Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

This kale and Brussels sprout salad is filled with shredded kale and sprouts, cranberries, marinated onions, almonds and pecorino cheese. It’s sure to be a family favorite!

If you’re in need of an extra side dish or some green veggies on your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner menu, I’ve got you covered! This shredded kale and Brussels sprout salad is SO good. It might be my new favorite salad!

Kale and brussels sprout salad in a bowl with serving spoons. A bowl of cranberries and almond are beside the salad bowl.

I know most people could care less about salad when there’s turkey, gravy, potatoes and stuffing to be had, but this isn’t your average salad recipe. It’s jazzed up with dried cranberries, marinated onions, toasted almonds and a good amount of pecorino cheese. Trust me, you’ll want to make room on your plate for it. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably go back for seconds because it’s that good!

Kale and brussels sprout salad in a serving bowl topped with dried cranberries, almonds and cheese.

The base of the salad (shredded kale and Brussels sprouts) is massaged with lemon juice so the hearty greens become tender and palatable. The sprouts still retain a bit of raw veggie crunch, which I like. The cranberries add a nice pop of color and a hint of sweetness while the marinated garlic and onions bring a sharp, almost spicy flavor to the salad. The grated pecorino is pretty much invisible once it’s mixed in, but it adds a salty, creaminess that steps this salad up from being an everyday salad to something you can serve for a holiday meal.

I love the bright green color with the specks of red and brown. So pretty!

Bowl with kale, brussels with cranberries and almonds salad. Silver fork is in the bowl.

Ingredients & Substitutions:

  • Lacinato kale – I prefer Lacinato kale (also known as Dinosaur kale, Black kale or Tuscan Kale) for this salad, but you can use curly kale if that’s all you can find.
  • Brussels sprouts
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • lemon juice
  • dried cranberries – I love the tartness the dried cranberries add to this salad, but other dried fruits like dried cherries, dates or figs will work too.
  • Pecorino Romano cheese – fresh Parmesan will work too or skip the cheese or use dairy-free cheese to make this salad vegan.
  • almonds – I love the nuttiness and crunch that the toasted almonds add to this salad, but I bet toasted pecans or walnuts would also be delicious. If you need this salad to be nut-free, feel free to skip the nuts or swap them with sunflower seeds or pepitas.
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • seasonings and spices – sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.

Side by side photos. One is of shredded kale and brussels in a bowl. The second has dried cranberries added to the bowl.

How to Make a Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

Toast your almonds – Start by toasting your almonds on a baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 5 minutes and then stir. Bake for 3-4 minutes longer or until the almonds are golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Mix dressing ingredients – While the almonds are toasting, toss together the ingredients for the dressing by muddling together the minced garlic with sea salt and black pepper using a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle use the back of a spoon in a bowl! Place the muddled garlic and spices into a mason jar with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and thinly sliced onion. Shake to combine and set aside to marinate.

Shred Brussels sprouts and kale – In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, shred the Brussels sprouts first and then the kale. If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the kale and Brussels sprouts by hand. Just be sure to slice them very thin. Once shredded, place the Brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.

Mix – Pour the lemon juice over the kale and Brussels sprout mixture, sprinkle on a little sea salt and massage with clean hands. Once the kale mixture is massaged, add in the cranberries, red pepper flakes and nutmeg to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and give it a good stir. Add the cheese and stir again. Top with toasted almonds and enjoy right away or let sit a bit to marinate before serving.

Homemade dressing being poured over a mixing bowl with shredded kale, brussles and dried cranberries.

What to Pair With This Salad

This salad is the perfect side dish for a holiday dinner with turkey, ham or even my lentil loaf.  It would also be a great vegetarian side option for a weeknight meal or you could double the recipe and bring it to a cookout or potluck. You could also turn this salad into a meal-sized salad by adding some protein. It’d be delicious topped with chickpeas, tempeh, tofu or my apple cider vinegar chicken.

Storage and Make Ahead Tips

This salad will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. To make the salad in advance, you can prepare it fully and keep it in the fridge up to 24 hours. I’ve found that it keeps well, even with dressing. That said, for ultimate freshness it’s probably best to prep the almonds, shredded kale/sprouts and the dressing and keep them in separate airtight containers. Store the kale and sprouts and the dressing in the fridge and the almonds at room temp. You can do this prep work up to 24 hours in advance.

Kale and brussels sprout salad in a serving bowl.

Watch how to make this salad via my stories!

More Brussels Sprout Recipes:

More Kale Salads:

If you make this kale and Brussels sprout salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting us know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!

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Kale and brussels sprout salad in a bowl with serving spoons.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This kale and Brussels sprout salad is filled with shredded kale and sprouts, cranberries, marinated onions, almonds and pecorino cheese. It’s sure to be a family favorite!


Ingredients

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion, super thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch of Lacinato kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (fresh Parmesan will work too)
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped

Instructions

  1. Roast the almonds: Preheat oven to 350°F. Add almonds to a baking sheet and place in oven to toast. Stir almonds after 5 minutes. Allow to toast about 3-4 minutes longer or until the almonds are golden. Remove from oven and allow almonds to cool.
  2. Make the dressing: Meanwhile, toss together the ingredients for the dressing by muddling together the minced garlic with sea salt and black pepper using a mortar and pestle. Place muddled garlic and spices into a mason jar with olive oil, balsamic and thinly sliced onion. Shake to combine and let marinate.
  3. Shred kale and sprouts: In a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, shred the Brussels sprout. Next, shred the kale. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop the kale and Brussels sprout by hand. Just make sure to slice them very thin.) Place in a large bowl.
  4. Massage kale and sprouts: Pour the lemon juice over the kale and Brussels sprout mixture, sprinkle on a little sea salt and massage with clean hands. Once the kale mixture is massaged, add cranberries, red pepper flakes and nutmeg to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and give it a good stir. Add cheese and stir again. Top with toasted almonds.
  5. Serve: Enjoy right away or let sit for a bit in the fridge to marinate before serving.
  6. Storage: This salad can be made one day in advance. It keeps well, even with dressing. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Notes

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 201
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Sodium: 497mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg

Keywords: shredded kale salad

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Recipe rating

    39 comments
    1. Carrie
      January 18, 2021 AT 9:39 am

      I have been wanting to make this since you posted it on IG. I love everything about it- textures, ingredients, and flavor. So good!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 18, 2021 AT 2:09 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this salad! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Katie
      December 28, 2020 AT 5:52 pm

      Made this for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner menu and it was a major hit! Every last bit was eaten. My mom demanded I send her the recipe and my salad-phobic husband said it was one of the best salads he’s ever had. It will be on next year’s menu that’s for sure! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 29, 2020 AT 2:23 am

        Ahh, this makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for the review, Katie.

    3. Carly
      December 27, 2020 AT 12:24 pm

      I made this for a side dish and it was great! I followed the directions as written and it was quick to make. I will definitely make it again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 27, 2020 AT 3:00 pm

        So glad this salad was a hit, Carly. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    4. Anne
      December 21, 2020 AT 9:05 pm

      So,so good! My kids even love this one!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 22, 2020 AT 6:36 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear. So glad this salad was a hit with your fam. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    5. Stacie
      November 24, 2019 AT 2:25 pm

      My daughter has a nut allergy. Have you ever tried it without the nuts? Does it need something crunchy? Maybe sunflower seeds could be substituted? Looks delish and want to make for Thanksgiving.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 25, 2019 AT 7:58 pm

        Hey Stacie, You can totally leave the almonds out! I think adding sunflower seeds would be delicious. 🙂 Let me know if you end up making this salad and what you think!

    6. Robby Rigano
      December 11, 2018 AT 12:04 pm

      Great recipe! I made this last night and my boyfriend actually asked if there was more salad. He NEVER asks if there is more salad. This will absolutely be in the rotation.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 11, 2018 AT 12:56 pm

        Oh my gosh, I love that your boyfriend asked for seconds. That’s so awesome. This salad has converted quite a few kale and brussels sprout haters too! Just favor, would you be open to leaving a star rating for the recipe as well? Just leave another comment and give the recipe whatever number of stars you’d like! 🙂 Thank you so much.

    7. Madeleine
      November 17, 2018 AT 6:31 pm

      How many people does this salad serve? I am making it for Thanksgiving, and there will be fifty people there (although not everyone will have the salad, and there will be space for only a little bit of salad on everyone’s plate!).

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 18, 2018 AT 1:20 pm

        Hi there. One batch of the salad should make enough to serve 8-10, perhaps more for a potluck style meal where people are getting small portions of everything. That said, for a party of about 50 people I think I’d double or triple the recipe. Hope this helps!

    8. Sydney
      November 22, 2017 AT 12:17 pm

      Excellent! I could eat this til the cows come home! (Yes, I, too, am from the heartland). Nutritious and delicious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 24, 2017 AT 1:07 pm

        This comment made my day! My mom says that phrase all the time. 🙂

    9. Jacquie
      October 12, 2017 AT 6:46 pm

      I’m a newbie to eating and cooking brussel sprouts. Do you chop them raw? (I didn’t even know you could eat them raw!) When you buy them fresh, do you cut the ends off of each one because it is kind of like a hard core?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2017 AT 9:56 pm

        Hi Jacquie! Welcome to the world of brussels sprouts. You’re going to love them. 🙂 Yup, you can eat them raw… they’re best shredded thin and coated in a nice dressing that will make them a bit more tender to eat. And yes, I trim the bottoms off each one because they are a little tough. Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy the salad.

    10. Meredith
      April 19, 2016 AT 8:54 am

      Hi Brittany – Just wanted to let you know that I made this salad for a family gathering over the weekend and EVERYONE was raving about it (and were battling over who got the last few scoops of it). This will be a staple from now on – delicious!

    11. Kate
      December 5, 2014 AT 12:02 pm

      Hey Brittany! This salad is my kind of salad! I bet it was the perfect fresh side for Thanksgiving. Hope you’re well!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 8, 2014 AT 2:57 pm

        Thanks Kate! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. Also, when are we going to hang out again?!? 🙂

    12. Thalia @ butter and brioche
      November 30, 2014 AT 3:08 am

      Even though thanksgiving has passed this is definitely a salad I will be making! Thanks for sharing the delicious and surprisingly healthy recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 30, 2014 AT 5:54 pm

        I totally support that decision! It’s great for the holidays, but it’s totally fine for a regular day too! 🙂

    13. mc
      November 26, 2014 AT 1:41 pm

      Looks delicious! If I were to leave out the Pecorino to make it vegan, do you think the salad would still work? Wary of subbing vegan cheese in something like this >.<

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 26, 2014 AT 1:47 pm

        I think it would work, it just wouldn’t be as rich. You could try adding a little nutritional yeast.

    14. Millie | Add A Little
      November 26, 2014 AT 1:23 pm

      What a great thanksgiving side! I find that I almost love the sides more than the main event!

    15. Alex @ get big, go to work
      November 26, 2014 AT 7:38 am

      Brittany, this salad looks awesome!! Totally worth store lines today at the market to get these ingredients! I will definitely be making this! Love the flavor combo!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 26, 2014 AT 4:25 pm

        Thank you Alex! Let me know what you think if you make it.

    16. amanda
      November 25, 2014 AT 9:59 pm

      I always like salad on holidays and usually offer to bring one so there will be a good one 🙂 this is great! I’ve never thought to shred brussel sprouts and kale in the food processor. Can’t wait to try it!

    17. Maureen Sutherland Weiser
      November 25, 2014 AT 9:59 pm

      That’s almost exactly what I’m making for our Turkeyday celebration, though I wasn’t planning on adding cranberries….but I think you’ve changed my mind. I’m also adding a bit of miso! Happy Thanksgiving!

    18. Carrie
      November 25, 2014 AT 7:08 pm

      Brussel sprouts are my favorite veg! I JUST got my boyfriend to love them too (previously a BS hater.. I know, WHAT!), so I will make this dish for us! woo!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 25, 2014 AT 9:10 pm

        So happy he has come to the other side. haha. 🙂

    19. balancedberry
      November 25, 2014 AT 7:03 pm

      This looks awesome, thanks for sharing Brittany! My family may divorce me if I make them eat a salad for Thanksgiving, but this will definitely be made just for me very soon 🙂

      I do usually workout on Thanksgiving! Nothing too crazy, just an early morning session of whatever I’m into at the time. This year it’s looking like that is going to be PiYo.

    20. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment
      November 25, 2014 AT 5:50 pm

      This looks delicious! We all need to make room for salad on Turkey Day. I am going to do a workout early in the day. One of these days I will make it to a 5K trot! Have a great holiday.

    21. aladygoeswest
      November 25, 2014 AT 5:43 pm

      Oh my gosh, looks so good. I still like to sneak in a few bites of salad on Thanksgiving, even though most of my plate is reserved for the heartier stuff. I’m with you that sweet potato casserole is a favorite. And I do like a quick sweat session on T-Day. This year I’m running a 5K Trot in San Diego with my hubby’s family. Hope you have a lovely holiday:)

    22. Sarah
      November 25, 2014 AT 5:40 pm

      Printed and on the list! Looks perfect and I can’t wait to try it!! Please do share the sweet potato recipe, so far I am cheating and making the Trader Joes frozen maple sweet potatoes (they are pretty good though).

    23. Kristi Rimkus
      November 25, 2014 AT 3:34 pm

      Costco sells a salad much like this that I’ve been wanting to recreate. Your’s looks wonderful.

    24. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
      November 25, 2014 AT 3:11 pm

      This looks so yummy! I am all about brussel sprout everything!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 25, 2014 AT 3:27 pm

        Thanks Erin! Me too. 🙂

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