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

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Be prepared to love this salad of crisp greens, walnuts and lemony Dijon dressing. It tastes like a healthful, crunchy Caesar.

how to make salad

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.

What you’ll need to make a Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad


How to make a Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

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

how to make salad

Meanwhile, slice the brussels sprouts.

how to make salad

Remove the kale leaves from the tough center ribs.

how to make salad

Then thinly slice.

how to make salad

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

whisking dressing

Pour the dressing over the greens.

how to make salad

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


Let the finished dish 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.  

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

Be prepared to love this salad of crisp greens, walnuts and lemony Dijon dressing. It tastes like a healthful, crunchy Caesar.

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

Powered by Edamam

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Made this last night for our vegan friends and served it with salmon ! It was a huge hit! I’ve made it before and rated it an A plus!!!

    • — Joyce Warwick on December 20, 2020
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  • My family loves this recipe. I use 3/4 of the olive oil called for (6 tbsp), and I add a cup of dried cranberries.

    • — Joni on November 22, 2020
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  • This salad is delicious!! Will definitely make it again!

    • — Shellee on November 3, 2020
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  • Planning to make for a dinner this weekend. Can I use the pre-chopped kale and/or brussel sprouts available in bags? Alternatively, would it be possible to slice the brussel sprouts using my food processor slicing blade? Always looking for time – savers, but don’t want to sacrifice quality. Thanks so much for all of your wonderful recipes. This is definitely my “go to” recipe blog and I also own your fabulous cookbook.😀🌻

    • — Liz Vorys on November 3, 2020
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    • Glad you like the recipes! And yes, either of the short-cuts you asked about will work. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 3, 2020
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  • Delicious!!!

    • — Jill on September 16, 2020
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  • Loved the Dijon dressing on this kale and Brussels sprouts salad… used ‘shaved Parmesan’ and the presentation was equally lovely as was the taste especially with the toasted walnuts!

    • — JooJoo on July 5, 2020
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  • I love this salad!!. I have made it a few times already, I do switch up what salad greens I use. I used curly kale and tuscan kale today. And i do add a little honey to my dressing because I like a little sweetness to it. But like others have said the longer it sits the better it tastes. I pair mine with the simply grilled lemon herb chicken that I make in my grill pan and my husband loves it. I’m so happy I found this website.

    • — Shanell M on April 1, 2020
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  • This is better the longer it sits, especially if you use curly kale. I agree with some other reviewers that it wanted a bit of sweetness, so added a hefty handful of dried cranberries as well as a tiny amount of sugar and some raspberry balsamic to the dressing . Not being sure if I’d like this (and fairly sure my significant other would not!), I made a half recipe and found that it needed more dressing after sitting a while, so made an additional half amount (omitting the shallot and garlic) . Much better!

    • — Elizabeth DiPalma on March 14, 2020
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  • This was very good, I did feel like it needed a touch of sweetness so I added some dried cherries and cranberries, next time I might try green apple slices.

    • — Lillith on March 8, 2020
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  • Awesome way to get superfoods into your diet! Taste is wonderful. Crunchiness of the toasted walnuts against all the other ingredients brings out an entirely amazing level of taste. Great for keto. I have found that the ingredients are a bit lower in net carbs than you have calculated so “YAY!” for us keto lifestylers. Leftovers are wonderful. Brighten them with a squeeze of lemon juice.

    • — Nancy K on March 6, 2020
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  • Delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. Loved that I could prepare it well in advance and it was even better the next day.

    • — Meg Crane on February 11, 2020
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  • Yum yum yum! Made this last night, along with a light romaine salad, as sides for an Italian birthday dinner. Lovely complement to the dinner, and nice that it could (must!) be made in advance. The prep sounds time consuming, but is actually quite easy. I added one cut up Roma tomato for color. THANK YOU!

    • — LTLisa on January 16, 2020
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  • I’ve made this wonderful salad several times, springing it on unsuspecting guests. Each time, I get a genuine “YUM!” and a request for the recipe. This time, I had a lonely pomegranate to use before it went bad. So I put a healthy dose of arils on top as a garnish. What an amazing addition! Thanks for all your fabulous recipes. You’re my go-to when it comes to amazing meals.

    • — Nancy B on December 3, 2019
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  • Love love love this salad! Always looking for vegetarian meals that hit the mark and this one is a huge winner. My only modifications are I add dried cranberries and I often have Manchego cheese on hand and use it instead of Parmesan, which works wonderfully with the flavors. I just hit this recipe up again as I’m preparing for Thanksgiving. Love offering healthy alternatives. Your recipes are fantastic.

    • — Melissa on November 27, 2019
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  • I always love your recipes and was excited to try this. I substituted pine nuts for the walnuts and added cranberries and it was absolutely amazing! Really – my boyfriend and I can’t wait to have it again. Thanks, Jen, for this simple but wonderful creation!!

    • — Chrissy on November 25, 2019
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  • This salad is delicious! I had to try it because it looked so good – and I’m not a fan of brussel sprouts or kale.

    • — Naomi on November 20, 2019
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  • Jenn- this salad is a no brainer on my Thanksgiving table Every year as it’s healthy and the bright lemon flavor cuts through the other creamy, fatty side dishes. I have someone with a nut allergy coming this year- is there something else I could sub for the walnuts for crunch? Maybe sunflower seeds? Suggestions welcome- thanks!

    • — Jill on November 15, 2019
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    • Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds would both work well (and glad you like the salad)!

      • — Jenn on November 15, 2019
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  • Fantastic salad-everyone loved it. I substituted candied walnuts which Balanced the tartness a bit. Love your recipes- thank you!

    • — Laura Coblentz on November 10, 2019
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  • Delicious and easy to make. I added dried cranberries like others suggested and also subbed mayo and worchester sauce for the dijon mustard.

    • — Susan on November 8, 2019
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  • Hi Jenn, First of all I want to say Thank You for the best cookbook EVER.. I love it!! You are a brilliant chef.. I’m so grateful for the time and dedication you put in to sharing your fabulous recipes. I have made several of your recipes and all have turned out amazing.. This salad was absolutely delicious the only item I added was pomegranate seeds before serving. Looked and tasted so good .. Will definitely be added to my favorites list, which by the way is all your recipes I’ve made so far.. lol
    Please keep sharing and Thank You again.

    • — Carole on October 18, 2019
    • Reply
    • You’re so welcome, Carole (and your sweet words made my day)!! 💓

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2019
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  • Delicious salad! Our vegetarian daughter loved it. My husband who dislikes kale loved it. It was surprisingly very tasty and perfect! I made it exactly as written. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • — Nicki Stephenson on October 16, 2019
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  • Angry about paper it takes to print recipe.

    • — Gert on October 3, 2019
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    • Hi Gert, Are you printing just the recipe or are you getting all the comments that readers have made as well? If you’re getting the comments as well, I’m assuming that you must be using the drop-down “Print” function on your computer. Instead of doing that, when you’re viewing the full recipe, look in the upper righthand corner of that box – you’ll see an icon there that looks like a printer. Select that and it will print only the recipe and not all the other materials. Hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2019
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      • I love how helpful your responses are. I also appreciate that you take the time to get back to all these commenters and with such patience and kindness. Your website has really improved the food we eat at my house and I have finally found the be-all end-all recipes for some things that I had been trying a different recipe for each time I make them (over decades of cooking a lot). I will never use another brownie recipe, key lime pie recipe, grilled chicken breast recipe, Caesar salad dressing, and the list goes on! I bought your cookbook and have been enjoying that as well. Thanks SO much, Jenn.

        • — Sandy R. on September 20, 2020
        • Reply
        • You’re so welcome!! 💗

          • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
          • Reply
    • You just need to click on the box at the top that says “Jump to Recipe” and you will have the recipe listed concisely without all of the pictures and text. You can print from that box usually onto one page.

      • — Sandy on October 6, 2019
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  • This salad was AMAZINGLY GOOD! I made a big batch and took it to a jazz festival as part of an alfresco meal. SO TASTY. To the person who said the olive oil flavor came through too strong: I actually made the dressing first, and I thought so too, initially. But after it sat for a while, during which time I chopped the kale and the brussels sprouts, by the time all that was done, I tasted the dressing again and the flavor was exactly as it should be. FYI, I also ran my sprouts through a mandoline.

    • — Sheryl B on June 10, 2019
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  • This became my go-to salad last summer and I just remade it for a party – in remains a hit! I mandolin the brussels sprouts and try to put the dressing on at least a few hours in advance. Always a hit!

    • — Michelle on June 9, 2019
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  • Can you use another type of nut besides walnuts? I have made this salad numerous times and love as is but have a guest coming who doesn’t like walnuts.

    • — cheryl on June 6, 2019
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    • Sure, Cheryl – I think toasted pine nuts would be good here.

      • — Jenn on June 6, 2019
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  • My family (who refuse to eat brussels sprouts OR kale) absolutely love this salad, and so do I. I always follow the recipe exactly as written, because I think it’s simply perfect. The recipe makes a generous amount of salad, so I usually have leftovers, and they get even better over time. Chopping/slicing the kale and sprouts takes a bit of time, but overall, this is a super-fast and super-easy (and super-delicious and healthy) recipe. Five stars for sure.

    • — Pam on April 12, 2019
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  • My family loves this salad. I make it every fall as part of out Thanksgiving Dinner and even people who are self-proclaimed “Kale Haters” love this salad and come back for seconds. It keeps well, but we usually don’t have any left over for the next day.

    • — Susan Marra on April 11, 2019
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  • This salad was superb! I am not a huge kale fan, but this was addictive. I followed the recipe as written (not a single change) and it was fantastic. My husband kept coming by and sneaking big spoonfuls while I was making the other courses for dinner that night. I served it with your “Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs” (as suggested) and zucchini crisps. It was the perfect meal. I’m making the salad again this morning so I can have it for lunch today. Loved it!!!!

    • — Katy on April 11, 2019
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  • This salad is so yummy! I love the healthy ingredients, and I now have a new salad to add to my go-to favorites! Thanks for yet another tasty, fabulous recipe!

    • — TRUDIE KIBALA on April 8, 2019
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  • If this salad was a man, I would marry it. And I have commitment issues.

    Have made it several times. I use toasted pine nuts in lieu of walnuts (bc I don’t like them). I also jazz things up a bit on occasion by adding some sour dried cherries, chopped boiled eggs, and shrimp (marinated in the dressing and then broiled a few minutes per side on a cookie sheet). GOALS! Thanks for posting this recipe. 🙂

    • — Jill G. on March 13, 2019
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    • You dont cook the brussel sprouts?

      • — Ellen on September 11, 2019
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      • Hi Ellen, it’s not necessary for this recipe but if you prefer to partially cook them, that would be fine. 🙂

        • — Jenn on September 12, 2019
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  • I am over the moon to have found a recipe with Kale that I adore! It is not often I repeat a recipe in a week, but made it on Wednesday and will make again on Saturday. We really struggle to incorporate leafy greens into our diet, so this amazing to have in the refrigerator for a healthy side dish.

    • — Sue on March 8, 2019
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  • Would this taste good without the cheese? Add apple? I want to serve it with mac&cheese.

    • — Janet on March 4, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Janet, I think the cheese creates a nice balance of flavors here, but you could omit it and once you taste the salad, add it to taste if needed. This salad doesn’t actually call for apples–are you confusing it with a different salad?

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2019
      • Reply
  • Have made this several times and delicious every time. Added sunflower seeds one time, dried cranberries and walnuts another time. My book club group all loved it too!

  • Love this recipe! Added some dried cranberries for color and sweetness. So hearty and keeps brilliantly for days!

  • This is one of our favorite salads to make with a steak or heavy meat. It is so refreshing and satisfying!

  • Would adding bacon work with this recipe? Excited to try it.

    • Yes definitely!

  • This recipe is so simple, but the flavor is so complex. I’ve made this for several gatherings and everyone goes nuts over it!!

  • This is one of my all time favorite salads. Love that it is packed with so many healthy and yummy ingredients. Love the toasted nuts. Adds crunch and flavor! I serve this with roasted chicken! Love!

    • — Stephanie SCHILTZ
    • Reply

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