We love a good seasonal salad, and this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is currently at the top of our list! It’s light, but satisfying, has amazing texture, and would work well as either an appetizer, side dish, or an entrée when served with your favorite protein.
Here’s why we love it so much:
- No cook! With 5 simple ingredients, you can have this on the dinner table in no time. There’s no cooking involved, and you can cut down on prep time by buying store-bought shaved Brussels sprouts.
- Baby kale! Speaking of ingredients, one of our favorite grocery store finds is baby kale! These tiny little leaves have all the nutrients and benefits of kale, but are much smaller and more tender. You can eat the whole thing, no tough stems!
- Healthy! We don’t follow a gluten-free diet, but we love getting a healthy, vitamin-rich dinner on the table that happens to be gluten-free. Nice to have in your back pocket when entertaining too!
- Homemade salad dressing! Sure, you could use your favorite store-bought dressing, but we prefer to make our own at home. This easy lemon garlic vinaigrette perfectly compliments the flavors of this kale salad, and brings out the sweetness of the fresh apple.
If you love Brussel sprout salads, be sure to check out our Shredded Brussel Sprouts Salad (it’s basically a Brussels sprout Caesar!) or our Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Sesame Vinaigrette (great for meal prep!).
5 Simple Ingredients
- Brussels sprouts: Oh, how we love Brussels sprouts! These are served raw and shredded, which gives this salad its signature texture.
- Baby kale: If you can find baby kale, we highly recommend it for the tender, delicate texture of its leaves.
- Apple: Honeycrisp or any lightly sweet, crisp apple variety. Adds the best crunch!
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese: For a salty, nutty taste. You can easily use Parmesan cheese instead!
- Marcona almonds: One of our favorite nuts for salad (we use them in our House Salad recipe, as well as our Steak Salad. Can substitute with walnuts or pecans.
For the simple lemon garlic salad dressing, you’ll need: extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced shallot, 1 garlic clove finely chopped, Kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper.
If you’ve got fresh herbs that need to be used up, you could easily add a couple teaspoons of chopped herbs directly into the dressing. Would be delicious with tarragon, parsley, or fresh chives.
How To Make Kale Brussels Sprout Salad
- Prep the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends off each Brussel sprout, then cut in half through the root end before thinly slicing.
- Cut the apple into matchsticks. Cut the apple around the core so you’ve got four pieces that lay flat. Cut each piece into thin planks about ¼” thick, then cut each plank into matchsticks, also about ¼” thick.
- Make the salad dressing. Combine all salad dressing ingredients in a glass jar with lid or in a 2 cup measuring cup, then either shake vigorously or whisk. Easy! This would also be great with our Kale Salad Dressing!
- Toss the kale Brussel sprout salad. Drizzle as much of the vinaigrette on top as you like, then stir or toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately!
A few takeaways to make the best version at home:
- We love baby kale, but if you can’t find that and are using a larger kale leaf, such as lacinato or curly kale, discard the stems, as they can be tough and woody. Just use the leaves.
- Don’t leave the lemon juice out of the salad dressing! This helps to prevent the apple matchsticks from oxidizing and turning brown.
Love this salad? Be sure to try our Kale Quinoa Salad next!
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- Make ahead (unassembled): When eating this salad fresh, we prefer the tender, delicate baby kale leaves. However, because they wilt quicker than the Brussels sprouts (which stay crunchy, even with salad dressing), we recommend leaving the ingredients unassembled, but prepped. Store prepped shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, and matchstick apples in their own individual Tupperware containers. You can do this up to 3 days in advance.
- Apple matchsticks can be wrapped very lightly in a paper towel, then stored in a Ziplock bag until needed.
- Make ahead (assembled): If you’re going to make and dress this salad ahead, we recommend using a larger variety of kale, such as lacinato kale or curly kale, as baby kale leaves, which are more tender, wilt quicker. Since the shredded Brussels sprouts are served raw, they hold up well, even with dressing. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- The salad dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks in a fridge.
How To Serve
Kale Brussel sprout salad can be enjoyed as a light lunch or appetizer on its own, or served a a side dish for any number of fall or winter entrées. Here are a few of our favorite seasonal dishes:
- Poultry recipes: Pecan Crusted Chicken, Skillet Chicken with Anchovies, Pan Seared Duck Breast, or Turkey Feta Burgers with Apple Cabbage Slaw complement the flavors in this salad beautifully. But don’t be afraid to serve this salad with a simple store-bought rotisserie chicken!
- Beef and pork recipes: Try our Beef Tenderloin With Parmesan Cream Sauce, easy weeknight Sheet Pan Sausage And Veggies, or our heartier Sausage Ragu Sauce with mushrooms.
- Soup recipes: Everybody loves a classic soup and salad combo! Try serving alongside our Potato Leek Soup or Chicken Tortellini Soup
No, you can eat Brussels raw! Simply trim the ends (discard), then remove any outer leaves that are discolored or ripped before slicing.
Don’t fret! You can use any larger variety of kale (or other leafy greens). We recommend discarding the tough stems, save them for another use, and simply use the leaves. Cut into 1½-2″ pieces.
If you don’t have apple, try making this salad with pears instead. You can cut them into chunks or matchsticks, just like apple.
Absolutely! This would be delicious with tart dried cranberries.
If you make this Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More seasonal salad recipes to try:
No Cook Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
For the kale Brussel sprout salad
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 5 oz baby kale see note below for substitutions
- 1 large honeycrisp apple or 2 small apples
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano grated, or Parmigiano Reggiano
- ½ cup Marcona almonds or walnuts or pecans
- Flaky sea salt optional, for serving
For the salad dressing
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon juiced, about ¼ cup
- 1 small shallot finely chopped, about 2 Tbsp
- 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove of garlic finely chopped
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Shred the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends off each sprout, then cut in half through the root end. Place cut side down on a cutting board, then use a sharp knife to thinly slice. Alternatively, you can shred Brussels sprouts in a food processor or buy pre-shredded from a store.
- Cut the apple. Place the apple on a cutting board, then cut around the core, creating 4 large pieces. Discard the apple core. Place each piece of apple cut side down, then slice into long, thin planks, about ¼" thick. Cut each plank into strips about ¼" thick. Set aside.
- Assemble the salad. To the large bowl of shredded Brussels sprouts, add 5 oz baby kale, apple matchsticks, ½ cup grated Pecorino, and ½ cup Marcona almonds.
- Make the salad dressing. Combine ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup), 2 Tbsp minced shallot, 1½ tsp Dijon, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ tsp Kosher salt, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper in a glass jar with lid or a 2 cup measuring cup. Place the lid on top, then shake vigorously (or whisk well).
- Dress the salad. Drizzle as much of the lemon garlic vinaigrette on top of the salad as you like.
- Taste, then serve. Toss the salad to thoroughly coat, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with a pinch of flaky sea salt on top.
- Kale substitutions: If not using baby kale, you can substitute with ½-1 bunch of lacinato or curly kale. Discard the stems (or reserve for another use), then chop the leaves into small, 1,½-2″ pieces.
- Make ahead: All salad ingredients can be prepped and stored individually up to 2 days in advance. Salad dressing will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in a fridge.
- Leftovers should be enjoyed within 2 days.
Let us know your thoughts!