If you cheer for chopped salad, then you’re gonna scream for a shredded salad. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad has got bite, and plenty of it! From crisp apple and crispier bacon to tangy blue cheese and tart pomegranate seeds, there are flavors and textures galore to love. Dress it all up with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette for the perfect seasonal side salad.
Next to cauliflower, Brussels sprouts have probably had the biggest vegetable glow-up since childhood. They may not be as beloved or ubiquitous as cauliflower, but Brussels sprouts have made it onto the Apps section (i.e. Bites, Small Plates, For Sharing, etc.) of most over-sized, one-sheet, sepia-toned gastropub menus.
You can usually find them drenched in something like Buffalo Sauce or served shredded and “extra crispy.” (Reader, theirs are rarely crispy – but these shaved Brussels sprouts are!)
While I don’t give a hoot about most middling bistro menus, I do care deeply about getting my greens year-round, so I’m just happy that Brussel sprouts are in regular rotation from Thanksgiving through Easter. Everyone loves a classic, like sautéed Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts, but did you know that you don’t need to cook sprouts to enjoy them?
Raw, shaved Brussels sprouts make for some of the best cold weather salads, and I’ve got the data to back that up. While crisp greens will never go out of style, shredded sprouts make a much more interesting salad partner for special meals.
This kale and Brussels sprouts salad makes an appearance at every winter holiday gathering (seriously, that hazelnut vinaigrette alone is worth the effort) and this shredded winter salad is so good you’ll think greens might just be a replacement for dessert (they’re not, but it’s fun to pretent, right?).
Over time, I’ve found that while I like the added greens, I don’t necessarily need them. Brussel sprouts stand on their own in a salad when mixed with other complementary tastes and textures. And this one has it all – sweet, tangy, crispy, crunchy, soft, and punchy.
Are Raw Brussel Sprouts Good for You?
Look, we’re all adults here so let’s not beat around the bush. Brussels sprouts are most definitely nutritious – high in fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants, no fat, low carb, etc. – but you’re not really asking that, are you? You’re asking if they’re edible because you think raw sprouts are tough and bitter and frankly, there are things you’d prefer to be eating that don’t make you fart. There. We said it.
Though not to everyone’s taste, if you’re a fan of arugula, radicchio, endive, or any other bitter greens, don’t sleep on sprouts in your salads. Raw Brussels sprouts are perfectly edible, and downright delish when prepared and dressed properly. The hint of bitterness they give off blends really well with other flavors, especially when those other flavors are complimentary ones like bacon and vinegar.
How to Cut Brussels Sprouts for Salad
Thinly shaved or sliced Brussels sprouts are the only way to serve ’em raw. No matter your preferred method for shredding or shaving, start by trimming the end off each sprout and then peeling off any bruised or discolored outer leaves.
- By hand: (our favorite method) Slice each sprout in half lengthwise (top to bottom), then place cut side down on your cutting board. Starting at the tip, slice each sprout crosswise into ¼″ ribbons to create shreds.
- Food processor: Add to food processor and use the shredding/grating disc to shred sprouts.
- Mandoline: (safety warning) Because of their size (especially when halved), mandolines are not the safest or most effective way to shave Brussels sprouts. If you do use one, you may find it more effective to keep them whole before shredding (but do still peel any discolored outer leaves).
Can I Use a Bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts?
You sure can! If you can find shredded Brussels sprouts at your local grocery store, they’re a perfectly fine substitution in this salad recipe. Just keep freshness in mind – inspect the bag for any mold, too much moisture retention, or yellowed or withering sprouts.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad features some amazing add-ins like toasted pecans, smoky bacon, thinly sliced apple and pomegranate seeds. Dress with a homemade maple mustard cider vinaigrette and garnish with blue cheese crumbles.
- Toast pecans in a skillet, tossing 4-6 minutes until golden brown and very fragrant. Set aside in a small bowl.
- Add bacon to the hot skillet. Cook until the fat renders and the bacon turns golden brown. Place on a lined plate to drain.
- Whisk together apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper to make the base of the vinaigrette.
- Slowly pour olive oil in a steady stream while whisking the dressing constantly until emulsified. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- Combine Brussels sprouts, apple, pomegranate, bacon, and pecans in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until well combined.
- Portion onto plates and garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Serve right away.
- A fresh pomegranate will give you the freshest, juiciest, and most colorful seeds. But it’s also a pain to to seed! Look for packaged pomegranate seeds in the refrigerated section of the produce department.
- Don’t like blue cheese? Try goat cheese or feta.
- Any crisp, sweet apple will work – try gala, fuji, or honeycrisp.
Can I Prep Brussels Sprout Salad in Advance?
You can, but this salad isn’t exactly the best to make ahead. First, focus on the parts – not the whole. You can shred the sprouts in advance and harvest the pomegranate seeds. You can slice the apple, but you’ll have to use lemon juice to prevent it from browning. Note that each ingredient should be stored individually.
The vinaigrette can also be made in advance, but you’re going to have to put some elbow grease back into it to reconstitute so you may as well make it fresh.
Bottom line, it’s fine to prep the produce in advance, especially the sprouts and the seeds, but overall, since it’s not going to save you much time and it may impact flavor, we’re not sure it’s entirely worth it.
How to Store Leftovers
The nice thing about raw sprouts is that they’re hardier than other leafy greens, so they don’t wilt nearly as fast – even once they’re dressed! You can store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days, but this salad is at it’s very best freshly made.
Did you make this shaved Brussels sprout salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and ApplePrint Recipe Rate this Recipe
- ½ c chopped pecans, toasted
- 6 slices bacon sliced into ½” lardons
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1 honeycrisp apple, cored, divided into 8ths and thinly sliced
- ½ c pomegranate seeds
- 3 oz crumbled blue cheese, about ½ cups
- Heat a 10” skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and shake to distribute into an even layer. Toast in the skillet, tossing occasionally, until the pecans are golden brown and very fragrant, 4-6 minutes. Remove the pecans to a plate or small bowl and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon turns golden brown. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk the apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour in the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking constantly until the dressing is emulsified. Taste for seasoning and adjust the vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and/or pepper until the flavor sings.
- In a large bowl, combine the brussels sprouts, apple, pomegranate seeds, cooked bacon, and toasted pecans. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the ingredients are well combined and equally coated in the dressing.
- Portion onto plates and garnish with blue cheese crumbles. Serve right away.