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Fresh Broccoli Salad with Crispy Bacon

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LeanCuisine #CollectiveBias

It’s been a marvelous 12 days of vacation. We hosted family for Christmas, saw a total of 10 new movies (2 in theater and 8 at home), drank and ate wayyyy too much. Like I said, simply marvelous.

But back to work I go.

January is the busiest time of the year for most accountants because we have to close the books for the previous year. And my job is no different. The first two weeks of the month will be madness. Plus, I still have all my normal tasks to do at home and this blog to take care of. Yikes.

During this busy time, lunch can be a bit of a hassle. Many people eat out for lunch. But my wallet (and my waistline) cannot handle that. And I just don’t have the time to meal prep a new dish for every lunch during the week. That’s why I’ve been taking Lean Cuisine meals for lunch for years. It’s so easy to grab one from the freezer, pack a quick salad, and go. And it’s the best way to ensure I get the perfect amount of protein.

One of my favorite meals is the LEAN CUISINE® Marketplace Sesame Chicken. I love the breaded chicken and the sweet sauce that they’re tossed in. Yummm. Most of my favorites are the Asian-inspired flavors: Orange Chicken, Chicken with Almonds, and Chicken with Peanut Sauce. I am such a sucker for a sweet or creamy sauce. My husband loves the cheesy ones, especially the Cheese & Bean Enchilada Verde and the Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese. Who would have thought he loved the ones without any meat?!

We just stocked up our freezer with meals for the next couple weeks. And since Lean Cuisine is on sale now at Target, you can stock up too! For the month of January, Lean Cuisine meals are only $1.99 each. Check out Target’s site to see which of your favorites are available.

Usually, I pack a salad or fruit to go with my meals. Today, I want to share one of my favorite salads on the planet, that also pairs perfectly with the Sesame Chicken: fresh broccoli salad with crispy bacon.

I first tried this salad when a friend of mine brought it to a tailgate this past fall. As soon as I tried it, I fell instantly in love! I am obsessed with raw broccoli (can’t say the same for the cooked stuff), but it wasn’t just the broccoli – it was the mixture of golden raisins, Spanish peanuts, crispy bacon, red onion, and creamy dressing that came together to make the perfect salad. I just had to have the recipe and she graciously shared it with me. I’ve been making this bad boy ever since!

Another great thing about this salad is that you can make a large portion of it at the beginning of the week and eat a little of it each day. Since the broccoli is raw and, thus, very sturdy, it won’t wilt and shrivel up once it’s been coated in dressing. So it will taste great even days after making. I made a huge bowl of it the beginning of last week, with the intention of eating it all week long. But it only took me two days to go through it! I wasn’t kidding when I said that this is the best salad I’ve ever had.

Here are a few tips to make sure you broccoli salad tastes just as perfect as it should:

  1. The salad tastes best when it has time to absorb the dressing. So let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving
  2. Crispy bacon doesn’t do well in the cold. So don’t add the bacon until you are just about to serve it. If you add it with the other ingredients and chill it, it will soften up.
  3. Spanish peanuts are milder in flavor and smaller than normal peanuts. I easily found them at my local grocery store so you should be able to, as well. But if not, you can substitute original peanuts – just use less of them and give them a rough chop.

I hope you love this salad as much as I do. Don’t forget to stock up on your Lean Cuisine meals for lunch this week! You can get the full list of options on Lean Cuisine’s website. Which one is your favorite?? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe:

Print Recipe
Fresh Broccoli Salad with Crispy Bacon
Crispy raw broccoli, Spanish peanuts, golden raisins, and crispy bacon are mixed together with a creamy Greek yogurt dressing to make the best broccoli salad you will ever try. Great as a salad or accompaniment to any meal!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 heads broccoli fresh
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 3/4 cup red-skinned Spanish peanuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb bacon cooked and drained
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 heads broccoli fresh
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 3/4 cup red-skinned Spanish peanuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb bacon cooked and drained
Instructions
  1. Cut off stalks of both broccoli heads. Chop broccoli into bite-sized florets. Place into large bowl. Chop onion into a small dice and add to bowl. Add peanuts and raisins.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, mix sugar, mayo, yogurt, and white wine vinegar. Add a little salt and pepper for taste, as necessary. Add dressing to broccoli mixture and stir until combined. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight. Crumble cooked bacon and set aside until time to serve.
  3. When serving, top salad with crispy bacon. Salad will keep for up to 5 days. However, the bacon will not remain crispy once refrigerated with the salad.

More Recipes You’ll Enjoy:

Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Butter

Cilantro Lime Rice

Sage and Browned Butter Chips

47 comments

  1. That looks amazing!!! I pinned it to my pintrest for later! and I cannot believe that the lean cusine is that cheap! they usually have very yummy meals.

  2. That salad sounds AMAZING! I can’t wait to make it. I love that I can make a big batach in advance and bring it to work with my favorite Lean Cuisine! #Client

  3. This salad looks AMAZING, I have already bookmarked it so I have it on hand for all the summer events I will be hosting (and going to so I can bring along!) I have a feeling it will be one that will be requested after just one taste! Mmm

  4. This sounds really good! I was that nerdy kid in school that brought raw broccoli for lunch. Lol! You can never go wrong by adding bacon to anything either. 🙂

  5. First, congrats on your Lean Cuisine sponsorship 😀 Big hooray! Secondly, I LOVE the broccoli salad! My three kids love broccoli and so do I. Yes, my kids love vegetables and eat them daily with no issues plus, they love bacon to. Win-win in our book with this recipe ~ thanks!

    • Wow that’s awesome that your kids love broccoli! It took me years to get here haha. I hope the whole family loves this salad!

  6. We are really trying to eat a lot better this year so this is getting pinned for sure. Also it just sounds AMAZING!

  7. First, I am totally with you on lean cuisines, I LOVE them! Second, I made this salad for christmas! It is one of my most favorite and now I have my family hooked! GOod luck with these first two weeks of work! You can do it!

    • That’s awesome that you’ve already had this salad before. I can totally understand why they’re hooked – this is the best salad ever! And thanks for the encouragement! 1 day down!!

    • Of course! I would suggest using only 1/2 cup first and then giving the salad a taste. If you still want more, add another 1/4 cup. You may also want to chop up the peanuts or cashews so you don’t have such a bold flavor in each bite. Hope that helps!!

  8. That salad looks delicious! And I must admit I just stocked up my freezer with Lean Cuisines to get me through my first week back to work after the holidays! So easy, and healthy!

  9. This is exactly what I needed! I was looking for some new lunches to try this week and I have a load of frozen broccoli left in my freezer!

  10. I think I am the weirdest person alive: I love broccoli – it tastes really nice and fresh, but I am not a big fan of bacon. It’s true that cooked bacon is nice and crispy, but it’s not enough for me.
    I wonder if it will still be amazing without the bacon in.

    • Haha that’s not that weird! I am definitely not obsessed with bacon like many people are. The star of this salad is the broccoli so it is still amazing without the bacon 🙂 Thanks for your question!

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