Brussels Salad with pear, pecans, and Pecorino tossed in whole-grain mustard dressing. This simple Brussels Salad is fresh and flavorful, and the perfect holiday side dish.
Why You'll Love this Brussels Salad
My love for a loaded Brussels salad runs deep. The small, yet mighty sprout is so versatile, nutritious, and tasty, it doesn't take much embellishment to shine.
When it comes to holiday hosting, you can guarantee that a Brussels salad will be part of the side dish spread.
This year, however, I am so excited to serve this recipe, as it's the perfect complement to rich casseroles and hearty entrees.
The combination of sautéed Brussels AND raw shredded sprouts along with toasted pecans is textural perfection Tie it together with a zippy dressing and salty cheese and you hit peak salad satisfaction.
Enjoy this easy, make-ahead friendly salad as part of your Thanksgiving spread, or any dinner this holiday season.
- Brussels Sprouts: You need 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts, half of which are halved and sauteed, and the other half left raw and shredded.
- Pear: I love using a red pear variety for the contrasting colors.
- Pecans: Make sure you toast the pecans first, which really amplifies their rich, nutty flavor. Alternatively, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Shallots: To add a zesty bite to the dressing.
- White Wine Vinegar: For brightness and acidity. Alternatively, you can use sherry vinegar.
- Mustard: Look for a whole-grain Dijon mustard - the flavor is similar to that of classic Dijon but with a coarse texture.
- Honey: To balance the sharpness of the vinegar and mustard.
- Cheese: I love using an aged, sharp cheese, such as Parmesan or Pecorino. If you're making this recipe dairy-free, you can omit the cheese.
- Celery: For added crunch and a refreshing bite.
For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Additions:
- Use a Different Fruit: In place of pear, you can use sliced apple or persimmon.
- Make Nut-Free: In place of the nuts, I suggest adding toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Make Dairy-Free: Swap the cheese for your favorite brand of plant-based cheese, or make a Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
Step 1: Toast Pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Set aside.
Step 2: Prepare Dressing by combining shallots, mustard, vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a jar or liquid measuring cup; whisk to combine.
Step 3: Prepare Brussels Sprouts by slicing half of the Brussels sprouts in half, and sauté in olive oil until golden and fork-tender. Shred remaining Brussels using a mandoline or sharp knife.
Step 4: Assemble Salad by combining sautéed with shredded sprouts. Add pear, pecans, celery, cheese, and dressing; toss to combine.
This Brussels Salad would make a fabulous addition to any holiday spread. It's also simple enough to prepare on weeknights. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:
- Chicken or Turkey: Whether you're preparing a classic roasted turkey or your favorite chicken recipe, this salad is the perfect accompaniment.
- Fish: Especially this Slow Roasted Salmon or Pecan Crusted Salmon.
- Portobello Steaks: These Balsamic Portobello Steaks are an impressive vegan entree.
- Meatloaf: I have the BEST Vegan Meatloaf in the game!
Knife: Using a sharp chef's knife, hold the stem of the Brussels sprout firmly and very thinly slice the bulb of the sprout into whisper-thin shreds.
Food Processor: If you have a food processor with a slicing blade like this, this is by far the quickest route. It takes fewer than 5 minutes to shred all of the sprouts.
Mandoline. Another easy option is a mandoline slicer. Hold the sprout firmly by the stem end and watch your fingers VERY carefully as you reach the end.
The whole salad can be assembled up to 2 hours ahead. Wait to dress it until ready to serve.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The salad will continue to soften, however the flavors will stay sharp.
More Brussels Salad Recipes:
Brussels Salad with Pear and Pecans
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowls
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
- 2 tsp. honey
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- ½ cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
- 1 red pear, cored and diced (I use Red Anjou pears)
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- ½ cup shaved or grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
- Prepare dressing by combining shallots, vinegar, mustard, honey, ¼ tsp. salt, and black pepper in a glass jar or liquid measuring cup; mix well. Gradually stream in ¼ cup olive oil, whisking constantly, until smooth. Set aside.
- Trim and slice half of the Brussels sprouts in half lenghwise (these will be sautéed). Shave the remaining half on a mandoline, or use a sharp chef's knife to very thinly slice (these will remain raw). Place the shredded Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl.
- Toast pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Using the same pan over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil followed by the halved Brussels sprouts. Arrange cut side-down and let cook, undisturbed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until nicely golden. Toss, and continue cooking 3 to 5 more minutes, until tender. Season with remaining ¼ tsp. salt.Add sautéed Brussels to the bowl with raw shredded sprouts, and toss (the residual heat of the cooked sprouts will slightly soften the raw).
- Add pear, pecans, celery, and cheese to bowl with Brussels. Pour dressing overtop and toss to combine. Taste and season with a pinch more salt, if needed.
- Make-Ahead: The salad can be assembled 1 to 2 hours ahead, however it's best to wait to add the dressing until right before serving.
- Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.