This colorful, crunchy, Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad has it ALL – it’s naturally sweet, citrusy, and packed with vegetables to keep you feeling full and nourished! The simple lemon vinaigrette is super light & refreshing. And best of all, everything (including the dressing!) comes together in just 15 minutes in one bowl. No cooking needed.
recipe updated 2/21/2022
about this shaved brussels sprout salad recipe
I don’t know about you but I’m kind of obsessed with roasted Brussels sprouts, if they’re on a restaurant menu chances are VERY good we’re getting them for the table!
But did you know you can eat raw shaved brussels sprouts too?
If you’ve never had them prepared like this before, this recipe might make you a believer!
In my opinion it’s one of the most underrated ways to enjoy this vegetable when it’s in season and the best part is that it doesn’t require as much time as roasting does.
When they’re sliced super thin (using either a very sharp knife or a mandolin slicer) they become the perfect greens to use in any salad and are especially delicious when paired with citrus.
This simple homemade lemon vinaigrette only has four ingredients and you can just drizzle the individual ingredients right over the top of your salad, keeping clean up extra easy.
Together with the crunchy slaw, sunflower seeds, and sweet oranges it creates a beautiful, bright side salad filled with lots of interesting textures in every bite.
Or you can even add cooked chicken or chickpeas on top to turn this into a hearty main salad!
how to make this shaved Brussels sprout salad
The beauty of this recipe is that there’s zero cooking involved. It’s really just about chopping things and dropping them into a bowl.
You don’t even have to whip up the dressing separately on it’s own – just drizzle the “dressing” ingredients on top and mix well.
Before you know it you’ll have a delicious shaved brussels sprout salad with lemon vinaigrette!
I used sweet oranges, blueberries, and sunflower seeds for this recipe but it’s versatile enough to make with a variety of fresh or dried fruit (I’ve listed lots of easy swaps for you below to help you keep your options open season to season).
what’s the best way to shave brussels sprouts?
I opted to shave the Brussels sprouts by hand instead of using the store-bought ones because I like being able to make them super thin for the salad.
A sharp chef’s knife or mandolin slicer make quick work of it - just give them a good wash, slice off the tough ends, discard any wilted or dirty outer leaves and slice them thinly.
Thinner slices makes it easier to eat and I don't end up with those big clunky chunks of the core that sometimes come in the pre-prepared bags at my store.
But if you can find great, thinly sliced ones at your local store - by all means, go for it and save yourself some time!
ingredients & substitutions
In this recipe, I used whatever we had on hand – so there’s plenty of room for you to make swaps like that to suit this recipe! Here’s a few simple modifications you could make:
Brussels sprouts: You can sometimes find already prepared shaved brussels sprouts in the produce section of your local store, but I prefer to cut my own at home so they’re very very thin. This makes them much more palatable and easier to eat. If they’re too thick they’re not as enjoyable & don’t absorb the dressing as well.
Broccoli slaw: I love the ease of using broccoli slaw (a mixture of shredded broccoli stalks and carrots), it’s such a versatile ingredient and fun to add extra crunch to salads. But if you like you could use all shredded carrots or even all shaved Brussels sprouts in its place.
Oranges: You can use any sweet oranges you like. Navel oranges, cara cara oranges, mandarin oranges or sumo oranges would all work great in this recipe. Feel free to mix up the fruit to fit whatever you like or happens to be in season - grapefruit, thin apple slices and fresh berries would also go well with this salad.
Lemon juice: This is the flavor base for our easy lemon vinaigrette. The fresh lemon juice adds a nice tangy brightness to the salad and lifts up all the flavors, providing a nice balance to the sweet maple syrup and fresh fruit. You could also use lime juice in its place - or even apple cider vinegar or a white balsamic vinegar if you didn’t have fresh citrus on hand.
Maple syrup: I used maple syrup in this recipe but you could use any other liquid sweetener you like. Honey, agave syrup, and coconut nectar would all work well in this recipe. If you want to use a granulated sweetener (like table sugar), I would suggest mixing up the dressing separately from the salad to make sure it fully dissolves & you don’t end up with gritty, grainy bits of sugar.
Extra virgin olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is perfect for salads or as a finishing oil (to add at the end of cooking) to hot dishes. You can also use regular olive oil or another neutral flavored oil in its place like avocado oil. Since the lemon vinaigrette is so simple, it would even pair well with flavored oils like toasted sesame oil or an infused olive oil.
Sunflower seeds: I love adding seeds to my salads for extra crunchiness and a serving of healthy fats. I used sunflower seeds in this recipe but you could use any nuts or seeds you like - pepitas (pumpkin seeds), watermelon seeds, pine nuts, chopped pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds would all be great in this recipe.
Fresh blueberries: an optional but highly recommended ingredient to add into this salad. The little bit of sweetness and extra antioxidants make them an easy addition. If you’re enjoying this salad outside of berry season, feel free to omit them or substitute in some dried blueberries or dried cranberries for extra sweetness.
ways to serve it
Since it uses a lemon dressing, you can serve this side salad with almost anything or as a big salad to share around the table with any meal!
To make it into a more substantial main course type of salad, you can add a protein source on top.
My picks would be chicken, white beans, or chickpeas. But some tempeh or salmon might be good on this too!
Personally, I’ve been loving this Instant Pot Whole Chicken lately – after it’s cooked we shred it by hand into pieces that feel like roasted rotisserie chicken, and it’s the perfect chicken to use on salads.
That and this Instant Pot Chicken Breast recipe make adding protein to salads like these a breeze!
more fun variations to try
To make a shaved Brussels sprout salad with apples, simply swap in thinly sliced apples (I like to use a sweet crisp apple like Fuji, Honeycrisp or Gala) in place of the oranges. And then substitute dried cranberries in place for the fresh blueberries. If you really want to drive the apple flavor (and fall vibes) home even further, you can swap in apple cider vinegar in place of the lemon for the dressing.
To make a shaved Brussels sprout salad with mustard vinaigrette, simply add 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard to your vinaigrette and use apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice. Since mustard takes a bit more emulsifying, I’d mix this type of dressing in it’s own separate bowl or shake it up in a lidded mason jar.
To make a shaved Brussels sprout salad with lemon and pecorino (or Parmesan), make some savory swaps. Omit the fresh fruit and broccoli slaw (use lacinato kale in its place or all-Brussels sprouts). Skip the maple syrup to give your dressing a more savory flavor and finish with fresh cracked black pepper.
make ahead & meal prep tips
If you want to make this salad ahead of time you can toss together the Brussels sprouts and broccoli carrot slaw and keep them together in one large bowl, covered in the fridge.
Then store the cut fruit (oranges and if using, blueberries) separately.
You can add all the ingredients for the dressing (lemon juice, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, and salt) to a lidded jar and also store that in the fridge.
Let the jar come to room temperature and when it’s time to serve it up, you can just shake the jar to combine everything again (The dressing will keep for 3-4 days tightly sealed & refrigerated).
Add the fresh fruit and sunflower seeds just before serving and you’re good to go!
If you’re wondering if you can shave Brussels sprouts ahead of time the answer is yes! Just make sure you pat them dry before storing them and use them within a few days.
more easy healthy salad recipes to try
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 ½ c broccoli carrot slaw
- 1 ½ c shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1 - 2 oranges peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- ¼ c sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup fresh blueberries*
- optional: micro greens or micro radish sprouts
- MAKE THE SALAD: Place the broccoli carrot slaw, and shaved Brussels sprouts into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, maple syrup, olive oil, and salt on top. Toss until well coated in the dressing ingredients, then add the oranges and mix together gently. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top. Plate up and enjoy immediately. You can garnish with micro sprouts and fresh blueberries on top for even more nutrients and color.