This Brussels sprouts salad recipe is great if you’re looking for something fresh and different. It’s made with salty bacon, crispy hazelnuts, and a sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette an irresistible combination of textures and flavors. Plus it’s easy enough to whip up on a weeknight but elegant enough to feel right at home with your holiday meal.
Brussels sprouts are a polarizing vegetable–either you love them or hate them. Personally, I’m a huge fan.
They weren’t always my favorite though; like many people who grew up in the ’80s I thought they were bitter and had a weird texture.
But that’s because I only ever had them boiled to death! Now, they’re one of my favorite Fall vegetables.
The first time I ever tried (or even heard of) eating raw brussels sprouts salad as was when I reviewed the Power Foods Cookbook. (It’s still one of my favorites!)
Eating them raw might seem odd at first, but it totally works. In fact, this Brussels sprouts salad is one of my favorite fal lside dishes now!
Shaved Brussels sprouts are similar to cabbage, but with a richer flavor that I absolutely adore.
They’ll be a little crunchy at first, but the vinegar in the dressing will help soften them up after a few minutes. In the end, the effect isn’t unlike coleslaw – which makes sense considering brussel sprouts are basically tiny cabbages. See? Not that weird.
It’s basically the perfect side dish to balance out heavier fall and winter meals!
Ingredients for Brussels Sprout Salad
In addition to the Brussels sprouts, you’ll need:
The best part about this salad is how easy it is to make – just combine your ingredients, give everything a good toss, and enjoy!
- Bacon. Choose a nice smoky bacon and cook it until it’s crispy. You can do this in a pan on the stovetop or throw it in your air fryer at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes. If you have leftover bacon from breakfast, that works here, too!
- Chopped Hazelnuts. I love the bold crunch that chopped hazelnuts add to this salad. If hazelnuts aren’t your jam, you can swap them for walnuts or pecans. For a nut-free option, try adding roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds!
- Maple Syrup. Maple syrup adds a great sweetness that balances out the bitter sprouts beautifully. If you prefer, you can use a a few teaspoons honey instead.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar adds the perfect amount of tang to the maple vinaigrette. You could also use champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar if you prefer. Avoid red wine vinegar, which is too harsh.
- Dijon Mustard. Grainy or smooth, it’s your choice!
Make the best maple vinaigrette for Brussels sprouts salad
Brussels sprouts can be bitter sometimes, so the sweetness from the maple vinaigrette really balances things out. Plus maple is such a classic autumn ingredient!
To make the dressing, whisk together maple syrup, Dijon mustard, vinegar, and olive oil until combined.
Add a few generous grinds of cracked black pepper to balance out the sweetness of the dressing and give it a taste. If it’s too sweet, you can add a little more vinegar.
This is one of my favorite seasonal salad dressing recipes.
Besides being the perfect salad dressing for winter, it makes a great marinade for chicken or pork chops. When using this as a vinaigrette, I like to add a generous pinch of kosher salt.
How to shred Brussels Sprouts
Once your dressing is ready, you just need to combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
But how do you shred Brussels spouts? There are a few options!
First is the easy way: buy them pre-shredded. I’ve seen bags of shredded sprouts in the produce section of some grocery stores, like Trader Joes. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
If you have a food processor, that also makes quick work of shredding your raw sprouts. Just attach the slicing blade and you’ll be good to go in no time at all.
You can also shred your sprouts by hand using a sharp knife. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise, through the stem. Place the cut side down and cut cross-wise into thin strips. It’s a little tedious, but only takes a few minutes once you get into a good groove.
Variations on this great salad recipe
As written this is a really great salad, but if you’re looking to mix things up you can:
- Add thinly sliced red onions or shallot
- Incorporate shaved celery root
- Stir in some finely diced honeycrisp apples
- Add shredded parmesan cheese or feta cheese
- Stir in some pomegranate arils
- Swap the dressing for a bright citrus vinaigrette
More tasty fall side dish ideas
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with Asiago and Speck
- Potatoes au Gratin
- Vegetarian Rice Pilaf with Apples and Cranberries
- Harissa Brussels Sprouts
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Broccoli Casserole
Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- cracked black pepper
- 2 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 2 Tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
- Prepare the brussels sprouts by cutting off and discarding the stem. Beginning at the stem end, slice into very thin rounds. Discard any tough white centers.
- Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, and oil in a large serving bowl. Whisk well to combine. Season to taste with black pepper.
- Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, bacon, and hazelnuts. Stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
I originally posted this brussels sprout recipe on 10/7/2012. This post was updated with new photos on 11/15/2021. Here are the originals!