Broccoli Salad with Pineapple, Bacon, and Spiced Pecans ~ don’t be surprised if everybody skips the main course altogether and heads straight for this salad! This classic broccoli salad gets an extra burst of sweetness from fresh pineapple, and lots of crunch from bacon and chili rubbed pecans.
* Today I’m partnering with Pavillions to bring you this colorful salad made with ingredients from their Signature line of products (which has over 4,000 items!) Teaming up with great brands is one of the ways tvfgi keeps the delicious coming, and, as always, I appreciate your support.
This recipe starts out like any other, it’s got the standard cast of characters, and a creamy mayo dressing ~ but then it goes deliciously rogue. Juicy chunks of pineapple, toasted pecans spiced with a smoky BBQ rub, and tons of bacon set it apart from the familiar potluck version.
Broccoli salads are a summer staple for good reason, they’re jam packed with goodies, and they have a fresh crunch that doesn’t quit. I look for bright green broccoli, and I like to pry apart the little florets with the tip of my knife to preserve their shape. The broccoli will retain its great crisp texture for days in the refrigerator.
TIP: Don’t toss the tender upper stems, I chop them up and add them into the salad ~ they’re healthy, crunchy, and delicious!
I love nuts in salads, and I love to spice them, but I don’t like it when they’re overly sweet like candy. These nuts are toasted for flavor, then sauteed in a little butter and Signature SELECT™ Sweet Sweet & Smoky BBQ Rub spice mix, which provides the perfect balance to the pineapple and grapes in this broccoli salad.
The rub is a wonderful combination of smoky & spicy, with a touch of brown sugar. I want to sprinkle it on everything ~ we tried it on popcorn and it was amazing!
I just toast the pecans in a dry skillet first to intensify their flavor and crunch, and then I add a knob of butter and the spice rub to the pan. A few more minutes and they’re ready. Try not to ‘taste test’ too many, you’re going to need them for the salad.
TIP: If you make your salad ahead of time, consider tossing in the nuts just before serving for best crunch.
I cooked up a whole pound of Signature Farms® Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon for this salad. If that sounds extravagant, remember that this is going to feed a crowd.
TIP: The easiest way to cook bacon is to line a baking sheet with foil and lay out your bacon in a single layer. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, or until it’s crisp. The entire 1 pound package fits perfectly on one baking sheet. For cleanup, just wrap up the foil and toss.
Once all the ingredients are assembled, it’s ready to dress!
The dressing for this broccoli salad is straightforward…and then, maybe not so much! I made it a couple of different ways, and here’s the scoop ~ first I blended Signature Kitchens® Mayonnaise Dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil with a pretty standard dose of Signature Kitchens White Wine Vinegar and Honey Mustard. A dash of salt and it’s good to go. Buuuuuuuuut, you can take it a step further and add, wait for it…..some reserved bacon grease. A few tablespoons gives the dressing a real bacon-y boost. The only caveat is that you need to keep it at room temperature, it will firm up when refrigerated.
I’ve learned over the years that the secret to a really great mayo based salad is using lots of dressing. If you want to get rave reviews, don’t skimp
I’ll be cooking up great recipes with Pavilions for the next year, and I hope you’ll try their exclusive Signiture line of products along with me when you’re shopping at Pavillions, or any of Albertsons Companies grocery stores, including Alberstons, ACME Markets, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaws, Star Market, United Express, United and Carrs/Safeway.
- 16 ounce package of Signature Farms Thick Cut Hickory Smoked Bacon
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp Signature SELECT Sweet & Smoky BBQ Rub
- 1 pound broccoli crowns, chopped into bite sized pieces, chop some of the stems, too!
- 1 small red onion, cut in small dice
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1 cup halved red grapes
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes
- 1 cup Signature Kitchens Mayonnaise Dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Signature Kitchens White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tsp Signature Kitchens Honey Mustard
- optional: 3 Tbsp reserved bacon grease
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- set oven to 350F
- Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the bacon strips in a single layer. Cook for 25 minutes, or until crisp. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat, and set aside the bacon to drain on paper towels, then chop or crumble.
- Put the pecan halves in a skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring almost constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until they give off an aroma and start to turn brown. Add the butter and the spice rub and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
- Put the broccoli, red onion, pineapple, grapes, and cheese in a large bowl. Add the bacon and the nuts.
- Whisk the mayo, vinegar, and honey mustard together (along with the bacon fat if you are using.)
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss the salad with the dressing, you may not need all of it. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Just before serving, toss the salad again, add more dressing if needed, and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
- This is a great salad to make ahead of time, up to 24 hours in advance.
- If you prefer a sweet dressing, add a tablespoon of sugar to the mayo.