This is the best kale and Brussels sprouts salad! It's made with made with apples, walnuts, goat cheese and an easy maple vinaigrette dressing. A quick and flavorful salad that comes together in less than 15 minutes.
Raw kale and shredded Brussels sprouts belong together, and this salad proves it. The crunch of the Brussels and apples go perfectly with the massaged kale and creaminess of the goat cheese. And the easy, homemade maple dressing is the perfect complement to all the flavors and textures. One bite and you will be in love!
This easy salad is perfect for adding to any meal. Bursting with flavor and nutrition, you just can't go wrong.
If you're a sucker for a kale salad, like me, be sure to try my broccoli kale salad, butternut squash kale salad, and superfood salad. Or if you're just looking for more ways to use kale, try my chicken and kale soup or kale pesto.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Simple ingredients - This recipe requires just 5 ingredients for the salad and 5 ingredients for the dressing.
- Flavorful and easy homemade dressing: Making your own dressing is far superior to anything you can buy in the store and this salad has the easiest maple vinaigrette... you'll be making it on repeat!
- Dietary needs: Gluten free and can easily be made dairy free and nut free.
- Great for making ahead: This can easily be made ahead of time and keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
- Kale - I recommend using curly kale, but Lacinato kale can also be used.
- Shaved Brussels sprouts - I buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts in the bag to keep it easy. If you'd like, you can buy whole Brussels and slice/shave them yourself.
- Apple - I like using a sweet apple, such as honey crisp or pink lady, but if tart is more your thing, you can also use a granny smith apple.
- Goat cheese - You'll want goat cheese crumbles for this salad. You can either buy crumbled goat cheese or buy the block and crumble it yourself.
Clean food tips: Apples and kale are known to have high amounts of pesticides/herbicides, so I recommend organic for these. Brussels sprouts aren't known for high amounts, but they also aren't on the clean fifteen, so I recommend organic for the Brussels as well. Also, make sure you are using a quality extra-virgin olive oil.
A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations
To make dairy-free, omit the goat cheese.
Don't like goat cheese? Swap for feta cheese or shredded parmesan.
For more color and holiday flare, add in some pomegranate seeds or craisins.
Make a kale, Brussels sprouts and pear salad by swapping the apple for a sliced pear.
If walnuts aren't your thing, swap for some sliced almonds. Looking for a nut-free salad? Skip the nuts all together.
How to Make Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Step 1: Tear kale leaves from the thick stems and add to a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil and massage leaves with your hands.
Step 2: Add all dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Cover and shake vigorously until mixed (you could also whisk the ingredients together in a bowl).
Step 3: Add the shredded/shaved Brussels sprouts to the bowl with the kale leaves. Pour dressing over greens and mix until greens are fully coated.
Step 4: Add chopped apple, goat cheese crumbles, and walnuts. Toss toppings with kale and Brussels sprouts. Serve and enjoy!
Expert Tips & Notes for the Best Salad
I buy pre-shredded/shaved Brussels sprouts for this salad, but you can easily buy whole Brussels sprouts and slice them yourself. If doing so, be sure to slice them extremely thin so they resemble more of a slaw.
If slicing/shredding your own Brussels sprouts, look for ones that are hard and firm to the touch. These are fresher and will also be easier to slice.
Let the salad sit in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors can meld together.
Massaging the kale first helps to soften the kale so it's softer, less bitter, and easier to digest.
Roast the walnuts for more flavor and crunch. Place walnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at roast at 350-degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant (don't allow to burn).
Yes, it is perfect for making in advance. Store the prepared salad and dressing separately in the fridge and then add the dressing to the salad about 30 minutes before you are wanting to serve it. Don't prep the salad more than 24 hours in advance and also wait to chop/add the apple until you add the dressing (this will keep the apple from turning brown).
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. The salad will be slightly soggier than when you first made it, but trust me, it’s still delicious! I ate it 2 days later and it was still amazing.
There are a few more common types of kale out there, but I recommend using curly kale for this salad. But you most certainly can also use Lacinato kale.
More Salad Recipes to Try!
Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 3 cups curly kale leaves, removed from the center rib, thinly torn and loosely packed (about 2 large stems)
- 2 cups shaved Brussels sprouts (I use pre-shaved Brussels sprouts)
- 1 large sweet apple, chopped
- 4 oz goat cheese crumbles
- ¾ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice (lemon juice works too)
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup (more to taste)
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt (more to taste)
- Add your thinly torn kale leaves to a large bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tsp. of extra-virgin olive oil and massage the kale with your hands. Make sure the olive oil gets rubbed into the kale leaves. This will help soften the leaves and take out some of the bitterness of the kale. Add Brussels sprouts to the bowl with the kale.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Cover and shake until well combined. Pour over kale and Brussels sprouts. Mix until the greens are evenly coated.
- Add the chopped apple, crumbled goat cheese, and walnuts. Toss lightly to combine.
- I recommend letting the salad sit in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- I use curly kale for this salad, but lacinato kale will work too.
- I use pre-shaved/shredded Brussels sprouts, but you can also thinly slice whole Brussels sprouts yourself.
- If desired, you can toast the walnuts for more flavor and crunch. Place walnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at roast at 350-degrees F for 5-7 minutes or until fragrant (don't allow to burn).
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days. The salad will be slightly soggier than when you first made it, but trust me, it’s still delicious!