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Lightened-Up Creamy Broccoli Salad

Healthy eating is about moderation! Two strips of bacon are all you need for a little indulgence that goes a long way flavor-wise. Buy the best quality bacon you can, nitrate-free if possible--it'll have tons of flavor and really punch up this healthy take on a classic side dish.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min (includes soaking and chilling times)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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2 strips low-sodium bacon

1/2 cup ice cubes

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 1/2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup golden raisins

2 tablespoons salted roasted sunflower seeds


  1. Combine the ice cubes, onions and 1 cup water in a small bowl. Let the onions soak for 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the salad, then drain and pat dry.
  2. Cook the bacon in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until crispy, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings for the dressing. Finely chop the bacon strips and reserve. 
  3. Whisk the buttermilk, sour cream, lemon zest and juice, reserved bacon drippings, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Add the broccoli, onions and golden raisins to the dressing. Toss well, cover and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  4. Before serving, toss well and season with additional salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the chopped bacon and sunflower seeds.