What if I told you that it only takes 10 minutes to whip up THE BEST Broccoli Salad recipe ever?! That’s right, this delicious broccoli salad with bacon, raisins and cashews is so easy to make and everyone at your next BBQ or party will absolutely go crazy for this recipe!

If you ever had Joan’s Broccoli Madness at Sweet Tomatoes, then you’re going to love this copycat recipe! It’s sweet, salty, crunchy and did I mention SO EASY to make! This summer salad pairs perfectly with Smoked Brisket or Grilled BBQ Chicken for the ultimate Summer meal!

Broccoli salad in bowl

When I met my husband Kurt, I had never been to one of his favorite restaurants, Sweet Tomatoes (or Souplantation as they were called in Southern California).  If you’ve never been either, it was a soup and salad buffet-style restaurant and they had a very famous salad called Joan’s Broccoli Madness.

After my first trip to Souplantation, I could tell why it was so famous, it’s seriously delicious! It actually became so famous that you can find it packaged at Costco to make at home.

After seeing it on the shelves of Costco, it gave me the idea to make it at home myself. I started making this Broccoli Salad in 2017 and somehow never shared it on the bloog. I absolutely love this salad recipe and today, I’m so excited to share it with you all!

This broccoli salad is so easy to make, I whip it up almost every time we BBQ. It’s the perfect side dish to go with grilled or smoked chicken, beef, pork or sausage! Even if we’re not having people over, I’ll make it just for Kurt and I, and we’ll continue to eat it throughout the week. The leftovers are amazing!!

I toss the salad with coleslaw dressing. It’s slightly sweet and when tossed with all of the broccoli salad ingredients, it tastes almost identical to Joan’s Broccoli Madness at Sweet Tomatoes!

ingredients for broccoli salad on white wood board


  • Fresh broccoli – raw broccoli florets are used in this salad. No need to cook, blanch or roast the broccoli before adding it to the salad! You can purchase a head of broccoli and cut off the florets into small pieces, or purchase a bag of broccoli florets in the produce section of the grocery store. If you want the broccoli to be softer in texture, you can steam the broccoli first, but I only recommend steaming it for 1-2 minutes, as you don’t want it to fall apart in the salad.
  • Red onion – white, yellow or sweet onions can also be used in place of the red onion, if that’s what you have on hand!
  • Raisins – I use traditional seedless purple raisins in this recipe, but if you wanted to get a little fancy, you could use a combination of golden raisins and purple raisins.
  • Cashews – I recommend roasted, salted cashews for this recipe. You can use whole, halves or pieces.
  • Bacon bits – I recommend real bacon bits for this recipe. You can either purchase real bacon bits at the grocery store, or cook up your own bacon at home, crumble it and add it to this recipe.
    • Note: Imitation bacon bits are made with textured soy flour and can be used to make this recipe vegetarian.
  • Coleslaw dressing – you can click the link to make my homemade dressing, or if purchasing store-bought dressing, I recommend Litehouse Coleslaw Dressing. It makes this recipe come together so quickly with just 6 ingredients, and the flavor is delicious! Not a fan of coleslaw dressing? Try this Creamy Avocado Dressing instead! This creamy dressing is not only delicious, it’s filled with healthy fats making it a healthier option to toss with this salad!


It only takes 2 simple steps to make THE BEST Broccoli Salad!

  1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, diced red onions, raisins, cashews and real bacon bits.
  2. Add coleslaw dressing and toss all of the ingredients together.

Seriously, it’s that simple! I recommend letting the salad sit, covered in the refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes before serving, so all of the ingredients have a chance to soak up the delicious dressing!

How much salad per person?

This broccoli salad makes 6 cups of salad. I usually plan for 1 cup per person if I’m only serving one or two sides. If I’m serving more than two side dishes, I plan for a 1/2 cup per person.

And don’t worry about leftovers! If there’s any left (which barely ever happens at my house!) this salad is GREAT leftover! All of the ingredients soak up the salad dressing and the flavor is almost even better the next day!

Broccoli salad in bowl with large wooden serving spoon

More easy summer side dishes

This broccoli salad is a great recipe for your next summer BBQ! Pair it with any of the grilled or smoked meats listed above, and one or two of the sides below for a seriously delicious cookout.

Overhead image of broccoli salad in bowl
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Broccoli Salad

It only takes 10 minutes to whip up THE BEST Broccoli Salad ever, made with bacon, raisins and cashews! It's so easy to make & always a crowd favorite!



  • Combine the broccoli, red onions, raisins, cashews and bacon bits in a large bowl.
  • Add the coleslaw dressing and toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.



  • To make this recipe vegetarian, use imitation bacon bits.
  • This recipe is gluten free. Always make sure the salad dressing used is gluten free, the dressing linked to above is gluten free.
  • Leftover broccoli salad can be stored, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 242kcal (12%)Carbohydrates 23g (8%)Protein 8g (16%)Fat 14g (22%)Saturated Fat 3g (15%)Cholesterol 12mg (4%)Sodium 386mg (16%)Potassium 410mg (12%)Fiber 5g (20%)Sugar 6g (7%)Vitamin A 391mg (8%)Vitamin C 56mg (68%)Calcium 62mg (6%)Iron 2mg (11%)
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