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Kalyn's Kitchen

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (Video)

Low-Carb Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad is a classic I’d never get tired of, and this favorite broccoli salad with bacon, cheese, and pecans is also low-glycemic, gluten-free, and kid-friendly! Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click here to PIN this Low-Carb Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad!

Watch the video to see if you might like to make Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

Mother’s Day is this weekend, so it seems like a good time to remind you of this favorite Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad that’s perfect for any kind of party or holiday. I wonder sometimes why certain recipes become classics that people make over and over, and this is definitely one of those recipes everyone loves. I’ve been making Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (and improving the recipe) for more than ten years now, and I think this version is the best one yet!

Through the years I experimented with different sweeteners, used more or less bacon, switched raisins for pecans, and even tried a version where the broccoli was finely chopped (which was really good, if you prefer that variation.) These days I make the yummy mayo-based dressing for this salad with mostly Granulated Stevia and just a little brown sugar for great flavor and a dressing that’s still really low in carbs, but if you’re limiting carbs too strictly to use even that small amount of brown sugar, use any sweetener of your choice in your Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad!

I love the ingredients you see here for this ever-popular broccoli salad, but feel free to experiment with other variations to the recipe as well. No matter how you change this up, I don’t think there can ever be a bad version of this salad!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

That’s my favorite 8-Cup glass measuring cup full of cut up broccoli; if your broccoli is even the tiniest bit limp crisp it in ice water in the salad spinner and spin dry. Crisp bacon in the microwave, blot off fat, and then coarsely chop. Chop up red onion and pecans and measure out the cheese.

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

Combine mayo, vinegar, sweeteners of your choice, Spike seasoning, salt, and pepper to make the flavorful dressing. (I used to make this with a combination of sweetener and a little brown sugar, but now I use only Golden Monkfruit Sweetener for this salad.) Put broccoli in a bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat; then gently stir in the onion, bacon, and cheese.

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad can be chilled or served right away. This salad will keep in the fridge for a day or two, but you might want to stir in a little more dressing to refresh the flavors.

More Tasty Salad Recipes with Broccoli:

Easy Thai-Flavored Raw Broccoli Salad with Red Onion, Mint, and Peanuts ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
5-Minute Broccoli Kale Slaw ~ Valerie’s Kitchen
Easy Broccoli and Radish Low-Carb Salad with Gorgonzola ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Stem Noodles with Ginger-Sesame Dressing ~ All Day I Dream About Food
Barely-Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Broccoli Salad with Pineapple, Bacon, and Spiced Pecans ~ The View from Great Island

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad

This favorite Sweet and Sour Broccoli is a recipe I’ve been making (and improving the recipe) for years!



  • 8 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small flowerets and stems chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into slices and then 1/4 inch dice (or use thinly sliced green onion if you’re not a raw onion fan)
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked very crisp, fat blotted off, and then crumbled
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used Four Cheese Blend from Costco; I think this would be quite good without the cheese too.)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 3 T rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C sweetener of your choice (or use a combination of sweetener with a little brown sugar if you prefer)
  • 2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional, but it does add a nice flavor here)
  • salt/pepper to taste


  1. Chop broccoli flowerets and stems into small pieces; then wash in salad spinner and spin dry. (If the broccoli is even the tiniest bit limp, let broccoli sit in the salad spinner with cold water and ice for about 5 minutes to crisp it before you spin it dry.)
  2. Cook the bacon until it’s very crisp, then blot on both sides with paper towels to remove as much fat as possible. (I use Costco pre-cooked bacon and then crisp it in the microwave.) Crumble the bacon.
  3. Chop onion into small pieces and coarsely chop pecans.
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl or glass measuring cup, mixing with a wire whisk.
  5. Put the chopped broccoli in a large salad bowl.  Add desired amount of dressing and stir to coat the broccoli. (You may not want all the dressing depending on how wet you prefer your salad. Extra dressing is great on cabbage.)
  6. Gently fold in chopped onion, pecans, and cheese. Salad can be refrigerated for a few hours before serving.
  7. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but you may want to add a tablespoon or two of extra dressing after it’s been refrigerated.


I used to make this with a combination of sweetener and a little brown sugar, but now I use only Golden Monkfruit Sweetener for this salad. This recipe adapted from many sources, with changes by Kalyn through the years!

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Low-Carb Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad has mostly broccoli, which is a very low-glycemic and low-carb ingredient. I use Golden Monkfruit sweetener, which is a zero carb sweetener. If you’re making this for the South Beach Diet they would prefer turkey bacon and low-fat mayo and cheese; other low-carb diets would prefer full-fat ingredients.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Low-Carb Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com

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41 comments on “Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (Video)”

  1. I made this a few days ago. It is soo good. I love the sweet and sour taste. I will be making this again. I wish I made more

  2. I love broccoli salads. I always blanch/shock the broccoli for about 3-4 seconds, just enough to set the bright green color and eliminate that raw taste. I sub dried cranberries when raisins are called for, almonds when the dressing has sesame oil, and toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) instead of sunflower seeds in others.

  3. I had been eating a broccoli salad from a local deli. It was good but loaded with raisins which I did not care for. I was happy to see your recipe and tried it the other day. I used swerve for the sweetener and a little Splenda brown sugar. It came out delicious! Love that dressing. I love looking through your recipes and always look forward to seeing something new. Thanks!

  4. This does sound good. I never add the sugar called for in recipes and I bet if you tried it, you wouldn't either. I find that a tasty recipe doesn't need it. Of course, recipes that call for a lot of sugar don't make it into my recipe box in the first place.

    • That's an interesting idea, but in this case where there is quite a bit of vinegar in the dressing I doubt it would work without some kind of sweetener to balance it out. I do agree completely though that lots of recipes seem to have sugar that's not needed and I often do just leave it out.

  5. Read some research recently that steaming broccoli 3-4 minutes makes
    some of its healthy ingredients more accessible to the body. Will
    try that with the salad.

  6. The only trick I know for chopping broccoli is to cut flowerets from the stems (I save the stems), and then cut partway through the stem part and pull it apart through the head so you're not actually chopping through the broccoli flower part. That keeps it so it doesn't make a big mess. I just chop with a big knife, doing that over and over until it's all chopped.

  7. Could you share instructions or video on how you chopped your broccoli? I can never get past the florets. Recipe sounds yummy…will try soon! Thx.

  8. I'm skeptical about using all Greek yogurt, but I think a mix of Greek yogurt and mayo might be good.

  9. Hi Kalyn. I've always loved this salad! What do you think it would taste like if you subbed out the mayo and used fat free Greek yogurt in it's place? I might give that a try just to see. It would lighten the recipe even more.

  10. Sarah, thanks and so glad you are enjoying the blog!

  11. I stumbled across your blog yesterday from a pin on pinterest and I'm loving it! I've been searching for hot weather friendly side dishes and salads and yo have so many! Made this today and love it! My husband loves this type of broccoli salad. This has the perfect amount of dressing. I usually don't like broccoli salad because it's drowning in a heavy dressing. Not this one! It's perfect!

  12. It really is Kalyn…..and the pine nuts really make it stand out IMHO. 🙂

  13. Barb, I love the idea of using pine nuts! Isn't it interesting how different the salad is with the broccoli cut smaller?

  14. I've been making this salad for years, but started cutting the broc in smaller pieces after having it in a restaurant in San Diego called Lots of Pasta…..it's their house signature salad. I also copied their idea of using toasted pine nuts in it. I had a Japanese student live w/me for a year and she LOVED this salad….we now call it Rina's Salad after her. 🙂

  15. This is lovely. i am calling someone to see this… plus i am hungry…

  16. This is a wonderful salad. I have been making it for years. I agree that cutting up the broccoli into small pieces seems to make it taste better because the dressing can coat it much better…but your earlier picture with the larger pieces of broccoli looks so much prettier. I like to add craisins to mine.

  17. Lydia, fun indeed. And I'm guessing you would like this version, even without the bacon!

  18. I'm not crazy about raw broccoli, so I think I'd love this version 2.0 salad with the broccoli cut much smaller. Isn't it fun to take an old favorite recipe and make it even better?

  19. Sarah, so glad you liked it. It's funny you just commented, because over the weekend I had a version of this salad where the broccoli was finely chopped (stems and all) and I loved it! I'm going to update this post with that option soon.

  20. It seems like all I want to eat lately is broccoli salad–I make one version or another once a day. This one is my new favorite. I only made one change and that was using half reduced fat mayonnaise/half reduced fat sour cream. I didn't get a chance to dig into it until just now……..and BOY, is it GOOD! Slightly sweet because of the agave nectar with the perfect amount of dressing, bacon and cheese combined with the broccoli. AMAZING!

  21. I LOVE THIS SALAD!!! Seriously, I make a big batch and take it for lunch at work for the week or as a side with my dinner. I use fat free smoked turkey breast & fat free smoked ham instead of bacon and toasted pine nuts. DELICIOUS! I love this blog too. I just started south beach and I can feel the changes already.

  22. Hey Kalyn – I bought some agave nectar for the first time recently and am really enjoying it! I thought it would be hard to find or expensive or hard to use, but it’s not. (Whole Foods, less than $8) It’s similar to a thin honey but has a slightly different taste. I’ve noticed a lot of vegan blogs and cookbooks call for agave nectar instead of sugar (which is sometimes filtered through an animal-based charcoal) and honey (bees=animals.) Vegan concerns aside, it’s nice to have a natural sweetner (I REALLY dislike the taste of artificial sweetners) that tastes yummy and has a low glycemic index. I’ve been making sweet iced tea with it all summer!

  23. This is a new product for me but it sounds really great! I’ll have to pick some up next time. Thanks for the heads up Kalyn!

  24. Sounds interesting. I use agave nectar in baking. Haven’t yet tried it in an uncooked or savoury recipe though. I’ll have to give this one a try.

  25. Joe, thanks for letting me know about the calories in Splenda. I think I’m always looking at the amount in a tablespoon, which is pretty small! Will edit that in the post.

    Butcher Block, thanks for visiting. Hope you like the recipe.

    Great big vegetable challenge, I think it’s getting to be pretty widely available.

  26. Kalyn
    I have never tried out agave nectar but will now be looking for it.
    Great suggestion…

  27. I will have to try out this recipe, it looks good!

  28. Always looking for new ways to use broccoli! Great recipe. Also a quick note about Splenda – it isn’t exactly calorie free (close enough tough…) as there are 96 calories per cup.

  29. Raji, I really liked it. I think it’s pretty versatile.

    Katie, me too on the lack of baking. This could be used anywhere you might use sugar, so it’s great for people like me who don’t want any sugar at all.

    Deb, I’ll check it out since I’m definitely going to be experimenting with substituting it for sugar in lots of things.

    Christine, it’s a liquid slightly thinner than honey and with some of the same coating properties. Really delicious tasting.

    Tanna, the sunflower seeds get soggy when this is kept in the fridge, so I was just experimenting. (Also I was out of sunflower seeds!) Sunflower seeds are the usual thing used in the salad, so use them if you like them better.

    Dani, thanks. My brother Rand does the headers, and he’s incredibly multi-talented!

    Kelly, I bet it’s in every store there! I can tell this will be a routine pantry item for me from now on.

    Sher, I bet you’d like it. As I said, the flavor is great!

  30. Well, that’s a fabulous recipe. It looks so pretty and has so many of the things I love to eat in it. And I will look for the Agave Nectar.

  31. We have agave all over the place out here in Tucson and I’m always looking for ways to incorporate local ingredients. Thanks for the tip!

  32. just wanted to mention that I love the new picture on your banner…so fun!!

  33. Kalyn why the sub of pecans for sunflower seeds? I tend to like sunflower seeds more than pecans. The salad seems wonderful. Haven’t ever heard of thhe agave nectar.

  34. This recipe sounds just excellent, no matter how you sweeten it. I have never heard of agave nectar and I’m intrigued. I assume from its name iti s a liquid?

  35. I’ve never heard of it! It does sound like it would be good!
    I use so little sugar that I really never think about!
    I only bake at Christmas and rarely have anythng but fruit for a sweet.

  36. Thanks for blogging about Agave Nectar. I am going to pick some up when I go to Henry’s next time. I am constantly trying to find ways to cut back on sugar in the family and use honey as a substitute in some recipes. I am looking forward to try out Agave Nectar to see how it can be used.

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