The BEST Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe. Made with shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, grated carrot, pomegranate arils, candied pecans, and creamy avocado all tossed in a light Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette. This easy Brussels Sprout Salad is the ultimate fall and winter essential perfect for lunch, dinner, and holiday meals.
The BEST Holiday Salad Recipe
You guys, this is hands down, my favorite fall and winter salad. Filled with shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, sweet pomegranate arils, creamy avocado, and candied pecans, I’m pretty positive this will be your favorite salad, too.
I made my first shredded Brussels sprout salad more than 5 years ago. I was skeptical at first. I mean, raw Brussels sprouts? How could this possibly taste good? At first, it was only just ok. But after several modifications and changes to the original recipe (avocado! candied nuts!), I found my winner.
And this…this is the winner.
Completely vegan and gluten-free, this is my go-to salad for lunch, dinner and all the holidays including Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Brussels Sprout Salad Ingredients
There are just six ingredients in this salad (not counting the lemon vinaigrette, of course). Completely vegan and gluten-free, this salad comes with loads of crunch and flavor without a crazy shopping list.
Brussels sprouts are a key ingredient in this salad. Shredded and added to the salad raw, not cooked, even the biggest Brussels sprout skeptics will love it. You can shred your Brussels sprouts up to 5-7 days in advance and keep them stored in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator.
Kale is really good for you and pairs really well in this salad. I used Lacinto kale, aka Tuscan kale. It has narrow, dark leaves attached to a tough, woody stem. You guys, please remove the stem (unless you know you like it), it’s really quite stringy and unappealing. Feel free to substitute with curly kale is preferred.
Grated carrot adds color and mild sweetness. Carrot is a less important ingredient, but an easy way to sneak in more nutrients.
Pomegranate arils are one of my favorite additions to salads, stews, and even eggs (yes, you guys, try it- so good!). Anyway, the pomegranate arils in this salad add delicious seasonal sweetness and a fun crunchy texture. No time to seed your own pomegranates? Most markets now sell pre-seeded pomegranate arils. If preferred, feel free to swap the pomegranates for dried cranberries.
Avocado is a must. Please, unless you really dislike avocado, do not make this salad without it. Naturally creamy, it’s the perfect complement to the sweet pomegranate arils and crunchy kale.
Pecans or walnuts, preferably candied. If candied nuts are too sweet, simple chopped roasted and salted nuts are a great substitute- hazelnuts would be a delicious alternative.
Optional additions include chopped green onions and crumbled goat cheese (not vegan).
How to shred Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be shredded in several ways- with a knife, a mandoline, a food processor, or even with a cheese grater. I have tried all four methods and find that my favorite method, hands down, is with a paring knife – a food processor or mandoline come in second while the cheese grater is too unstable and the blade is not sharp enough.
You may also find pre-shredded Brussels sprouts sold in your local grocery store, but I only use this as a last resort. Pre-shredded, store-bought, Brussels sprouts are never as fresh (or good) as whole sprouts that you slice yourself.
Fortunately, they’re super simple to shred,
Start by rinsing each Brussels sprout under cool water. Next, slice off the hard, woody end and remove any bruised or dried outer leaves and discard.
To shred Brussels sprouts with a knife – cut each Brussels sprout in half vertically. Cut-side down, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts cross-wise from root to top. Tease apart the layers. This method is a bit more methodical and time-consuming but results in the best (in my opinion) shredded sprouts.
To shred Brussels sprouts with a mandoline – wearing protective gloves, hold the Brussels sprout by its woody stem and slice the Brussels sprout across the mandoline until you reach the end. Repeat. I love using my mandoline to shred Brussels sprouts, however, it does waste a bit more of the vegetable when compared to using a knife.
How to store Brussels sprouts after they’ve been shredded?
Once you’ve shredded all your Brussels sprouts, transfer to a large bowl filled with cold water (or use a salad spinner) and wash. Drain well, removing as much water as possible. Use immediately in salads like this Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Beets or transfer to a large ziplock bag with as much air removed as possible. Transfer to the refrigerator and store for up to one week.
How to make the Best Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe
To prepare this delicious salad,
Prepare the vinaigrette first. You may even do this several days ahead of time. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small jar and shake well to combine. Season to taste (I like my vinaigrette to be somewhat strong in vinegar flavor. If you prefer a sweeter vinaigrette, you may wish to add additional maple syrup).
Next, combine the salad ingredients. In a large bowl toss together the shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, carrots, and pomegranate arils. Just before serving, add the avocado and candied pecans or walnuts.
Finally, drizzle your salad with prepared vinaigrette (I usually start with half of the vinaigrette and add more as needed) and gently toss to combine. Best served immediately.
You may also enjoy this Shredded Brussels Sprout Persimmon Salad or this Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon + Orange Vinaigrette.
What to do with the leftovers
It’s a pretty well-known fact that Brussels sprouts salads last significantly longer leftover when compared to other green salads like Spinach Salad or Arugula Salad. This is great news for us since who doesn’t love leftovers? Especially after the holidays?
Before you go and quadruple this recipe, though, let me give you a few tips first,
- The avocado. As we all know, avocado is not one of those ingredients that store well. If you know or even suspect that you may have leftovers, serve the avocado on the side. Of course, the leftover browned avocado won’t hurt you, so if it doesn’t bother you, add as much as you want.
- Try to avoid drenching your salad in vinaigrette. Yes, your salad needs dressing, this is actually really important for Brussels sprout and kale salads, but a pool of vinaigrette? Not so much.
- Keep your salad stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days covered with plastic wrap or transfer to a refrigerator safe container covered with a tight-fitting lid.
More fall side dishes,
- Honey Glazed Carrots with Ginger
- Perfect Baked Potato (How to Bake Potatoes)
- Roasted Cauliflower Recipe (How to Roast Cauliflower)
- Roasted Asparagus Recipe; How to Roast Asparagus
- Spinach Pear and Feta Salad Recipe
If you make this Salad, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe with Lemon Vinaigrette
FOR THE SALAD
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts - thinly sliced
- 4 cups Tuscan kale - stems removed and finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot - shredded and chopped
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 1 large avocado - peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 cup candied walnuts or pecans - chopped
- Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small jar and shake well to combine. Season to taste (I like my vinaigrette to be somewhat strong in vinegar flavor. If you prefer a sweeter vinaigrette, you may wish to add additional maple syrup).
- Combine salad ingredients. In a large bowl toss together the shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, carrots, and pomegranate arils. Just before serving, add the avocado and candied pecans or walnuts.
- Toss and serve. Drizzle salad with prepared vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Best served immediately.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)