Raw Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing

Raw kale and brussels sprouts salad with tahini-maple dressing

We drove east on Monday with a little black snow cloud in tow. It snowed all the way from Kansas City through St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington and Asheville. We finally found sunshine in South Carolina, where I admired the setting sun’s golden cast across the curves of the Appalachian mountains. We arrived in Nashville under a clear blue sky.

kale and brussels sprouts

I thought I’d share this kale and brussels sprouts salad before we head back to Kansas City (I hope the sunny weather follows us all the way home). The salad straddles the line between winter and spring, with creamy tahini dressing coating crisp green leaves. It’s savory and satisfying and almost slaw-like in texture, thanks to the crunchy raw brussels sprouts and slivered almonds.

This recipe was inspired by a salad at Westside Local, one of my favorite Kansas City restaurants. They top their salad with pieces of crispy bacon and fried shallots. My less indulgent at-home version relies on parmesan and toasted almonds instead, but I enjoy this one just as much. I hope you will, too.

chopped kale and brussels sproutsChopped brussels sprout and kale salad with creamy tahini-maple dressing - cookieandkate.comRaw kale and brussels sprouts salad with tahini-maple dressing and toasted almonds

Raw Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Tahini-Maple Dressing
4.7 from 13 reviews
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
A simple, filling kale salad with creamy tahini dressing. Thinly sliced brussels sprouts and toasted slivered almonds lend slaw-like crunch, while parmesan and miso contribute savoriness. This salad is easily made vegan; just omit the parmesan cheese.
  • 1 bunch of curly green kale
  • 12 brussels sprouts (about 2 big handfuls' worth)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup shaved Parmesan (use a vegetable peeler to shave the cheese into little strips)
  • dash of sea salt
Tahini-maple dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup water
  1. Use a chef's knife to cut out the ribs of the kale leaves. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a dash of sea salt over the kale and use your hands to massage the kale by lightly scrunching handfuls of kale in your hands. Release and repeat until the kale becomes darker in color and more fragrant. Transfer the kale to a medium serving bowl.
  2. Chop off and discard the stem end of the brussels sprouts and any discolored outer leaves. Either use your knife to slice the sprouts as thin as possible, or shred the sprouts in your food processor using the slicing disk. Add the sprouts to the bowl and use your fingers break up any clumps.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, vinegar, miso, maple syrup and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the water until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Some brands of tahini are thicker than others, so if your dressing is too thick, add a bit more water and/or vinegar, to taste. Pour the dressing over the kale and sprouts and mix well.
  4. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the almond slivers, stirring frequently, until fragrant and turning golden (this will take less than five minutes so watch carefully). Add the toasted almonds and parmesan shavings to the salad and toss. Serve immediately.
Find my kale salad-making tips here, and more kale recipes here.
Storage suggestions: Refrigerated leftover salad should be good for a couple of days. You might want to wake up the flavors with a tiny splash of vinegar before serving.
Make it vegan: Simply omit the Parmesan cheese.


  1. says

    I am obsessed with making tahini based dressings lately and love how well it goes with maple. I just bought my first container of miso, so I can’t wait to give this a try! Love that this “straddles the line between winter and spring,” because that is how our weather currently feels!

  2. eli says

    I love your recipes and looking forward to making the kale and brussel sprout salad!
    What could you suggest instead of using miso and cheese as no dairy and wheat for myself!
    Thanks :)

    • says

      Hey Eli, I think you could skip the miso and cheese altogether. Maybe add a little more slivered almonds. Miso is wheat-free, but if you’re avoiding soy as well, just skip it.

    • says

      Please do, Amanda! I am totally hooked on tahini-miso dressing, so I hope you feel the same after trying it. You can go in a lot of different directions with it by using different vinegar (or lemon) and sweetener (if any). You can also add chopped fresh herbs or garlic.

  3. says

    I’m so glad I found this post! I’m in charge of the salad for Easter dinner. I wanted to something Springy, but its so cold out. But I didn’t wanna do a winter salad either. Now…this salad will be perfect! I think I’ll add some roasted beets for a hit of color! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. says

    haha I love how you added the “sneezes” comment. I totally sneeze when I stare at the sun too (assuming that’s what you meant)! This salad looks super tasty!

  5. Sylvia Wulf says

    I have to say that the mere idea of raw kale and Brussels’ sprouts is absolutely sensuous, with these wonderful textures, and that dressing sounds like a perfect foil for the sturdy greens. I can’t wait to try this ;-)

  6. Megan Lane says

    Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing!! And it make sense, because I had that very salad at Westside Local when we visited Kansas City and I was OBSESSED. Making this this week!

  7. says

    Ah, I love little “bridging” salads like these to make it over to the other side of spring. Plus, tahini + kale are best buddies forever so I already know that this tastes amazing. These shots are pretty baller too, miss.

  8. Gunhild says

    Oh. My. God. I’m in love with the tahini dressing! I used it yesterday for a soft tasting cole slaw with apple and walnuts and today again for a warm salad with red cabbage, asparagus, carrot and apple again. I sprinkled the salad with some cinnamon at the very end of sauteing, removed the pan from the heat and added the dressing. Loooovely! I just made another batch this evening and I’m suspecting a new staple in my pantry… Thank you for sharing!

  9. Mark K says

    Hi Kate – just made this and had to ad lib freely based on what was available. It still came out amazing! Call me crazy but I substituted 1 tsp soy sauce and rice wine vinegar for the miso; 1 tsp honey for maple syrup, and distilled white vinegar for the white wine vinegar. (Maybe this is the same thing?)

    If its this good with my mad libs, I can imagine how much better it will be when I make it with the prescribed ingredients. Great work, this may be the best Kale Salad recipes on the Internet!

  10. Rebecca says

    Having this for dinner as we type! It is DELICIOUS. So nice to have a hearty salad for dinner, and very excited to now have some tahini and miso in my fridge for a little while!
    Thank you!

    • says

      Thank you, Rebecca! I’m so glad you loved the salad. I’m addicted to that tahini-miso dressing. You can switch up the vinegar and add herbs or lemon or garlic for fun variations.

  11. says

    I’ve just recently discovered kale, and I plan to make this as soon as I bring home another fresh bunch of them because it, along with the toppings AND dressing, sounds perfect! Nothing like a recipe that straddles seasons to fulfill a craving and sound so good!

  12. says

    Oh my gosh! I just had the kale salad at Westside Local last night. Rocked my world!!! I vowed to recreate it…and you beat me to it! Hehe.

  13. Melissa says

    I was skeptical – I’ve never had Brussels sprouts and I’ve never been a fan of raw kale. I made this last night though and it was seriously the most delicious salad ever!! I actually just made it again for lunch today! I think i could eat this every day of the rest of my life and it would never get old. Thank you for the creative, nutritious and delicious recipe!

  14. ana says

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! My husband, who KATES kale, ate this up and went back for seconds. This is a definite keeper… wonderful!

  15. says

    Hi Kate! I’m a big fan of the blog, first time commenter :). I’ve been dying to try this recipe for days and holy cow, it did not disappoint. Delicious. I added some frizzled shallots to spice it up (but no bacon!) and I can not stop eating it right out of the serving bowl. Dang. Thanks for sharing this & all of your other fabulous recipes.

    I’m sorry to hear things haven’t been coming up daisies for you lately. Warm thoughts! xo


  16. says

    Kate, this recipe looks so delicious. I’m always trying to invent new ways to get my husband to eat kale (he’s actually really starting to like it now! Hooray!) and brussels sprouts (still working on this one!). I am sure that he’d love this recipe… primarily because of the tahini and maple combination. I’ve made a couple of almond milk and maple shakes, and almond milk and date shakes, and he’s loved both. I think the flavours are kinda echoed here… definite winner! Thanks for the inspiration! And say hi to cookie for me :)

    • says

      Hey Laura, I hope this recipe turns your husband into a kale and brussels sprouts lover! I think it just might. Cookie says hi. :)

  17. Carolyn says

    Thank you Kate! I made this with and without the kale based on what I had on hand in my kitchen, and both dishes were keepers. I’m so happy with this recipe since I had a shaved kale salad at a restaurant awhile back and loved it too.

  18. Carol says

    Just discovered your blog and it looks amazing. I have a ton of baby kale. Does it benefit from the salted massage like the grown up stuff?

    • says

      Glad you found my blog, Carol! I have massaged baby kale before and it seemed to help a little, though do be more gentle with those baby leaves. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  19. Sue says

    This. Looks. Fabulous. Making it for dinner and can hardly wait! Question on the miso- are thre differences? I couldn’t find “white” miso- only what looks like it may be brown- in a bottle- did I get the wron stuff?

  20. says

    This salad looks delicious and I am going to try it however it shouldn’t really be classified as Raw as it contains Parmesan cheese which I don’t believe is raw. I’m going to substitute the dairy with a raw Pine nut cheese recipe I have which uses pine nuts and Savory Yeast flakes. Thank you for your beautiful recipes and photographs.

    • says

      Thanks for pointing that out, Tamara. I called it raw because it calls for raw kale but I can see how that would be misleading.

  21. says

    It’s so funny because I always get the salads at Westside Local and think “I could never make a salad this good!” Well now I have a fighting chance. Looking forward to trying this recipe in the coming days.

    • says

      Hope you enjoyed this salad as much as Westside’s! I’m looking forward to trying their summer salads. It’s nice to hear from another KC girl. Your designs are really beautiful!

  22. says

    Kate…I could just kiss you for this recipe. I’ve made it several times now and with several modifications just for fun. To the comment on parmesan vs. raw…it’s absolutely great without the parmesan, or you can sprinkle in some nooch. I’ve added shredded chicken, and if you’re into that sort of thing it’s a great add on. AND, I now always add avocado. Lots of avocado.

    That being said, it’s mind blowing exactly like you’ve created it :)


  23. Jennifer says

    This sounds and looks AMAZING! What other dressing might you suggest for this? My husband is deadly allergic to sesame so sadly no Tahini :( Thoughts?

    • says

      Yikes! I am not sure what to suggest as a substitute for the tahini. You could use olive oil for a lighter dressing. I think that would still be very good! Other than that, you could play around with mayo or maybe even cashew cream, which I’ve never made myself. It might be food, though.

    • Meredith says

      I tried making this with a tahini dressing which was a little strong for my taste buds with the kale. I tried it with a Dijon based olive oil dressing and it was great! As for store bought dressings, a nice blush or a champagne was good too. Hope this helps!

  24. Renie says

    When reading the comments to a recipe on a blog, I’m usually scanning for a review of someone who’s actually tried it, in order to give me a feel for the dish before I commit to making it. I usually have to sift through endless versions of “looks delicious- I love ____ and makes want to eat some right now!” or “I can’t wait to try this soon!” to find a single lead, so here’s my useful contribution to others who feel my pain: I tried it, my dinner party guests LOVED it, and I’ve made it again since! It’s a great salty savory hearty superfood salad to rival the commonly found sweet or summery versions, and utilizes ingredients I don’t try too often (miso, maple syrup & tahini). Has been a delicious accompaniment to warm baked salmon dinners this winter. Thanks!

  25. Meghan says

    A yummy way to eat raw brussel sprouts? Will definitely be trying it this weekend! But just so you know parmesan cheese is not vegetarian, because it is exclusively made with calf rennet. So it’s a bit misleading to say only vegans would have to omit.


  26. Lauren says

    This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your site, which I’ve visited for several months, and now I’m wondering what’s taken me so long! This salad is delicious, and the dressing combines ingredients I never would have thought to put together, lending a salty, sweet, umami punch (somehow all at once!) to the greens. I’m looking forward to my leftovers at lunch today!

  27. Molly says

    This salad looks great. What else would you recommend serving with it? I’m a pescatarian and I like pretty much everything that falls within that realm of food. Thanks!

  28. Jill says

    I have made this salad three times, it is a delight. I bump up the tahini to about 1/2 a cup and use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. I happened to have all the topping for the latest kale salad (fennel, apples, and pumpkin seeds) around so I threw this dressing on those, it was splendid.

  29. says

    Great idea Kate, pairing Brussel sprouts with kale in a tahini based dressing. It seems that tahini based dressings are quite popular now and I can’t believe I have never tried one yet. Actually, I was looking for a different version/idea for my normal dressing on kale – olive oil, garlic, lemon juice egg based and found this wonderful idea. Will try as I happen to have brussels sprouts and kale in the fridge that need to be eaten.

  30. Lauren says

    Hi Kate! This looks delicious! Do you have any alternate suggestions for a dressing for this salad? I’m not a huge fan of the maple flavor, and I don’t want to buy a jar of (somewhat) spendy tahini for one recipe. Just wondering if you have some alternates that would pair well with the rest of this yummy dish! Thanks!

  31. Chelsea says

    I am loving all the kale salad recipes you have posted – I am going to work my way through all of them!

    I tried this recipe, and found this salad dressing very heavy :( I wasn’t able to find the miso anywhere, would that make much of a difference? The flavour was amazing though, I might thin it out with more water next time.

    Great recipe! :) I even got my boyfriend to try it!

    • says

      Hey Chelsea, I’m sorry the dressing was heavy. Miso is thick, too, so that wouldn’t have helped the texture although it really adds some nice flavor. I wonder if your tahini was extra thick? Regardless, yes, please thin it out with more water next time! Hope it turns out great!

  32. Rebecca says

    I’m working my way through all the kale salad recipes. This one was GREAT! Loved the dressing and the combo of flavors!

  33. Erika says

    This looks so good! I love tahini, but I hesitate to buy it because it always turns into such a mess: a solid clump at the bottom and all the oil at the top, and then the oil all sloshes out because it’s so hard to drag the knife through the solids. First world problems for sure, but do you have suggestions for a) making tahini easier to use, or b) a different nut/seed butter that could be substituted for equally tasty results? For some reason I never have this problem with natural almond or peanut butter.

    • says

      Hmm, yes, I have experienced that before with tahini. I heard a tip for natural peanut butter that might help. The idea was to store the jar on its side so it’s easier to blend the oil and the solid clump together. Obviously, you’d want to make sure the lid is screwed on tight! Please let me know if that helps.

  34. Slavomira says

    Thanks for another easy and delicious potluck salad. My office-mates are continuing to be happily surprised by your creative approaches to Brussels sprouts and kale. A splash of vinegar to second-day dressing just like you suggested keeps it fresh as leftovers- for days. Skipped the cheese and I didn’t even miss it! I look forward to making every single one of your recipes. Thank you!!

  35. Matthew Johnson says

    Wow! I just found this exact same salad at Blue Door Farm Stand in Lincoln Park, Chicago. I am happy to know I can make it at home!

  36. Lasr says

    A bit less tahini, s not more maple syrup and a drop or two of lemon juice. Compensates for the bitterness of the kale and the tahini.

  37. Tina says

    I agree with Renie that comments from people who actually tried the recipe are the most useful. I made this tonight and it was excellent. I used my mandolin for the Brussels sprouts, which sliced them very thinly. I’ making this again very soon.

  38. Perla says

    I love this dressing and salad! (Admittedly, I did not have miso on hand, but despite the lack of miso, the dressing was amazing!) I’ve had this twice. Once raw and once with a sautéed kale blend (kale, brussel sprouts, red & green cabbage and julienne broccoli sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, lemon, sea salt & pepper. I then drizzled your dressing over it) Both versions were delish ! I love the dressing so much that just now I drizzled it over salmon! Very versatile. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  39. Ana says

    This salad is absolutely fantastic! I altered the recipe a bit as I couldn’t get white miso, so I left that out. I also added dried cranberries and crumbled bacon as toppings. Tastes just like my favorite salad at a local restaurant here in Chicago called Blue Door Farmstand. My husband is even a fan! I am subscribing to your new posts, Kate!

  40. says

    Kate. I have never posted a review of any kind but I have to say I am loving your recipes and the interesting way you combine ingredients. The maple syrup, tahini and miso are amazing together. This is the second kale salad of yours to be eaten in the last three days. Thanks for the ideas. By the way, my husband an avid runner, chowed down the asian kale salad and asked if it was okay to finish the leftovers!

  41. Michelle says

    This salad looks so amazing, similar to the bagged version at Costco, but what I like is the ability to use organic Kale and a clean dressing…that being said, could I use red miso in lieu of the white miso?

  42. Alice says

    I just made this salad with a few tweaks — I substituted savoy cabbage for the brussels sprouts, because that’s all I had; I left out the cheese. I added some scallions; I added a splash of tamari and a little extra miso. It is truly delicous!

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