This Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is full of fresh vegetables, sweet fruit, and toasted nuts.
It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. This is my kind of healthy eating!
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I don’t know about you, but I did a lot of indulging during the holidays. Between cookies, eggnog, rich meals, and more, I am ready to eat a little lighter. Salads it is, for a while at least!
Of course, all the delicious recipes that I got to taste test were the best part of the event! My favorite was a shredded kale and Brussels sprout salad.
Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Since I love a good kale salad, that unique combination really appealed to me, and I couldn’t wait to get home and put my own spin on the recipe.
I can never resist fiddling with recipes! So I changed some of the ingredients in that kale and brussel sprout salad and created a new maple vinaigrette recipe.
This amazing Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is the result, and it’s the perfect thing to get me (and you!) back on a healthy track after the holidays.
By the way … I didn’t realize it when I created it, but this recipe is very similar to Cracker Barrel’s Brussels Sprouts n’ Kale Salad! If you want to replicate that recipe, simply replace the apples and grapes with 1/2 cup dried cranberries.
How to Make Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Have you ever made a kale salad before?
If not prepared correctly, they can sometimes feel like you’re chewing on grass. Not exactly enjoyable!
The trick to a delicious kale salad is softening the greens up a bit. It sounds silly, but after adding the dressing, stick your hands in this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad and start massaging it!
Seriously … massaging the salad will help the vinaigrette penetrate and soften the greens, which is the key to a tender, enjoyable kale salad.
Speaking of dressings, this Maple Vinaigrette Salad Dressing recipe is so good! It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and perfectly pulls all the flavors of this brussel sprout and kale salad together.
The dressing is also super easy to make. I love it paired with the fresh grapes and apples, and the crunchy pecans. Yum!
Even my Brussels sprout-hating husband loves this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, which is kind of a minor miracle. So don’t rule it out if you’re not a fan of those mini cabbages.
It won’t remind you of the overcooked Brussels sprouts you grew up with at all. I promise.
Enjoy this Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette tonight … it’s a great side to any meal.
This Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette makes a tasty side, or add a little bread or protein and serve it as a main course. Either way, you will come back for seconds!
This delicious Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette is full of nutrient-rich vegetables, sweet fruit, and toasted nuts.
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (+ 1 tbsp.)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 large apple
Place pecans in a frying pan and heat over medium.
Cook pecans, stirring frequently, until they begin to color. Watch them closely so they don't burn.
Remove from heat and chop. Set aside.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Trim ends from Brussels sprouts and remove any brown leaves.
Thinly slice sprouts and place in a large bowl, gently separating the leaves as you do so.
Remove kale leaves from stems and thinly slice. Add to Brussels sprouts.
Pour vinaigrette over Brussels sprouts and kale.
Using your hands, massage vinaigrette into kale mixture. Let sit for about 10 minutes to soften greens.
Core and chop apple.
Add grapes, apple, and pecans to kale. Mix well.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Here's a tip for quickly and easily removing kale stems from the leaves. Starting at the stem end, separate a little of the leaf on either side of the stem. Grab the stem with your hand and quickly pull your hand down the stem, removing the leaf as you go.
Trying to replicate Cracker Barrel's Brussels Sprouts n' Kale Salad? Replace the apples and grapes with 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins).
Like this Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad?
If you’re looking for kale salads, I have a bunch!
- Massaged Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing … this basic recipe is packed with tons of kale salad tips!
- Mexican Kale Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
- Kale Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Italian Pasta Salad
- Winter Kale Salad with Freekeh and Roasted Vegetables
- Kale Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon Basil Dressing
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Easy Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing
What is your favorite healthy meal to eat after the holidays?
P.S. If you like this recipe, make sure to check out my Mexican Kale Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette. It’s super delicious and one of my most popular recipes!