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Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad “Deli Copycat Recipe”

This broccoli cheddar pasta salad recipe is the one that you get at your local deli. There are a few food items that are hard to resist when passing the deli counter. This broccoli and pasta salad is one of them.

I will purchase two pounds and bring it home just to see it evaporate the same day. To top it off, I was lucky to get a tablespoon of it. It is a family favorite and we are all so happy that I know how to make this myself now.

Make this Copycat Version of Walmart Deli Recipe at Home

While I love to be able to just pick up a bit of this salad, it is much more cost effective to make at home. I can make a batch of this for so much less money. This recipe will make enough servings to feed 12. We now make this whenever one of the family members starts getting hungry for it.

Walmart Deli Broccoli Salad
Walmart Deli Broccoli Salad

Finding the Walmart Deli Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad Recipe

It is nice to have friends that work in the food industry. Often, we swap recipes, and this is one of them that I was lucky to snag. Now, I am sharing this with you as it is one of the family’s favorites.

What is in This Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad?

It is a crunchy broccoli salad. Th8is simple broccoli crunch salad recipe is made using a fresh blend of broccoli, mild cheddar cheese, diced red onion, tri-color rotini pasta, and a delicious creamy cider coleslaw dressing. This side dish just ticks all the boxes for us.

My family loves this salad. It’s a great side dish for almost any meal, and one of my go-to salads to take when we attend BBQs or out on an outing in the summertime! The Broccoli Salad served at Walmart deli counters is amazing, but when you make it at home, you have more control over what goes into it.

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad Plated
Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad Plated

Change up this recipe to suit your taste buds.

You can control how much salad dressing you add. Additionally, this salad can be made with a variety of crunchy vegetables.

Add Bacon. Need I say more? My son-in-law absolutely loves the addition of bacon. When I add it a pound bacon will be quite enough. Place bacon on a skillet and cook it over medium high heat until crispy. Crumble it before adding to this fresh salad.

Change up the Vinegar. I have made this with several different kinds of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is my favorite in this recipe. I just think it has better flavor. However, I have made it with white wine vinegar, plain white vinegar, and balsamic. The tangy dressing will be slightly different with each, but I enjoyed all the nuances of each one used in this creamy dressing.

Hearty Pasta. You can use regular rotini pasta for this recipe. Actually, any sturdy pasta works well with this recipe give elbow macaroni, rigatoni, fusilli, gemelli, and penne are all great noodle choices.

Little bites of sweet bits would be an added dimension to this easy recipe. Add some sweet raisins or dried cranberries would be scrumptious in this

Change the Type of Sweetener for Those in Your Family That Can’t Have Sugar

At first, I couldn’t help but think that using a sugar substitute in my recipe for this low-carb salad would ruin the balance of flavors. However after trying it out with no one noticing (even my husband), now he wants me to use artificial sweetener every time! It really does work as long you don’t taste them and have someone who will guide your palette when making adjustments like we did before hand because let’s be real – everyone knows what tastes good without having any intentions…right?

Potluck Pasta Salad Recipe

When I bring this delicious salad to any party, people seem to know exactly what it is. I imagine because it is something that can be purchased at a deli counter. However, they also take large helpings of it. So, they must be enjoying this salad. I rarely have any of this delicious dish to take back home.

Make this easy broccoli salad recipe in less than 30 minutes. When you are done, you will have enough to feed a crowd.

Crunchy Broccoli Salad Recipe
Crunchy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Salad Recipe Tips

After the tricolor rotini pasta has cooked, rinse the noodles in cool water in a colander. This will help cool down the pasta and remove the excess starch.

Rinse the diced red onion and drain in a colander. This will help remove some of the pungent taste of the onion. In my salad, if you skip this step, sometimes, the onion can take over the taste of the salad a bit. I want the crunch of the onion and a little bit of the taste, but not and overpowering onion taste.

Mix the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl before adding to the rest of the salad ingredients. By doing this, the sugar has a chance to dissolve and flavor the entire dish, not just part of it.

Once the broccoli is trimmed into small florets, rinse and drain in a colander. This just helps clean the vegetable before consuming.

Try and let the broccoli cheddar pasta salad sit for an hour before eating. However, at our house, that is a difficult thing. Therefore, when I make it, I do not tell the rest of the family until it has been chilling in the refrigerator for an hour. It will help the flavors meld together a bit for a better tasting salad.

I make mine in a big bowl. This recipe uses 6 cups of broccoli, an entire box of the tri-colored veggie rotini pasta and 16 ounces of shredded cheese. Using a large bowl, ensures there will be enough room to mix the ingredients without making a mess.

This Walmart deli broccoli salad is packed with vitamin C from the broccoli. There are also antioxidants too. Of course the cheese is packed with so much of the nutrition that dairy has to offer. This is a great recipe for healthy eating for our whole family. I feel good when I can feed my family vegetable recipes that they actually want to eat.

Storing the Salad

Make sure to store this dish in the refrigerator for food safety. It will last up to five days. However, I would not know in our house as it is always all gone before the five days is up.

What to serve with the Walmart Broccoli Salad Recipe?

If you are going to a potluck or just feeding a lot of people at home, serve this with an amazing Southern Style Potato Salad. A quick protein idea is to pan fry smoked pork chops. It just takes a few minutes to caramelize the outside and heat them through.

Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad “Deli Copycat Recipe”
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Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad “Deli Copycat Recipe”

This broccoli cheddar pasta salad recipe is the one that you get at your local deli. There are a few food items that are hard to resist when passing the deli counter. This broccoli and pasta salad is one of them. I will purchase two pounds and bring it home just to see it evaporate the same day. To top it off, I was lucky to get a tablespoon of it.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lunch recipe, make ahead, salad dressing, summer party
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 379kcal

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  • 12 ounces Tri-colored Rotini Pasta 1 box
  • 6 cups Broccoli 2 medium heads. cut into small florets
  • 1 medium Red Onion diced and rinsed
  • 16 ounces Mild cheddar cheese shredded

Salad Dressing

  • 3 Cups Miracle whip salad dressing
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water, set aside.
    12 ounces Tri-colored Rotini Pasta
    Cooked Tri Colored Pasta
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. Cut the broccoli in bite-sized pieces. Rinse and drain. Add to a large bowl.
    6 cups Broccoli
  • Dice, rinse and drain the red onion. Add to the large bowl
    1 medium Red Onion
    Rinsing the Red Onions
  • Shred the cheddar cheese and add that to the bow.
    16 ounces Mild cheddar cheese
    Adding Shredded Cheese and Pasta to Salad Bowl
  • In a medium bowl, add the Miracle whip, sugar and apple cider. Mix the salad dressing well.
    3 Cups Miracle whip salad dressing, 3/4 Cup Sugar, 3 Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
    Mixing the Salad Dressing
  • Pour over the top of the broccoli, cheese, pasta, and onions. Mix well to incorporate.
    Adding the Salad Dressing to the Bowl
  • Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Your Own Private Notes


Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 754mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 1mg

Here are a few other recipes for you to explore.


You can find Victoria crocheting, quilting, and creating recipes. She has cooked in restaurants for over 20 years, including many larger parties. In her professional career, she has worked in management in a wide variety of businesses including higher education as a dean of a division. All the while attending college part-time to achieve her doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in e-learning.

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