Need a festive side dish for this year’s holiday menu? Look no further! Made with green Brussels sprouts, red cranberries, and white feta cheese, this colorful shredded Brussels sprouts salad with cranberries will brighten any table!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
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Culinary Tips for the Best Shredded Brussels Sprouts
Whisking the vinaigrette together before adding the other ingredients ensures even flavor distribution. While some recipes suggest slowly pouring the oil in for the best emulsion, we didn’t find a difference either way. Just add all the ingredients and whisk away!
Use a proper knife grip to keep your fingers safe while slicing the sprouts and apples. Learn how to dice apples (& dozens of other fruits and vegetables) in our knife skills 101 course!
To save time, use pre-shredded brussels sprouts. If you like the raw taste and texture, you can skip the blanching step. However, if you are sensitive to brussels sprouts’ bitterness, we recommend blanching!
Blanching is a culinary technique which quickly brightens the natural colors in vegetables as well as kills harmful bacteria. Submerging the cooked vegetable in an ice bath after cooking stops the cooking process. This helps the vegetable keep its bright color. If cooked for too long, the sprouts will turn to a less-appealing olive green color. Do not expect the sprouts to be soft when they are finished cooking.
Toast the pecans for best flavor. Toast whole pecans in the oven before chopping, or toast chopped pecans on the stovetop.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute avocado oil. You can also substitute an infused olive oil. Garlic-infused or lemon-infused oils would be delicious in this salad!
- Balsamic Vinegar: substitute red wine vinegar or aged balsamic vinegar. Flavored balsamic vinegars, such as pomegranate or raspberry, would be delicious in this salad. If using an aged vinegar, taste before adding the honey, as aged varieties are sweeter.
- Dijon Mustard: substitute stone ground mustard or omit.
- Shallot: substitute red onion. You can also replace some of the shallot with fresh minced garlic. Careful with the amount you choose; fresh garlic can be strong!
- Honey: substitute maple syrup or agave. If using aged balsamic vinegar, you might omit the honey.
- Brussels Sprouts: substitute some of the brussels sprouts with shredded kale to make a kale and brussels sprouts salad. If using, blanch kale along with the sprouts.
- Apple: substitute diced pear.
- Cranberries: substitute raisins or dried cherries. Make a Brussels sprout salad with pomegranate by substituting pomegranate seeds.
- Pecans: substitute toasted chopped walnuts, sliced or slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
- Cheese: substitute parmesan cheese to make a shaved brussel sprout salad with parmesan.
We love getting our oil and vinegar from Enzo’s Table. Click on the picture below to try out dozens of different oils, vinegars, and more!
There are lots of ways to vary this recipe to your taste!
Change the brussels sprouts salad dressing to change the flavor. An apple cider vinaigrette, tahini dressing, or lemon vinaigrette would all be delicious.
To make a roasted Brussels sprouts salad, roast the halved (unblanched) sprouts at 425ºF for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly, then combine with the vinaigrette and remaining ingredients. Learn more about roasting vegetables here!
You just need a few kitchen tools to make this recipe come together!
Brussels Sprouts Salad Health Benefits
The natural colors in this salad indicate that it is bursting with nutrition! Brussels sprouts, extra virgin olive oil, apples, cranberries, and pecans provide unique, health-promoting compounds that will keep you nourished and satisfied.
Cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, are loaded with fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as powerful phytochemicals which may reduce cancer risk and promote heart health. (1)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols. These nutrients may reduce inflammation. Additionally, certain nutrients require fat for absorption; using an olive oil-based dressing in your salad can help you get the most nutritional bang for your buck. (2, 3)
Apples & Cranberries
Apples contain prebiotic fibers which support gut health. (4) Apples also contain phytochemicals such as quercetin and catechin which may play roles in cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention. For most nutrition, leave the peel on. (5) Cranberries are rich in polyphenols that help prevent cancer and reduce inflammation in our bodies. (6) Cranberries may also provide heart benefits and are linked to reduction in urinary tract infections. (7, 8)
Nuts of all varieties contain plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats that help you feel satisfied until your next meal. Pecans are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad Serving Suggestions
Serve brussels sprouts salad as a fresh side along with a holiday feast. This salad can also be a delicious side to a main meal any time of year. Serve with roasted sweet potato wedges and our roasted fish base recipe for a colorful, balanced meal.
Storage Tips for Leftover Brussels Sprouts Salad
Store leftover salad in an airtight container for up to three days. Much longer and the salad will start to get soggy.
Want More Healthy Side Dish Recipes?
Try out these favorites, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
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Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon finely diced or grated shallot
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 1 medium apple, diced (~1 cup)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup toasted chopped pecans
- 4 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese (~½ cup)
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath by placing cold water and ice cubes in a large bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, and salt. Set aside.
- Wash Brussels sprouts. Trim bottoms, remove any wilted leaves, and slice in half. Add to the pot of boiling water to blanch. Cook for 30-60 seconds, or until sprouts turn bright green. Use a spider to remove the sprouts and place immediately in an ice bath.
- Drain sprouts in a colander, and gently shake off excess water. Slice sprouts into thin strips and add to the bowl with the dressing.
- Add dried cranberries, diced apple, pecans, and cheese. Using a spatula, toss to combine. Enjoy!