Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
on Mar 07, 2022, Updated Nov 30, 2023
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This shredded brussels sprout Caesar salad is tossed in a creamy dressing without eggs or anchovies that’s wonderfully lemony and garlicky. It has sourdough croutons that give it lots of toasted crunch. You can serve this salad as a side dish or main for any meal. Raw brussels sprouts are great for salads instead of lettuce.
If you’re interested in more sprouts, try this shaved brussels sprout salad with almonds and dried cranberries.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Roasted brussels sprouts are good, but sometimes raw ones are even better, especially when you use them as the base of a salad. You can shred them with a mandolin or a food processor fitted with a shredding disc or slicing blade. The other option is to slice them thinly with a sharp knife. Then you have essentially created super-charged nutritious lettuce with the color of basic salad greens that offers so much more including a crisp bite and lots of personality.
My version of Caesar dressing has no eggs or anchovies. To officially (or sort of unofficially) Caesar-ize the salad, I make an egg-free dressing without anchovies that still has the brightness and creaminess of a classic Caesar salad. I also add plenty of Parmesan.
This is a salad that you can serve as an entree or side dish. If you haven’t been convinced yet to join the raw brussels sprouts club, definitely try this recipe. Using them for a salad just makes it more special than the usual lettuce options.
What’s In A Caesar Salad?
The usual salad has romaine lettuce, Parmesan and croutons. Where things get most interesting is the classic Caesar dressing. With raw egg yolks, anchovies, worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic, it turns out salty and a smidge fishy and it really coats the leaves.
A No Egg Homemade Caesar Dressing Without Anchovies
First, I realize that the dressing of this salad is vegan, but the salad itself is not since it involves Parmesan. I know I’m not the only one who is more likely to eat raw egg yolks in cookie dough than salad dressing! Also, anchovy paste is not something that I typically keep in my kitchen.
To add that creaminess from the combination of egg yolks and mustard, I reach for tahini instead. This sesame seed paste adds something rich and nutty. For that briny flavor, I use chopped capers. The result is a healthier dressing that may not follow the traditional recipe, but is definitely is a nod to its essence.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
- Brussels sprouts absolutely make this salad unique, so it’s worth taking the time to shred them. But I am such a fan of the dressing that if you were looking for a shortcut, my first recommendation for an alternate green would be cabbage, which you can buy already shredded. Brussels sprouts are part of the cabbage family, so this swap will still give you great results.
- Bread: For the crunchy croutons, I prefer sourdough. It has a certain hint of tangy flavor that’s even better when it’s toasted with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Parmesan: It’s hard for me to imagine a Caesar without this salty Italian cheese. I fold grated Parmesan throughout the shredded sprouts.
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is my choice for both the croutons and in the dressing. As always with any simple recipe with few ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality oil.
- Salt & pepper: Seasoning for both the croutons and the dressing are key to bring out all the flavors of the salad.
- Caesar dressing: This Caesar dressing is a combination of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, tahini, mustard, garlic, capers, salt and pepper. It’s a more pantry-friendly version that’s vegan too.
How To Make This Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Toss the torn bread with olive oil, salt and pepper. I do this right on a large rimmed baking sheet, so I save myself from washing a bowl. Always spread the bread across the entire pan in an even layer, so the pieces aren’t overlapping.
2. Bake the croutons until they are toasted and golden brown.
3. To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, mustard, garlic, capers, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl until fully combined. You can do this prep while the croutons are in the oven.
4. Assemble the salad in a big bowl. Stir together the shaved brussels sprouts, parsley, scallions, parmesan cheese and croutons. Drizzle in the dressing and toss to combine. Divide the salad into bowls or keep it on a single serving plate and top with Parmesan before serving.
To me, a Caesar salad is special enough to be a main dish for lunch and even dinner. If you aren’t vegetarian, you can add a protein like chicken or even salmon. I also think that brussels sprouts can be more filling than romaine or other more standard lettuces. This is another reason to feel free to serve it like an entrée salad if you want.
On the other hand, if you are planning a dinner with an Italian menu, the salad is a great way to make a simple leafy green side dish.
Storage & Leftovers
The salad is best enjoyed right after you make it. You can save leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 2 days. As the salad sits longer, it will lose its crunch, and the smell of the sprouts will become stronger.
I recommend removing the croutons and brushing off any brussels sprout shreds. If you really want them to stay crunchy, toast them on a sheet pan for a few minutes in a 300-degree F oven to remove any moisture. Let them cool and keep them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Store the salad and dressing in separate containers. I like to put dressing in a mason jar. If you are planning to save some of the salad, only dress the amount that you are eating rather than the entire salad, so the leaves don’t get soggy.
Do not shred the brussels sprouts in advance. That’s because they won’t stay crisp, and you’ll miss out on their crunch. Also, the will develop a sulfur-like odor.
You can make the dressing up to 2 days ahead of time. Just give it 20 minutes to sit out at room temperature and whisk it again before you toss it in the salad.
Also, you can make the croutons up to 3 days in advance. Just let them cool off before putting them in an airtight container, so they stay good.
As the recipe is written, the Caesar dressing is vegan because it doesn’t have egg or anchovies. For the salad, omit the Parmesan cheese. You can sprinkle in nutritional yeast instead.
Either use gluten-free bread or leave out the croutons. For crunch, instead of toasted bread, you could add chopped almonds or walnuts.
Cabbage is a great alternative. For a shortcut, you can buy a bag of shredded cabbage at the grocery.
More Brussels Sprout Salad Recipes
Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad
- 1-1/2 cups torn sourdough bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped capers
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan plus more for serving
- For the croutons, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper on a large baking sheet. Spread into a single layer. Toast the croutons until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes, flipping over halfway through toasting.
- For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, tahini, mustard, garlic, capers, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl until fully combined.
- For the salad, stir together the brussels sprouts, parsley, scallions, parmesan and croutons in a large bowl. Drizzle in the dressing, tossing to combine. Top the salad with more Parmesan when serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.