Kale and Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad

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This is my favorite holiday salad recipe. Even my salad-hating family members (I’m looking at you, mom) devour this salad. There’s a little bit of everything in this salad – crunchy, creamy, tart, and sweet.
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 20 minutes
5 from 14 votes

The base of this salad consists of raw kale and raw Brussels sprouts. And I know, you’re probably thinking one of two thoughts:

  • You want me to serve a kale salad at the holiday table? No one will eat it!
  • You want me to serve kale AND Brussels sprouts raw?? Are you crazy?

I get those concerns and doubts, trust me! In fact, my boyfriend voiced them to me the first time I made this salad. Then he tried it and took it back!

First things first, you do need to shred the kale fairly finely and the Brussels sprouts very thinly. I recommend using the slicing attachment of your food processor to easily and quickly slice the Brussels sprouts thinly. If you don’t have one, you can slice them by hand (it just takes more time and upper body work).

Kale salad with sliced apples, pomegranates, avocado and dressing in a white bowl.

And to make these raw veggies delicious, I add some contrasting textures and flavors.

  • Crisp Apples and/or Pears: these provide a sweet and juicy yet crunchy textural addition
  • Dried Cranberries or Cherries: they bring that irresistible chewy bite and sweet-tart flavor.
  • Toasted Hazelnuts or Pecans: toasting the nuts brings that nice nutty and fragrant aroma and depth of flavor
  • Pomegranate Seeds: not essential, but their crunchy yet juicy texture and sweetness plays well with the apples
  • Avocado: creaminess to balance all those raw greens and crunchy textures
  • Cashew Caesar Dressing: the star of this salad is the savory, flavor-packed Caesar dressing. Made with raw cashews, extra virgin olive oil, and just a few other ingredients, it takes 5 minutes to throw together and is ultra creamy and delicious. A generous amount of creamy dressing will make even alleged salad haters fall in love with kale!

PS: if you love classic creamy salad dressings, my Vegan Ranch Dressing is a must make!

That’s all you need to know about this salad, so I’m keeping it short! Hope you enjoy the recipe and make it this holiday season!

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First holiday season as a vegan? Check out my holiday survival guide for vegans! For more Christmas recipes, check out this roundup of 40 fantastic Vegan Christmas Recipes.

Kale salad with sliced apples, pomegranates, avocado and dressing on a large white platter.

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad

5 from 14 votes
This is my favorite holiday salad recipe. Even my salad-hating family members (I’m looking at you, mom) devour this salad. There’s a little bit of everything in this salad – crunchy, creamy, tart, and sweet.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: New American
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 6 to 8 (as an appetizer/side) or 3 to 4 (as a main)


Salad Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts⁣⁣ (thick outer leaves removed and shredded)
  • 1 head of Tuscan lacinato kale, sliced thinly ⁣⁣
  • 3 crisp apples or pears, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries⁣⁣
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds⁣⁣
  • 1 large ripe avocado, diced
  • Cashew Caesar Dressing (recipe below)
  • Optional: vegan ricotta cheese for topping

Cashew Caesar Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked*
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil ⁣⁣
  • 1/2 cup water⁣
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder ⁣⁣
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/2 of a large lemon, juiced + more to taste


Salad Directions

  • To shred the Brussels sprouts, use the slicing attachment of your food processor. Alternatively, you can cut the sprouts by hand into very thin slices, or easiest yet, buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at your grocery store.
  • Place the sprouts and kale on a serving platter. Arrange the apple slices on top, and add the nuts, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and avocado. Pour the dressing on top and mix well.

Cashew Caesar Dressing Directions

  • Place the soaked cashews and remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend for 2-3 minutes or until the cashews are completely pulverized and the dressing is thick, smooth, and creamy.


*Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 2 hours, in boiling water for 1 hour, or in room temperature water overnight.

Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 889mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 5024IU | Vitamin C: 115mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 3mg

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23 comments on Kale and Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad

  1. Lauren

    I want to make this for Thanksgiving – would it keep okay if I made it the day before, and added the fruit and dressing right before serving?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Lauren, definitely! You can make the salad with the kale, brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, nuts and dried fruit and store it separately from the dressing and ricotta. Cut the apple and avocado closer to serving to prevent browning, add vegan ricotta if you’d like, dress the salad and enjoy!

      1. Janet

        I recommend waiting until serving time to add the nuts so they stay crunchy. Otherwise they could get soggy.

  2. Theresa

    5 stars
    This salad 🥗 is out of this world 🌎🌍 DELICIOUS 😋🤤❣️❣️❣️❣️. I am hooked 🪝 on this, I didn’t want to share any with my husband 🤭. This salad 🥗 hits every taste bud with an explosion 💥💥💥💥 of flavor on every level 🎚️. Plus, along with flavor it is visually a eye popper 👀. My mouth 👄 was having a party 🎉 with all the different textures. Every component of a Masterpiece 🥗 was in this recipe ‼️‼️‼️

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Your review made our day, Theresa! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for trying out the recipe.

  3. Janet

    5 stars
    This was amazing! My family of four finished the whole salad for lunch today. We all LOVED it, including my 6 and 8 year old kids. When I added all the dressing on top at the end, the beauty of the salad got partially hidden, but the taste was phenomenal. Next time I will plate the kale and Brussels sprouts on the serving platter and add half the dressing before arranging the toppings, then drizzle the rest of the dressing on top. Also I’ll use a larger serving platter. This way the gorgeous colors and variety will shine through, and the dressing will be more evenly distributed. I can’t wait to make this for guests, for potlucks, and for Thanksgiving. It’s going into our regular family rotation for sure! Thank you for showing my kids how delicious kale and Brussels sprouts can be!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Janet, what a thoughtful review! We’re so happy to hear that the whole family loved the salad. Thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

  4. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

    Hi Ae.vita, did you get a chance to try this recipe? We hope you enjoyed it!

    And we actually do include metric measurements on the newer posts now :)

  5. Janel

    5 stars
    This is in my top 5 favorite salads Of all time! My sweetheart added vegan feta for extra credit and it deliciously complemented the sweet elements. Highly recommend giving it a try!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Janel. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  6. Kara

    Hi! Is the nutritional info for app size servings or mains?

    1. Hannah @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Kara, thanks for reaching out. This is the nutritional information for mains!

  7. Morgan

    5 stars
    PS totally forgot to soak my cashews overnight/didn’t have time to soak them for an hour so I put them in my instant pot (water to cover) and pressure cooked for 5 minutes on high. Turned out perfect!!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thanks for sharing, Morgan!

  8. Morgan

    5 stars
    Wowwww!! You knocked it out of the park again Nisha! I was fearful because I’m not a kale fan but wow! Unfortunately my local grocery store was out of brussel sprouts, so I subbed with romaine. It was delicious! And I can’t get over how delicious the dressing is either! 🤤🤤 Bravo!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Morgan. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  9. Katie

    5 stars
    Made this for Christmas Eve and my family loved it! My mom asked for the recipe. I opted to roast the brussel sprouts and it was delicious! Creamy dressing was so easy, garlicky and yummy.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Katie, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  10. uschi

    5 stars
    I love this salad❣️We made it a few times already 😋

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Uschi, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  11. Jo

    I wonder if I can use cashew butter instead of using cashews for this dressing

  12. Tosca

    I made this salad for a Mother’s Day family get together and I nearly forgot to return here to comment! It was wonderful. There were groans about apple but no one really tweaked about the kale and Brussels sprouts ;) I was asked for the recipe by my niece my daughter and my husband’s first wife. My nieceand her daughter have serious nut allergies, so I’d made a special plate for them with hummus, seeded mustard and lots of lemon juice. Everyone liked it lots. Thanks Nisha :)

  13. Barbara

    How long will the dressing keep in the frig after making?

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