Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw with Pecans

Brussels Sprout and Apple Slaw with Pecans
This no-mayo, tangy-sweet-spicy slaw is a great addition to any meal. The unexpected combo of flavors are worthy of a WOW! rating on the Impress-O-Meter. No cooking required earns it a RELAXED stress rating.

Raw Brussels sprouts

I have never eaten raw Brussels sprouts. I wasn’t even sure you should eat them raw. It turns out that raw Brussels sprouts, like cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower – can absolutely be eaten raw in a salad or slaw. Out of all those cruciferous vegetables, raw Brussels sprouts provide the most folate and vitamin C. The teaspoon of salt in the dressing is a critical ingredient. The salt counteracts the slight bitterness of the raw Brussels sprouts.

Brussel sprouts grated in food processer
Use a food processor or mandolin for easy grating or slicing of the Brussels sprouts

I love the natural and fresh ingredients in this slaw! The only effort required in the recipe is the prep. The sprouts take a couple of minutes. Cutting off the ends and removing the outer leaves is the first task. I soak the sprouts for a few minutes in salt water to make sure they are thoroughly clean. A salad spinner does a great job of removing the excess moisture. The sprouts can be sliced by hand or with a mandolin. The mandolin is quicker and will yield more even slices. I prefer to use the food processor. The sprouts get a much finer cut (they are basically grated). It’s personal preference how coarse or fine you want the slaw.

Toasting the pecans

pan with pecans
Toast pecans in a dry skillet on medium heat

It’s easy to toast the pecans using a dry skillet over medium heat. It only takes a few minutes. Don’t walk away! They go from aromatic and golden brown to burnt very quickly. I sprinkle my pecans with a bit of salt. It’s not part of the recipe; consider it a bonus tip for adding a little more flavor. The other prep is simple. Cut up the apple and zest & juice the lemon. If your lemon doesn’t yield a quarter cup, top it off with bottled juice. No fresh lemon? Just use bottled juice and omit the zest.

Parmesan cheese

Grated cheese in food processor
Grate your own parmesan, if possible. Shredded parmesan also works.

Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds such great flavor! I always have a wedge in the freezer (it keeps great!) I cut off a hunk and toss it in the food processor or grinder. You can also use fresh pre-shredded parmesan and save a couple of minutes. Store-bought grated parm (in the green can) will also work, but the flavor won’t be near as good as fresh.

It’s all about the prep!

Prepped ingredients
Prep everything first!

When everything is ready, it’s time to make the slaw. Place the Brussel sprouts and apples in a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon, and crushed red pepper. Give it a good stir to thoroughly coat, and add in the parmesan cheese and pecans. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the dressing. Pour the dressing on the slaw and combine.

Slaw with dressing added
Combine ingredients and stir until well mixed

The flavors only get better with time

You’ll want to let the slaw rest for at least 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop. I found that the longer it rests in the fridge, the better it gets! This slaw is delicious the next day!!

large bowl of slaw with spoon

Serve the slaw as a salad or side dish to almost any meal. It also makes a great topping or base for grilled fish or chicken. The crunchy sprouts, sweet apples, zesty lemon, earthy cheese, and kick of heat from the crushed red pepper make this a slaw that you will want to serve again and again! The flavors are unexpected, vibrant, and delicious. Enjoy!

Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw with Pecans

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Salads, Side Dish, ToppingsCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time



This switched-up slaw features shredded Brussels sprouts, diced apples, crunchy pecans and tangy fresh parmesan cheese mixed with zesty lemon and coated in an olive oil dressing with a touch of sweetness from honey and a punch of heat from crushed red pepper.  Mayo-free, gluten-free, vegetarian.


  • 1-pound trimmed Brussels sprouts

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 diced Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple

  • 2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Prep: Thinly slice or shred the trimmed Brussels sprouts using a mandolin or food processor fitted with the slicer or shredder attachment. Zest and juice lemon. Dice apple. Shred parmesan cheese. Toast chopped pecans.
  • Transfer the shredded Brussels sprouts and diced apples to a large bowl. Add olive oil, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper and toss to coat. Mix in the parmesan cheese and pecans.  Whisk together the honey, kosher salt, and black pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl; Add to the slaw and gently mix until completed combined. Let stand 5 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.


  • Toasting pecans: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring often until the nuts are fragrant and slightly darker brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. The nuts can easily burn – don’t walk away! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking. If desired, sprinkle with a little salt.

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