Brussels Sprouts Salad is a bright and crunchy side dish everyone will love. My recipe is easy to make–simply prepare your produce and toss in an zesty vinaigrette dressing. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving!
A Unique Thanksgiving Side Dish
This Thanksgiving, most of our diets will consist of carb-heavy, creamy, and rich foods (I’m looking at you mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and creamed spinach). While I love all of those things, sometimes it’s nice to break it up a bit with something bright, fresh, and crunchy, like this brussels sprouts salad!
This quick and easy salad makes for a satisfying, lighter side that pairs so well with heartier dishes. The juicy tartness of the green apples and pomegranate complement the brussels sprouts wonderfully, and candied pecans add a sweet crunch. We’re tossing everything with a vinaigrette that is subtly sweet and tart thanks to fresh lemon juice. The combination of flavors is unique, and you’ll find you won’t be able to stop eating it!
Why you’ll love it:
- Maintains a crunchy texture after dressing, unlike most salads.
- Takes just 15 minutes to prep.
- A great way to enjoy brussels sprouts without cooking them.
- Can be served any time of year, but especially during the fall/winter months.
What You Need
Brussels sprouts salad is full of textures and flavors. Here are a few of the key ingredients in my recipe:
- Brussels sprouts. Use fresh brussels sprouts. You’ll want to shred your them so they are thin and easy to bite. You could use a mandolin to do this, but I personally opt to cut them myself, and will detail exactly how I do this below. Hint: a sharp knife is key!
- Pomegranate arils. I recommend buying a whole pomegranate and removing the arils yourself versus buying the pre-packaged version (they just don’t taste the same — and it’s far more expensive to buy them pre-packaged!). Check the recipe notes for a few ideas on how to remove these easily, and let me know in the comments if you have a different method. Dried cranberries will also work, if you prefer those.
- Maple syrup. Do NOT use pancake syrup! While I don’t have a preference in my chocolate chip cookies (either works fine there), you need to use pure maple syrup here. Honey will also work.
- Cheese. I love using feta here for its crumbly texture and salty bite, but you could use goat cheese or gorgonzola instead.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Shave Brussels Sprouts
Shaving the Brussels sprouts is the most time-consuming part of this entire process, but a little patience pays off big time. You have a few options for this process.
- A mandolin. Use the thinnest or second thinnest setting. I don’t love this option because it’s difficult to keep your fingers a safe distance from the blade and the guard never seems to securely hold the sprout, which makes slicing a bit too dicey for me. If you opt to use one, proceed with caution.
- A food processor. This is quick and convenient! Your food processor should come with a shredding blade that you can use. Cut the root out and use this blade to shred Brussels sprouts quickly for Brussels sprouts salad.
- A sharp knife. This is my method of choice; it takes the most time but a well-sharpened knife makes the process smooth and efficient. Hold the sprout by the root and slice crosswise into very, very thin slices.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Combine the produce, pecans, and cheese in a bowl.
- Prepare the dressing, then pour it over your ingredients and toss to coat.
- Cover the bowl and let the salad chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before enjoying.
SAM’S TIP: I love using candied pecans in my brussels sprouts salad for a sweet bite! It’s worth noting that as they sit in the dressing, the candied coating will break down; if this bothers you, you can just toss the pecans in right before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! While you might be used to eating them roasted, brussels sprouts are actually just as delicious raw. When shredded, they actually taste very similar to cabbage. As a result, this salad maintains a crisp crunch even after being dressed, much like coleslaw.
If you’re skeptical, give this recipe a try–you may even like them better this way!
Obviously this salad works beautifully among hearty fall/winter foods as a lighter option, but it also makes for a great summer salad too, similar to my broccoli salad. Serve it at a cookout with pulled pork or burgers for a crunchy, warm weather side.
Or, if you want to make a meal out of the salad itself, you can serve it topped with your protein of choice; seared chicken breasts would be great!
Yes! You can prepare your dressing, shred your brussels sprouts, chop your pecans, and remove your pomegranate arils a day or two in advance. Store everything except the pecans in a sealed containers in the fridge. On the day you’re planning to serve, you can combine the prepared ingredients with chopped apples and the feta cheese.
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 ½ lbs brussels sprouts shaved (see note) (680g)
- 1 cup Granny Smith apple cut into thin matchstick pieces (1 medium-large sized apple,
- 1 cup pomegranate arils (170g) see note, may substitute dried cranberries
- ½ cup feta cheese (75g)
- 1 cup candied pecans (107g) coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (78ml)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup not pancake syrup
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine brussels sprouts, apple, pomegranate arils, feta, and pecans (or reserve pecans to add just before serving if you wish to maintain crunch) in a large bowl.
- In a separate dish, whisk together all dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, sugar, salt, and black pepper).
- Immediately drizzle dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. Toss salad again before serving (and don’t forget to add your pecans if you withheld them in step 1!).
How to shave brussels sproutsYou could use a mandolin (be sure to use a guard for the blade so you don’t cut yourself!) but I hold the end of the brussels sprout and slice it as thinly as I can with a sharp knife (a sharp knife is key!). Once you get close to the stem, simply discard.
Pomegranate arilsThere are a number of methods to remove the arils (they’re not seeds, though they look like they should be!) from a pomegranate. My preferred method is to first roll the pomegranate firmly on your countertop to loosen the arils. Cut it in half crosswise, then use a small spoon to scoop out the arils into a bowl of cool water, where any pulp will separate out so you can discard it before draining. Some people like to smack the outside of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon after cutting it crosswise over the water, this works too but is a bit messier.
Candied pecansYou can substitute regular, non-candied pecans if desired, the salad will just be a bit less sweet (which you can counter by increasing the sugar in the dressing by 1 teaspoon). Note also that while the pecans will be crisp at first, the coating will dissolve as it sits in the dressing. Alternatively you can keep the pecans separately and add just before serving.
StoringThis salad will keep for up to 48 hours covered in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.