This vibrant green Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad is the perfect winter salad. The perfect balance of crisp and crunchy, along with soft greens and a zesty dressing. Kale and thinly sliced brussels sprouts in a lemony mustard dressing and topped with crunchy apple, pecans and creamy Parmesan. This salad has it all and it's the perfect addition to a festive dinner too.
When you feel like you need a bit of a green boost, then this is the salad for you. It's a great way to boost your vegetable intake and it's delicious too! We love serving this up at Christmas time, and although salad would usually get a few eye rolls on the Christmas table, this isn't just any salad. It has so much flavour and texture, and it's topped with dried cranberries for a festive twist.
Salads don't have to just be for winter and they don't need to be boring either! This is the salad for people that think they don't like kale and sprouts! Make sure to follow all our tips to make the perfect brussels sprout salad recipe.
Looking for some other ways to use brussels sprouts? Why not try our Brussels Sprouts Gratin, Microwave Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts or Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts?
Why you will love it
- A delicious winter salad - Salads aren't just for summer and this is a nice way to enjoy salads through the colder months and use seasonal ingredients.
- A new way to eat kale and brussels sprouts - So you don't like kale and brussels sprouts? This salad will change your mind! The dressing pairs with them beautifully and it will convince even the biggest haters.
- Adaptable - Once you have the base of the greens and the dressing, this is easy to adapt with different toppings. More on that below!
- Stores well - This stores well in the fridge for 4 days, and even longer if you don't dress it first.
- Kale - There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape - we used green curly kale in this recipe, which is what gives it the vibrant green colour. You could use a mixture of purple and green.
- Brussels sprouts - If the outer leaves are a bit brown and dry, then you can peel them off and the underneath should be fine. You want your sprouts to be as vibrant green as possible.
- Apple - We used a red granny smith apple and it adds a lovely crunch, and some sweetness. You could use a green apple instead.
- Pecan - If you want the pecans to have a more intense flavour, then you can toast them first.
- Parmesan - We love the creamy and nuttiness that this adds to the salad. However, you could leave it out if you wanted a dairy free version.
- Lemon - This adds lots of freshness to the dressing. If your lemon is not very juicy, then you might need to use another one.
- Oil - We used a really good quality olive oil. Try to use the best quality that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference. This recipe is quite heavy on the olive oil, but it is needed to soften the kale.
- Mustard - We used Dijon mustard, but you could use wholegrain instead if you prefer.
- Shallots - These add some texture to the dressing. Make sure they are very finely chopped though.
- Salt and pepper - Season to taste.
- Honey - This adds a lovely sweetness to the dressing and cuts through the mustard. We used a good quality runny honey.
- Cranberries - We used dried cranberries and we really love the tartness of them. You could use other dried fruit like cherries, dates or figs though.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make a Brussels Sprout Salad - Step by step
One: In a large mixing bowl add the sliced sprouts and kale.
Two: Add the sliced apple, pecans and dried cranberries.
Three: In a small bowl, mix together the oil, honey, mustard, lemon juice and shallots.
Four: Pour the dressing over the salad and season with salt and pepper.
Five: Mix everything together so that all the sprouts and kale are coated. Serve topped with Parmesan shavings.
This salad is a powerhouse of nutrients. Between the kale and the brussels sprouts, this is bursting with vitamins. There are so many different parts to this salad, we are going to break up the health benefits by ingredients:
Kale is a member of the cabbage family, kale is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. It is a great source of vitamins A, B6, C and K (one of the best sources there is), as well as manganese, iron and calcium. Not only is it nutrient dense, but it is low in calories and fat too. Kale, like other leafy greens such as spinach, is very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of ageing and many diseases, including cancer.
Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. They are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to promote iron absorption and is involved in tissue repair and immune function. They also contain small amounts of potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus and magnesium.
Cranberries are probably most well-known for their association in the management of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Fresh cranberries are very low in sugar, which contributes to their sour taste. Cranberries are also a good source of vitamin C, E, K1, manganese, fibre and copper.
Pecans are a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which can help to lower blood pressure. Most of the fat found in pecans is a healthy type called monounsaturated fat. Nuts are a great way to add some healthy fat to a salad.
Greens - The kale and brussels sprouts really are the star of the salad, however if you wanted to bulk it out a bit, you could shred some little gem or romaine, or even mix in some spinach.
Nuts - These add lots of crunch, and added healthy fat. We used pecans, but walnuts and almonds would work too. For maximum flavour, you can toast them before adding them to the salad.
Fruit - We used some dried cranberries, but you could swap these for dried cherries instead, or even some slices of fresh strawberries. Another great fresh fruit addition is some pomegranate, and it's also a nice way to make it more festive.
Cheese - We added some shaved parmesan, as it is not only creamy, but it has quite a nutty flavour too. You could also use Stilton, feta or a soft goat's cheese.
Extras - Take this salad to the next level by adding some chopped cooked bacon to it. You could even add some leftovers from our Roasted Turkey Breast to make it a delicious way to use up leftovers.
What to serve with Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
This salad will go with so many different meals and it's a really versatile salad. When we are having a heavier main like pizza or burger, a side dish like this really lightens it up and adds some freshness. Why not try our BBQ Chicken Pizza or Baked Chicken Burger?
Although it might seem odd, it's actually a really nice addition to a roast dinner. We would keep it away from the gravy, but it goes really well with the roast meat and potatoes. Why not try our Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Perfect Roast Chicken, Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder, Easy Roast Potatoes or Best Ever Creamy Mashed Potatoes?
Store: This salad stores really well in the fridge, so we like to make a big batch and keep it in the fridge to add to meals over the week. If you store it in an air tight container in the fridge, then it will stay fresh for up to 4 days.
The dressing will start to make it a bit soggy towards the end though. If you are planning to make a big batch to store in the fridge to eat over a few days, then I would store in undressed and then just add the dressing to each individual portion.
Freeze: We do not recommend freezing this salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, they can definitely be eaten raw, but make sure to follow our tips so they aren't hard and chewy.
You want to make sure that the brussels sprouts are as thinly slices as possible, so they aren't hard and chewy. You can either do this with a sharp knife, or you can using the slicing blade on a food processor and this will do it much quicker. If you wanted more of a shaved brussels sprout salad, then you could use a box grater or the grater attachment on a food processor to grate the sprouts.
If you didn't want to eat them raw, then you could blanch them first which would soften them a little. To do this, add them to a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and then allow them to steam dry in the sieve before adding them to the salad.
Yes, you can add cooked chopped bacon to this salad to make it more indulgent.
The kale and brussels sprouts in this recipe shouldn't be chewy because the dressing softens the kale and we sliced the brussels sprouts really thinly. If you haven't done this, then it could result in a chewy salad.
Yes, if you plan to make this in advance, then you can prepare the kale and sprouts and keep in an air tight container and then prepare the dressing and keep it separately in an air tight container. You can then mix it all together with the rest of the ingredients when you are ready to serve it.
Our recipe isn't vegan, however it is easy to make vegan. You can leave out the Parmesan and swap the honey for a good quality maple syrup.
More salad recipes
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Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
- 250 g (3 cups) Brussels sprouts - trimmed and thinly sliced
- 75 g (1.25 cups) Kale - chopped
- 1 Apple - cored and thinly sliced
- 50 g (0.5 cups) Pecans
- 50 g (0.4 cups) Dried cranberries
- 50 g (1.75 oz) Parmesan - shaved
- 1 Lemon - juice only
- 50 ml (0.25 cups) Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Shallots - peeled and finely diced
- 2 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- In a large mixing bowl add 250 g Brussels sprouts and 75 g Kale.
- Add 1 Apple, 50 g Pecans and 50 g Dried cranberries.
- In a small bowl, mix together 50 ml Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Honey, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, juice of 1 Lemon and 2 Shallots.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and season with 2 pinch Sea salt and black pepper.
- Mix everything together so that all the sprouts and kale are coated. Serve topped with 50 g Parmesan shavings.
- To make the kale really soft and buttery, massage it with a little olive oil before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- Make sure to thinly slice the brussels sprouts, as this will make them easier to eat and they won't be hard and chewy.
- You can toast the pecans to give them more flavour.
- To make the dressing really quickly, put all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake well. The dressing can then be kept in the fridge like this until you are ready to use it.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.