Brussels Salad with Pear and Pecans

4.91 from 11 votes
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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.

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Brussels Salad with pear and pecans styled in a wooden serving bowl.
Read more: Brussels Salad with Pear and Pecans

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.

Over the years, I’ve served this Warm Brussels Salad, Shaved Brussels Salad, as well as this Raw and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad.

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.

And if you LOVE Brussels sprouts as much as I do, also check out these Miso-Sesame Brussels Sprouts, Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, and Brussels Sprouts with Pear Chutney.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls arranged on a wooden platter with labels.
  • 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.
Brussels Salad being tossed in a wooden bowl with two gold salad spoons.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

Pecans being toasted in a skillet, and dressing being whisked in a glass jar.

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.

Brussels sprouts being shredded and sautéed, and then combined in a large wooden bowl.

Step 4: Assemble Salad by combining sautéed with shredded sprouts. Add pear, pecans, celery, cheese, and dressing; toss to combine.

A large wooden bowl filled with sprouts, pecans, celery, cheese, and pear, with mustard dressing being poured overtop.

Serving Suggestions

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:

Recipe FAQs

How to Shave Brussels Sprouts:

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.

How to Make Ahead:

The whole salad can be assembled up to 2 hours ahead. Wait to dress it until ready to serve.

How to Store:

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The salad will continue to soften, however the flavors will stay sharp.

Two gold salad spoons tossing a Brussels salad. Bowl styled on a grey surface.

More Brussels Salad Recipes:

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag @dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations! Also follow along on Pinterest and Facebook for the latest recipe updates.

4.91 from 11 votes

Brussels Salad with Pear and Pecans

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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6 people

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pear, cored and diced (I use Red Anjou pears)
  • 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shaved or grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmigiano Reggiano)
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Instructions 

  • Prepare dressing by combining shallots, vinegar, mustard, honey, 1/4 tsp. salt, and black pepper in a glass jar or liquid measuring cup; mix well. Gradually stream in 1/4 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 1/4 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 580mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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4.91 from 11 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. Sarah Simmler says:

    5 stars
    Left out the cheese to make df for a dinner guest but honestly there’s so much flavor I don’t think anyone missed it! So so good and so easy to make. The only tricky part was finding ripe pears since they’re definitely not in season in my area currently 😂

  2. Traci says:

    5 stars
    Made this for Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a huge hit.

  3. Lisa says:

    4 stars
    I really like the idea of this salad… but the brussell sprouts need much more cooking. People asked me if they were raw or cooked. They definitely were NOT cooked enough for me and I followed the recipe to a T.

    I would cook them 15-20 minutes next time instead of 6 minutes.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      Hi Lisa – thank you for taking the time to provide constructive feedback!

  4. Beth Hill says:

    5 stars
    I am serving this fantastic salad for Thanksgiving this year along with potato-leek soup.

  5. Kyle says:

    5 stars
    I want to serve this at Thanksgiving this year.