Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad

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This Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad is not only the best broccoli salad ever, but I’ll go so far as to call this my favorite salad ever. I’m not exaggerating; this salad is beyond delicious and without a doubt the best broccoli salad I’ve ever had.

With crisp lightly roasted broccoli and savory bacon pieces, sweet oranges and tangy onion tossed in the slightly sweet dressing, this salad will be on my favorites list for a long time.

Mandarin Broccoli Salad

Best Broccoli Salad

I cook with broccoli often. It makes an appearance in everything from soups, to stir-frys to coleslaws in my kitchen.

Salads are one of my favorite ways to serve broccoli as a side dish. I’ve been making Broccoli Salad with Grapes as a staple accompaniment to all kinds of meals for several years. The crisp broccoli, sweet grapes and tangy dressing in that recipe have always been a hit.

As much as I adore that recipe, I have to say that this Mandarin Broccoli Salad is even better. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share it with you!

I know it sounds like a whole lot of hyperbole for a side dish, but I made this salad three times in less than two weeks the first time I tried it. It is completely delicious each time.

And I promise, it’s not just me who loves this salad. I have served this to countless guests over the years, and (silently) questioned whether it was really as good as I thought it was. They have all raved over it. Even my broccoli skeptical children enjoyed it.

Best EVER Broccoli Salad is filled with mandarin oranges, bacon, red onion, raisins, mushrooms, and broccoli before being topping with a tangy sweet sauce! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Every single person has agreed. From the laid back response, “wow” to the, “oh my goodness, what is this? I love it!”

The response every single time I have placed a big bowl of this salad on the dinner table has overwhelmingly positive.

Broccoli Bacon Salad

One of the ingredients that makes this Broccoli Salad stand out from the rest is the addition of cooked bacon. I like to cook the bacon in the oven at the same time as the broccoli to save time and effort.

Once the broccoli and bacon are cooked, they’re tossed with fresh slices of mandarin orange, chopped red onion and mushrooms. 

Don’t let the mushrooms in this recipe scare you away! I’ve served this salad to two die-hard mushroom haters and both of them loved it. The mushrooms add no flavor to the finished salad, but they add a fantastic texture that you’re going to love.

I’ve been making this recipe for over 5 years now and when this salad is in the refrigerator, I truly can not resist it. I will eat it breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it is gone.

My kids know that they’d better grab some as soon as I make it, because after that, it’s my own personal salad stash and I honestly don’t love sharing it. Just call me a broccoli salad hoarder.

Honestly? I am completely fine with that.

Mandarin Broccoli Salad Recipe

Broccoli Salad Dressing

While the broccoli and bacon are cooking in the oven, whip up an easy homemade creamy salad dressing.

The dressing for this salad recipe may look complicated at first glance but I promise you it’s no more difficult than adding a few ingredients to a pan and stirring them together. Eggs, sweetener (I like honey or sugar), dry mustard and vinegar are cooked together to form a thick dressing.

Mayonnaise stirred into the dressing adds the last bit of tang and creaminess that helps tie all the flavors together. Once the dressing has cooled, simply toss the prepared vegetables and bacon together with the dressing and serve!

This Broccoli Salad Recipe might require slightly more hands-on cooking time than your average dinner salad but it still comes together in just about 30 minutes.

Serve a hearty bowl of it as a full meal or a smaller portion as a side dish. If you’re anything like me, however, you won’t be able to limit yourself to one serving!

The BEST Ever Broccoli Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Salad Recipes

For a light meal, this Spinach Pasta Salad is a great make-ahead lunch or dinner that we eat year round. Creamy Pecan Crunch Grape Salad is a side dish that will have your guests coming back for more. And this Confetti Salad with a Ginger Lime Dressing is my own list to try soon.
For more great salads, check out How To Eat Salad Every Day And Like It!
There is so much deliciousness in this broccoli salad!
Kitchen Tip: I use these pretty bowls to make and store this salad.

Best Broccoli Salad Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you are cooking the bacon in the oven with the broccoli, now is the time to start it. You can spread it out on a large baking tray covered in foil and place it in the cold oven as you preheat it. 18-22 minutes later it should be done. Keep a close eye on the bacon towards the end of the cooking time.

  2. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil lightly over the broccoli. Toss with your hands to coat. Spread out the broccoli in a single layer across a lightly greased or silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until barely beginning to brown on the edges. The broccoli should be a bright green with a bit of crunch remaining. Let the broccoli cool completely before combining with the other salad ingredients.

  3. Make the dressing next, it will need to cool before tossing with the rest of the salad. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk eggs, honey (or sugar), arrowroot and mustard. Add the vinegar and water and whisk again. Cook until slightly thickened, stirring almost constantly. Remove from the heat and add the mayonnaise. Cool.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled salad ingredients and then toss with the cooled dressing. This is delicious immediately, however it is even better after 3 or more hours rest in the refrigerator.

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Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Irresistible Broccoli Salad

Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad = The. Best. Salad. Ever. With crisp lightly roasted broccoli and savory bacon pieces, sweet oranges and tangy onion tossed in the slightly sweet dressing, this Mandarin Broccoli Salad will be on my favorites list for a long time.
Recipe adapted from and with thanks to A Pretty Life In The Suburbs
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients 

  • SALAD DRESSING:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey or white sugar both work well
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder cornstarch is fine as well
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise I made this both with and without the mayo and both versions were good. The final verdict was in favor of the mayo. It adds a tangy element to the dressing and we liked that.
  • SALAD:
  • 6 cups broccoli florets cut slightly smaller than bite size
  • 2 cups approximately 5 oz mushrooms, sliced thin and then cut in half, about 10-12 pieces per small button mushroom
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 10 slices bacon cooked and chopped small (I cook the bacon in the oven at the same time as the broccoli)
  • 4 mandarin oranges peeled and separated
  • 1/2 small red onion very thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If you are cooking the bacon in the oven with the broccoli, now is the time to start it. You can spread it out on a large baking tray covered in foil and place it in the cold oven as you preheat it. 18-22 minutes later it should be done. Keep a close eye on the bacon towards the end of the cooking time.
  • In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil lightly over the broccoli. Toss with your hands to coat. Spread out the broccoli in a single layer across a lightly greased or silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until barely beginning to brown on the edges. The broccoli should be a bright green with a bit of crunch remaining. Let the broccoli cool completely before combining with the other salad ingredients.
  • Make the dressing next, it will need to cool before tossing with the rest of the salad. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk eggs, honey (or sugar), arrowroot and mustard. Add the vinegar and water and whisk again. Cook until slightly thickened, stirring almost constantly. Remove from the heat and add the mayonnaise. Cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooled salad ingredients and then toss with the cooled dressing. This is delicious immediately, however it is even better after 3 or more hours rest in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 229kcal · Carbohydrates: 19g · Protein: 6g · Fat: 15g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 43mg · Sodium: 210mg · Potassium: 346mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 10g · Vitamin A: 536IU · Vitamin C: 49mg · Calcium: 40mg · Iron: 1mg
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{originally published 8/22/11 – recipe notes and photos updated 08/26/19}

Tasting is believing with this Mandarin Broccoli Salad - I promise that it's Irresistible! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Emily Hansen says

    Hello Mary!

    This salad definitely made me drool! I love your idea of combining sweet and savory ingredients in one bowl. I might try making this recipe over the weekend. By the way, what particular white wine vinegar did you use for the dressing?

  2. Ursula says

    I’m making this salad for tomorrow.
    Just wondering, should I add the dressing now, or tomorrow?
    Does it keep well in the fridge?

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