Broccoli Slaw, the Perfect BBQ Side Dish!

I know you’ve seen the bagged supermarket versions of this slaw, but let me assure you, I have been making this way before it was ever a twinkle in some big box chain grocery store food developer’s eye. In fact, steer clear of those bagged kits all together. They are nothing but trouble and taste nothing like the good old-fashioned CIY (Chop It Yourself) varieties. Plus I have a kick-ass, tangy, sweet buttermilk dressing that takes it over the top. Do you have broccoli haters in your household? This broccoli slaw will instantly turn them around!

Full disclosure, I am completely guessing on the quantity of each ingredient. I know that doesn’t sound like a real recipe, but I make this so often, I start with the number of people I’m feeding and adjust, up or down, from there. Do you really like bacon? (DUH! Everybody does! )Then add more bacon. Love the crunch of almonds. Then add more almonds. You don’t think my guesstimate includes enough dried cranberries. Then add more cranberries. Simple as that.



Start with 2-3 heads of washed broccoli and cut the florets off the larger, tougher stems. Slice each floret into 4 or 5 pieces depending upon size. PRO TIP: Make this salad a few hours before your big feast and it will benefit from a siesta in the fridge that will marry the dressing and the other ingredients creating big flavor. By the way, it’s even better the next day.


Toss the chopped broccoli into a large bowl along with the dried cranberries, toasted slivered almonds, finely diced red onion, and crumbled bacon. Yep, it’s already looking good!

Mix up the dressing. The ingredients are listed below and the same rule of thumb applies. The quantities are guesstimates so be sure to taste as you go and add vinegar, buttermilk, s & p until your tastebuds are happy campers. What I have listed below will make a lot more than you need for the slaw, so start by adding half of the dressing, give it a toss, give it a taste test and then go from there.

Leftover dressing can be used to dress salads the rest of the week.


Broccoli Slaw with Tangy Buttermilk Dressing

  • 2-3 heads of Broccoli (washed)
  • 1/2 cup dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup cooked Bacon (crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion (finely diced)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered Almonds

Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Mayo
  • 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons rendered Bacon Fat
  • 1 tablespoon minced Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Cut up bacon and fry in a skillet until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Set aside bacon grease for use in the dressing.
  2. Remove broccoli florets from large stems and slice/chop into bit size pieces. Keep the slices fairly thin to ensure that the dressing is evenly distributed through the slaw.
  3. In a large bowl, add the broccoli, diced red onion, cranberries, toasted almonds and bacon. Toss to mix.
  4. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, add all of the dressing ingredients and whisk together or blend with an immersion blender. I prefer the immersion blender for dressings as it will completely emulsify the ingredients and they are less likely to separate later. Tweak ingredients adding more vinegar or buttermilk, etc. as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. This will make more dressing than needed to adequately cover the slaw. Pour in about half, toss and taste. Add more dressing as necessary. Use the leftover dressing to make another batch of slaw or use it on salads later.

This slaw is crunchy, salty, sweet, tangy, hearty…everything you want slaw to be and more! So forget the bagged crap and make this one from scratch. It’s easy and I guarantee that your family, friends and neighbors will start a Broccoli Slaw Fan Club page for you on Facebook! Okay, I won’t guarantee it, but it will definitely cross their minds.


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