Brussels sprouts salad – full of candied hazelnuts, crunchy bacon, pops of tart pomegranate seeds, and manchego cheese all coated in the most delicious mustard vinaigrette. SO good!
Ok, remember how I told you all about my favorite salad recipe? Well the dressing is based off of this Brussels Sprouts Salad, one of the best recipes of all time for an easy salad side dish recipe.
Do not panic over the name. In the past Brussels Sprouts….ok wait, pause…
Do you say brussels sprouts or brussel sprouts? I feel like brussel sprouts rolls off the tongue a little better. I’ve heard both. Of course, I consulted the Google. It seems like both are correct and acceptable, but why would there be two correct ways to say it? I’ll use both in this post, but I’m curious what you call them! Leave a comment below!
Ok, where was I? Oh yes….in the past brussel sprouts were famous for being one of the worst vegetables of all time, but that’s all due to old time shows and movies that spoke of steamed or boiled- which does sound awful. But this salad is a little crunchy, light, flavorful and really easy to make it your own.
We originally found out about the bacon pomegranate salad from Half Baked Harvest from all of our readers who kept emailing that not only did we need to try the recipe, but we also should make our own version and share it.
They were right. Like always.
So here we are!
Ingredients Needed for Brussels Sprouts Salad
There are several different components to this recipe, and I’ll walk you through each of them as well as possible substitutes. For now, this is your grocery list:
- Hazelnuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts or macadamia nuts are delicious too)
- Brown Sugar
- Brussels Sprouts
- Manchego (Parmesan or Asiago works as substitutes)
- Pomegranate Arils (craisins, oranges, pears, figs or apples are yummy too)
- Bacon (pancetta is also delicious)
- Orange Zest
- Bacon Grease
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Butter
- Stone Ground Mustard
- Thyme (fresh)
- Orange Zest
The measurements for each can be found in the recipe card below.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts Salad
I like to start by candying the hazelnuts so they have time to cool. So we will start there and then make the dressing. Then we will combine everything for the salad. Here are the basic steps for each component:
- Toast the nuts in a saute pan over medium heat.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the nuts and stir until coated. Remove the nuts to parchment paper to cool.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Save 1 tablespoon of the grease and discard the rest. Remove the bacon to a paper towel. Chop into the bits when cool.
- Saute the shallots in the same skillet.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth.
- Combine all the components of the salad in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Top with the bacon bits.
What do Brussels Sprouts Taste Like?
Brussels sprouts are in the same family as broccoli, cabbage and kale. They taste similar to broccoli but can have a little more bitterness to them.
How to Cut Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts have a hard stem on one end that needs to be removed. Cut that end off and then slice the brussel sprout in half. Remove any browning or tough outer leaves. Sometimes brussels sprouts can be dirty, so feel free to rinse them off at this point. Give them a good shake to dry them off.
Since we are shredding them, lay them flat side down on a cutting board and then chop each sprout. You can buy shredded brussels sprouts at the store, but I haven’t been able to find them for a while, so I usually end up shredding my own.
You don’t have to stick to the recipe, try making it your own based on what’s in season. Like I mentioned above, these all would be great to throw into the salad:
I would love to hear what combination you love the most!
What are Pomegranate Arils?
Pomegranate arils are the clear red seed pod in the pomegranate. They are tart and give you a nice pop of juice and flavor.
What to Substitute for Hazelnuts?
The best substitutes for hazelnuts are cashews, macadamia nuts or almonds.
What to Substitute for Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is a sharp, hard cheese. A different sharp, hard cheese like parmesan, romano, asiago, or a sharp English cheddar would make good substitutes.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts Salad Ahead of Time
This salad is great for making ahead of time. Shred the brussel sprouts, candy the hazelnuts, cook the bacon and make the dressing ahead of time, but store them all separately. Combine all the components just before serving.
How to Store Brussel Sprouts Salad
Store the leftover brussel sprouts salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days.
Now go back to the beginning of the post and count how many times I used brussels and brussel. Which one wins? Never mind, that’s waste of time! Make this brussels sprouts salad instead! I’m so unbelievably obsessed with it!
More Salad Recipes You Must Try:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- Harvest Cobb Salad
- Southern English Pea Salad
- Green Beans and Tomatoes
- Grilled Corn Avocado Tomato Salad
- Grilled Peach Avocado Caprese Salad
- Garden Balsamic Avocado Salad
- Easy Tomato Mozzarella Salad
- Farmer John Pesto Garden Salad
- Dill Pea and Cucumber Salad
- All our SALAD RECIPES!
Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Salad
- 1/2 Cup Hazelnuts, roughly chopped or chopped pecans
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Pound Bacon, chopped
- 6 Cups Brussel Sprouts
- 1 1/2 Cups Manchego Cheese, *see notes
- 1 1/2 Cups Pomegranate Arils
- 1/2 Orange, Zested
- 1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil, Virgin
- 1 Shallots, diced
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Mustard, Stone ground
- 1 Tablespoon Thyme leaves, fresh
- 1/2 Orange, Zested
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For The Nuts
- In a pan over medium heat, toast the nuts until golden, about 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until coated. Remove to parchment paper.
For the Dressing
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, then drain all but 1 tablespoon of grease and place the bacon on a paper towel.
- Add the olive oil to the same skillet used to cook the bacon over high heat. When the oil is shimmering add the shallots, cooking until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the apple cider vinegar, apple butter, mustard, thyme, and orange zest. Season with salt, pepper.
Make the Salad
- In a large salad bowl, combine the shredded brussels sprouts, remaining orange zest, cheese, hazelnuts, and pomegranate arils
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to combine.
- Top the salad with bacon and toss again.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
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