This Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with apples, and goat cheese all tossed in a Dijon honey vinaigrette is the perfect side dish for any meal. It's also great for the holidays.
When it comes to fall salads, this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is easiest enough to make for a weeknight dinner but special enough to serve at a holiday meal. It's simple, wholesome, and bursting with fresh flavors.
In the last 10 years, I don't think any vegetable has made a comeback quite like brussels sprouts have. I remember a time when brussels sprouts were every kid's worst nightmare, myself included. I think a huge part of the general population's dislike for Brussels sprouts was the fact that nobody knew the right way to cook or serve them.
One place sprouts are still sometimes ignored - salads! But today that's going to change.
In my opinion, brussels sprouts are one of the best greens to use as a base for salads. It's a sturdier green so it can stand up against thick and creamy dressings, unlike greens like spinach that would wilt under the pressure.
That also means it's a great salad to prep in advance for a holiday gathering since the shredded brussels sprouts stay nice and crunchy. You can make this a couple of days in advance and just add the dressing before serving.
Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps
To make this delicious salad, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Brussels sprouts: You can shred the brussels sprouts yourself at home. For faster prep, buy a bag of pre-shredded brussels sprouts at the store. Whichever works!
- Apple: Choose tart and crisp apples like gala, Honeycrisp, or fuji apples for this dish. You could swap in sliced pears, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, or persimmons. Look for something tart and sweet.
- Goat cheese: This tangy cheese adds a ton of great flavor that pairs beautifully with the rest of our ingredients. You can also swap it out for feta cheese, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, or pecorino romano. It's also a great way to introduce a creamy texture against all the crisp textures.
- Almonds: If you don't like almonds, you can use different nuts like walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds. For an even richer depth of flavor, try toasting them first.
- Red onions: The mildly sharp flavor and beautiful pop of color work wonders in this dish. If needed, you can swap this out for shallots or green onions instead.
- Dijon Mustard: The creamy dressing for this salad gets most of its flavor from the Dijon mustard. Make sure to choose one that you enjoy eating. If you need to swap this out, look for stone mustard or whole-grain mustard. I wouldn't recommend using yellow mustard in the vinaigrette.
- Salad dressing: This salad is made with a Greek yogurt dressing but you can easily make it a vinaigrette by swapping in olive oil for the yogurt.
- Shortcut options: To save time, make sure to buy pre-shredded brussels sprouts. Use dried cranberries or pomegranate arils instead of slicing the apple. Use a store-bought creamy balsamic vinaigrette instead of making your own.
What's the easiest way to shred Brussels sprouts?
The easiest way to shred Brussels sprouts is to buy them shredded! Many stores including Trader Joe's, Costco, Whole Foods, and other grocery stores sell shredded Brussels sprouts near the bagged lettuce and produce.
If you are shredding the Brussels sprouts by hand, there are a few options. Normally, I just cut them very thinly using a sharp knife after removing any browned or discolored leaves. Leave the stem intact since it is easier to cut the sprout with the stem there. Once you get to the stem, just discard it.
You can also use a food processor with the shredding plate attachment or a mandolin. Just make sure to protect your hands using metal mesh gloves or the slicer attachments. Since the sprouts are small, it is very easy to cut yourself.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
Here are some of my top tips on serving styles and substitutions:
- Not a fan of goat cheese? No problem. You can swap it out for blue cheese, feta cheese, or shredded parmesan cheese.
- For a boost of protein, add grilled chicken, shrimp, baked tofu, or crispy chickpeas.
- For added sweetness, try adding pomegranate seeds, raisins, halved grapes, or dried cranberries to the salad.
- If you don't have almonds, you can swap them out for walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds.
- For an extra touch of brightness, try adding the zest of one lemon along with the lemon juice in the dressing.
- If you aren't a fan of raw brussels sprouts, you can add the shredded Brussels to a pan and saute them for roughly 5 minutes to soften them up.
- Add bacon! Brussels sprouts and crispy bacon is a natural pairing so don't shy away from adding some crispy cooked bacon to this salad. To keep things light, use cooked center-cut bacon or turkey bacon.
- Switch up the flavor by adding some balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the dressing. Just whisk it into the dressing instead of the lemon juice. You can also swap in maple syrup for honey.
- For a more traditional vinaigrette, swap in olive oil for the Greek yogurt and leave out the mayonnaise.
What to Serve With Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
You can serve this delicious side dish with a wide variety of dishes; including grilled or baked meats, grains, cooked veggies, and potatoes. It also makes a great fall salad and can be a star side dish on any holiday table.
To get you started, here are some of my favorite side dishes to pair with this brussels sprouts salad recipe:
- Easy Grilled Chicken Breast
- Dijon Baked Salmon
- Crispy Shrimp Burgers
- Grilled Red Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Garlic Mushroom Quinoa
- One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
How to Store This Dish
This dish can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time, as long as the salad and dressing are stored separately in the fridge. Once the dressing is added, the salad will stay fresh for up to 24 hours in the fridge. If you're making this dish ahead of time for meal prep, I highly recommend storing the dressing separately from the salad.
The salad without the dressing will stay fresh for up to 3 days. On its own, the creamy homemade salad dressing can be stored in an airtight container or glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
Can I shred brussels sprouts ahead of time?
Shredding brussels sprouts in advance is a great way to save time, especially if you are preparing them for a holiday meal. Just don't shred them more than 1-2 days in advance. Store them in an airtight container with some paper towels to prevent browning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about making this shaved brussels sprouts.
Absolutely. Because brussels sprouts are fairly firm, it's best to let the shredded Brussels sit in the dressing for 20-30 minutes before serving the salad to allow them to absorb the flavors and soften the crunch.
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that have gained tremendous popularity in recent years for their awesome flavor and impressive nutrient density. These veggies are low in calories and high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
As a high-fiber, low-calorie food, brussels sprouts are widely regarded to be a great weight loss food. However, there are way more health benefits that make brussels sprouts a fantastic addition to any healthy diet.
According to Healthline, these are some of the top health benefits of brussels sprouts:
- Reduces oxidative stress in your cells
- Lowers your risk of chronic disease
- Improves heart health
- Protects against cancer
- Supports digestive health
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels
- Slows cognitive decline
- Helps to reduce inflammation
To bulk up this dish, you can add any protein of your choice. My favorite options are grilled chicken, shrimp, baked salmon, lean grilled steak, and crispy roasted chickpeas.
There is no reason to soak sprouts before eating them, just make sure to clean them well. Some people soak sprouts to help remove the dirt and debris, but rinsing them well works more effectively.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
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- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, shaved or sliced thin
- 1 large apple, sliced thin
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (dressing or olive oil)
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (dressing)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (dressing)
- 1 tbsp light mayonnaise (dressing)
- 1 tbsp honey (dressing)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder (dressing)
- 1 Salt and pepper (dressing)
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Shortcuts: Buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts and use a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette instead of making your own dressing from scratch.
Make ahead: Prep the shaved sprouts, red onion up to 2 days in advance. The dressing can be made up to 5 days in advance. Then add the apple, almonds, cheese, and dressing when serving. If prepping a few hours in advance, toss the apples with a touch of lemon so they don't brown.
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