Costco Broccoli Salad Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

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By Dr. Leah Alexander | Published on October 3, 2023 | Last Updated on November 9, 2023

This delicious Costco broccoli salad recipe is a great way to get your family to eat more vegetables and enjoy a flavorful meal. Not only is it easy to make but it also comes together in just a few minutes. So, get your friends and family together to enjoy this delicious broccoli salad created with Costco’s own products.

We’ll guide you through all the necessary steps to make a tasty broccoli salad. We’ll also provide some helpful tips and tricks to make sure your salad is the perfect balance of crunchy and savory. So, let’s get started!

Costco Broccoli Salad Recipe

What is Costco broccoli salad?

Costco broccoli salad is a crowd-pleasing dish that is made with Costco’s pre-packaged broccoli florets, bacon bits, and mayonnaise dressing. The salad was created in the 1980s by a Costco employee who wanted to make a healthier version of regular salads. Over the years, it has become popular for its unique combination of flavors and ingredients, making it a favorite at potlucks, family gatherings, and dinner parties.

How did I first get introduced to the Costco broccoli salad?

I first discovered Costco broccoli salad at a potluck over 10 years ago. I was immediately drawn to the unique combination of flavors and texture. I took a bite of the salad and was immediately in love. The combination of crunchy broccoli florets with salty bacon bits and creamy mayonnaise dressing was the perfect balance of flavors. I savored every bite, and before I knew it, my plate was empty.

From that day on, I’ve been hooked on this delicious Costco broccoli salad. I have tried to recreate it at home and I have to say, it is really delicious!

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Ingredients that you’ll need

Broccoli florets: Being the main component of this salad, broccoli provides a wealth of nutrients including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It lends a fresh, crunchy texture that forms the base of this salad. Whether you’re using fresh or thawed from frozen, broccoli gives the salad its characteristic green vibrancy and healthful benefits.

Thinly sliced red onion: Red onions offer a sharp, slightly sweet taste that adds a layer of complexity to the salad. They’re also a great source of antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation. Their bright purple color adds visual appeal to the dish.

Raisins or dried cranberries: These add a hint of sweetness to balance out the savory and tangy flavors in the salad. They also provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The choice between raisins and cranberries can be based on personal preference, as both offer their unique flavors.

Sunflower seeds or chopped nuts: These give the salad a delightful crunch and are packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Sunflower seeds offer a mild, nutty flavor while nuts like almonds or walnuts can add a different taste profile. This added texture brings a pleasing contrast to the softer ingredients.

Cooked and crumbled bacon: While this is an optional ingredient, bacon adds a smoky, savory depth to the salad. The salty richness of bacon pairs well with the freshness of the broccoli and the sweetness of the raisins or cranberries.

Shredded cheddar cheese: Another optional ingredient, but cheese introduces a creamy, tangy element that binds all the other ingredients together. It enhances the overall flavor profile of the salad and adds a bit of indulgence.

Apple Cider Vinegar: This ingredient is key for its tangy flavor which balances out the richness of other ingredients. It also helps to slightly tenderize the broccoli, making it more palatable in a raw salad.

Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise acts as the base of the dressing, providing a creamy texture that coats each piece of broccoli and other ingredients. It also serves as a binder that brings all the flavors together.

Granulated Sugar or Honey: These sweeteners work to balance the tartness of the apple cider vinegar and the slight bitterness of the raw broccoli. They add a subtle sweetness that rounds out the overall flavor of the salad.

Salt and Pepper: These seasonings are essential in any dish to enhance the natural flavors of the ingredients. In this salad, they help to elevate the tastes of not just the broccoli, but the bacon, cranberries, and dressing as well.

How to make Costco broccoli salad?

Costco broccoli salad is a simple yet delicious dish that takes just minutes to prepare. Not only is it incredibly tasty, but it’s also full of nutrients and health benefits. The broccoli provides an abundance of vitamins, fiber, potassium, and iron; the bacon adds a smoky flavor; the herbs add richness and depth; while the cheese adds creaminess and indulgence.

The combination of all these ingredients makes a dish that’s both satisfying and nutritious. Plus, this salad is relatively low in calories, making it an excellent choice for those who are watching their weight.

Costco Broccoli Salad Copycat Recipe

Step-by-step directions

Step 1: Combine Salad Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, gather your salad ingredients. These include broccoli florets, thinly sliced red onion, and a choice of either raisins or cranberries, as well as sunflower seeds or chopped nuts. This forms the base of your broccoli salad.

Step 2: Prepare the Dressing

  • To make the dressing for your Costco broccoli salad-start by combining the mayonnaise, sugar or honey, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together until you achieve a creamy and smooth texture. Once blended, add a pinch of salt and pepper according to your taste. Finally, stir in the sour cream for added richness and tartness. The dressing is now ready to be used in your salad.

Step 3: Combine Dressing and Ingredients

  • Next, pour the freshly prepared dressing over the salad ingredients in the large bowl. Ensure that you coat all the ingredients evenly with the dressing. This step is essential for infusing the flavors of the dressing throughout the salad.

Step 4: Optional Additions

  • To elevate the salad even further, consider adding some optional ingredients. You can include cooked and crumbled bacon for a savory twist and shredded cheddar cheese for a creamy, cheesy note. Additionally, you can enhance the freshness with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, such as parsley or dill.

Step 5: Final Toss

  • With all the ingredients combined in the bowl, gently toss everything together. This step ensures that the dressing, optional ingredients, and fresh herbs are evenly distributed throughout the salad. The result is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Step 6: Serve the Salad

  • Your broccoli salad is now ready to be served. You can enjoy it chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference. The combination of flavors, from the crunchy broccoli to the sweet raisins or cranberries, and the creamy dressing, makes for a delightful and refreshing salad.

What does it taste like?

Costco broccoli salad is a delightful mix of flavors and textures. The combination of crunchy broccoli with sweet and chewy raisins or cranberries, salty bacon, herbaceous fresh herbs, and creamy dressing make for a unique flavor profile. It’s a dish that’s both comforting and nutritious, yet indulgent at the same time. Plus, you can customize the ingredients to suit your own tastes.


  • For best results, use freshly cut broccoli florets. If you’re using frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it completely before incorporating it into the salad.
  • Be careful not to overcook the bacon as this will turn it crisp and dry. You want a bit of chewiness without any excessive greasiness.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and mustard according to your tastes.
  • You can also add other ingredients such as diced bell peppers or chopped celery for additional crunch.
How to Make Costco Broccoli Salad

Nutrition Information

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What Ingredients Can I Replace or Substitute While Making It?

If you’re looking to make this Costco Broccoli Salad a bit healthier, there are several swaps and replacements you can make. For instance, instead of using mayonnaise for the dressing, try replacing it with Greek yogurt or an avocado-based sauce for a lighter option. You can also swap out the white sugar for honey or agave syrup as natural sweeteners. If you’re looking for a vegan option, simply omit the bacon and replace the cheddar cheese with a vegan alternative such as nutritional yeast.

These swaps will result in a broccoli salad that’s low in calories, full of nutrients and health benefits, and still satisfyingly flavorful. Remember to adjust the amount of ingredients according to your taste preferences.

What to serve with Costco broccoli salad?

Costco Broccoli Salad is a versatile dish that goes well with many other dishes. It can be served as a side for grilled or roasted meats such as steak, chicken, or pork chops. Alternatively, it pairs nicely with light sandwiches like tuna salad or turkey wraps. You can even serve it alongside some freshly cooked pasta or noodles for an easy and delicious dinner.

Additionally, it can also be served as an appetizer or snack. Simply cut the salad into smaller portions and serve with some crackers or a piece of toasted bread. Serve it alongside roasted or grilled meats, vegetables, and grains for a well-rounded meal. You can also serve this salad as part of a larger buffet spread or potluck.

How to store leftover Costco broccoli salad?

If you have any leftover Costco broccoli salad, the best way to store it is in an airtight container in the fridge. With proper storage, this salad can stay fresh and flavorful for up to five days. Make sure that you cover the salad with a lid or wrap before placing it in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the leftovers for up to two months. To do this, place the broccoli salad in a labeled freezer bag or airtight container. When you’re ready to enjoy it again, thaw the salad overnight in your fridge and serve at room temperature or chilled. While freezing and reheating won’t affect the flavor of this dish, it may slightly change the texture of some ingredients.

How to reheat Costco broccoli salad?

If you’re looking to reheat your leftover Costco broccoli salad, there are two easy and simple methods you can use. The first is to place the salad in an oven-safe dish and heat in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to the oven, you can warm it up on your stovetop. To do this, add the broccoli salad to a saucepan over low heat and stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes.

When reheating by either of these methods, it’s important to remember that the ingredients may take on a slightly different texture than when served cold.

How to Make Costco Broccoli Salad

Costco Broccoli Salad Recipe

This delicious Costco broccoli salad recipe is a great way to get your family to eat more vegetables and enjoy a flavorful meal. Not only is it easy to make but it also comes together in just a few minutes.
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Author: Dr. Leah Alexander
Course: Lunch
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Rest time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 321kcal


  • 3 cups of tender broccoli florets either fresh and vibrant or thawed from frozen, delivering a burst of verdant goodness to the dish.
  • 1/4 cup of plump raisins or dried cranberries providing a touch of natural sweetness that harmonizes with the savory elements.
  • A delightful 1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion imparting a subtle, tangy bite that complements the other flavors.
  • A generous 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds or finely chopped nuts lending a delightful crunch and earthy richness to each bite.
  • 1/4 cup of cooked and crumbled bacon can be added, For those seeking an indulgent twist infusing the dish with smoky and savory notes.
  • To elevate the flavor profile further consider sprinkling 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, melting into a velvety and creamy sauce that envelops the ingredients.


  • Mix Salad ingredients in a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, red onion, raisins or cranberries, sunflower seeds, or nuts.
  • Prepare the broccoli salad dressing as directed below. Drizzle it over the salad and toss to coat evenly.
  • Cover and chill the salad for at least 2 hours or overnight to melt the flavors.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature with your favorite crackers or chips!


  • For best results, use freshly cut broccoli florets. If you’re using frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it completely before incorporating it into the salad.
  • Be careful not to overcook the bacon as this will turn it crisp and dry. You want a bit of chewiness without any excessive greasiness.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and mustard according to your tastes.
  • You can also add other ingredients such as diced bell peppers or chopped celery for additional crunch.
Keyword: Costco Broccoli Salad Recipe


Q1. Can I make Costco broccoli salad ahead of time?

A1. Yes, you can certainly make this broccoli salad ahead of time. To do so, simply prepare the ingredients according to the recipe instructions and combine them in a bowl or other airtight container. Cover it and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving. When ready to serve, just toss everything together and enjoy.

Q2. Can I use frozen broccoli for this salad?

A2. Yes, you can certainly use frozen broccoli for this salad. To do so, make sure to thaw it completely before incorporating it into the recipe instructions. Frozen broccoli may be slightly more watery than fresh, so you may want to adjust the amount of dressing slightly.

Q3. Can I replace the cheddar cheese with another type of cheese?

A3. Absolutely! You can customize this recipe to your own taste preferences and use any type of cheese you like. For instance, try replacing it with a milder variety such as mozzarella or feta. You could even try a more flavorful option such as blue cheese or goat cheese if you’d like.

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking to switch up your salad routine, why not give this Costco broccoli salad a go? This salad is a delicious and nutritious dish perfect for any occasion. From its crunchy texture to its sweet and savory flavor, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering or potluck. With the ability to customize it with different ingredients, you can make it your own while still keeping that classic Costco flavor. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!

Also, please share your feedbacks and ideas for customizing this salad in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Author Profile

Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own six-year-old catering company and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.

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