Brighten up your Thanksgiving feast with this nutritious and delicious Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Salad. This fresh and flavorful fall salad showcases shaved brussels sprouts, sweet-tart cranberries, and crunchy pecans with a vibrant citrus herb dressing. Perfect for a make-ahead holiday side and healthy lunch meal prep.
If you’re skeptical about serving raw brussels sprouts, don’t be! Believe it or not, raw brussels sprouts taste amazing when shaved, and all dressed up with seasonal berries, crunchy nuts, and a customizable citrus herb dressing.
This raw brussels sprouts salad is filled with shaved sprouts, sweet cranberries, and warming pecans; all tossed in an herbaceous, aromatic, and citrusy dressing.
It’s delightful when served alongside traditional Thanksgiving and holiday dishes, and it happens to be a fantastic high-fiber option for your vegan, paleo, and Whole30 friends and family.
This cranberry brussels sprouts salad is SO simple, yet packed with SO much flavor -you’re going to love it.
❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The ease. It’s as simple as shredding the sprouts and tossing them with cranberries, pecans, and dressing. It’s actually impossible to mess this up.
- The versatility. It’s a great make-ahead side dish to simplify your holiday cooking schedule or prep for a meatless lunch.
- The flavor. It elevates the traditional Thanksgiving spread with a fresh salad option and gives the familiar holiday flavors a complementary zing!
- The options. As for customizations, anything goes.
🥗 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Brussels sprouts – Look for firm, fresh brussels sprouts with vibrant green, tightly packed leaves. You’ll be shredding them, so the size isn’t too important. However, smaller brussels sprouts are picked before maturity, so they tend to be more sweet and less cabbage-y.
- Dried Cranberries & Pecans – Seasonal cranberries and pecans set this shredded brussels sprouts apart from the rest, as they add a palatable combination of flavor and texture and an aesthetic that’s holiday-inspired. Feel free to swap the pecans with walnuts, almonds, or any nuts and seeds.
- Citrus Herb Dressing – Extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice & zest, dried sage & thyme, and a pinch each of garlic powder, salt & pepper create the perfect vinaigrette to brighten up brussels sprouts. It doubles as meat marinade, so consider making extra!
🥣 How To Make Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Pecans
1️⃣ Prep brussels sprouts for salad: Wash the brussels sprouts and remove any damaged or discolored leaves. Using a sharp knife, trim the stems and cut the brussels sprouts into thin strips resembling shredded lettuce.
2️⃣ Make citrus herb dressing. Add ale dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. You can also add everything to a mason jar, close the lid and shake until emulsified.
3️⃣ Toss salad in dressing. Add the shredded brussels sprouts to a large mixing bowl along with the dried cranberries and pecans. Pour the dressing over the top and toss until the shreds are well saturated in dressing.
4️⃣ Chill & serve. Cover and set the bowl in the fridge for 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop and taste their absolute best.
💭 Recipe Tips
- The best way to shred brussels sprouts is with a sharp knife. Of course, you can use a mandolin, but you must be very careful handling such a small veggie so close to the blade.
- Instead of shredding them yourself, grab shredded brussels sprouts from the bagged produce cooler at your local grocery store.
- Plan ahead so you have enough time to set this cranberry brussels sprouts salad in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. Chilling wakes up the dynamic blend of flavors and gives them extra time to mingle.
- That said, 2 hours is the perfect amount of time. Any longer and you risk sacrificing the crunch, as the shredded brussels sprouts will soften and wilt over time.
Mix-ins: Get creative and upgrade this Thanksgiving salad with:
- Chopped bacon, pancetta crumbles -OR candied bacon1
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or soft, crumbly goat cheese (if not paleo or Whole30)
- Pomegranate seeds or finely chopped dried cherries
- Shredded apples or pears
- Other shredded fall veggies like cabbage, carrots, celery root, leeks, parsnip, etc.
Dressing: The dressing can be customized from top to bottom. Check the list below for modifications.
- Replace some or all of the lemon juice with apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- Add a subtle sweet element with a splash of maple syrup or honey
- Give it some peppery heat with Dijon mustard
- Add fresh herbs like parsley or tarragon
Plant protein – To make it a balanced vegan meal with plant-sourced protein, try adding chickpeas or cooked and cooked quinoa.
♻ Make Ahead & Storing
Make Ahead: The day before your holiday meal, shred the brussels sprouts and add them to an airtight container along with the cranberries and pecans. Place a paper towel over the top, close the lid, and keep it in the refrigerator. Also, make the dressing and store it separately. Toss everything together 2 hours before mealtime and let it keep in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
Storing: Keep leftover brussels sprouts salad in a covered container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
You can and you should. Brussels sprouts are members of the cruciferous veggie family along with cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli -all of which are perfectly fine to eat raw. Shredding brussels sprouts makes eating them raw in a salad much more palatable and easy to digest.
The easiest way is to pick up a bag from the store, but the best way is with a knife. A mandoline works too but it’s risky, so I suggest using a well-sharpened knife to cut the sprouts in half and then slice the halves widthwise into thin strips. You can also shave brussels sprouts with a food processor if you have a slicing blade attachment.
🥬 More Easy Salad Recipes
- Cucumber Dill Salad
- Asian Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples
- Grilled Potato Salad
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Strawberry Balsamic Caprese Salad
Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 6 cups brussels sprouts shaved raw
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans
For the citrus herb dressing
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Wash the brussels sprouts and remove any damaged or discolored leaves. Using a sharp knife, trim the stems and cut the brussels sprouts into thin strips resembling shredded lettuce.
- Add the brussels sprouts shreds to a large mixing bowl along with the dried cranberries and dried pecans.
- To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until fully combined. You can also add everything to a mason jar, close the lid and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing over the brussels sprouts, berries, and nuts. Toss until well coated.
- Cover and set the bowl in the fridge for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop and taste their absolute best.