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This Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad is the perfect addition to your holiday menu this season! Filled with a variety of delicious ingredients, like apples, white cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon, all tossed in a flavorful dressing, I know you all will love this salad.

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad on a large white platter. Serving utensils in the salad.

The flavors of this salad are seriously out of this word. With so many different textures and flavors combined into one salad, this is anything but boring! While this salad is great as-is for a salad course this holiday season, it is also great for a weeknight dinner with grilled chicken or your preferred protein served on top.

Close up of Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad on platter.

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Tuscan Kale, 
  • Italian parsley
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • White Cheddar Cheese
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried Thyme
  • Plus, a few additional ingredients for the dressing!
Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad ingredients scattered on tiled surface.

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad step-by-step:

Step One: Make the Bacon

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the bacon to the sheet and transfer to a cold oven on the middle rack. Turn the heat to 400℉ and bake for 17 to 20 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Once cooled, roughly chop and set aside.

Raw bacon on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Other ingredients scattered around.
Crisped bacon on paper towel lined plate.
Chopped bacon on small plate.

Step Two: Toast the Breadcrumbs

Drain the excess bacon grease into a heat-proof container, leaving the parchment paper on the sheet. To the baking sheet, add the panko, paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over 1 tablespoon of the residual bacon grease, and toss to combine, coating all of the crumbs in the grease and ensuring they are evenly coated. Transfer the sheet back to the oven on the middle rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the crumbs are crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool entirely before tossing into the salad.

Panko and seasonings on same sheet pan used to cook bacon.
Crisped panko on sheet pan.

Step Three: Make the Dressing

While the breadcrumbs bake, make the dressing. In a wide-mouth jar, add the dressing ingredients. Using an immersion blender, blend until the dressing is completely smooth and emulsified. Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Dressing for Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad in a small jar.

Step Four: Assemble the Salad

In a large mixing bowl, add the kale and shaved Brussels sprouts. Add about ¼ cup of dressing and mix, using tongs, until the dressing has started to soften the kale and Brussels sprouts. Toss in all of the parsley, then half of the sliced apple, cheddar cheese, pecans, cooked bacon, and panko breadcrumbs (reserving the other half of each for garnish). Toss to combine, adding more dressing as you mix until the salad is dressed to your liking.

Salad with ingredients all divided on top of the kale.
Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad tossed in large bowl.

Step Five: Garnish and Enjoy

Garnish the salad with the remaining apple, cheese, pecans, bacon, and panko crumbs. Serve and enjoy!

Close up of Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad on platter.

Recipe FAQs:

Could I make this ahead of time?

Absolutely! You could prep each element in advance and then toss everything together once you are ready to serve. The dressing can be me 1 to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

What’s the best way to thinly slice the Brussels sprouts?

While you can very carefully do this with a knife, it is easier to do with a mandolin if you have one. Just be sure to be extremely careful with the mandolin and to use all of the protective gear it provides!

Is this a side salad or a main?

This is great as-is for a side or starter salad, but top with your preferred protein and it would be a delicious main course!

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad platted on bowl.

I hope you enjoy this Bacon Brussels Sprout Crunch Salad! Comment below once you try it!

More Holiday Salads:

Crab Cake Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette Salad

Steakhouse Chopped Salad

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad on white plate. Platter peeking in.
5 from 8 votes

Bacon Brussels Crunch Salad

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free (if modified)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices thick cut bacon

For the Crumbs:

  • 1 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the Dressing:

  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, oughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and shaved very thin
  • 2 bundles Tuscan kale, de-ribbed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 medium granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cubed white cheddar cheese (omit for dairy-free)
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans

Instructions 

Make the Bacon:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the bacon to the sheet and transfer to a COLD oven on the middle rack. Turn the heat to 400℉ and bake for 17 to 20 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Once cooled, roughly chop and set aside.

Make the Crumbs:

  • Drain the excess bacon grease into a heat-proof container, leaving the parchment paper on the sheet. To the baking sheet, add the panko, paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour over 1 tablespoon of the residual bacon grease, and toss to combine, coating all of the crumbs in the grease and ensuring they are evenly coated. Transfer the sheet back to the oven on the middle rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the crumbs are crisp and golden brown. Allow to cool entirely before tossing into the salad.

Meanwhile, Make the Dressing:

  • In a wide-mouth jar, add the shallot, garlic, Dijon, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and juice, salt, dried thyme, and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend until the dressing is completely smooth and emulsified. Set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the kale and shaved brussels sprouts. Add about ¼ cup of dressing and mix, using tongs, until the dressing has started to soften the kale and brussels sprouts, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Toss in all of the parsley, then half of the sliced apple, cheddar cheese, pecans, cooked bacon, and panko breadcrumbs (reserving the other half of each for garnish). Toss to combine, adding more dressing as you mix until the salad is dressed to your liking.
  • Garnish the salad with the remaining apple, cheese, pecans, bacon, and panko crumbs.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 6


Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!


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2 Comments

  1. This sounds so good! Do you think roasting the brussels on the sheet pan with some of the bacon grease in the oven then tossing it in the salad could work? Raw Brussel sprouts can be hard for some to digest.