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Mustard Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad

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1 (16 ounce) package gemelli pasta
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup honey mustard
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pound package bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2 (16 ounce) packages frozen broccoli florets, cooked and drained

Mustard Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad

Three kinds of mustard add fabulous flavor to this classic pasta salad.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

I know you’ve eaten the famous Broccoli Bacon salad; you know, the one with the grapes (or raisins) and sweet creamy dressing? That’s a fabulous salad, but I’ve come up with a great improvement. There’s about 1/2 cup of sugar in that classic salad recipe, and sometimes that feels like too much. So instead, I add honey mustard to create Mustard Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad.

Pasta really turns this great combination into a main dish salad. It’s delicious for entertaining or just for a weeknight meal for the family. And I like to add dried cherries in place of the grapes; their sweetness and chewiness is perfect with the other ingredients.  This is a salad for the ages!

At my house, I make this salad and we just eat it until it’s gone. It’s great for hot summer days because you just pull the salad out of the fridge and dish it up. No heating the kitchen!

You can, of course, add other ingredients to this salad. I have added cooked flaked salmon, cubed cooked chicken breast, and some cooked medium shrimp. They are all fabulous in this wonderful recipe. Enjoy every bite.

Tips for the best Mustard Broccoli Bacon Pasta Salad:

  • Cook the pasta to al dente. Despite legends that say you can throw pasta against a wall and if it sticks it’s done, the only way to tell if it is cooked correctly is to taste it.
  • Don’t overcook the broccoli either. It should be tender but still have some crunch.

Why this recipe works:

  • The dressing is sweet, savory, tangy, and sharp; the broccoli is tender and a bit crunchy and delicious; the dried cherries are chewy and tart; the bacon is crisp and salty; and the almonds are crunchy and nutty. The combinations of textures and flavors is simply superb.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is tender, about 9 minutes.


While the pasta is cooking, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, both kinds of mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mix with a wire whisk to blend.


Add the bacon, dried cherries, almonds, and broccoli to the salad dressing in the bowl and stir gently to mix.


When the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the salad. Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to blend flavors before serving.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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