Aunt Patty’s Broccoli Salad

My mom called me last week raving about some weird salad she’d made. She rattled off the ingredients and I thought, Hm. Nope. because they were just so .. odd. And unappetizing, really. But I played nice, saying, “Sounds lovely!” or something else misleading enough to make her think that I wanted her to make some for me.

She called me on Monday and said, “Well, I’m cooking today! I’ve got a large batch of that broccoli salad for you to try!”

Ooooookay. Guess I’ve got to put my compliments where my mouth is.

When I stopped by to pick up the 2 qt container, she convinced me to try a small ramekin of the salad that she had put aside. I looked at it, all weird and mix-ey looking, and hesitated. Okay, hesitated may be a bit bold because I really will try any food once. So I took a small spoonful and swallowed.

Then proceeded to inhale the rest of the ramekin.

And have eaten it for lunch every day this week. And sometimes dinner.

.. I’m a fan of this salad, is what I’m saying here.

This recipe came from my Aunt Patty, which is awesome because she – like myself and my sister – is dairy-free. She’s also gluten-free after discovering an intolerance. So you know that any recipe that comes from her will involve real food AND will leave out stuff I can’t have. Also, it’s usually incredibly good.

I know. You’re going to read this list of ingredients and shudder. It’s alright. I didn’t get it at first pass, either. And if you’re on the fence about broccoli, I will say that you don’t taste much of the broccoli. It’s almost entirely included for texture. This is a great salad to make on a Sunday night and then munch on through the week.

Aunt Patty’s Broccoli Salad


  • 2 heads broccoli (cut and chopped down to mostly florets, and you can mix broccoli & cauliflower)
  • 1/2 C raisins (my mother used dried cherries as well for nutritional goodness)
  • 1 C grated cheese (veggie shreds work well in this salad)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
  • 1/4 C purple onion, minced (I think we used sweet onion on this, because I pretty much detest onion)


  • 1 C Mayo
  • 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 C sugar (or equal mix sugar/splenda or sugar/honey or agave or whatever)

Mix all the salad stuff together. Mix all the dressing stuff together. Combine. Refrigerate for however long you want. It only gets better with time.

21 Responses to Aunt Patty’s Broccoli Salad

  1. Leandra February 16, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    You had me up until raisins, but I think I’ll sub in dried cranberries instead. Sounds delish and I can’t wait to try it!
    Leandra wants you to read ..A little more grace….

    • Diana February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      oo…i bet cranberries would be really good! I always add walnuts though with anything cranberry…I wonder how that would taste.
      Diana wants you to read ..My Pregnancy “Must Have” List

      • Sarah Lena February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am #

        For what it’s worth, I doubt anything would be BAD in this salad.

  2. Jessie February 16, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I love broccoli salad! It’s one of the “church lady” salads that I’ve been craving lately, so named because it used to be at all the church gatherings my family would attend. I made a different church lady salad this week – the 7 layer salad. You layer lettuce, celery, onion, peas, mayonaise, cheese, and bacon in a casserole dish. That’s it, and it’s fantastic for some unexplainable reason.

  3. Diana February 16, 2012 at 10:59 am #


    Bacon, Broccoli and raisins? DONE. I have most of this stuff in my fridge right now….GOLD!
    Diana wants you to read ..My Pregnancy “Must Have” List

  4. BrownBabys February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    We left out the onions as even sweet onions overpowered the salad. Any dried fruit will work. The first time I made the salad I used craisins.

    Also, Aunt Patty adds the dressing right before she serves it but I just mixed it all together. Jenni said Michael REALLY LOVED this salad…. Go figure. xx

    • Susan Lowery February 16, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      My favorite salad!! I use the Cranraisins as well.

  5. Katie February 16, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    So far in this life, I only eat broccoli when it is cooked and smothered in a sauce. But maybe if I chopped it up really, really small…..the rest of it sounds delicious!!

    • Sarah Lena February 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      You totally don’t have to trust me, but I really don’t taste broccoli in this. Granted, the CRUNCH of broccoli is there .. and it’s kind of unmistakable .. but if you can eat cauliflower? You probably can handle this. (You could sub all cauliflower if the mood strikes you!)

  6. Julie February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I have made this omitting the onions and adding chopped pecans and it is fabulous. I totally need to make it again.

  7. Temerity Jane February 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Sarah, I like you and I trust you and I think you’re awesome, but… no. Nope. No. Just… no. I couldn’t. Nope. No.
    Temerity Jane wants you to read ..By request – PJs at TJ’s recaps

  8. PinkieBling February 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I am definitely trying this!

  9. Michelle February 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    This is one of my favorite dishes of all time. I don’t get it very often but when I do, inhale it.
    Michelle wants you to read ..Ragamuffins

    • Sarah Lena February 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

      It has now made my list, that’s FOR SURE. So, so good. And never feels heavy on your stomach, even if you eat .. too .. much of it.
      Sarah Lena wants you to read ..Aunt Patty’s Broccoli Salad

  10. Jessica February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Broccoli salad is great, one of my favorites! I don’t think I’ve ever had it with cheese though, I might have to try that next time!
    Jessica wants you to read ..What I’ve been reading

  11. Michelle Smiles February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I love this salad (minus the raisins). I make it every summer for picnics at my MIL’s request. Maybe it is a northern thing and that is why it seems so odd to you? Now I want some.
    Michelle Smiles wants you to read ..Resolution(ish)

    • Sarah Lena February 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      You know, now that you say that – it might be that my southern nature is why I don’t know this. We typically shy away from anything involving mayo as a dressing because it turns in the heat.

  12. Michelle Smiles February 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Oh and i always put in sunflower seeds.
    Michelle Smiles wants you to read ..Resolution(ish)

  13. LizzieV February 17, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    I’m SO glad you posted the recipe! Someone brought it to the MMO Christmas party, and it was SO good! I didn’t realize it was that simple. My mom makes a similar salad of just shredded carrots and raisins (and sometimes diced apples) and mayo. Bet even that would be better with bacon!
    LizzieV wants you to read ..Another One BITES the Dust


  1. Sneaky Aunt Patty | The Anvil Tree - July 31, 2012

    […] guys know Aunt Patty because she makes THE BEST BROCCOLI SALAD KNOWN TO MAN, but there is so much more to her. Mostly, this: she is the sweetest, most kind soul that has ever […]

Leave a Reply