Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 -10 as a side
Author Chelsea, highly adapted from MyRecipes


  • 4-5 cups fresh broccoli ~1 pound or 2 stalks
  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta noodles 1/2 of 1 package
  • 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups halved grapes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans*
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon poppyseeds


  1. Remove the stems from the broccoli and cut into very small pieces. Fill up a bowl with very cold water and a few cupfuls of ice.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boiling point. Add in a heaping tablespoon of salt.
  3. Pour the broccoli into the boiling water and count to 30. As soon as you get to 30 remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon (don't drain, you'll use this water for the pasta) and pour the broccoli into your prepared ice/water bath.
  4. Allow the broccoli to sit in the cold water until completely cooled. Then remove with a slotted spoon to a salad spinner or bowl.
  5. Make sure the broccoli is 100% dried before tossing it with anything else (especially the dressing).
  6. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  7. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  8. Combine the completely dried broccoli, dried pasta, drained mandarin orange, and halved grapes in a large bowl.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, finely diced red onion, salt, vinegar, and white sugar. If desired add in the poppyseeds.
  10. Combine the dressing with the ingredients, cover, and chill for 2-3 hours.
  11. Right before serving add the pecans and dried cranberries.
  12. Best eaten the same day it is made.

Recipe Notes

*I like to toast the pecans. To do this, spread them evenly in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir around for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant. Be careful because the nuts can very easily go from toasted to scorched.