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round plate showing Best Broccoli Salad

Best Broccoli Salad Recipe

  • Author: (by Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dishes, salads, make ahead
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This make ahead Broccoli Salad is the best! An updated twist on a classic recipe, it’s creamy, light and refreshing, featuring an easy to make tangy, lemon-y Caesar Dressing. Perfect for your next BBQ, picnic or potluck.

Note: the blanched broccoli and other ingredients need to be very dry, so the salad doesn’t get watery after tossing with the dressing.



1 1/4 cups Homemade Caesar Dressing

Broccoli Salad

  • 6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 3 large bunches), larger pieces cut in half
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (2 2.25-ounce cans)
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced, larger pieces cut in half
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch squares (can also thinly slice)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste


Prepare Caesar Dressing; cover and refrigerate while blanching and cooling the broccoli.

Blanch Broccoli – Conventional method

  1. Steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the vibrant green color.
  3. Drain and place on a paper towel to dry.

Blanch Broccoli – Instant Pot method

  1. Place the steamer basket inside Instant Pot liner. Fill with water to just below the basket (no water in the basket, just under). Fill with broccoli florets. Lock lid in place and set on “Pressure Cook”, high, for 0 minutes, turn off “keep warm” and hit start.
  2. As soon as it signals that it’s done, quick release the steam. When steam is completely released, remove broccoli and plunge immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the vibrant green color.
  3. Drain and place on a paper towel to dry.

Broccoli Salad Assembly

  1. Place cooked broccoli florets in a large serving bowl and gently toss with olives, onion and pepper.
  2. Gently toss with 1/2 of the Caesar dressing and the Parmesan cheese, if using. (Can also serve Parmesan on the side.) Add additional dressing as needed.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.


Make ahead: Salad can be prepared up the day before, and will last up to 3 days covered and refrigerated. The dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Variation: salad can also be served with dressing and Parmesan cheese on the side.

Keywords: broccoli, caesar salad, make ahead salads

© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®