This light, fresh salad is among my family’s favorites. It’s a popular side in the summertime, but we tend to enjoy it all year round.

One reason I really like this dish is that it has a great combination of flavors. The sweetness of the sugar combines with the tanginess of the mayo for a great balance of flavor. The broccoli and pecans add a nice crunch, while the chopped red onion has a tendency to sneak up on you with bites of intense flavor.

I encourage you to try this recipe with your family or at a party. It tends to be one that people get extra helpings of, even when they’re full.


Toasted Pecan and Broccoli Salad



  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 T cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ lbs. fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries or raisins
  • 4 cooked reduced-fat bacon slices, crumbled


  1. Place chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir together mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar in a large bowl.
  4. Add broccoli, onion, and cranberries, gently tossing to coat.
  5. Cover and chill for 2 hours.
  6. Sprinkle with bacon and pecans just before serving.



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