whole 30, can also use homemade mayonnaise or aioli for this recipe.

I don’t like coconut, what can I use instead? If you don’t like coconut (or you’re allergic), you can substitute vegan cheese shreds (or regular cheese if you’re not dairy free), or you can leave it out completely. You’ll still have a great salad.

Can broccoli salad be made the day before? Yes, definitely! You can get all the prep work done the day before, or even completely make the salad. Just be sure to check the flavor before serving, and season with salt and pepper if needed.

How long will broccoli salad last in the fridge? This salad should last for about 4 – 5 days in the fridge. It will lose some of it’s flavor during that time, but it will still be safe to eat. After that I recommend tossing it.

close up of broccoli salad with bacon and grapes in a large white serving bowl, with text overlay for Pinterest that reads "easy broccoli salad, dairy free, whole 30 and paleo friendly"

This broccoli salad recipe would go great with:

More dairy free salad recipes:

overhead shot of an easy broccoli salad recipe with bacon and grapes in a large white serving bowl

Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Easy Broccoli Salad | This easy broccoli salad recipe is made with bacon and grapes. The creamy dressing is dairy free and since there’s no sugar added, it’s also paleo and whole 30 friendly. #dairyfree #broccoli

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American



For the broccoli salad:

  • 8 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup quartered red, seedless grapes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bacon
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels

For the dressing:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together until smooth. Set aside (or refrigerate until ready to use).
  2. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Toss with dressing until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Let salad sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. If needed, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 238
  • Sugar: 7.3 g
  • Sodium: 614.1 mg
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 6.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 19.6 mg

Keywords: dairy free, paleo, gluten free, whole 30, easy, summer,

Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Melissa Belanger

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