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Healthy food finally tastes delicious! Shaved Brussels sprout salad is topped with savory bacon, creamy goat cheese, and sweet crispy apples. The homemade citrus vinaigrette ties it all together with zesty flavors.
What is shaved Brussels sprout salad?
Shaved brussels sprout salad looks like cole slaw, but instead of green cabbage, it’s made with Brussels sprouts.
To add more flavor and nutrition, the Brussels sprouts are mixed with bacon, goat cheese, apples, and pecans. Then, it’s drizzled with a bright and healthy citrus shallot vinaigrette.
It’s the perfect fall salad.
Why this Brussels sprouts salad works
- Thinly sliced raw Brussels sprouts are crispy with a light earthy flavor.
- Apples and pecans add both crunchy and salty-sweet tastes.
- The goat cheese is slightly-sweet and gives a creamy consistency to the crunchy salad.
- Savory bacon pieces add more saltiness, enhancing all the other flavors.
Shaved Brussels salad ingredients
There are two parts to this salad – the salad ingredients and the vinaigrette. Here’s what I used in both:
- Brussels sprouts
- Applewood smoked bacon
- Fuji apple
- Crumbled goat cheese
- Small shallot
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
How to shave Brussels sprouts
- Clean the Brussels sprouts before you shave them. Soak them in salted water for 15-20 minutes.
- Once soaked, drain the water and proceed to pull off any loose/damaged outer leaves. I leave the stem on to hold the Brussels sprout.
- The easiest and fastest way to prep this dish is with a mandoline. It will also give you evenly shredded pieces. I always use the guard or use a cutting glove to protect my hand.
- Shred the sprout down to the stem and discard. Repeat until all Brussels sprouts are shredded.
Once all the Brussels sprouts are shaved, add them to a large bowl, breaking up pieces with your fingers as you add them.
How to make a citrus shallot vinaigrette
This citrus shallot vinaigrette is going to “marinate” your Brussels sprouts and tenderize them.
- Mince shallot.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Whisk to combine all the ingredients.
- Pour over the shaved Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprout marinating tip:
Toss the shaved Brussels and vinaigrette together till fully coated. Cover them and let them marinate for 20-30 minutes (this is a non-negotiable step).
Brussels sprouts are really tough and hard to chew when they are raw. The longer you let them marinate, the softer they will be.
The best bacon to use in salad
Fry the bacon while the Brussels sprouts are marinating. The bacon adds a nice salty complimentary flavor to the salad. I used applewood smoked bacon, but you can substitute whatever type of bacon you like.
In fact, turkey bacon is far less greasy and still has the same salty flavor and delightful crunch!
Bacon frying tip:
Once the bacon is done cooking, place the bacon on a plate with a paper towel to drain the excess fat. Pat the bacon pieces to remove as much as you can.
If you don’t want to mess with frying them in the oven, cook the bacon in the oven. Then, pat the bacon with paper towels and dice them up.
How to slice apples evenly
I also used my mandoline on the thicker setting to cut the apples. Using a mandolin slicer is the best way to keep them all the same width. It also makes slicing a bunch of apples super simple.
I used the slices around the dish and then added some chopped-up pieces to the salad.
Best type of apples to use in salad
Fuji apples have the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. I discovered that Granny Smith apples are too tart for salad. They are better for baking in apple pie.
You can use other apples if you already have them on hand. Go for sweeter apples if you can. Red Delicious is another wonderful choice!
How to assemble shaved Brussels sprout salad
Assembling the salad is very straightforward; remove your marinated Brussels and add the bacon, goat cheese, apples, and pecans. Toss to combine all the ingredients.
Serving Tip: If you are not serving the salad right away, I recommend waiting to add the apples because they will brown as they sit.
Main dish ideas
This is a light salad that pairs really well with almost any dinner you cook. Try it with olive pepper chicken skillet. The tangy olives taste delicious with the tart Brussels sprouts.
These stuffed pasta shells are rich and filling and a stark contrast to this light salad.
No matter what main course you make with this salad, make some au gratin potato stacks on the side with it. Dinner is served!
How to store shaved Brussels sprout salad
Apples tend to turn brown when you try to store them, but if you cover them in lemon juice (from the vinaigrette), they won’t turn brown as quickly.
Even so, I prefer to store the entire salad without the sliced apples. When you use a mandolin, slicing apples takes mere seconds. So it’s better to slice your apples fresh right before you serve the salad.
I also suggest storing the vinaigrette separately from the salad. This way, the Brussels sprouts and bacon won’t become too soft.
Looking for other salad recipes?
- Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- Asian Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Mexican Garden Chicken Salad
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- 1 small shallot (finely minced (about 2 tbsp))
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
- 5 strips applewood smoked bacon (chopped)
- 1 fuji apple (1/2 sliced & the rest roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup goat cheese (crumbled)
- 1/4 cup pecans (roughly chopped)
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- In a large bowl, add Brussels sprouts, pinch of kosher salt, and cover with water. Allow Brussels to soak for 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse Brussels sprouts and pull off any loose/damaged outer leaves. Using a mandoline with guard or cutting glove, carefully slice sprouts into thin pieces. Place in a large bowl, breaking up the circular pieces with your hands as you go.
- In a small bowl whisk together vinaigrette ingredients: minced shallot, olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, kosher salt & pepper. Once mixed, pour over the shaved Brussels sprouts, toss using tongs until fully coated, then cover and let it marinate for 20 minutes (do not skip marinating step).
- While the Brussels marinate, cook the bacon. Slice bacon and cook in a cast iron skillet until crispy (about 6-8 minutes). Place on a plate with paper towel to drain excess fat.
- Remove the marinated Brussels sprouts and add the bacon, goat cheese, diced apple, and pecans. Toss to combine and serve.
- Make sure brussels are sliced thin and uniformly.
- Let brussels marinate in vinaigrette for 20 minutes.
- If preparing ahead of time, wait to cut and add apples or they will brown.