Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad with Almonds and Cherries – Think you don’t like Brussels sprouts? Think again! This easy brussels sprouts salad is packed with bacon, almonds, dried cherries, and a bright dressing that’ll keep you coming back for more. (Paleo, gluten free, dairy free)
Be honest: were you disappointed or excited to see that today’s recipes involved Brussels sprouts?
I was the weird kid who didn’t mind their vegetables. There’s even a family story that when I was little I once asked for more spinach instead of ice cream after dinner one night. (There are also MANY stories that involve things like eating Cheerios off the floor and chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate). The veggie karma did not continue. I have two little ones who do NOT love most vegetables (except in smoothies).
We continue to offer veggies at mealtimes, gently encourage (without pressuring or bribing) them to try a bite of any new foods they see on the table, and hope that eventually, we’ll get there. In the meantime, I’ve taken to trying anything I think might persuade them to take a bite. (Glazed carrots, a fun dip, etc.) I’m not above adding bacon and almonds to salads to get there!
This Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cherries and Almonds is kind of like the broccoli bacon salads you try at summer picnics and barbecues, only with a cold-weather twist. Shredded Brussels sprouts are much easier to eat for many people (rather than attacking steamed sprouts, these are much more like a lettuce or cabbage salad).
The warm bacon dressing helps wilt the shredded Brussels sprouts a bit, and the end result is SO DELICIOUS. Plus with toasted or smoked almonds, dried cherries, and that amazing dressing, this salad is hard to turn down. I love the combination of smoky, tangy, sweet, and salty. There’s just so much goodness going on!
Serve the salad as a delicious side dish (maybe to one of my date night menus?) and feel good knowing that you’ve found a way to love Brussels sprouts. They really can be SO good!
Notes on Bacon Brussels Sprouts Salad
Where do you find unsweetened dried cherries? I get asked this a lot. Trader Joe’s sells unsweetened dried cherries that we love, and we’ve also been able to find unsweetened cherries (Montmorency are a common variety) at farmer’s markets, Walmart, Nuts.com, and Amazon.
Let’s Talk Almonds – I’ve made this salad dozens of times and I switch between smoked almonds (usually #notpaleo) and just toasted almonds (raw almonds I toast in a pan over low heat for a few minutes). Both are completely delicious! Use what you love. If you need to go nut free, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are really delicious, too.
Change it Up (Variations) – Looking for a change of pace? Swap your cherries out for dried cranberries or raisins. Use pecans or pumpkin seeds instead of almonds. Add some parmesan cheese (if you tolerate it). This is one of those recipes that welcomes some experimenting!
Whole30 Notes – This salad is totally compliant if you skip the optional syrup and use compliant bacon and cherries. See above for my no-sugar-added cherry suggestions.
Tip for Speedy Shredding – You can absolutely slice each individual Brussels sprout by hand lengthwise. I love using a food processor. The job is literally done in 2 minutes. Tops!
Craving More? You Might Also Love…
- Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Paleo, GF)
- 5 Menus for Date Night In (This salad would be great with my steakhouse menu!)
- Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Minis with BBQ Sauce (Paleo, GF)
Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cherries and Almonds
- 8 oz Brussels sprouts
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
- 1/3 cup dried cherries (preferably unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds (smoked or toasted)
- 1/4 tsp salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 tsp pepper (or more, to taste)
Shred Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, or slice thinly lengthwise into thin ribbons. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp and browned. Set bacon aside and drain all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease.
Add onion to pan and saute 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened and all the browned bits from the bacon are scraped up. Turn off heat.
Add vinegar and syrup (if using). Stir to combine, then pour over shredded Brussels sprouts. Add crisped bacon, dried cherries, almonds, salt, and pepper. Toss all together for 2-3 minutes. (At first, you might think there isn't enough dressing. Continue to stir. As the sprouts wilt a little, they'll soften and the dressing will be plenty to coat the salad.)
PALEO/WHOLE30 NOTES: I look for unsweetened cherries and bacon without added sugar. For Whole30, skip the optional syrup and be sure your bacon and cherries are compliant. Trader Joe's sells unsweetened dried cherries that we love, and we've also been able to find unsweetened cherries at farmer's markets, Walmart, Nuts.com, and Amazon.
Let's Talk Almonds - I've made this salad dozens of times and I switch between smoked almonds (usually #notpaleo) and just toasted almonds (raw almonds I toast in a pan over low heat for a few minutes). Both are completely delicious! Use what you love. If you need to go nut free, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are really delicious, too.
Change it Up (Variations) - Looking for a change of pace? Swap your cherries out for dried cranberries or raisins. Use pecans or pumpkin seeds instead of almonds. Add some parmesan cheese (if you tolerate it). This is one of those recipes that welcomes some experimenting!
Tip for Speedy Shredding - You can absolutely slice each individual Brussels sprout by hand lengthwise. I love using a food processor. The job is literally done in 2 minutes. Tops!
|Amount Per Serving||As Served|
|Calories 261kcal Calories from fat 156|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 17g||26%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
|Total Fat||Less than||65g|
|Sat Fat||Less than||25g|