Broccoli Pasta Salad is very easy to make and combines both delicious flavors and interesting textures. Crunchy broccoli and bacon are combined with tender pasta and a creamy dressing. It makes eating your veggies a breeze!
And you like cold pasta salads, like the Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, this salad is for you. It works as a side salad for dinner, a satisfying lunch salad, and holds up great on any buffet table.
Ingredients for the Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Red Onion
- Green Grapes
- Dried Cranberries (optional)
- Sour Cream
- Apple Cider Vinegar. White Wine Vinegar or lemon juice works, too.
- Granulated Sugar Or your favorite alternative sweetener.
How to make Broccoli Pasta Salad
Begin by making some crispy bacon. I like to cook it in the oven because it's the least messy method to cook bacon! And this cooking method produces crispy bacon - every single time!
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cook the bacon for 15 to 18 minutes (or until it looks crispy).
- Remove the bacon from the oven, dab with paper towels to remove the excess fat and let it air dry for a couple of minutes.
- Chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions. If the instructions give a range of time (i.e. 8-10 minutes), stay on the lower end of that recommendation. Al dente pasta works best in cold pasta salads. Once cooked, chill the pasta with cold water.
Fruit And Veggies
- While the pasta is cooking, cut the broccoli into small bite-sized pieces.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- Cut the green grapes in half.
Most of the time, I don't cook fresh broccoli because we like that extra bit of crunch.
But if you like broccoli to be softer, simply add the broccoli into the boiling pasta water for about one minute right before the pasta is done. This cuts down on pot clean-up!
This dressing couldn't be more simple.
- Combine sour cream and mayonnaise and whisk until smooth.
- Add apple cider vinegar and sugar.
Note: If you don't have apple cider vinegar on hand, use fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
Putting it All Together
Now it's time to put the salad together.
- Use a large salad bowl to and combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, onion, grapes, and bacon. Add the creamy dressing and toss until everything is well combined.
More Simple and Delicious Salads
If you like the Broccoli Pasta salad, then you'll want to check out these recipes because they are very simple to make but look and taste like they took hours.
- Traditional Tuna Salad with a Twist
- Classic Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Simple Butternut Squash Salad
- Kale and Blueberry Salad
Can You Make The Broccoli Pasta Salad The Day Before?
Yes. This salad will keep perfectly overnight. Unlike a leafy salad, the ingredients of the Broccoli Pasta Salad will hold up great.
If you plan to store this dish for a second meal, keep some bacon set aside so that it stays crispy. When you are ready to serve the leftovers, simply add those crispy bacon pieces.
How long does cold pasta salad last in the fridge?
Cold pasta salad can last up to 5 days in the fridge. And while you can certainly do that, I recommend enjoying this salad within the first two days.
And if your house is anything like ours, you don't have to worry about leftovers if bacon is involved.
Can you heat up cold pasta salad?
You could quickly put the salad into the microwave. But I prefer to take it out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before we eat. This way you allow the cold pasta salad to slowly rise to room temperature.
And if you are going to warm it up in the microwave, do it for a few seconds. Just to take the chill out.
How to store cold pasta salad like the broccoli pasta salad?
Glass storage containers like these work best. They are more environmentally friendly than plastic and you don't have to worry about unwanted plastic substances leaking into your leftovers. I have slowly started to replace all plastic food storage containers.
But if you prefer plastic containers, I've used this brand for years and the containers have held up very well. They are also BPA-free.
Broccoli Pasta Salad
- 4 cups pasta fusilli or penne pasta works great
- 4 cups broccoli
- 2 cups green grapes
- ¼ cup dried cranberries *optional
- ½ cup red onion
- 6 slices bacon
- Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
- Bake the bacon for 15-18 minutes or until crispy. After the bacon is cooked, chop it into small pieces. Set aside.
- Boil water and cook the pasta according the instructions. Once cooked run cold water over the pasta. Set aside
- Chop the broccoli into small pieces, halve the grapes, and dice the red onion.
- For the dressing, combine the sour cream, mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Combine cooked pasta, bacon, broccoli, grapes, cranberries, and red onions in a large salad bowl.
- Drizzle dressing over the salad and combine will. Enjoy