Forget the lettuce, this raw shaved Brussels sprout salad is fresh, crisp, and crunchy. Tossed with a tangy balsamic and mustard vinaigrette and topped with bright pomegranate seeds, pears, pecans, and shallot. It’s quick and easy to make – perfect for holiday side dishes or weekday lunches!
Welcome to the world of raw vegetable salads. Where we’re taking anything but mixed greens and adding them to a salad for satisfying texture, heartiness, and variety.
While you might be familiar with the ever-loved broccoli salad, or a summertime favorite, the green bean salad, get ready to have your world rocked with shredded Brussels sprout salad. No cooking is required!
While you often find Brussels sprouts roasted or made in the air fryer, this raw Brussels sprout salad is one you’ll want to have on hand. It’s made with in-season fall and winter produce, yet is easily customizable to make all year round.
You’ll love how easily it comes together, in just 15-minutes. It’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian (ok, so vegan too). Perfect for holiday tables with a variety of dietary needs. It’s one everyone will love!
Looking for a cooked version? Check out my 15-minute Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts recipe!
A Note About Brussels Sprout
Brussels sprout is from the cabbage family, and what we actually eat when we eat them are their little buds. It actually grows from a large stalk, with all those little sprouts shooting off, looking like mini cabbages.
They are in the same group of cruciferous vegetables along with broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi. They taste like mild cabbage with a similar texture. They’re slightly nutty and sweet when prepared properly.
While they are often prepared roasted or cooked in a variety of ways, they can be enjoyed raw. Shredding them is the best way to enjoy them raw. It makes them easy to eat and the result is an especially delicious and satisfying texture and crunch.
Unfortunately, they’ve gotten a bad rap in the past. When they’re overcooked, they can be bitter and have a very strong odor. Not a problem in this recipe!
Did you know: Brussels Sprouts are truly named after the city of Brussels in Belgium. So while many often refer to them as “brussel sprouts”, without the S, that’s technically not the name.
Simple Ingredient List (& Substitutions)
You’ll love the simple ingredients that come together to elevate the salad side dish at holiday dinner tables. Or, you’ll love how you can have an easy, elegant, healthy lunch to brighten up the work week. It’s truly an all-around win.
- Brussels Sprouts: the heart and soul of this salad! Make sure they’re fresh for the best flavor. Keep reading and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how to shred them.
- Pomegranate: when it comes to winter salads, I love adding fresh pomegranate seeds. They’re absolutely beautiful and their juicy crunch is unmatched!
- Substitute dried cranberries or cherries. It won’t quite be the same but will work if needed.
- Pecans: seasonal crunch!
- Pear: I typically use Bartlett pears, but feel free to mix it up with a variety of pears, too.
- Shallot: milder than red onion, thinly sliced shallot adds a bright, delicate sharpness to balance out the flavors. You could also finely chop it and add it to the dressing if you prefer.
- The Dressing: a combination of balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard for a vibrant, tangy dressing. Maple syrup adds some sweetness…and of course, we’re adding garlic.
- Use high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar for the best results. Truly, it’s a game changer. It should be syrupy and thick. Cheaper balsamic is often watery and sour tasting.
How to Make Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
This easy recipe is just a matter of shredding the Brussels sprouts, making the dressing, and tossing it all together.
How to Shave Brussels Sprouts
Shaved Brussels sprouts is a process that is essentially cutting or slicing the sprouts very thinly, so their cabbage-like layers break down into thin strips. The result is thin layers with a wonderful crunch. It’s a super satisfying texture!
There are several ways you can shave Brussels sprouts.
- Shred them in a food processor. This is my favorite method because it’s truly so easy and honestly…the safest. Use the shredding disc attachment blade of your food processor. It creates perfectly shaved Brussels in minutes.
- Use a mandoline. It’s fairly easy, and a less bulky way to shred than using a food processor, however, it takes more time and is a little more…risky? Because the sprouts are small, be careful if using a mandoline. Hold the “stem” end of the sprout and gently run it along the blade of the mandoline until it gets close to the end. Toss the stem, and continue. Again, being very careful and using the guard as needed.
- Finely slice with a sharp knife. A tool you’re guaranteed to have on hand, but it’s more difficult to get an even slice. It’s also risky because the sprouts are so small. Similar to using a mandoline, start opposite the stem end and work your way down, making thin slices. Once you’ve reached the root end, toss it and continue.
You can also buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at the grocery store. They aren’t quite as fresh with the crisp texture, but they will work in a pinch.
Make the Dressing
When it comes to making homemade salad dressings, I love taking the easy route.
Similar to my maple balsamic vinaigrette, this dressing can be made in a jar. Simply add all of the ingredients to a jar, cover tightly with a lid, and shake away!
The more technical method would be to combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, except for the oil. Then, slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Either method will result in an easy-to-make dressing. Just be sure to taste test and adjust salt and pepper levels to your tastes!
Assemble the Salad
With the two main components done (that is, the shaved sprouts and the dressing), all that’s left to do is assemble the salad.
Toss all of the salad ingredients in a bowl, then toss with your desired amount of dressing.
If you’re presenting the salad for a dinner – say, a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner – then reserve some of the toppings when you’re tossing the salad. Then, sprinkle them across the top to serve. This creates a beautiful presentation.
Storage & Make Ahead Options
To store leftover salad, place it in an airtight container in the fridge. If dressed, it’s best to enjoy the next day. The longer it sits, the less fresh the Brussels are and they lose their flavor and texture.
Parts of this recipe can definitely be made ahead of time. There are a few tips and tricks for the most make-ahead success.
To make ahead:
- Make the dressing and store it in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Brussels sprouts can be shredded ahead of time and stored in a plastic bag with all of the air squeezed out of it. Place them in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Note: this isn’t the best option because the sprouts can use their crunch and eventually have that classic cruciferous sulfur-like smell the longer they sit.
- Shred them as close to serving, as you can!
- Prepare the pomegranate and store the seeds in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- And on that note, you can also slice the shallot and store it in the fridge. Again, this is best if done right before serving, but it can be sliced the day before.
Then, on the day of, toss the prepared ingredients together. Slice the pear immediately before serving, as well as the dressing at the last minute.
The base of this salad, the shredded sprouts, can be adapted for a variety of salads depending on the season. You can also take this salad and add a few more ingredients to mix and match. It’s truly versatile!
- Cheese! As written, there’s no cheese, keeping this salad vegan and dairy free. However, shaved parmesan or diced gruyere would be delicious in this salad! Blue cheese would also be great.
- Substitute nuts – use walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds.
- Change the fruit! When in season, try blueberries or blackberries.
- Apples would also be great in the fall and winter.
- Try honey in place of maple syrup.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate and Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 2 Tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces fresh brussels sprouts
- 1 pomegranate, peeled and seeded
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 1 small bartlett pear, diced
- ½ cup shallot, thinly sliced
- Dressing: Add dressing ingredients to a jar, close tightly with a lid, and shake until combined. Salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
- Shred Brussels sprouts. Cut the stem end off of the sprouts, and remove any damaged outer leaves, then use the shred disc on a food processor to shave the sprouts. You can also use a mandoline or sharp knife. If using one of those methods, keep the stem end off to hold the sprout for stability, and be very careful!
- Assemble the Salad: In a large bowl, combine shaved brussels sprouts, pomegranate, pecans, pear, and shallot. Toss with your desired amount of dressing immediately before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within 2 days.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.