by Olena

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 4 votes

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Elegant Brussels Sprouts Salad with thinly sliced brussels, fresh spinach, toasted almonds, Parmesan cheese shavings, and lemon garlic dressing. The flavor combination is so outstanding you will be craving it all year long, not just at the holidays!

Other holiday worthy salads that we love to eat year round include spinach strawberry salad, lemon kale salad and lettuce salad!

brussels sprouts salad with spinach

This brussels sprouts salad has exceeded all of my expectations. I like roasted brussels sprouts. I love sauteed brussels with bacon and air fried brussels. But after today, I might just love raw mini cabbages (aka brussel sprouts!) even more!

Shaved brussel sprouts soak up the dressing while softening and you immediately wonder why you have not made this restaurant quality dish sooner! This colorful winter salad is festive enough for the holidays yet simple enough to jazz up a weeknight healthy dinner.

Why Make Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad?

  • Delight for the tastebuds: Toasty almonds, juicy pomegranate arils, fresh shaved parmesan cheese and garlic lemon dressing come together so well, you will forget that you are eating veggies, too! 
  • Healthy: Brussels sprouts are low in calories yet high in fiber and vitamins C and K!
  • Antioxidant rich: Brussels contain kaempferol, an antioxidant and pomegranate seeds get their vibrant red hue from polyphenols, also an antioxidant!
  • Iron absorption: Spinach and lemon not only taste great together, but when paired they actually help your body absorb more iron. 
  • Colorful: Who can resist this colorful spinach sprouts salad with its bright green, vibrant red and creamy white colors- it is a feast for the eyes!

When it’s time for a dinner main, swap the mini cabbages and go for full size cabbage instead by making braised cabbage with applescabbage roll casserolecabbage stir fry, or Instant Pot corned beef and cabbage– the Ukrainian in me will always love cabbage!

spinach sprouts salad with pomegranate and almonds

Ingredients for Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad

  • Brussels sprouts: Look for smaller sized brussels sprouts with no visible signs of old age. See section below on picking the best sprouts at the store!
  • Baby spinach: I love to buy organic baby spinach, larger spinach leaves can be used but will need to be chopped smaller.
  • Pomegranate arils: These are the seeds inside the pomegranate. They add a sweet and lovely pop of color to shredded brussel sprout salad. You can buy arils already deseeded but they often come with a hefty price tag!
  • Lemon and garlic: Fresh lemon and fresh garlic will have the best dressing results.
  • Maple syrup: Just a touch balances the tart taste from the lemon.
  • Almonds: For crunch, you can use any nut you prefer but be sure to toast it for best flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: Grated fresh will have best taste, I love thinly sliced, but you could shred parmesan as well.
  • Salt and pepper: To season and taste.

As with most salads, fresh is best! Freshly squeezed lemon vs. bottled, fresh minced garlic vs. jarred and freshly shaved parmesan all add up to giving this shaved brussel sprout salad it’s amazing taste.

brussels sprouts salad

How To Buy and Store Brussels Sprouts?

When buying brussels, avoid sprouts with yellow, shriveled or wrinkled leaves which indicates age or black spots which is a sign of fungus/mold. Sprouts should be a healthy green color, firm and heavy. Smaller sprouts will also be more flavorful and tender than larger ones.

When storing your loose sprouts, remove any damaged leaves and store in an air tight container unwashed for up to two weeks.

If buying bagged brussel sprouts, they are often already pre-washed and ready to eat. You will want to plan on using them sooner and although they are already ‘clean’ I often give them another rinse.

a bag of brussels sprouts

How to Make Brussel Sprouts Salad

I think the most intimidating part about making anything with shredded brussels sprouts is the shredding part. Do not fret. It is easy-peasy to do even by hand, with a food processor or a mandoline.

  • Prep sprouts: Rinse brussels sprouts. Trim the ends and remove outer leaves – using sharp paring knife, cut off the dark part of the stem and remove bruised or 2-3 outer leaves that fall off. 
  • Shred them: Thinly slice using a sharp chef’s knife. You can also use a food processor with slicing blade. I find mandoline slicer time consuming as you have to attach each mini cabbage to a guard. If you have a strong blender, you might be able to shred them by pulsing in blender.
  • Prep dressing & other ingredients: Toast almond, shave Parmesan, make lemon vinaigrette dressing and deseed pomegranate, if necessary.

Deseeding a pomegranate is really easier than you think! The most common method is to cut pomegranate in half, hold cut side over a bowl of water. With a wooden spoon, smack the skin on the side facing you repeatedly and watch the seeds fall out. 

  • Marinate for about 1 hour: Allow raw brussels sprouts to “cook” in the dressing, soften and soak up the flavors for about 1 hour.

Shredded brussel sprout salad has the best taste when it has marinated for 1 hour. But if you are in a rush, at least give it 30 minutes!

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Brussels substitute: If you really don’t like brussels sprouts, you can use shredded cabbage or even broccoli slaw.
  • Pre-shredded sprouts: Buy if your store carries them or shred your own and refrigerate in a Ziploc bag for up to 5 days.
  • Nuts options: Substitute slivered almonds with more affordable chopped whole almonds or pecans. Pistachios or sunflower seeds work well too.
  • Other cheeses: Feta cheese or goat cheese would also pair nicely.
  • Pomegranate substitute: Replace pomegranate with dried cranberries. If sweetened, please note salad will be sweeter. A sweeter apple such as honey crisp or red pears would also be delicious.
  • Spinach replacement: Instead of spinach you can use kale, arugula, or mixed salad greens.
  • Maple syrup: You could use honey (will be thicker to incorporate) or your favorite liquid sugar free replacement.
  • Bacon: You can never go wrong with cooked and chopped bacon when paired with shaved brussel sprout salad! You may also love bacon wrapped asparagus at the holidays.
  • Onion: Red onion or chopped shallots would pair nicely with this spinach sprouts salad!

Tips for Best Results

  • Eat sooner than later: This salad is best served within 1 hour of dressing. 
  • Parmesan: Use real Parmesan cheese and shave it on a slicing side of a box grater.
  • Extra protein: Add some chopped cooked chicken or turkey for a well-balanced lunch or dinner. You could also stir in some quinoa or add roasted sweet potatoes/squash.
  • Pre-shredded sprouts: If your store carries pre-shredded sprouts this is a nice convenience or you can shred your own and refrigerate in a Ziploc bag for up to 5 days.

FAQs

Is it safe to eat raw brussels sprouts?

Yes, unlike some vegetables or legumes that are best served cooked due to concerns about compounds found in them that inhibit the full of absorption of some minerals, sprouts do not contain common anti-nutrients that some people avoid. They are safe to eat raw but most people find them most palatable to consume raw when they are shredded or shaved, like in this salad.

What pairs well with brussels sprouts?

There are so many ways to pair shredded brussel sprouts salad and I have listed many popular holiday pairings below. Some additional weeknight dinner pairings could include oven baked chicken breast or baked chicken thighs. I also love this sprouts salad with a bowl of hearty soup such as minestrone or chicken stew.

What is the difference between shaved and shredded brussel sprout?

These words are actually used interchangeably and refer to the same thing – thinly sliced sprouts.

How do I know if my brussel sprouts are still good?

When stored in an airtight container, your brussels will stay good up to two weeks! If you go to use them and notice brown or moldy spots, they have bone bad and should be discarded. They might also have a sour smell.

Should I soak brussels?

No need to soak, but rinsing well is always recommended!

Why are brussel sprouts ate at Christmas?

A simple case of timing! While these days, you can find brussels year round at the store, they are a cool season veggie and can be grown in winter.

Why are they called brussels sprouts?

If you guessed it has something to do with the capital of Belgium, you are correct! They got their name from the fact that they were first cultivated in Belgium in the 16th century.

shaved brussels sprouts with parmesan and almonds

How to Serve Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad?

Spinach sprouts salad tastes best within 1-5 hours after made. That’s when brussels are soft, almond still crunchy and spinach not soggy.

I assume many of you will be looking at this salad in October-November. May I suggest a few pairings for your Thanksgiving, holidays, and a healthy dinner table?

Also, check out this list of 50 healthy Thanksgiving recipes!

How to Store Spinach Sprouts Salad?

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 day. Salad will still taste good 90%.

Make ahead by refrigerating a bowl without almonds and salad dressing tightly covered for up to 48 hours. You can also store toasted almonds on a counter. Whisk salad dressing and combine everything at least 1 hour before serving. Easy-peasy.

More Salad Recipes

shredded brussels sprouts salad
Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Elegant Brussels Sprouts Salad with thinly sliced brussels, fresh spinach, toasted almonds, Parmesan cheese shavings, and lemon garlic dressing. The flavor combination is so outstanding you will be craving it all year long, not just at the holidays!
5 from 4 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 6 servings (side dish)
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 4 cups baby spinach thinly sliced
  • 2 small pomegranates 1 cup arils, seeded
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings
  • 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 small garlic clove grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Trim the ends with paring knife and remove outer leaves from brussels sprouts.
  • Using sharp chef’s knife, slice brussels thinly. Alternatively you can use a food processor with slicing attachment. Transfer to a large salad bowl.
  • Toast almonds in a skillet on medium heat, stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl with brussels. Deseed pomegranate for arils.
  • Add spinach, pomegranate arils and Parmesan cheese.
  • In a small bowl, whisk with a fork olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over salad.
  • Toss salad gently with tongs and let marinate for at least 1 hour. Serve as a side dish or as a main entree.

Store: Refrigerate salad covered for up to 1 day.

    Make Ahead: You can make ahead brussels sprouts salad for up to 24 hours with the dressing. Or up to 48 hours without dressing and almonds and combine everything at least 1 hour before serving.

      Equipment

      Sharp chef's knife
      Sturdy cutting board

      Notes

      • Substitute slivered almonds: With more affordable chopped whole almonds or pecans. Pistachios work well too.
      • Cheese: Fresh is best, shave parmesan on a slicing side of a box grater. Feta cheese or goat cheese would also pair nicely.
      • Replace pomegranate: With dried cranberries. If sweetened, please note salad will be sweeter.
      • Instead of spinach: You can use kale, arugula or mixed salad greens.
      • Other cabbage: If you really don’t like brussels sprouts, you can use shredded cabbage or even broccoli slaw.
      • Maple syrup: You could use honey (will be thicker to incorporate) or your favorite liquid sugar free replacement.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 296mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      6 comments on “Brussels Sprouts Salad

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      1. 5 stars
        This salad is SO DELICIOUS!!! I used diced apple because I didn’t have pomegranate, but it worked in a pinch! I must say, Olena, I LOVE that you have a recipe for just about every type of food (veggies, etc.) we typically buy, and I KNOW it’s always going to be good. I just started experimenting with Brussel sprouts after nixing them from my shopping list years ago because I couldn’t find a good recipe. But I can always count on you to have something delicious, no-fuss, and it’s something I will look forward to eating when there’s leftovers (which didn’t used to be the case!). Thank you!!!

      2. 5 stars
        I tried this with our Thanksgiving dinner. Each year I try to add something new or different to try so instead of a boring “house” salad, I tried this one. It was a MAJOR hit!! I did substitute dried cranberries for the pom and I had some chopped walnuts left over so I added them with the almonds. Thank You for your helpful suggestions!!

        1. You are so welcome, Christy! We loved-loved this salad too. I tried other version year prior but this year I feel like I found the happy medium haha. Happy Thanksgiving!

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