Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon
Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon

This hearty Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad is packed with crunchy nuts and bacon and tossed with a tangy dressing. Plus, multiple items can be prepared in advance, making assembly for your holiday table or weekday lunch a breeze.

Lettuce doesn’t always get the credit it deserves, but that’s not the case here. Packed with toasted nuts, dried fruit, crispy bacon, and a sweet and tangy vinaigrette, this salad can proudly stand on its own — or right next to your holiday showstoppers.

Kale and Brussels sprouts provide the perfect base for these sweet and savory side dishes, and the recipe itself is very flexible. Want more cranberries? Do it! No bacon? That’s okay too. See below for ideas on swaps and substitutions.

How to prepare your vegetables

While you could shred Brussels sprouts and kale in a food processor, a sharp knife works just as well and leaves fewer dishes to wash!

  • For the Brussels sprouts Peel any dry or wilted outer leaves and cut off the stem end. Halve lengthways and thinly slice the sprouts, flat side down.
  • For the kale Remove the leaves from their stems, then cut the leaves into thin strips.

Perfect salad swap and replacement

With this salad, you can swap out almost every ingredient for something different to keep the flavors fresh and new every time you prepare it.

Both kale and lacinato can be used as kale varieties. The bacon adds a nice salty and savory bite. So if you omit it, use salted nuts to keep the balance.

  • Nuts: If you don’t have pecans, other nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios would be delicious. Should it be nut free? Pumpkin seeds would be great too.
  • Dried fruits: You can replace the dried cranberries with dried cherries or golden raisins, or even fresh fruit like pomegranate seeds.
  • Cheese: If you want to add cheese to this salad, you can go in almost any direction. A soft goat cheese, funky blue cheese, hard pecorino – you name it! Use between 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depending on preference) and add the salad just before serving.

How to make Brussels sprouts salad ahead of time

This is a great make-ahead meal as some of the components can be made at least a day in advance.

  1. Shred the kale and Brussels sprouts and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator the day before serving the salad.
  2. Toast and chop the nuts a week in advance. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
  3. Make the dressing three days in advance. Just keep it in the fridge.

When all the ingredients are combined, you still have time on your side. It actually takes 10 to 30 minutes for the kale to soften and the flavors to combine, but after that it’s best eaten on the same day. A few days later, it’s still delicious, although the dressing continues to soften the kale extra and cause the salad to collapse.

More festive salads to fall in love with

  • Harvest Salad with Roasted Miso Maple Butternut Squash
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Saute
  • Kale Waldorf Salad
  • Festive beet and citrus salad with kale and pistachios
  • Orange and Beet Salad
  • Shaved Brussels sprouts with lemon

Kale and shaved Brussels sprouts salad with bacon

preparation time
30 minutes

total time
30 minutes

up to 8 servings

This salad tastes best the day it’s made. After a few days, the dressed lettuce, although wilted, will still be delicious. I use two types of mustard, but if you only have one or the other, that’s fine too.


  • For the salad:
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, wilted outer leaves peeled and discarded

  • 1 pound fresh kale, about 1 large bunch, rinsed and patted dry

  • 6 strips of bacon

  • 1 cup pecan halves

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Cook bacon:

    Place bacon in individual slices in a large skillet and cook to desired doneness. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Cool and chop.

  2. Toast the pecans:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 8 minutes, stirring once, until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then roughly chop.

  3. Prepare Brussels sprouts and kale:

    Cut off the bottom of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthways. Then cut the sprouts into thin slices, flat side down.

    Remove the kale leaves from the stalks and use a knife to cut the leaves into thin strips. Discard the stems or save for another use. Place Brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl. Mix to combine.

  4. Make the dressing and dressing salad:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper.

    Stir in the oil until well combined, then pour the dressing over the Brussels sprouts and kale combo. Mix until well coated and leave at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes (refrigerate if longer).

  5. Arrange and serve:

    When ready to serve, add most of the pecans, bacon, and cranberries and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining pecans, bacon, and cranberries.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!