Shaved Brussels Sprout Candied Bacon Salad – quick, festive, easy to make ahead, and so delicious. Shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, nutty Manchego cheese, warm candied bacon, buttered walnuts, and sweet pomegranates. All tossed with a delicious cinnamon apple dressing that’s sweet and tangy. Every bite of this salad is bursting with flavor. It’s the candied bacon and walnuts. They’re tossed together with a little sugar and spice, then baked to deliciousness. Completely yummy atop this holiday salad. There never seems to be enough of them. This salad is bright, yummy, festive, and perfect for holiday entertaining!
We’ve officially started sharing holiday recipes!! Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away and I am happier and more excited than ever. The holiday season feels so special this year. I feel inspired and excited to be busy creating new recipes and to share all my love and joy for the season!!
Woohoo! On Tuesday I shared gooey pecan pie brownies for our Thanksgiving dinner. Today I’m balancing the yummy brownies with a bright, make-ahead salad.
I’ve definitely shared Brussels sprout salads in previous years, but I just have to share this version with you all.
The candied bacon and walnuts are what make this salad and set it apart from others. I’m so in love with the crunch, the spice, the saltiness, and the tang. They’re just addictive when sprinkled atop this salad and then topped with this cinnamon cider dressing.
So many wonderful flavors, hoping this will be a new holiday favorite!
Step 1: start with the candied bacon
I’m always of the mind that Thanksgiving recipes should be simple, and this salad is no exception. They should be easy to prepare or able to be made entirely ahead of time.
Thankfully this is a great salad to make ahead!
I always start with the candied bacon since this needs time in the oven. Use a thick-cut, unsweetened bacon. Chop the bacon into pieces and toss with fresh rosemary, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper.
I use 1 teaspoon of cayenne, but if that’s too spicy for you, use the cayenne to your liking.
Bake this mix until the bacon is beginning to crisp and caramelize. Then pull the pan out and add the walnuts. I like to add the walnuts later, they tend to easily burn.
When everything on the pan is “candied”, pull it out of the oven and season with flaky sea salt. You’ll want to eat them all just as is!
Step 2: assemble the salad
For the salad base, you’ll need plenty of shredded Brussels sprouts, kale, pomegranates, and manchego cheese.
You can shave the Brussels sprouts yourself or buy them already shaved at the grocery store, which is of course super convenient!
For the pomegranate, you could use dried cranberries instead. But they usually come sweetened and will be sweeter than the pomegranate.
Lastly, the manchego cheese! This is my personal favorite, but cheddar, Gouda, or parmesan would be great. Oh, and I do love a goat cheese with this salad too!
Step 3: the dressing
This is such a unique dressing, and one of my favorites. Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, thyme, and fresh orange zest with a tiny pinch of cinnamon.
The flavors of an old fashioned. It’s just a little sweetness with some citrus kick to it. The flavors really complement the saltiness of the bacon.
Step 4: toss everything
Now, toss the greens with the dressing and let the flavors penetrate into the salad. Finish with the candied bits of bacon and walnuts.
The color from the pomegranate and bacon will really pop off with the dark greens underneath. It’s so pretty!!
Not only is this so pretty on a dinner table, but it’s totally delicious too. Sweet, tangy, and spicy with so many cozy holiday flavors, plus an awesome CRUNCH. Excited to share this with my family this year, I really think they’ll love it!
Looking for other salad recipes? Here are a few ideas:
Autumn Harvest Honeycrisp Apple and Feta Salad
Lastly, if you make this Shaved Brussels Sprout Candied Bacon Salad be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Shredded Brussels Sprout Candied Bacon Salad
Calories Per Serving: 506 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 6-8 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 4 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 cups chopped kale
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate arils
- 1 cup grated manchego cheese
- 1 cup pepitas (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.2. On the baking sheet, toss together the bacon, rosemary, brown sugar, maple, and cayenne. Arrange in an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes, until the bacon is crisping. Add the walnuts and butter, toss to coat. Bake another 8-10 minutes, watching close.3. In a large salad bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts and kale.4. To make the dressing, whisk/shake together all ingredients in a jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and massage into the greens. Add the pomegranates and cheese – toss. 5. Arrange the warm bacon and walnuts over the salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
View Recipe Comments
To Make Ahead: the salad can be made up to 1 day ahead. Add the candied bacon before serving. Leftovers: leftovers will keep well for 2-3 days. This salad is delicious warmed or chilled.