Superfoods Brussels Sprout Salad

~ Brussels Sprout Salad recipes are soooo trending right now. But how do you make a great salad recipe even greater? Add lots more nutritious superfoods, plus irresistible mix-ins like crunchy pistachios and sweet-tart dried cranberries … and then toss it all with a delicious Maple-Balsamic Dressing! Oh yessss! Ready in about 5 minutes flat, it’s perfect as a unique Thanksgiving side dish, or as a super-fast summer salad! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less  •  Make Ahead    Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

collage of two salad photos: one with Brussel sprout salad in individual serving bowl, and one with it in a large serving bowl
Salad in individual serving bowls with text "Brussels Sprout Salad" in upper corner
Hands holding bowl full of salad with text overlay "Brussels Sprout Salad"

Large serving bowl of Brussels Sprout Salad, freshly dressed and waiting to be tossed and served

Everybody seems to be loving Brussels sprout salads lately.

But a Superfoods Brussels Sprout Salad??

Huh. You’re intrigued, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to gobble up all the headliner “superfoods” they can, packing in all that healthy antioxidant glory (and patting themselves on the back for nutrition victory)? I know I sure do!

But still. Maybe you’re eyeballing all that extra veggie goodness, wondering if it will actually taste good, too? And for real … how long will it take to shred that all up (won’t your fingers be oh-so-exhausted)? 

Fear not, friends. Take my hand and come with me to superfoods nirvana. You won’t be disappointed.

This Superfoods Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad is a perfect example of our three pinnacle goals here at THK (nutritious, delicious, and EASY). Yup, this salad’s got all that goin’ on. It’s …

  1. HEALTHY! Because … you know … superfoods. Lots of ’em!
  2. So super quick and easy. Like 5 minutes of effort, max. (Thanks, pre-shredded veggies!)
  3. Seriously yummy! As in, so uniquely delicious, nobody you serve this to is gonna care about whether or not it’s healthy. They’ll be way too busy shoveling in one forkful after another!

What Makes This Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad SOOOOO Delicious!

But maybe you’re still not quiiiiiite convinced. Not quite ready to head to the grocery store and make this Brussels Sprout Salad tonight (and next week, and the week after that, too).

Individual bowls of Brussels Sprout Salad with large serving bowl in background and pile of forks in foreground

It’s the yum-factor, right? You’re still nervous about how this will taste with all those Brussels sprouts – plus the napa cabbage, kale, broccoli, and even kohlrabi. I hear ya. You’re wondering if it’s just too virtuous to be DELICIOUS!

But don’t worry – just like all our recipes here at THK, it’s tested, tested and retested … and completely family-approved! In fact, the very first time I made this as a dinner side dish, my family loved it so much that we polished off almost the entire bowl in one sitting! Even my veggie-suspicious Amy has been seen scarfing down a BIG portion! (Which, trust me, is pretty much the ULTIMATE seal of approval! 😉 )

So where’s all that lick-the-bowl flavor coming from? Well, all those greens and cruciferous veggies (which are … yes … SUPER virtuous, indeed), are decked out with:

  • Sweet-tart dried cranberries
  • Crunchy, nutty, salty pistachios
  • A Maple-Balsamic Dressing filled with rich, sweet, tangy notes to tie it all together

From chewy to crunchy, sweet to savory, this simple little salad is bursting with vibrant flavors and textures!

Overhead photo of serving bowl full of Brussels Sprouts Salad, ready to be plated with serving utensils and silverware to the sides

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I mean, exactly what makes this Brussels Sprout Salad a “Superfoods” Salad. And, ummmm … exactly what are superfoods, anyway?!?

What Are Superfoods?

The term “superfoods” seems to apply to a slightly different list of foods and nutrition goals, depending on what source you ask. But, it basically refers to nutritious foods (usually whole foods) that are standouts for their high levels of beneficial nutrients – whether that’s all their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, their high levels of clean protein or fiber, or their functional ability to do things like protect heart health.

Merriam Webster puts it pretty simply, saying that a superfood is, “a food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.”

And, although the exact list of “superfoods” changes a little from one publication or “expert” to another, there are definitely recurrent themes that emerge. Obvious foods that are on practically everyone’s list. Or foods that fall into broad categories, that most everyone can agree upon as being über-healthy.

So, that leads us to the next question …

What Superfoods Are in This Brussels Sprout Salad?

Again, the precise answer here can depend a little on which list you consult. But, most of the ingredients in this Brussels Sprout Salad make the list somewhere, somehow.

Overhead closeup of salad so you can really see individual Brussel sprouts and other ingredients

Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage and kohlrabi 

As Harvard Health explains, these powerhouse cruciferous vegetables, “… are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals including indoles, thiocyanates, and nitriles, which may prevent against some types of cancer.”

Kale

Like other dark, leafy greens, kale tends to top a lot of superfoods lists. That’s because dark, leafy greens are great sources of a wide range of vitamins and minerals (like folate, zinc, vitamin C and even calcium). Plus, they offer lots of fiber and also notable levels of carotenoids (which are believed to act as protective anti-inflammatory agents). (Pssst … if you’re a kale fan, be sure to check out our Tuscan Kale Salad, our Kale Chopped Salad with Berries, and our Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad.)

Cranberries

Various types of berries generally rank pretty high up on most superfoods lists. They’re not only full of vitamins, minerals and fiber – they’re also jam-crammed with antioxidants. You’ll often see blueberries as a headliner superfood choice, but other berries – like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries – are standouts, too.

Overhead photo of individual salad bowls filled from the large serving bowl, ready to eat

Pistachios

Nuts and seeds are tiny nutrition heroes. Sure, they’re high in protein. Plus, as Cooking Light explained in its list of Dietitian’s Top 10 Superfoods of 2019, nuts are noteworthy because of their “healthy levels of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.”

Olive oil

Surprised? After we all jumped on the fat-free craze of the 1980s, science has come a long, long way in understanding fats and oils. And, it turns out that some oils – like olive oil – are actually good for us. Like, superfood good for us! Although it’s still important to remember to keep calories in check, since oils are high in calories, there are a lot of benefits to using the right oils in reasonable amounts. Olive oil is a great choice because it’s a “good source of vitamin E, polyphenols, and monounsaturated fatty acids, all which help reduce the risk of heart disease.”

Wow. That’s a whole lotta nutrition packed into something that tastes sooooooo good!

And remember – this salad only takes about 5 minutes to toss together! Really! Check it out …

Tips for Making This EASY Salad

• Storing Pistachios – I usually keep dried cranberries and pistachios on hand, so they’re always ready and waiting for me. One specific ingredient tip here: store pistachios (as well as other nuts, seeds and whole-grain flours) in the refrigerator, and they’ll stay fresh much, much, much longer.

Shaved Brussels sprouts piled on cutting board with prep bowls of pistachios and dried cranberries

• FAST Veggies – For the veggies in this salad, I always like to grab bags of prepared, pre-shredded “power blend” or “superfoods blend” greens, like Mann’s Power Blend (which looks like this). My local grocery also has a similar store brand. The ingredient list includes Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale. And they’re all pre-washed and ready to use. Easy!

But of course, you could also shred your own veggies if you’ve got a bumper crop in your garden or your CSA box. 

And if you can’t find the exact blend I like to use, feel free to play around with other similar prepared blends that include a mix of shredded Brussels sprouts with other veggies.

You could also concoct your own mix by combining a couple of different bagged, pre-shredded vegetables. Look for pre-shredded Brussels sprouts and maybe combine that with shredded kale and a packaged coleslaw mix that has cabbage, broccoli and carrots. Voilà! You’ve got your own blend, and you didn’t even have to break out the box grater!

• Make-Ahead Tip – You can serve this salad immediately, or make it up to about a day ahead. If you make it ahead, the veggies will soften a little, the dressing will become more prevalent, and the flavors will all meld a bit. But it’s good either way!

• Adding Pistachios LAST – Definitely, though, I recommend that you don’t add the pistachios until right before you serve this. They’ll be so much crunchier with a more pronounced nutty-salty flavor.

hand sprinkling dried cranberries and pistachios on top of shaved Brussels sprouts in a large bowl

• {Hint} EXTRA Dressing – You can make the salad dressing several days ahead. Simply store it in the fridge until you’re ready to finish your salad (giving it a quick re-whisk if needed).

Small dish of Maple-Balsamic Dressing with a whisk in it

Actually, though, this dressing is so crazy-awesome, you might want to whisk up a double-batch while you’re at it, and keep some on hand for other salads throughout the week. The recipe for this dressing is cribbed from our wildly popular “Thanksgiving Salad with Goat Cheese.” It adapts really well to a wide variety of salad types, so it’s a great little go-to salad dressing to keep on hand!

Dish of Maple-Balsamic Salad Dressing being poured on top of a large bowl of the Brussel Sprout Salad

How to Serve Your New Favorite Brussels Sprout Recipe

Summer picnics, potlucks and cookouts

I’d envisioned this super-fast salad recipe as a summer side dish. Sort of a unique alternative to regular summer coleslaw recipes. It’s a great change of pace next to grilled meats. And it’s special enough to be a standout amongst all the other more “typical” dishes at summer cookouts and potlucks.

Weeknight dinners

But, through the years I’ve been making this salad, we’ve found that’s it’s a terrific side dish for lots of other meals, too. Try it with simple roasted chicken or salmon – any main dish that would pair well with the maple-balsamic flavors in that fabulous dressing. It’s so quick to throw together on busy nights, and it’s a terrific way to get your family eating some extra veggies!

Easy lunches

This salad packs great to take along to work in your lunch, too! Try it with some whole-grain crackers, a hard-boiled egg or a few slices of deli turkey or cheese, and maybe some refreshing grapes for dessert.

A Thanksgiving Brussels sprout recipe alternative

Brussels sprouts and Brussels sprout salads are an absolute must-have Thanksgiving side dish on many people’s holiday menus. Since this salad is so super-fast to make, it’s ideal for filling out a Thanksgiving buffet, without needing lots of extra time and effort (so you have more time to work on that turkey and all those pies!).

Wooden salad servers scooping into a large bowl of this salad

Brussels Sprout Lovers, Rejoice!

Now you’ve got one more slam-dunk-amazing way to enjoy your beloved veggie!

But be prepared to share … because even people who didn’t think they were Brussels sprout lovers are gonna find themselves scooping up seconds! And since this salad is so crazy-nutritious, you’ll feel really, really good about sharing it with family and friends.

Lucky for you, it’s so ridiculously easy to make more!

closeup of Brussels Sprouts Salad, drizzled with dressing in a large bowl
Superfoods Brussels Sprout Salad

Superfoods Brussels Sprout Salad

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Superfoods like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cabbage are accented with crunchy pistachios and sweet-tart dried cranberries … and a delicious Maple-Balsamic Dressing! A unique Thanksgiving side dish or super-fast summer salad!

  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less  •  Make Ahead  •  Vegetarian    Gluten Free  

Ingredients

Salad

  • 20 ounces "Superfood" or "Power Blend" bagged, shredded vegetable blend (including Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots, and kale – see note)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/16 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix shredded vegetable blend, cranberries, and pistachios in a large bowl. (If not serving immediately, reserve pistachios to mix in later, just before serving, so they stay crunchy.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until salt is dissolved and all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and smoothly emulsified.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and stir until combined.
  4. For a crunchier salad, serve immediately. Or, you can refrigerate this salad for a couple of hours or up to a day ahead, and the vegetables will soften a little (remember that the pistachios will stay crunchier if you don't add them until just before serving).

Notes

Shredded Vegetable Blends: I like to use two 10-ounce bags of Mann's "Superfood" Power Blend or my local grocer's store-brand "power blend" (which has the same vegetable combination as Mann's). If you can't find those, you can try substituting similar shredded vegetable combos. Look for ones with a mixture of vegetables so you get diverse nutrients and also diverse flavors (such as sweetness from carrots). For other suggestions of vegetable options, refer to our lengthier discussion in the post.

Make-ahead tip: Although this salad is at its best made no more than 1 day ahead, the dressing can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. You may need to re-whisk it briefly before using.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 67Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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30 thoughts on “Superfoods Brussels Sprout Salad”

  1. I’ve never seen a bagged “superfood” salad before, but now I’m going to be on the hunt or some — this salad looks SO GOOD. We love raw brussels in salads, and my 4 year old looooves dried cranberries! We will be eating this all summer long.

    Reply
  2. Wow – this is a powerhouse salad and I’m loving all the ingredients!! Love that you added the pistachios. I had no idea I could make this a couple days in advance. Super excited to try this recipe!!!

    Reply
  3. Brussels sprouts are one of the few vegetables I can get my teen to eat if it’s drenched in butter and/or bacon lol. But this looks amazing. I think she’ll really love this healthier version!

    Reply
  4. This superfood salad sounds amazing! It will be the perfect side dish to take to potlucks all summer long! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

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Published on
Updated on August 1, 2021
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