Broccoli Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing

This Broccoli Salad Recipe with creamy lemon dressing is one of the first and most loved recipes on my blog; an oldie but a goodie!

Broccoli Apple Salad is loaded with crunchy broccoli, crisp apples, chewy craisins, and toasted pecans. The creamy dressing brings everything together and it just works.

Broccoli salad with apples in serving bowl

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Broccoli Salad Video

Watch Natasha make this easy Broccoli Salad. I hope you’re inspired to make and experience it for yourself! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our Youtube Cooking Channel and click on the bell icon so you’ll know every time we post a new video.

This Broccoli Apple Salad is my Mama-in-laws that has been a family favorite for years. All of the flavors work really well together. It also refrigerates really well overnight even after stirring in the dressing.

Broccoli Salad dressed with a creamy lemon dressing up close in serving bowl with broccoli, pecans, craisins, carrots, onion and apple

Ingredients for Broccoli Salad

This salad has a shortlist of ingredients but each is important for that It’s sweet, tart, and crisp flavor profile.

  • Broccoli – we used 2 medium heads or about 1 lb of fresh broccoli.
  • Carrot – should be peeled and grated or sliced on a julienne slicer
  • Apple – any crisp, sweet apple will work
  • Onion – use 1/4 cup finely chopped. Yellow, sweet onion or red onion will work
  • Walnuts – toast on a skillet until fragrant and golden. You can substitute with pecans
  • Dried Cranberries – craisins add a sweet tangy bite to the salad. You can substitute it with raisins.
Broccoli Salad Ingredients with broccoli, apple, carrots, onion, nuts, craisins

The Best Creamy Dressing

This creamy lemon salad dressing combines real mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh squeezed lemon juice, sugar salt, and pepper. The sour cream lightens up this creamy dressing and the lemon adds a vibrant fresh flavor.

Creamy salad dressing ingredients

How to Make Broccoli Salad

  1. Toast walnuts on a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. Combine salad ingredients – place all of your sliced, shredded and chopped salad ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  3. Make Dressing – stir together the salad dressing ingredients, adding lemon juice and sugar to taste.
  4. Toss and Serve – Add dressing to the salad to taste and stir until well coated in dressing.
Prepared ingredients for making broccoli salad

Common Questions

Can you eat raw broccoli?

It isn’t necessary at all to cook the broccoli in this salad and broccoli eaten raw is more nutritious. We also love the crunchiness and vibrant color it adds to the salad. When the florets are cut small, they are easy to chew and so satisfying!

Can I cook the broccoli?

Some readers have shared good results with blanch the broccoli to soften it a bit. If you blanch the broccoli, just be sure it is chilled and patted dry before adding to the salad.

Can I use broccoli stems in salad?

Broccoli stems can be used in salad and we often do include them. Use a potato peeler to peel away the tough fibrous outer layer of the stem before using.

Can I substitute the sugar?

To make this a paleo broccoli salad, you can substitute the sugar with honey, adding it to taste.

How to serve broccoli salad recipe with apples, pecans and craisins


This broccoli salad refrigerates well so if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it will still be delicious the next day. Be sure to cover tightly and refrigerate. The lemon dressing preserves the apples and slows down the browning process.

More Broccoli Recipes to Explore

Broccoli Apple salad is perfect for potlucks, BBQs, picnics, you name it. This salad has been well-loved by our family and readers for years and I hope it becomes a favorite for you as well.

Broccoli Salad Recipe with Creamy Lemon Dressing (VIDEO)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Broccoli Salad in a bowl

The ORIGINAL Broccoli Salad Recipe – loaded with broccoli, apples, craisins, and pecans, and tossed in a creamy lemon dressing. A must-try potluck favorite!

Author: Natasha Kravchuk

Skill Level:


Cost to Make:



broccoli salad




Salad, Side Dish

Calories: 349 kcal

Servings: 6 as a side salad

Ingredients for Broccoli Salad Recipe:

  • 2
    medium broccoli heads
    (about 1 lb)
  • 1
    large carrot
    grated or julienned
  • 1
    cored and chopped
  • 1/2
    small red onion
    (1/4 cup thinly sliced)
  • 1/2
    pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2
    craisins or raisins

Ingredients for Creamy Lemon Dressing:

  1. Toast walnuts or pecans over medium/ high heat, tossing them occasionally so they don’t burn. Heat about 4-5 minutes then transfer to a cutting board and coarsley chop.

  2. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces, grate carrot, chop the apple and thinly slice onion, and transfer into a salad bowl. Add toasted pecans and dried raisins or cranberries.

  3. To make the creamy dressing, combine: mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sugar (to taste), salt and pepper. Mix well.

  4. Add dressing to taste or use the full amount like we do and toss to combine.

Nutrition Facts

Broccoli Salad Recipe with Creamy Lemon Dressing (VIDEO)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 349
Calories from Fat 216

% Daily Value*

Fat 24g37%

Saturated Fat 5g31%

Cholesterol 17mg6%

Sodium 305mg13%

Potassium 779mg22%

Carbohydrates 30g10%

Fiber 7g29%

Sugar 16g18%

Protein 7g14%

Vitamin A 3110IU62%

Vitamin C 185.5mg225%

Calcium 129mg13%

Iron 1.9mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This broccoli salad recipe was originally published in 2010 and here is the original photo. Thank you for making this salad famous with all of your fantastic reviews, and for sharing this recipe with the people you love!

This broccoli apple salad with crisp apples, walnuts and creamy lemon dressing has been a family favorite for years. All of the flavors work really well together. The best Broccoli Salad! |

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