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Brussels Sprouts Kale Honeycrisp Apple Salad with Maple Cider Dressing

Sweet & crunchy brussels sprouts kale apple salad with a light maple cider dressing. This beautiful, fall-inspired kale apple salad has wonderful flavors and textures from tangy gorgonzola, dried cranberries and a pecan pumpkin seed crunch mixture. Enjoy the perfect lunch or side dish all season long!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 401 kcal
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • For the maple cider dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like your salad dressing
  • 1 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad:
  • 8 ounces brussels sprouts, stems and outer yellow leaves removed
  • 2 cups very finely chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 cup shredded red or green cabbage
  • 2 medium-large honeycrisp apples, sliced
  • ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • cup dried cranberries (or sub dried cherries)
  • 1/3 cup gorgonzola crumbles*
  • For the salted pecan pumpkin seed crunch:
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add a little more maple syrup if you like a sweeter dressing.
  2. Next, shred your brussels sprouts: shave the brussels sprouts by using a food processor with the slicing attachment and pulse until the brussels sprouts are thinly sliced. If you don’t have a food processor, feel free to use a sharp knife to thinly slice. Add shredded brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
  3. In the large bowl with the brussels sprouts, add the shredded kale and cabbage and pour dressing over. Use tongs or clean hands to mix everything together for 1-2 minutes. It may seem long but this helps to break down the kale and evenly distribute the flavor of the dressing. Allow it to sit and marinate while you make the pecan pumpkin seed crunch.
  4. To make the pumpkin pecan crunch: place pecans and pumpkin seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Toast for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until they turn slightly golden brown and fragrant, then turn off heat and immediately add in maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Stir for 30 more seconds to coat, then transfer to a plate or piece of parchment paper to cool for a few minutes. Some of the nuts will slightly stick together but this is what we want for the ‘nut crunch’ in the salad. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the sliced apples, red onion and dried cranberries/cherries and gorgonzola to the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top and toss again. If you are serving the salad later, I recommend leaving the nut mixture out until you are ready to serve so it stays nice and crunchy. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Feel free to sub goat cheese or feta, shredded parm or white cheddar for the gorgonzola if it’s not your favorite.

Adding 2 cups of diced roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes to this salad is delicious!

Pears would be an excellent sub for the apples. They will break down more in the salad though so it’s best to eat right away.

To make it vegan: leave out the gorgonzola.

To make it nut free: use extra pumpkin seeds instead of pecans.


Nutrition Facts
Brussels Sprouts Kale Honeycrisp Apple Salad with Maple Cider Dressing
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (based on 4))
Calories 401 Calories from Fat 248
% Daily Value*
Fat 27.5g42%
Saturated Fat 5.1g32%
Carbohydrates 36.6g12%
Fiber 7.3g30%
Sugar 24.2g27%
Protein 8.6g17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.