Lemon Poppyseed Broccoli Salad

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

A delicious, simple, and quick lemon poppyseed broccoli salad. Broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, sharp cheddar cheese, and sliced almonds with a delicious creamy lemon poppyseed dressing.

This salad has accompanied dinner every single night this week. It’s THAT good. Coupled with the fact that I bought enough broccoli to feed a small army. You know, when it goes on sale, you gotta stock up right?!

Each night I’ve made slight adjustments and am so excited about the salad! It’s has quickly become a favorite in my home.

It’s not quite summer yet (okay we’re in the throes of a FREEZING winter), but I’m telling you now, you are going to want this recipe come summer potluck and BBQ time! It’s perfect for any dinner party that you need to bring a crowd-pleasing salad too, but summer this recipe may just become your go-to salad!

The dressing is pretty close to your traditional broccoli salad — mayo, vinegar, and some sugar. I decided to put a little bit of freshness by adding the lemon. It is not overpoweringly lemon at all. In fact, it’s barely a hint of lemon with only 1 tablespoon in the whole dressing. That’s the most I could add without it getting too watery. To enhance that lemon just a bit more, I added some finely grated zest.

I also played around with the vinegars added and red wine vinegar was the winner! It’s delicious with the lemon and mayo. And finally, the sugar. You can definitely increase or decrease the sugar based on personal preference. From a google search I saw some salads call for an entire 1/2 cup ?. This dressing only calls for 2 tablespoons, so if you want a super sweet salad, increase it from there!

And if you want the dressing to really stick to the salad, make sure to use full-fat mayo. That and, make sure the broccoli is WELL dried. Otherwise it makes the whole salad kind of blahh. 

More potluck salads 

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.

Lemon Poppyseed Broccoli Salad

5 from 8 votes
A delicious, simple, and quick lemon poppyseed broccoli salad. Broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, sharp cheddar cheese, and sliced almonds with a delicious creamy lemon poppyseed dressing.
Print Recipe

Lemon Poppyseed Broccoli Salad

5 from 8 votes
A delicious, simple, and quick lemon poppyseed broccoli salad. Broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, sharp cheddar cheese, and sliced almonds with a delicious creamy lemon poppyseed dressing.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 -8 as a side
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Salad

  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups (317g) chopped broccoli (~4 florets)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (45g) sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup (65g) roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup (123g) sharp cheddar cheese

Dressing

  • 1 cup (201g) full-fat mayo
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar depending on sweetness preference
  • 1 large lemon 1/2 tablespoon zest, 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds

Instructions

  • Remove the stems from the broccoli and cut into very small pieces. IF you want to blanch the broccoli follow the next few steps. If you're short on time or don't mind raw broccoli you can skip blanching.
  • Fill up a bowl with very cold water and a few cupfuls of ice. Bring a pot of water to boiling point. Add in a heaping tablespoon of salt.
  • Pour the broccoli into the boiling water and count to 30. As soon as you get to 30 drain the broccoli and pour the broccoli into your prepared ice/water bath.
  • Allow the broccoli to sit in the cold water until completely cooled. Then remove with a slotted spoon to a salad spinner or bowl.
  • Make sure the broccoli is 100% dried before tossing it with anything else (especially the dressing). I like to use a salad spinner and then let it sit out for a while. If it's any bit wet, it becomes too watery.
  • Add the cranberries, almonds (toast if desired), sunflower seeds, and sharp cheddar cheese (that has been cut into very small cubes) to the bowl with the broccoli.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, zest of one lemon, and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • Add some salt and pepper, taste, and add more sugar (1-2 more tablespoons) or lemon to personal preference (not too much lemon or the dressing becomes too watery)
  • Whisk in the poppyseeds.
  • Toss the dressing with the salad and place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes.
  • Toss again and enjoy!

Video

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

FREE BONUS

FREE BONUS

EASY MEAL SECRETS:
How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




42 Comments

  1. Oh goodness, it’s been freezing here too but that never stops me from enjoying a good salad! This one is gorgeous, Chelsea! I love the broccoli and cranberry combo!

  2. My deliciousness…. GET IN MY MOUTH NOW! This looks so good I can’t even contain myself. Love how colorful and full this salad is. Seriously, I love everything that you put in this and I love their flavors put together. Killing in πŸ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    That salad looks like Spring! And I’m sure ready for Spring…this will be on my menu this week, for sure. Thank you.
    P.S. I’m giving it 5 stars even though I have tasted it, yet. I just know it will be worthy.

  4. Oh my word, this looks absolutely delicious! I LOVE traditional broccoli salad, but I definitely need to give this a try! Maybe for Easter dinner? πŸ™‚

  5. Can this be made the night before??
    I’m hoping so, maybe I’ll chop everything and add the dressing in the morning.

    1. Absolutely can be prepped ahead! Just make sure to add the dressing before serving and not too early πŸ™‚

  6. Can’t wait to try this salad! Two questions: what kind of onion did you omit and with the dressing already mixed how many days will it keep?
    Thank you

    1. There isn’t onion in this recipe, but the recipe that inspired this one did have red onion! This one is quite different so I’m not sure how onion would taste in it. And I don’t like this recipe sitting with the dressing after one day, but that’s personal preference πŸ™‚

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this salad for a Father’s Day BBQ. I have to say, I have made a lot of variations of Broccoli Salad and this was by far the best. The lemon gives it such a refreshing flavor! The only change I made was adding about 10 strips of crumbled crispy bacon… because BACON! πŸ˜€ Thanks for such a great recipe!

    1. Oh, this makes my day!! I’m so thrilled to hear this one was the best! πŸ™‚ And YUM on the bacon addition! Thanks Diane!

  8. I absolutely despise mayonnaise, so instead I used plain yogurt for the dressing. Huge hit at my work potluck. I always consider it a successful dish when I don’t get to bring any home!

    1. That’s great!! And so happy that there wasn’t any to bring home πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment Nicholas!

  9. 5 stars
    Made this last night for a small family get together, everyone loved it! My husband had thirds! And two people wanted the recipe. Also I was asked to bring it to our big family bbq next month. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thanks!

  10. I made this today and it’s totally a pin(terest) win!

    I made a couple small tweaks…I added 1/2 tsp lemon extract and toasted the almonds. Loved it!!

Never Miss a Recipe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.