Transform raw Brussels sprouts into one of your new favorite fall salads—alongside my Kale Waldorf Salad and Apple Kale Slaw.
You can serve restaurant-quality eats for any weeknight dinner, holiday meal, or quick lunch with this crowd-pleasing dish. Inspired by the classic brussel sprout and kale salad recipe featured by popular sites like Bon Appetit, Whole Foods, NY Times, and Epicurious, my recipe will delight your tastebuds whether you’re a beginner or an expert chef.
This kale Brussel sprouts salad comes together in three sets of basic ingredients:
- For the salad ingredients, you’ll need one large bunch of Tuscan kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, grated Parmesan cheese, and (if desired) dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds.
- To make the dressing, gather olive oil, fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, minced shallot, salt, and black pepper.
- For the nuts, I suggest using sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans.
Substitutions & Optional Add-Ins
Take this shaved brussel sprout and kale salad to the next level with countless tasty additions. Add a pop of flavor with tangy fruit, creamy cheese, and savory meats. The options are endless!
- Kale: Because of its mild flavor and popularity in grocery stores, lacinato kale is my go-to for this easy recipe. If you’d like to try other Types of Kale, curly kale has a sharp, peppery flavor that will work great in your kale Brussel salad.
- Nuts: Rich in protein and packed with crunch, nuts are a must in this Brussels sprouts’ n’ kale salad. Any nut would work in this versatile recipe—even candied nuts like candied pecans! You could also swap out the nuts for seeds, like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, to accommodate nut allergies.
- Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar work as substitutes if you don’t want to use apple cider vinegar. You can also make this recipe closer to the Cracker Barrel brussel sprout and kale salad recipe by serving it with my Dijon Maple Vinaigrette.
- Shallot: Use red onions instead of shallots if you can’t get your hands on them.
- Cheese: If you’re tired of using Parmesan in your salad recipes, there are dozens of other cheeses to try. Pecorino Romano will give your Brussels sprouts salad a sharp, salty edge, while earthy goat cheese, crumbly blue cheese, and tangy feta cheese would also work.
- Optional fruit: Apple, raisins, and craisins make the perfect addition to this simple kale and Brussels sprouts salad. With such vibrant color in your salad bowl, you’ll have the ultimate dish to serve alongside your holiday dinner.
- For meat lovers: Turn your veggie-packed side into a healthy meal by adding a nutritious protein. Top your salad with Turkey Bacon for a kick of crispy bacon flavor, or add Baked Chicken Breasts for a succulent addition.
How to Make this Recipe?
Kale brussel sprout cranberry salad is among my favorite easy salad recipes to whip up on busy weeknights and special occasions alike. You can even hone your veggie prep by checking out my foolproof guide on How to Cut Kale.
- Prepare the kale: Wash and rinse the kale leaves under cold water, and dry them in a salad spinner. Then, use a sharp knife to remove the kale stems and thinly chop the remaining leaves. Once chopped, place the kale in a large bowl.
- Shave the Brussels sprouts: Rinse the Brussel sprouts under cold water using a colander, dry them, and remove their outermost leaves. Then, place them in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Switch on the machine and feed the Brussels sprouts into the tube. Once shaved, transfer the Brussels sprouts from the food processor into the salad bowl with the kale.
- Mix the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the vegetables: Gently pour the dressing over the kale and Brussel sprouts. Toss the mixture such that each leaf has an even coating of the dressing. This even layer will help soften the kale, but if you want, you can also massage kale and sprouts gently to ensure they are fully mixed with the dressing. Set the vegetables aside and let them rest.
- Toast the almonds: Place the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the nuts for 4-5 minutes, frequently stirring, until they turn fragrant and lightly brown.
- Add the toppings: Top the shaved brussel sprout salad with Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, and cranberries if using. Toss the mixture until evenly combined, then serve.
How to Make Ahead and Store
This Lemony brussel sprout salad is as easy to make ahead and store as it is to prepare (hello, easy kale storage!). Here’s how I do it:
- Make ahead: To make this kale Brussels sprouts salad ahead of time, prepare each component (i.e., salad, dressing, and toppings) one day in advance. Begin by washing, chopping, and shaving the kale and Brussel sprouts, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Then, mix the dressing and store it in a separate airtight container, such as a mason jar, in the refrigerator. Toast the almonds and store them at room temperature. Lastly, shred the Parmesan cheese and store it in the fridge. Combine the ingredients just before serving.
- Store: To store your salad with Brussel sprouts, place it in an airtight container in the fridge. If you have not yet added the dressing, the veggies will stay fresh for 3-4 days. However, if you have already added the dressing, your salad mixture will last up to two days. You may also extend your salad’s storage time by storing each salad component separately and dressing individual servings as needed.
What to Serve with this Salad
With so many tantalizing flavors, this Brussel sprout and kale recipe makes the ultimate side dish for dozens of tasty mains. Here are just a few delicious recipes to try with your new favorite salad:
- Meat Dishes: My favorite way to serve this kale Brussels sprouts salad is with a savory, meaty main. Ground Turkey Meatloaf is a flavorful classic even picky eaters love, while Baked Chicken Parmesan and Chicken Fricassee will perfectly complement your light salad with rich and succulent flavor.
- Vegetarian Dinners: Fill your plate with nutritious and eco-conscious foods by pairing your brussel sprout salad with tasty vegetarian recipes. Quinoa Chili and Mexican Quinoa will balance your kale salad with hearty spice, and Stuffed Acorn Squash is a festive, gluten-free option everyone can enjoy.
Absolutely! Just be sure to shred your raw brussel sprouts before adding them to your recipe.
Yes, I recommend rinsing your brussels sprouts under cold water before cooking with them. I also recommend removing each sprout’s dark, outermost leaves to ensure maximum freshness.
Similar Salad Recipes You Might Also Like:
- Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad
- Roasted Pear Salad
- Apple Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Acorn Squash Salad
If you try this Kale Brussels Sprout Salad recipe or any other salad recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Kale Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe
For The Salad:
- 1 large bunches of Tuscan Kale or Curly Kale ~1 lb
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts finely chopped – I used my food processor
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds optional
For The Dressing:
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ small shallot minced (about 2 tablespoons) or red onion
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
For The Nuts:
- 1 cup sliced or whole almonds or chopped walnuts or pecans
- Prep the kale: Wash and rinse the kale leaves under cold water. Dry in a salad spinner. Remove stems and chop thinly. Place it in a large salad bowl.
- Shave Brussel sprouts*: Place Brussel sprouts in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Turn the machine on and feed brussels sprouts into the tube and let the machine do all the work for you. Transfer the now-shaved Brussels sprouts into the bowl with kale.
- Make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the vegetables with the dressing and give it a toss to make sure all the leaves are evenly coated with the dressing. Set aside and let it rest.
- Place almonds in a small empty skillet over medium heat. Toast for 4-5 minutes, keeping a very close eye on and stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned. Chop them up into large bite-size pieces.
- To assemble, sprinkle the brussel sprout and kale salad with toasted almonds, parmesan cheese, and cranberries (or pomegranate arils), if using. Toss to combine and serve.
- When it comes to shredding brussels sprouts, you have two other options:
- Use a sharp pairing knife and slice one by one as thinly as you can. This takes around 10-15 minutes for a pound of raw brussels sprouts.
- Use a mandolin. This method produces evenly sliced Brussels spouts and takes about 8-10 minutes to shred a pound of brussels sprouts. If you need advice on a good mandoline, I just purchased this one (affiliate link), and I love it.
- To make ahead: To make this salad ahead of time, prepare each component (i.e., salad, dressing, and toppings) one day in advance. Assemble it right before serving.
- To Store: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. You may also extend your salad’s storage time by storing each salad component separately and dressing individual servings as needed.
Looking for something healthier after the gluttony of holiday dining. Very happy with this salad. Even my college son enjoyed it. I subbed vidalia onions for the shallots and forgot the avocado altogether. It was terrific – perfect blend of sweet and savory. This is definitely staying in my meal planning lineup, and I’m excited to try different seasonal fruit as the months roll by. Very impressed!
I am thrilled to hear that you like it. I make this salad all the time.
Blood oranges pair very well with this salad. ? I hope you try it some time.
When I first read the ingredients I thought it would be needing a protein but it totally doesn’t. It’s perfect like it is! My husband loved it too.
So happy to hear that you guys liked it Caitlin. Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. Cheers!
SO many of my favorites in this salad and the dressing was fabulous, too!
I love how fresh this salad is. Perfect for TG!
I agree. It will be on our table for sure. 🙂
Toni | Boulder Locavore
I love how flavorful it is! So festive, too!
Thank Toni. Perfect for the holidays, for sure.
A perfect salad for the holidays.
Thanks Barbara. Can’t agree more.
The colors are just GORGEOUS! What a salad!
Thank you Trish. So glad you liked it.
Packed with flavor I loved the addition of pomegranate to the mix!
So happy to hear that you liked it. Thanks Melissa.
I LOVE the brussels and kale combo here. So good!
Can I just say…I LOVE this salad!!
Ha ha. Yes, you can. So sweet of you. Thanks Brenda!
The sugared pecans and the blue cheese and the pom seeds all really add to this salad and make it wonderful!
Can’t agree more. Thanks for stopping by Lori!
We made this last night and it was so good. I didn’t have pomegranate seeds so I swapped them with raisins. It was great. Thanks for another great recipe.
This salad is the perfect addition to your holiday table: colorful, delicious and made with fresh seasonal ingredients. It is delightfully crunchy and healthy. Enjoy!!
Brussels Sprouts never disappoint, do they? Thanks so much for letting me know. I am so happy to hear that you liked it.
This salad is calling my name! Love everything in it! The tips about shredding brussels sprouts are really helpful. Your story about using a mandoline sounds so scary that I don’t even think of buying one.
This looks so delicious! What a great combo of flavors!
Thank you sugar. It ended up being so SO yummy. Working on another brussels sprouts recipe today, wishing you were still here to test it. 🙂