Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan & Lemon-Mustard Dressing

5 stars based on 53 votes


Made with crisp power greens, toasted walnuts, chunks of Parmesan and a lemony Dijon dressing — this salad tastes like a healthful, crunchy Caesar. Be prepared to love it, even if you’re not a kale or brussels sprouts person. My husband, an ardent brussels sprouts avoider, devoured it without even realizing there were brussels sprouts in there (at least until I let my 10-year-old daughter in on it, who giggled every time he took a bite). Make it for weekday lunches or as a side to simply grilled or broiled salmon, Grilled Flank Steak with Garlic & Rosemary or Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic and Herbs. Bonus: it keeps well and can be made ahead of time.


Begin by toasting the walnuts in a 350°F oven for 5-8 minutes, or until fragrant.


Meanwhile, slice the brussels sprouts.


Remove the kale leaves from the tough center ribs.


Then thinly slice.


Make the dressing by whisking together the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper.


Pour the dressing over the greens.


Then toss with most of the toasted walnuts and Parmgiano-Reggiano, reserving some to garnish the serving dish.


Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours to allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to soften, then transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the remaining walnuts and cheese.


This recipe was inspired by a popular kale and brussels sprout salad printed years ago in Bon Appètit.  

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan & Lemon-Mustard Dressing

Servings: 6-8


For the Salad

  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Tuscan or curly kale (about 1 large bunch), thick center rib removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots, from one large shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean-up. Bake the walnuts for 5-8 minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Keep a close eye on them; they burn quickly.
  2. Combine the brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables. Add most of the walnuts and cheese, reserving some to garnish the platter, and toss well. Let the salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or up to a few hours in the fridge) to allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to soften. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter the remaining walnuts and cheese over top. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 256
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Sodium: 432mg
  • Cholesterol: 10mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 2 stars

    I make your baby kale with roasted chickpeas salad once a week and it is outstanding and thought I would love this salad with the Brussels sprouts as well … but I just didn’t care for it. I did let it rest for 1 hour. Sorry, Jenn – it’s unusual for me to not be wowed by one of your recipes.

    - Beth on April 15, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    What is parmigiano – reggiano?

    - Suzi on April 15, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Suzi, It’s authentic Parmesan cheese from Italy. If cheese is labeled “Parmesan,” it’s usually an imitation of the good stuff.

      - Jenn on April 15, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this last night exactly as written. It was delicious and healthy!

    - Diana on April 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a wonderful lemony, tangy delightful salad for any and everyone! My meat eating hubby, my vegetarian daughter…all loved it. This will be a staple in my house and I won’t change a thing. I just make sure to finely chop both the Kale and the brussel sprouts for the best texture for us. Awesome!!

    - Penny on March 3, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe was easy to make and so delicious. I made it yesterday for my Dad’s birthday dinner and everyone really enjoyed it. I did make sure to dress it a few hours ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge before taking it out and serving it at room temp. Making the salad a few hours ahead really let all the flavors meld together.

    - Christina on February 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely AMAZING, incredibly HEALTHY salad.
    Easy to make ahead – will not wilt – it just softens the kale and raw brussels sprouts. Delicious!!! Thank you Jenn!

    - Liz on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad is so delicious! We made this dish a staple in our diet. Thank you Once Upon A Chef!

    - India Chambers on February 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Even this brussels sprouts hater loved this salad! So yummy!

    - Charlene on February 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    You had me at Kale. One of my favorite Salads. I have made this a few times and love it more each time, leftovers, yes please.. I was out of nuts and used dried cranberries, yummy. I am a fan.

    - veci on February 9, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved the salad! It makes a nice big batch and I was worried about how well it would keep. I thought it was even better the next day–didn’t get soggy and the flavors were great. I’m glad I came across your blog I’ll definitely check out some other recipes :)

    - Meg on February 4, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad is WONDERFUL! My SO usually makes super-mature gagging noises when we’re having salad for dinner, but I had to shoo him out of the kitchen to stop him from eating this salad out of the bowl while it was sitting. I served it with grilled chicken on top and he said “If all salad tasted like that, I’d eat it a lot more often”. Great recipe!

    - Erika on January 24, 2016 Reply
  • Hi there! This salad looks so delicious my mouth is watering — BUT, I’m a bit turned off by the fat content of the dressing. (It’s healthy fats, I know. It’s just my thing.) I’m hoping to make it with 1/4 cup of olive oil, half the amount in your recipe. Can you recommend any additions that might make up for the lost oil?

    - Julia on January 20, 2016 Reply
    • Hmmm, you could try subbing some of the oil with a little chicken or veggie broth and/or juice such as apple cider or orange juice. Let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on January 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    As a frequent (cooked) kale and Brussels sprout eater, I thought this would be just a “variation” of these veggies. Wrong, wrong, wrong!! This is quite possibly the most flavorful and nutritious salad I ever had – added bonus – the family agrees! Thank you.

    - Joni on January 20, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    An amazingly delicious salad!
    I had the same result you did, Jenn… My family turned their noses up when I told them what was in it… served it suggesting they try one bite and they couldn’t get enough..
    I will make this a lot as it makes a large quantity, is easy and a change from usual fare. Thank you!

    - Murryo on January 12, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one of the best salads I ever had. Not only is it healthy and is nutrient packed it is delicious. I’m sharing it with everyone I know and bringing it to every potluck.

    - Kasa A. on January 12, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This came out prefect following the recipe exact! Has great texture and elements to the flavor. I did add about 1/4 c dried cranberries, which gave it that little kick!

    - Elizabeth B. on January 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This might just be the best salad I have ever eaten. Period. I have tried numerous kale preparations before, and had assumed I just didn’t like the stuff. What attracted me to this recipe were the other ingredients, which are some of my favorites. It is a massive amount of kale, and even using my very largest bowl, I had to chop and add the kale in three separate batches. It wilts down under the dressing (which is fantastic!, and which I think I will use for other foods) allowing the full pound to finally fit. Bought pre-shredded sprouts at Wegman’s, speeding the assembly. Oh, and use a really good cheese. I shaved it in large pieces, and used a bit more than the recipe calls for.

    - Paula on January 11, 2016 Reply
  • How large is a serving of this salad?

    - Sue on January 10, 2016 Reply
    • A serving would be approximately 1 cup. Please keep in mind that this is a guesstimate. I hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on January 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one of our all time favorite salads. Every time we serve it we get rave reviews. The only thing I do differently is to use pistachios instead of walnuts. I get them at Trader Joe’s and take them straight from the bag to the salad.

    - Diane on January 7, 2016 Reply
  • Do you use raw Brussels sprouts or do you cook them first?
    Thank you,

    - Susie on January 7, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Susie, the Brussels sprouts are raw for the recipe. I hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on January 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a salad that is not only easy to make its delicious! We sometimes eat this as an entree with french bread for a light healthy meal or sometimes as a side to chicken.

    - Marlene Block on December 10, 2015 Reply
  • I’m planning on using this recipe for our Thanksgiving lunch. It sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing.

    - Patsy on November 21, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great salad! I served with roast pork loin and sweet potatoes.

    - Dee on November 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My favorite kale salad so far. Made it several times now. Thank you for sharing your awesome recipes.

    - Julie on November 3, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I’ve made this twice in the last week – it’s a great fall/winter salad for those who like to use local/seasonal ingredients. The leftovers keep well for 1-2 days which is great. I added shredded carrots to mine last time. In the future I’ll definitely try some other variations, using different nuts and shaved root vegetables like beets and maybe fennel bulb.

    - Wynter on October 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I tried the Kale & Brussels spouts salad awhile back but wanted to let you know how much we loved it. It definitely scored a place in my favorites notebook! I had never eaten raw Brussels sprouts until this recipe & tried it with reservations. I loved it & already was enthralled with kale. Loved the crunch fator that th walnut added. The lemon mustard drsg was so right on. Not a fn of too sweet drsgs and this one was spicy & tangy without being pucker worthy. Thanks for sharing the salad.

    - Stephanie Schiltz on October 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    this tasty salad has turned into a weekly staple that surprises everyone by its ingredients, how well it holds up and how addictive it is! Cheers!!!

    - Adrianne on October 29, 2015 Reply
  • Do you have any ideas to substitute for the parmesan for my “no dairy, no soy, no gluten, no wheat” eating son? Thanks!

    - Amy on August 27, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Amy, I don’t know of any good substitute for Parmesan, but you could always add more nuts instead of the cheese.

      - Jenn on August 28, 2015 Reply
    • Go Veggie! brand grated parmesan in a shaker has been my vegetarian cheese alternative for years now

      - Stacey on November 3, 2015 Reply
    • Have you tried Daiya? Cheese that contains no soy, dairy, gluten or wheat.

      - Lorelie on January 7, 2016 Reply
    • As a substitute for Parmesan you could use Nutritional Yeast. It tastes just like parmesan. I also use it in Pesto.

      - michelle on February 8, 2016 Reply
  • Does this salad get soggy or lose its texture
    if left in the refrigerator for six hours?

    - Diane on August 8, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Diane, It actually keeps very well; it will be fine.

      - Jenn on August 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is UN-BE-Lievable!!!! So delicious. I’m hooked and so is my husband, who doesn’t usually eat anything green. Thank you so much!!!

    - Courtney on August 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it. Even the kids who supposedly don’t eat brussel sprouts!

    - Suzanne on July 26, 2015 Reply
  • What would you recommend as a substitute for the walnuts? Sliced almonds, maybe? I’m just not a fan of walnut flavor. Thank you for any suggestions!

    - Erika on May 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Erika, Yes, almonds would be delicious.

      - Jenn on May 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I served this for Passover seder – delicious! Thank you!

    - Sally on May 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow. I could live on this salad! I used bagged kale and shaved Parmesan to save a little prep time. Also threw in a handful of craisins. I can’t tell you how wonderful it turned out. Made a day ahead.

    - Carolyn Tobin on May 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this on Sunday and it was delicious! I think I may add a second clove of garlic to the dressing (or some garlic powder?) and an extra hit of lemon juice when I serve it next time but everyone loved it as-is and I’ll definitely make again. My family was surprised to admit they enjoyed raw brussels sprouts…who knew? :)

    - Lindsay on April 7, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love it! I keep making it for everyone. I do use different nuts because of what I had, have tried pecans and hazelnuts!

    - Irene on April 2, 2015 Reply
  • This salad is fantastic! The Dijon mustard adds a little zip, and the brussel sprouts are crispy and crunchy. it doesn’t get “tired” or soggy. I’ll be making it again and again! Thank-you!

    - Kristi on April 1, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love the kale salad, Your recipes are easy to follow, ingredients available, and everything I have tried is Great! The pumpkin bread was outstanding.

    - Fern on March 30, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this salad. Just enough crunch. Served with fresh grilled ling cod.

    - marcia on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    WOW. This was an awesome salad. Very hard not to eat a lot of it at one time. The roasted walnuts lend some kind of interesting texture cross-over, so that it tastes somewhat like the brussels sprouts are also walnuts. The only change we made was to the cheese – we got used ground Parmesan and Romano cheese in the same quantity. Don’t know what the original would taste like, but this was AWESOME.

    - Sue Ebbers on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This Salad is wonderful. I make this during the week to have on hand in the fridge for my husband and I to grab and eat. It stays good, dressed for about 3 days. It pairs well with anything really as a salad or in place of a vegetable. I have added strawberries in it and I also plan to add mango this summer to brighten it up for a lunch with friends and some white wine.
    This salad is a meal paired with some fresh bread for a quick light dinner. Or some grilled Salmon or chicken.

    - Teresa on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I loved this salad, simple to make, very flavorful and very healthy. My son loved the lemony dressing! I didn’t make any changes it was perfect.

    - Leena Grover on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a yummy salad. I made it just how the recipe called for and it was delicious. I had never thought to eat brussel sprouts raw, but it was very good. The dressing was yummy–it did in fact taste like a caesar dressing.

    - Emily on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is such a great salad! I added some halved red grapes for some sweetness. You can add any protein you want for delicious & healthy lunch! YUM!!! The great part about it is that it can sit in the refrigerator for a few days and still be awesome
    (better even!) Try it! You’ll love it.

    - Britta on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a great way to sneak in power foods to the unsuspecting! I used a mini garlic slicer to get the Brussels sprouts super fine and deveined the kale as well as ‘massaged it’ after chopping very finely. ( would be amazing with fresh homegrown kale )
    I doubled the dressing amount to redress it the next day because it gets better and better on days 2&3. Subbed Manchego and almonds for a spin on it!
    For a finishing touch we added fresh sliced blueberries for a little fresh sweet zing and it was super!
    With that leftovers I made a wrap with Rstd Chicken and a splash of extra dressing, yum!

    - Adrianne Baird on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fabulous salad. You may substitute a good balsamic vinegar for lemon juice . Or you could use a citrus flavored vinegar.

    - Claudette on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love, love, love this salad! I followed the recipe exactly. The only thing I add on occassion is some red quinoa. The red quinoa looks beautiful mixed with all the green and it makes the salad a little more hearty – ideal for a work lunch.

    - Mel on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the best winter salad; the right amount of crisp and tender! And the dressing is excellent. We’ve been eating it at least once a week all winter and feel like we are getting tons of good for us food!

    - Louise Mastin on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 4 stars

    This salad was good but you really do need to let it sit and have the flavors blend. It was better as each day went by!

    - Sheila on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • Do you cook the brussels sprouts?

    - Diane on March 13, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Diane, No the brussels sprouts are delicious raw in this salad.

      - Jenn on March 13, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So GOOD! I have been wanting to eat more kale and have not been inspired until now. As the salad marinated it got tastier and tastier – although I liked it as soon as I had completed making it as well.
    Time to make a new batch – this will be a favorite for sure – thanks Jen.

    - Betty on March 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This salad is amaaaazing as is!! We grilled some shrimp to top it off. I think it would also be really good if you threw in some pears.

    - Dana on March 12, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jennifer, This was fantastic -I find myself tiring of Kale in more traditional salads and this has brought Kale back for me! I made a double batch 3 days ago and it is gone. My 16 year old son has requested more so I’m just getting ready to prepare another batch. As another reviewer suggested, I also devein the kale and coarsely shred it in the food processor. The brussel sprouts, however, we’re great quartered by hand for crunchy little nuggets of goodness! Thanks for another fantastic recipe! Colleen

    - Colleen on March 11, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this last night and it was outstanding!
    Didn’t know how my husband would react since he barely eats brussel sprouts or kale cooked! He didn’t say anything, but had about two salad plates full so I got my answer!! Another winning recipe – thanks Jen!

    - Donna Turovac on March 10, 2015 Reply
  • Good morning Jen

    Do you have a good green apple dressing ?
    I was at a restaurant in Wellesley Maand ordered a kale salad and it had a green apple dressing which was delicious. I have researched but have come up short!
    Love going through your repertoire of recipes and deciding what to make next! My family Thank you! I was in a cooking rut until I stumbled across your website. You have inspired me

    - Antoinette on March 10, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Antoinette, So glad you are enjoying the recipes! Unfortunately, I don’t have a green apple dressing but I will keep an eye out and report back if I find one :)

      - Jenn on March 12, 2015 Reply
    • Here is one that I have used in the past and really like. You can also add some lemon juice and adjust ginger/garlic to your taste.

      1 medium green apple
      1/2 cup water
      1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
      1 cloves garlic
      1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
      sea salt to taste

      1.Place the apple, water, oil, garlic, ginger and a healthy pinch of salt into a blender and puree the mixture until smooth. Serve immediately.

      - Megan on June 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious! I’ve forwarded the recipe to family and friends.

    - Celine on March 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Halved this recipe but when I looked at the volume of greens, I decided to make the dressing at full recipe volume which was a good move since it was almost under dressed doing this. Perhaps I didn’t slice kale small enough ? That said, the wife and I loved it. Toasting the walnuts is a must. I will say it needed a bit of sweetness to counteract the bitter greens and the salty parmesan so I tossed in a handful of craisins which complemented it well.

    - Gregory on March 9, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the most delicious kale salad I’ve made…Perfect combination of ingredients! We are trying to eat healthier and I’ve made this twice in one week. Thank you, Jenn!

    - Jeanie on March 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was so much better than we expected. We couldn’t get enough…

    - Stephanie on March 7, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Wow such a healthy tasty salad!! The toasted walnuts really give it a great crunch. The fresh lemon and dijon give a delicious punch to the dressing I did not even add the parmesan but it was still delicious. (Although I will for my family.) Rather then cutting the kale, which can be very timely, I devein it and put it into my food processor in pieces and then pulse it to desired salad size. It always comes out great this way for any kale salad.

    - Karen on March 6, 2015 Reply
    • Great tip, Karen. Thx!

      - Jenn on March 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was FABULOUS! Took forever to slice up the sprouts, but absolutely worth it. So light and fresh, and it makes a bunch too (currently having round two for lunch).

    - Adam on March 6, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made the kale salad with Brussel sprouts and was delicious! My husband doesn’t care to eat kale but truly enjoyed this recipe. Made grilled chicken to accompany salad! Thank you !

    As a mom I look for inspirational recipes that are fairly easy and healthy. This does both.

    - Antoinette on March 6, 2015 Reply
  • Where are the list of ingredients to tell you how much of each?

    - Lois on March 5, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lois, Click on the recipe tab at the top or scroll down beneath the last photo.

      - Jenn on March 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This looks delicious. Could you make it with lacinato kale instead of the curly kale? Not sure how their flavors compare.

    - Cindy on March 5, 2015 Reply
    • Yes, absolutely. I only use curly kale because it’s the most readily available.

      - Jenn on March 5, 2015 Reply

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