Lemony Kale + Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
This Kale + Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is delicious, easy, and the perfect side dish to any meal. Tossed with an easy homemade lemon vinaigrette, it is flavorful, satisfying, and the perfect thing to add to dinner.
This Lemony Kale + Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad is probably the best salad I have ever made. Which is saying something, considering I have made a whole career and blog out of veggies! My Corn Black Bean Salad and Greek-Inspired Quinoa Salad are still 100% amazing and hold a special place on my dinner table, but this mega green veggie salad is downright magical!
This salad is this kind of thing you would find at your favorite restaurant, but it easy enough to make on a Tuesday night in your pajamas. It is full of raw kale, shaved Brussels sprouts, toasted almonds, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Everything is tossed together in a beautifully, easy homemade lemon vinaigrette and the results are a total flavor bomb of joy!
There is almost no cooking required (beyond toasting some almonds for 5 minutes), so this is the perfect dish to make when you don’t want to turn your stove on and can even be made as part of meal prep to add to meals for a couple of days. It is naturally vegetarian and gluten free, but can easily be made vegan by skipping the cheese!
How to toast the almonds
I love the texture and crunch the toasted almonds give this salad. It really gives it a little something special. And toasting the almonds is quick and easy to do!
Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350℉.
Spread the slivered almonds into an even layer on a baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, watching very closely so they don’t burn, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool before using in the salad.
What kind of kale works best in this salad?
There are several types of kale out there. So, which kind works best in this shaved Brussels sprouts salad? I’ve found that any kind of curly kale (purple or green) or lacinato (the darker, flat leaf kale) will all work well in this salad.
The key with raw kale salad is to be sure to finely chop the kale and massage it well, as instructed in the recipe.
Can this salad be made ahead of time?
Since the vegetables in this salad are hearty and won’t wilt, you can make this salad and keep it in the fridge covered for up to two days.
Consider adding the toasted almonds right before enjoying so that they stay crisp.
- Add a garlicy twist. If you like a mild garlic flavor, use the garlic powder in the dressing. If you enjoy a stronger garlic flavor (like in a classic Caesar dressing), use a small clove of fresh garlic and use a garlic press or grater to finely grate it into the dressing.
- Use pre-chopped bagged kale. Save yourself some prep time! Just FYI, if you do this, make sure you go through and remove all the tough stems from the leaves before you chop them for the salad.
- Use bagged pre-shaved Brussels sprouts. I find those in the refrigerator section of the produce department in many grocery stores. You can use these in a pinch, but the sprouts won’t be as finely sliced as if you cut them yourself. For a raw salad, I really think slicing them as thinly as possible tastes best.
- Make it dairy-free and simply leave the cheese out of this Brussels sprouts salad.
- Skip the nuts to make it nut-free.
- Like a creamy dressing? Replace a tablespoon of the olive oil with a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt.
- Make it into a meal. Top the salad with a protein such as some grilled chicken or baked salmon. Some sliced hard-boiled eggs and avocado would also be great additions.
Tips & Tricks
- The parmesan should be long, thin shreds and not the finely grated cheese that you sprinkle on pasta. If you have a whole piece of parmesan cheese, you can use a box grater to make your own shredded cheese.
- Brussels sprouts: I indicated that the larger sprouts work best because they are easier to finely shred for this recipe. However, any size will work for the recipe and taste the same.
- Cut everything small. I don’t know why, but when you chop everything small for a salad, it just is really enjoyable to eat! Probably because it is less of a workout to chew. I find using my food processor with the “S” blade attachment makes this easy and fast to do so. Just pulse the veggies a few times to finely chop them for this salad, just be careful not puree them…then you are making a whole different kind of recipe.
More veggie-loaded recipes you will love…
- Tex-Mex Roasted Cabbage Steaks with Avocado Sauce
- Sesame Ginger Chicken & Leek Stir Fry
- Roasted Frozen Broccoli
- Teriyaki Sheet Pan Salmon with Vegetables
- Sheet Pan Veggie Fajitas
- Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad
- Corn and Black Bean Salad
Did you try this salad and now you’re hungry for more?
Lemony Kale + Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder , if you like the taste of raw garlic, you can use 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey, optional
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
Kale + Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 bunch curly green kale, washed and dried
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, (preferably large in size), washed and patted dry
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, grated not recommended
- ½ cup sliced almonds, see notes for how to toast them
- food processor optional
- For dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- To make the salad, remove the center rib from each of the kale stems. Bunch a few of the kale leaves together tightly then chop across into fine shreds. Chop across in the other direction then place all the chopped kale into a large bowl.
- Drizzle the kale with half of the lemon vinaigrette then use your hands to massage and scrunch the dressing into the kale. Do this for several minutes. The scrunching and massaging will help break down the touch kale, making it tender and easy to eat raw.
- Next, prep the Brussels sprouts. Trim the root end of the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose outer leaves. To shred in your food processor: place the "S" blade in your food processor. Place HALF of the raw and trimmed Brussels sprouts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Remove and add the second batch, pulsing again until finely chopped. To shred without a food processor: Starting at the tip, slice the Brussels sprouts across as thinly as you can, discarding the tough, thick part when you get to the end.Place all the shredded Brussels sprouts on top of the marinating kale.
- Add the shredded parmesan and toasted almonds to the bowl then drizzle everything with the remaining dressing. Toss to combine and coat with the dressing. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve salad right away or place in the fridge, well covered, for up to 2 days.