This healthy and satisfying salad is packed with flavor and nutrients. Cutting the brussels sprouts into tiny pieces makes them easier to eat and pair with other items on your dinner plate.
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Brussels sprouts are essential during the holidays, especially for a Thanksgiving feast. Your guests will appreciate a healthy option on the dinner table. There are many ways to prepare them, but thinly slicing raw brussels sprouts to make a hearty salad has become my new favorite.
Brussels sprouts are like tiny cabbages with a rubbery texture, nutty flavor, and slightly bitter taste. Paired with a tangy citrus dressing, sweet fruit, and salty cheese, the combination of flavors delivers a refreshing side dish.
- Brussels Sprouts: You need 1 pound of fresh brussels sprouts for the recipe. Their peak season is fall to spring, between late August to March. This should yield about 4 to 5 cups of shaved sprouts.
- Dressing: To make a tangy citrus dressing, whisk together lemon, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
- Toppings: To add interesting taste and texture, diced or thinly sliced apples, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and shaved parmesan cheese are added. It’s easy to customize!
See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).
Prepare the brussels sprouts
Step 1: For this shaved brussel sprout salad recipe, I recommend using a sharp knife and cutting board to shred the sprouts. The key to a more tender texture is thinly slicing the sprouts crosswise. Start from the top, slicing down until you reach the fibrous stem. I discard the stem because it’s very tough.
If you slice lengthwise, the center stem will keep the leaves intact, making it tougher to chew. Alternatively, you can use a mandolin slicer, but watch your fingertips! Using a fork to feed the sprout past the blade helps with safety. The fastest method is to use a food processor fitted with a slicing disc.
Make the dressing
Step 2: The lemon and honey vinaigrette adds a nice aromatic and sweet coating to the shaved sprouts. It’s a punchy dressing made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and olive oil.
It’s straightforward but adds brightness to the vegetables. Make sure to gradually add the olive oil, whisking in vigorously to create a lightly thickened emulsified dressing. This is great to add to hearty greens like a kale salad.
Assemble the salad
Step 3: Grab a large serving bowl, and layer the shredded sprouts, crisp apples, cranberries, cheese, and pepitas. Drizzle on enough dressing to coat, then give it a gentle toss. I like adding a little more vinaigrette and toppings before serving for a pretty presentation.
Allowing the salad to marinate for about 15 minutes will help soften the tough sprouts while infusing more flavor from the dressing. I recommend serving the salad the same day for the best taste. Otherwise, the leaves will break down and wilt in the tangy dressing.
Try these tasty options to switch up the taste of the shaved brussel sprout salad!
- Dressing: The honey can be swapped for maple syrup. Try balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing for a tangy flavor. Try a creamy dressing like homemade ranch or green goddess.
- Vegetables: Add shaved carrots, diced cucumber, or pickled red onions.
- Fruit: Use sweet apples like Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp. Add Granny Smith green apples if you enjoy a sour taste. Diced pears are a nice fall flavor. Add dried apricots, cherries, or raisins.
- Citrus: Instead of lemons, use limes, orange juice, or mandarins.
- Cheese: Instead of parmesan, try pecorino romano, goat cheese, feta, or gorgonzola.
- Nuts and Seeds: Try sunflower or pine nuts to switch up the pumpkin seeds. Sliced almonds, candied pecans, or walnuts add a delicious crunch.
- Herbs: Chop up fresh tarragon, basil, chives, green onions, or parsley.
- Roasted turkey
- Mashed potatoes
- Crock-pot stuffing
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Cornbread muffins
- Green bean casserole
Frequently asked questions
There are three ways to make shaved Brussels sprouts. Use a chef’s knife to hand cut, a mandoline, or a food processor fitted with the slicing disc.
The stem end of the brussel sprout that connects to the stalk tends to be tough and fibrous when raw. I recommend trimming off a small portion of the ends, especially if it’s browned in color. This will make the salad more tender.
Cut the sprouts as thin as possible! Target between ⅛ to 1/16-inch thick. This will vary depending on the method used to shred the sprouts.
Yes, you can use pre-cut brussels sprouts. Measure out 5 cups for the salad recipe.
Preventing shaved brussel sprouts from browning
It’s best to shred the brussels sprouts as close to serving as possible for the best taste and texture. If preparing ahead, transfer the shaved sprouts to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 day. The leafy green portions tend to retain their color, however, the lighter stem parts will turn brown over time. Tossing with a citrus dressing that contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and citric acid will slow the rate of oxidation and color change. This is helpful if the salad is being served during the holidays and is left out at room temperature.
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup diced Fuji apple, or Honeycrisp, ¼" dice
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pepitas, or sunflower seeds
- Prepare the Brussels Sprouts – Add the sprouts to a colander and rinse well with cold water. Drain and dry them. Starting at the top of the sprout, thinly slice crosswise, into ⅛-inch thick or thinner pieces. Discard the bottom stem end.
- Make the Dressing – In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, continuously whisking until a thickened dressing is formed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the Salad – In a large serving bowl, add the shaved brussels sprouts, apples, cranberries, parmesan cheese, and pepitas. Drizzle on the dressing, gently tossing to coat. Serve immediately.
- Recipe Yield: About 6 cups
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Dressing Yield: ½ cup
- Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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