Mandarin Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad beckons me; it calls to me. And I’m usually quite powerless to resist it’s deliciousness (yeah, I’m one of those broccoli salad stalkers at the potluck who kind of scares everyone away from the salads table by hovering). Because of my love for it, I can’t leave you with just one measly broccoli salad recipe You need options. And I’ve got them.

This recipe today is fantastic. It’s chock full of fresh broccoli, mandarin oranges, bacon (lots of bacon), craisins and toasted almonds for a lil’ bit of crunch. The real star is the dressing, though. It’s sweet and tangy and ultra-creamy. You start off with a simple cooked mixture that gets a boost from plain yogurt stirred in after it cools a bit (you could use mayo, too) and once it’s tossed with the colorful, tasty salad ingredients, magic happens.

Mandarin Broccoli Salad

Don’t rush the goodness; the dressed salad really benefits from hanging out in the fridge for a couple hours. It’s worth the wait, I promise. Broccoli salad perfection!

If you’re wondering how this broccoli salad recipe differs from the other one I have, it’s a matter of ingredient combinations: the first recipe has sunflower seeds and cheddar cheese whereas this one doesn’t have cheese but does have toasted almonds and mandarin oranges. The dressings are slightly different with today’s dressing having more depth of flavor and texture thanks to the cooking method. Both are super yum.

Mandarin Broccoli Salad

One Year Ago: Chopped Taco Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing
Two Years Ago: Fudgy Brownies {Think: Homemade Brownies Like The Boxed Mix!}
Three Years Ago:Chicken Pillows with Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Mandarin Broccoli Salad

Yield: Serves 6-8 as a side dish

Mandarin Broccoli Salad


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white wine or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise
  • Salad:
  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets, chopped
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 10 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained well


  1. For the dressing, combine the eggs, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard, and water together in a medium saucepan. Whisk well. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it bubbles and thickens - it should be the consistency of pudding (take care not to heat too high or stop whisking or there might be small bits of cooked egg in the mixture).
  2. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Stir in the yogurt or mayonnaise and let cool completely.
  3. Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the dressing and toss lightly until all the ingredients are covered with dressing.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from a family cookbook my friend, Sunny D., lent me (added salt, reduced sugar, used plain yogurt instead of mayo) – PS: I LOVE looking through those spiral bound paper family cookbooks even if I’m not related at all to any of the recipe submitters!

32 Responses to Mandarin Broccoli Salad

  1. This recipe is perfect for summer potlucks! LOVE!

  2. Kim in MD says:

    I love broccoli salad! This recipe looks especially delicious with the cooked dressing and addition of the oranges. I can’t wait to try it!

  3. Kate S says:

    Dang, those manderin oranges are inspired!!

  4. I love broccoli salad but I’ve never used mandarin oranges in it. Looks tasty!
    Have a marvelous week Mel!

  5. Amanda says:

    Beautiful salad, love those mandarins 🙂

  6. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting this!! I just bought broccoli last night because I was craving broccoli salad. I have everything but the plain yogurt, so I’ll have to pick that up and make this ASAP! 🙂

  7. Wow! This looks amazing! I just made a healthy/trim healthy mama/paleo version of a broccoli salad a day or two ago. Yum! That blog post is yet to come.

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR BLOG, MEL! Love. It. In fact, I love it so much that you were added to my top favorite blogs at my website. Check it out:

    Hope you had a great Fourth!

    From your whole food-y!
    Janie Lynn

  8. Char R says:

    This sounds and looks soo yummy! Got to try that dressing!

  9. Cassie says:

    Have you tried Greek yogurt? Would it work?

  10. StephenC says:

    Choppin’ brocco-LI … remember that from SNL?

  11. Mary says:

    Fantastic salad…that dressing sounds delish. Thanks for sharing!!

  12. Ellen Renee says:

    How does it hold up? I love salads like this but I would be the only person eating it – my husband may try it but doubt he would eat much. It looks beautiful.

    • Mel says:

      Ellen Renee – It keeps pretty well in the refrigerator for a couple days (also could be halved easily).

      • Ellen Renee says:

        This was fabulous! We had a family reunion to attend this past weekend so I decided to take this salad since I had been wanting to try it. I was wrong…my husband tried it ….and loved it. You just never know with that man! :o)

  13. Louise says:

    I made it tonight and it was wonderful. Couldn’t wait for it to sit in the fridge. It was still warm. I think it could use a bit less sugar and still be great. It was pretty sweet. I used greek yogurt and it was fine. My menfolk also loved it.

  14. Mrs Petri says:

    Broccoli salad has been appearing regularly on our table lately. I can’t wait to try this one!

  15. Lindsay says:

    I love salads with broccoli in them — this one looks yummy!

  16. Terri says:

    Just had your taco salad last night and it was fantastic. This broccoli salad looks awesome. I have a family member allergic to onions. Any suggestions for a substitute? Or maybe I won’t need one.

  17. Sam says:

    I made this with our dinner last night, and thought it was absolutely fantastic! I’ve already had a large helping with my lunch today too.

  18. queenann says:

    I made this.
    I love the mandarin oranges instead of cheese.
    I am not sold on the extra work for the dressing.
    But, my husband and I loved it and I’ll keep checking back here in case you find yet another broccoli salad recipe to tantalize us with. Love broccoli salad.

  19. Mary Ann says:

    I made this as a side for our dinner tonight, and my husband and I loved it! He said we will bring it for a potluck party next time.

  20. amanda_ab says:

    It was good, but too sweet for our taste. If I make it again I’ll use way less sugar in the dressing.

  21. wendy says:

    Made this last night and it was completely delicious! Even my husband who normally wouldn’t like something like this enjoyed it. My son suggested additional bacon and mandarins. Then he asked me to make it again this week. Thanks Mel!

  22. Erika says:

    This was yummy! I was in a rush when I made it & added the yogurt in with all the other dressing ingredients by accident & it still turned out perfectly smooth & didn’t separate. It was like a really easy hollandaise sauce! I added chopped up chicken breast to make it more filling for my husband too. And I didn’t have a chance to let it sit & was still very flavorful. Looking forward to the leftovers for my lunch tomorrow. Thanks Mel!

    • Erika says:

      Oh & I also used way less sugar as my hubby doesn’t like sweet dressings & to me it was plenty sweet – I would guess I used about 1T sugar.

  23. Jacqueline says:

    Made this tonight as a side with salmon and it was delicious! I left out the bacon because I didn’t have any on hand, but everything always better with bacon so I’m sure it’ll be even better the next time around! Just curious… do you know the nutrition facts or calorie count of the salad? I’m assuming it’s all going to come from the dressing.. 🙂

  24. Barbara says:

    I made this in the morning, for my sons lunch at work. I had fresh cara cara oranges so put them in instead. I didn’t use the egg due to time. I mixed the dressing without measuring it in a dish till I liked the taste did add everything else in again with out measuring it for a single portion. I did squeeze some OJ into the may-anise instead of water. It was great.

  25. Adriana says:


    Looking fwd to the mandarins! would it work if i use fresh mandarin slices? instead of canned?

    and also could i substitute the broccoli for lettuce or smth? or at least mix broccoli with smth else? i´m not a big fan of it =s

    • Mel says:

      Feel free to experiment! Although since broccoli is such a huge component of this salad, you may want to look at different salad recipes for one that’s more to your liking.

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