Favorite Brussels Sprouts Salad

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FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.

A healthy, go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and holiday tables. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and the dressing is a versatile keeper!

 

 

 

This salad could be described as an overachiever.

The ingredients are fairly ordinary, yet they come together in a way that’s somewhat extraordinary.

The recipe earns early points for ease of preparation. Bagged slaw mix may be used, and it can be prepared in advance.

It scores a few more points for flexibility. Have some leftover cabbage slaw or prefer broccoli slaw instead? Use whichever you prefer-or a mix. And if you’d rather shred your own, you may.

For health appeal, this crisp, colorful salad definitely earns an A+.

Extra credit is awarded thanks to the versatile dressing. With only four basic ingredients, the flavor is outstanding and will complement a variety of green and grain-based salads. It’s a great vinaigrette to keep on hand so you can assemble deliciously easy salads in minutes.

I’ve included a mix-and-match framework further down the page so you can create your own salads with ease.

FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.

A funny side note: this salad was recently my contribution to an end-of-season sports team potluck dinner. At the end of the evening, there were several people standing by the bowl, waiting to see who it belonged to so they could request the recipe. I emailed it the next day, and was later asked by several fellow diners to share the easy recipe here, too.

One recipe requester mentioned that she doesn’t care much for salads but claimed the dressing won her over. (Don’t you love it when that happens?)

I often serve a hefty portion as the lone side dish to a simple protein. Indian curry rubbed chicken is shown in the photo below, which I snapped with my iPhone in the dim dinnertime light.That is to say, if I had a decent photo, this flavorful chicken would likely have garnered its own post! For those who may like to try, I shared the simple recipe in this Facebook post (or this Instagram post), but virtually any chicken preparation, salmon, steak or pork will complement well. Ultimately, the simple pairing makes for a meal that’s equal parts easy, satisfying and healthy.

FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.
One recipe taker mentioned that she’d be making this salad as a vegan main dish, serving the cheese on the side for those in her family who partake. When serving as a vegetarian or vegan main entree, the addition of a can of rinsed and drained garbanzo or cannellini beans would supply a good source of plant-based protein.

Along those lines, this salad offers a welcome addition to a Thanksgiving or other holiday menu, as its crisp crunch balances heavier items on the table while providing a satisfying alternative to any plant-based guests.

As an added convenience the recipe relies on pre-shredded Brussels sprouts and can easily be doubled and made in advance. For variety, I often mix in some broccoli slaw, too.

FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.

There will be enough of the Maple Cider Vinaigrette for another smaller salad later in the week or to accommodate those who may enjoy a more liberal coating. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, so feel free to double if you anticipate a need.

As mentioned, the dressing will enhance a wide variety of foods, so use your imagination and create your own unique salads. A little trial and error in this department often yields delicious results!

To get you started, following is basic framework from which you can mix and match and upon which you can build

  • Greens: leaf lettuces like Bibb and romaine or heartier greens such as kale and spinach
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli, either roasted or in slaw form
  • Root vegetables & winter squash: carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, butternut and other winter squash, either roasted or raw and shredded
  • Grains: wild rice, quinoa, farro, millet or sorghum
  • Legumes: white beans like garbanzo and cannellini or lentils
  • Nuts & seeds: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds
  • Cheese: Crumbled blue, goat or feta, shredded cheddar - or nutritional yeast for a vegan alternative
  • Onions: slivered red onion, sliced scallions, sautéed leeks

Healthy never tasted so good!

FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD - A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.

Favorite Brussels Sprouts Salad
Yield: Salad: 4-6 servings / Vinaigrette: a scant ¾ cup
A go-to salad for busy nights, parties, potlucks and 100% worthy of a holiday table. This super-satisfying salad can be made in advance and you'll want to use the dressing over and over again.
For the salad:
  • 1 (14-ounce) package shaved Brussels sprouts (or 1 pound fresh, trimmed and shredded)
  • 1 apple, cored and diced (I use sweet; could substitute a pear or use a mix)
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese (may substitute feta)
  • ⅓ cup chopped almonds (I like salted or Smokehouse; may substitute walnuts, pecans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – or a mix of your favorites)
  • ¼ cup diced or slivered red onion
  • ~ ½ cup Maple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
For the Maple Cider Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (56ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (40ml) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and several turns of the pepper mill
Instructions:

For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until emulsified (i.e., well blended and thickened). Optionally, place everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Prep-ahead tip: the vinaigrette can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge (where it will ultimately keep for a few weeks.) Bring to room temperature and shake or stir well before using.

Salad assembly: Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and drizzle with ½ cup or so of the vinaigrette. Toss well, drizzling with more vinaigrette, if desired.

Notes:

Fully mixed, this salad keeps well for a day or so in the refrigerator. The sprouts and apple will soften slightly, but the apple doesn’t brown much thanks to the vinegar in the dressing. If you plan to enjoy leftovers over several days, you may wish to add the apple as you go. For maximum crunch, do the same with the nuts and seeds.

Options:
You could use the extra dressing to accommodate additions like a cup or so of cooked quinoa or grain of choice.
Recently, I’ve been using half shaved Brussels sprout and half broccoli slaw.
Not a fan of blue cheese? Try crumbled feta or goat cheese-or even shredded cheddar. Or serve the cheese on the side, or simply omit.
Dried cherries, chopped dates or dried apricots could be used in place of the dried cranberries. Similarly, pomegranate arils would add a festive touch.
I often serve a hearty portion of this salad with a protein like chicken, salmon or pork for a satisfying, complete meal. Alternatively, you can mix in some cooked and shredded chicken-or try a can of rinsed and drained white beans for a protein-rich, plant-based meal.
The last time I served this, I tossed in some leftover roasted winter squash and thought it added something special. I think roasted sweet potatoes would be quite nice, too.
Prepared slaw mix serves as a helpful shortcut, although you may certainly shred your own.

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

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Comments

  1. Laura

    This salad was a wonderfully refreshing side dish for our Thanksgiving dinner! Many options are available, and I choose to start with the following: shredded Brussel sprouts mixed with some broccoli slaw, 2 sliced green onions, and dried cranberries. A few hours before serving, I added a diced Fuji apple and a half cup of the dressing. Right before serving, I added chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, and the rest of the dressing. Very pleased with the outcome. Thank you, Ann, for another great recipe. Will definitely make this one again!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      So happy to read your comment, Laura. Thank you for the thoughtful feedback. Coincidentally, I made this salad earlier in the week and added roasted winter squash and beets. For Thanksgiving, I varied it again and used the dressing for a kale salad with wild rice, roasted sweet potato, dried cranberries and a few other odds and ends. The recipe is tasty as is but so versatile, too…and the leftovers made a great lunch earlier today with some leftover turkey tossed in!

      Reply
  2. Lisa Post author

    I’ve made this salad so many times since you first posted it. After making the recipe as written several times I’ve branched out to use many of the options you suggest and now feel comfortable whipping it up without a recipe. The dressing is unbelievably delicious! Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Lisa, I’m so happy you’ve discovered how easy it is to throw this salad together with a variety of ingredients. I love to keep the dressing on hand so it’s ready whenever needed. It’s a great way to get everyone here to enjoy healthy salads!

      Reply