Broccoli Pasta Salad is the perfect summer side dish! Pasta tossed with fresh broccoli, red onion, crispy bacon, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds in a sweet and tangy dressing.
Classic Broccoli Salad is my alltime favorite summer side dish. I make it pretty much every weekend during summer and I’m excited to add this Broccoli Pasta Salad to the rotation because it’s basically the same thing but with pasta added!
Pasta salads are the perfect side dishes in the summer. They go great with all grilled foods, they’re easy to prepare, and everyone loves a pasta salad!
My Cole Slaw Pasta Salad is another one we love when we grill!
- Pasta – I used mini farfalle but you can use rotini, elbow macaroni, any small pasta shape you like
- Granulated sugar
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Broccoli – cut the florets into even small florets. You want them pretty small for this salad
- Red onion
- Dried cranberries
- Sunflower seeds
- Cook and drain pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Make dressing. Whisk together granulated sugar, red wine vinegar, and mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Assemble salad. Add cooked pasta, broccoli, red onion, bacon, and dried cranberries to the dressing and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Serve. Stir in sunflower seeds right before serving.
How Long Is Broccoli Pasta Salad Good For?
This salad will stay good for up to 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator. Make sure to store it in an airtight container – these are my favorite airtight containers for storing leftovers.
It is definitely best on day 1 when the broccoli and bacon are still crispy.
Can You Make Broccoli Pasta Salad Ahead?
This salad needs to be made at least an hour ahead.
If you need to prep it the night before you plan to serve it, I would store the dressing separate from the other ingredients and combine them 1 hour before you plan to serve it.
- If you love cauliflower, try substituting half the broccoli with cauliflower instead
- Use raisins or dried cherries in place of the dried cranberries
- If you are trying to cut calories, you can substitute half of the mayo with plain Greek yogurt
What To Serve with Broccoli Pasta Salad?
I think this broccoli pasta salad goes well with anything you grill!
🍴 More Summer Side Dish Recipes
- Fritos Corn Salad
- Baked Potato Salad
- Caesar Pasta Salad
- Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad
- Root Beer Baked Beans
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- 8 ounces small pasta
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped into small florets
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, red wine vinegar, and mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add cooled pasta, broccoli, red onion, bacon, and dried cranberries, tossing to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Before serving, stir in sunflower seeds.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 1120mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 9g