Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese

Where I come from, this salad is called Piggly Wiggly Salad, or just Piggly Wiggly. In my family, we never confuse the salad with the grocery store.

This easy, delicious salad is full of fresh broccoli, cauliflower, red onions, a full pound of bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.

All of that is smothered in a 3-ingredient dressing that is creamy, sweet, and tangy all at once.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese, aka Piggly Wiggly Salad, is a party and potluck favorite from the Midwest topped with sweet and creamy dressing.

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Easy Broccoli and Cauliflower Prep

To cut down on the potentially daunting task of preparing 4 cups each of broccoli and cauliflower, I used a single 2-pound bag of broccoli and cauliflower florets from my local grocery store’s produce area. I still did a little chopping to make the florets bite-sized, but it was fast, easy work. I even had enough broccoli leftover to make this delicious pasta salad.

A cautionary tale: One time I tried to chop my broccoli and cauliflower in a food processor. The finely ground veggies were still tasty, but the salad looked all wrong. You can do it, but you don’t really save THAT much time. In my opinion? Not worth it.

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese, aka Piggly Wiggly Salad, is a party and potluck favorite from the Midwest topped with sweet and creamy dressing.

Easy Dressing Prep

The dressing is super simple too: Mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip), sugar, and vinegar. That’s it. Whisk it all together and pour it over the top, and you’re good to go!

A word on the dressing: This recipe makes A LOT of dressing. Probably more than you need… but this is how Mom makes it! If calories or sugar or fat has ever crossed your mind, you can easily get away with making just half the dressing. You’ll still have plenty.

Easy Bacon Prep

You can also use the pre-cooked, pre-crumbled bacon (as long as it’s the REAL stuff, no crunchies!). I substituted 8 ounces and the salad had plenty of bacon. The nice thing about this salad (and salads in general) is you can really just make it up as you go along. Want more bacon? Add more bacon.

Be prepared to hand out the recipe at your next party. Unless you are in the Midwest, then your guests probably already have it!

5 from 19 votes

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese, aka Piggly Wiggly Salad, is a party and potluck favorite from the Midwest topped with sweet and creamy dressing.
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword bacon, broccoli, cheese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 207kcal
  • 4 cups bite-sized broccoli florets from 2 bunches
  • 4 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets from 1 head
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound bacon fried and crumbled (see notes)
  • 1 cup red onion diced
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (see notes)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • In a large bowl, combine broccoli, cauliflower, onion, cheese, and bacon. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Pour mayonnaise mixture over the salad ingredients and toss well until evenly coated.

Recipe Notes

  1. Feel free to substitute 1 cup of real bacon crumbles (the pre-cooked ones from the store) instead of cooking and crumbling bacon yourself.
  2. This recipe make A LOT of dressing (that's the way Mom makes it!). If you count calories, consider using half the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar for a smaller amount of dressing overall.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal

 

 

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  1. Kelley J Spruce

    Can i make this a day ahead

    1. meggan

      Hi Kelley, yes! If you have any reservations at all, prep all the ingredients and keep them in the fridge, and mix up the sauce and store in separately. And you can throw it all together at the last minute. But I’ve made it a day ahead many times… not to mention eaten leftovers days after… without issue. Everything holds up really well. Good luck! -Meggan

  2. what about sugar exchanges…Diabetes…for the sugar…

    1. meggan

      Hi Carol, I am not a registered dietitian so I don’t really have any expertise around sugar exchanges for diabetics. I am so sorry about that! My initial thought, which is probably horrible, is that you could maybe substitute something like Splenda so you don’t even have to worry about the sugar exchanges. I don’t know how much you need, but I think it’s sweeter than sugar so you could just try 1/4 cup at a time and see what you like. I am sorry I can’t help more, this is probably a terrible answer, but thanks for your question and best of luck. -Meggan

  3. Paula

    This has become a family and extended family favorite. We have it at every family get together! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Hi Paula, I’m so glad that it’s a family favorite with you! Thank you! :D -Meggan

  4. vicki kmiecik

    Love this, I also add dried cranberries5 stars

  5. Sara

    I substituted Zevia for the sugar to make it low carb. Was fabulous.5 stars

  6. Catherine

    Awesome and easy recipe! I added roasted and salted sunflower seeds to the salad, didn’t tweak the dressing because it’s the perfect blend of tangy sweet. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Yes, salted sunflower seeds are SO GOOD here. Well I feel like, generally the recipe is either bacon + cheese or sunflower seeds + raisins. Everything else is the same. The raisins might be weird with cheese and bacon, but sunflower seeds certainly are not. Glad you enjoyed it! Thank you Catherine!

  7. Breeze

    This is really good =) We make it with swiss cheese as well as cheddar. And do a dressing with mayo, half & half or cream, apple cider vinegar & sugar. You can buy cauliflower pre-diced up now (“riced”) since people are so into using it in replacement recipes!5 stars

    1. meggan

      Thank you so much Breeze! And yes to the cauliflower rice, that is basically the most useful thing ever. I love the idea of a creamier dressing with the half and half too. Thanks and I’m glad you like it!

  8. Mary Parent

    We have a dairy sensitive family member, so I substituted halved grapes for the cheese, and Apple cider vinegar was all we had…but wow, your recipe is yummy!  I bet even better with the cheese… thank you so much!5 stars

  9. Ellie Kovell

    Hi Meggan , Hmmm sunflower seeds sound really good. A little nutty salty flavor with added crunch! I will give that a try, thanks have a great weekend. Easter dinners at 3, LOL!

  10. Ellie

    This is a really good recipe. I love all the flavors together and sometimes I put in white raisins ,maybe about three quarter cup. Some people don’t like raisins but I find it a very nice variation to use. This will be a perfect little salad on a few leaves of lettuce for my Easter dinner! Yum🦆🐣🌷🌷5 stars

    1. meggan

      I agree with you on raisins! Well, normally I either do the bacon/cheese combination OR raisins and sunflower seeds (the shelled ones). But yes. So good. I’m glad you like the recipe, and what time should I report for Easter dinner? LOL Just kidding! Have a great weekend Ellie.

  11. Gloria

    Can I substitute poppyseed dressing for the mayo/vinegar/sugar concoction?

    1. meggan

      Hi Gloria, yes of course! You probably have a recipe in mind, but I have a great poppyseed dressing on my blog too if you need ideas. But yes, update the recipe however you see fit! Thanks.

  12. Pamela Ray

    Just finished making this w/o cauliflower. Used small container of plain Greek yogurt instead of all the mayo (only used about 2 Tbsp mayo), red wine vinegar, & about 1/4c spicy brown mustard, with a scant 1/2c white sugar. This turned out amazing!!!! Best broccoli salad ever! BTW, this is also a staple in the low country of South Carolina where I grew up!5 stars

    1. Laura E

      Loved your idea of substituting the yogurt for the mayo! My son has an egg allergy and cannot enjoy any salads with mayo and misses out on so much.   I personally love mayo but make a separate salad for him to enjoy.  😊5 stars

  13. Dave

    I can hardly wait for lunch to make this.  One note Per one reader, on salads getting watery after dressing them. If you add salt it will pull moisture out of the veggies and make it watery.

    Personally I believe it’s foolproof if you dress the salad upon serving. 

    I grew up with my mom and grandmother making a similar dressing for slaw and new leaf lettuce from the garden.  And a bacon, white gravy for wilted endive and fresh dandelion greens.5 stars

    1. meggan

      I love your family’s version. That sounds so great! And I appreciate your tips on avoiding a watery dressing. My mom always made it with Miracle Whip which I hadn’t had in years… and then tried again on my recent trip home. :)

  14. This salad sounds amazing! My question is can you substitute apple cider vinegar for the white? I’ve never made this so i was just curious if it would make a difference. 

  15. This salad is amazing! My question is can you substitute apple cider vinegar for the white? I’ve never made this so i was just curious if it would make a difference. 

    1. Krysten

      I always use red wine vinegar and that turns out amazing as well5 stars

    2. meggan

      Hi Joni! Yes you can. It might even taste a little better, that hint of apple sweetness. I think any vinegar works great! Thanks for your question. :)

  16. Angela

    We always add 1 red,green,yellow pepper to it.  Mozzerella&sharp cheddar.  Lots of bacon.  Yummy! Making it today actually!  
    Love the name! 5 stars

    1. meggan

      Your tweaks sound AMAZING Angela! That’s basically how my favorite macaroni salad is made (with noodles too of course). I should definitely try adding all that stuff. So good. I’m salivating. Happy New Year!

  17. Joni

    Should u blanch broccoli and cauliflower before making the salad?

    1. Pamela K Julovich

      Delicious! Easy to make! Can’t wait for the next potluck because I know what I am bringing!5 stars

    2. I don’t like my veggies cooked so it’s perfect for me.  

    3. meggan

      Hi Joni, no. We always just eat it raw. Does that sound crazy? I’m pretty sure my mom and sisters would never make it if blanching the veggies was a requirement. ;)

  18. Caroline

    This salad is SO yummy.  My question is, why does the dressing breakdown….seems to get so watery?  

    1. meggan

      Hi Caroline, it shouldn’t be breaking down and seem watery for you. The first question that comes to mind is, were all your vegetables really dry when you put them in the salad? There isn’t any water in the dressing so I don’t think it would break down the way you are describing. And in my experience, it doesn’t. A bowl of leftover salad will sit in the fridge for 3-4 days as we eat it and it’s always still perfect. I always use Hellman’s or Best Foods Mayonnaise and my mom always used Miracle Whip. What brand of mayonnaise did you use? I’m so sorry you had that issue!

  19. I definitely remember people making something similar when I lived in the Midwest. I always loved it, but never had a recipe…until now! Can’t wait to try it!5 stars

  20. Kathi @ Deliciously Yum!

    What a gorgeous salad, Meggan. I love that you call it Piggly Wiggly Salad – such a cute and truly Midwestern name ;). Thanks for sharing!!5 stars

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