Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad is the ultimate all-in-one salad! It combines crunchy broccoli, sweet grapes, crispy bacon and nutty pumpkin seeds with a creamy sweet dressing. All of this tossed with your favorite pasta!
You know how much I love sweet and savory together. This salad is the best of both worlds. It’s like sweet and savory got together and had the most perfect baby! I can’t get enough of this salad. If you love coleslaw dressing, this salad is for you. Have you made ABK Apple and Cabbage Slaw? Only the best slaw dressing ever!
Similar to coleslaw, this salad is perfect any time of the year. Broccoli and grapes are available all year long, so this salad tastes as good in the summer as the winter months. If you can only make one salad to go with a piece of grilled chicken, this is your salad. It will satisfy most people because there is something for everyone in this salad and it goes with chicken, beef, pork or fish!
Sometimes when broccoli is used in a salad, the broccoli is added raw. I like to blanch broccoli when I add it to salads. Blanching simply means to cook the vegetable for a short time in boiling water or steam, then plunge in ice water to stop the cooking. Blanched broccoli tastes better than raw broccoli to me and the bright color enhances the appearance of the salad as well!
I also often use my “blanching hack” for broccoli. To do this, place chopped cleaned broccoli on a plate, add a few tablespoons of water, cover and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the broccoli turns bright green. Then, plunge into ice water and shake dry. So easy!
How to make Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta, drain, rinse with cold water, and place in a bowl.
- Toss the cooked pasta with seasonings and fresh lemon juice.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Prepare broccoli and grapes.
- Toss the pasta with the broccoli, grapes, bacon and seeds (reserving some for topping).
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, toss with additional dressing and top the salad with remaining vegetables, fruit and seeds.
Originally posted July 2013, Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad has been updated with new content August 2021
Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad
Pasta, veggies and fruit and bacon all in one delicious salad!
Pasta and seasoning for pasta:
- 1- 1 lb package pasta, any shape
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning* optional, see recipe notes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5 cups fresh broccoli blanched if desired
- 3 cups seedless red grapes
- 1 12-16 oz package bacon, cooked and chopped
- 3/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 1 cup regular or light mayonnaise I like Best Foods or Hellman’s
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup white balsamic, red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon each: sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water, drain well and place in a large bowl. Toss the pasta with Mrs. Dash seasoning and fresh lemon juice. Set aside.
While pasta is cooking, whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
Cut broccoli into bite size pieces. Wash grapes and cut in half or leave whole. Reserve some of the grapes, broccoli, bacon and seeds for topping the salad.
Toss the pasta, broccoli, grapes, bacon, pumpkin or sunflower seeds together. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and toss again. If serving more than 2 hours later, add the bacon and seeds just before serving.
When ready to serve, add remaining dressing and bacon and toss. Sprinkle with pumpkin or sunflower seeds just before serving.
- I think this salad is best when made and served on the same day. It is best to let it sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.
- Mrs. Dash is found in the spice section of the grocery. It is a blend of herbs and spices and gives this salad an extra punch of flavors. It can be left out, but the salad is so much better with it added!
- It is not necessary to reserve toppings for the salad, but makes a nicer presentation!
- Make this salad into a main dish by adding 1 rotisserie chicken or chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped.