Asian Brussels Sprout Slaw with Carrots and Almonds

This mayo-free slaw is perfect for potlucks! -

Sometimes the simplest of recipes are the most difficult to develop. Take this slaw, for example. It totally got the best of me. It was supposed to be a variation on my honey mustard brussels sprout slaw, with flavors inspired by the “cabbage crunch” slaw at Whole Foods. I sampled that slaw from the Whole Foods buffet a couple of weeks ago after my stomach started growling at me. (You know what they say about grocery shopping while hungry.) Their slaw consists of shredded green cabbage, green onions and sesame seeds tossed in a simple apple cider dressing.

My plan was to trade shredded green cabbage for the shredded sprouts in my slaw recipe, adjust the dressing and be done. Sounds easy, right? Three grocery store trips and one photo shoot in the rain later, I can tell you that it was definitely not.

Asian Brussels slaw ingredients

I blame the cabbage. Perhaps I bought the most waterlogged cabbage of all time. Not sure. All I know is that my shredded cabbage weeped water into that bowl so fast that my slaw was a defeated, limp, brownish-green pile of cruciferous sludge by the time I got back from my second grocery store run. I’m exaggerating, but I couldn’t send you all to potlucks with watery slaw. Oh no. My famous peanut-sesame slaw is so beloved by readers that I am called “slaw lady” in at least one American household. I can’t let my slaw fans down.

Asian brussels sprout slaw with honey-soy dressing -

I read about a potential solution online. Apparently I could have sprinkled the cabbage with salt and sugar and let it sit for thirty minutes, then rinse the cabbage and squeeze out the excess moisture. That seemed like a lot of work for limp cabbage.

Then I recalled that my brussels sprout slaw never got soggy, so once I had the sauce part finalized, I decided to make a third grocery store run for sprouts. I needed to have this recipe done by 9 am on Thursday, so I drove to the store all groggy-eyed on Thursday at 7 am under stormy skies. I ran over a curb with an embarassingly loud ka-BOOM when I pulled out of the parking lot. The sky was even darker when I got home and I needed daylight for the photos, so I got right to work.

I started feeding sprouts through my food processor, which shreds them in seconds, and then used my handy julienne peeler, to transform the carrots into golden ribbons. (Head’s up: those are affiliate links!) After all that, I couldn’t get enough light inside, so I huddled over the slaw outside as it started to rain on me. That’s slaw dedication right there.

I believe that my hard work paid off with this slaw. It bears less resemblance to the Whole Foods slaw that inspired it, but that’s fine because this one is better. This slaw is light and crunchy with a bold soy-honey dressing, and it won’t go soggy at summer potlucks. It’s mayo-free, so it can sit outside longer than an eggy slaw (within reason, of course). This slaw would be a terrific complement to burgers and brats, but it’s plenty satisfying on its own, too!

Asian brussels sprout slaw recipe (gluten free) -

Asian Brussels Sprout Slaw with Carrots and Almonds
4.8 from 5 reviews
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 to 8
Crisp and delicious Brussels sprout slaw with almonds, carrots, sesame seeds and bold honey-soy dressing. This simple, healthy, mayo-free slaw is perfect for potlucks.
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Brussels sprouts
  • 3 to 4 medium carrots
  • ⅔ cup chopped green onions (white and green parts)
  • ⅔ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (optional), chopped
  • ⅔ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
Soy-honey dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or other soy sauce*
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (skip the salt if your tamari/soy sauce is not reduced sodium)
  1. To shred the sprouts: First, cut off the tough ends of the sprouts and any browning outer leaves. Then shred them in a food processor using the slicing blade, pressing the sprouts against the blade with the provided plastic pusher. If you don't have a food processor, slice them as thinly as possible using a sharp chef's knife, then give them a few extra chops for good measure. Transfer the sprouts to a large serving bowl.
  2. To prepare the carrots: Either use a julienne peeler, a chef's knife, or the grating attachment of your food processor to slice the carrots into skinny little strips. Transfer the carrots to your serving bowl.
  3. To toast the almonds (optional but recommended): In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring often, until fragrant and turning golden on the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the almonds to the serving bowl.
  4. Add the chopped green onions, cilantro (optional) and sesame seeds to the bowl. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, honey, tamari and sea salt. Whisk until emulsified, then pour the dressing over the slaw. Toss well. For best flavor, let the salad marinate for 10 minutes or longer before serving.
Recipe inspired by Whole Foods' cabbage crunch slaw. Recipe adapted from my honey mustard brussels slaw.
Make it vegan: Substitute agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey.
*Make it gluten free: Make sure to use tamari, which is gluten/wheat free. Other soy sauces are not gluten free.
Make it nut free: Skip the almonds.
Storage suggestions: This salad is best consumed within a few hours but will keep for a day or so. Store leftovers in the fridge, covered. The edges of the sprouts might brown lightly over time. Wake up leftovers with a tiny splash of tamari.
Make it quick: Buy pre-shredded brussels sprouts and/or carrots. Trader Joes sells shredded sprouts (you'll need one and a half 10-ounce bags). Skip the toasting the almonds step.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my honey mustard brussels slaw, peanut-sesame slaw with soba noodles and soba noodle & raw veggie salad.

P.s. This slaw is part of’s 3 Epic Picnic Salads feature! Check it out here.


  1. says

    I admire your dedication! It definitely blows when you’re working on a schedule and then the recipe-testing doesn’t work out. But then again, no one ever said that food blogging was necessarily “easy.” Can’t wait to try this one!

  2. says

    Can very much relate to the frustration of multiple grocery store trips and failed recipes for posts. Last week bought a bunch of parsley thinking it was cilantro for a guac recipe and after much deliberating if anyone would notice in the picture / wanting to avoid a third trip to the store that week just went with a different recipe altogether….:/

    Love brussel sprouts in this. Happy to see all manner of roasted brussel sprout recipes everywhere but raw brussel sprouts are so yummy too and seem to maintain their crunchiness better than anything !

    • says

      If it makes you feel any better, I realized AFTER photographing my chana masala recipe that the “cilantro” I had on the side was actually parsley. No wonder it tasted funny. No one called me out for it, though.

  3. says

    Cabbage can be tricky sometimes, I’ve tried that salt and sugar trick with other veggies but not cabbage and it does seem to work quite well. I love that you used brussels though it’s a great way to keep eating them in the summer, and beautiful pics!

  4. Barbara says

    hi Kate:) Thank You for this recipe – I always look forward to new ways of incorporating Brassicaceae to my diet (mostly due to their anti cancer properties). Today I made it easy way – I juiced red cabbage with beets and ginger and lemon. But sometimes it’s nice to make something different – especially that Brussels Sprouts don’t taste good in juices.
    I just checked nutritional values of this recipe at ( I switched to this one from cronometer after I realized that it has recipe analyzer). From one serving of this slaw I get only 10% of my daily calorie requirement but at the same time 74% vit. C RDA, 149% vit. A RDA, 148% vit. K RDA & 22% of my daily magnesium!:) That’s a great deal for my body. And it looks yummy:)
    Have a nice day

  5. says

    I’m a slaw fanatic too! Not those soggy mayo types though but bright and fresh ones like these. Perfect for a potluck.

  6. says

    Slaw Lady strikes again! HAHA I laughed out loud when I read that! We actually haven’t made the Slaw in over 2 weeks now… might be a record for this family. Can’t wait to give this one a shot, Slaw Master! ;)

    • says

      Shredded sprouts are great in salads, aren’t they? If you’ve never tried halved and roasted sprouts, you might be missing out on your new favorite thing. :)

  7. Meredith says

    How do you get your carrots so perfectly sliced? My food processor shredder does not have the same effect…just curious…It looks delicious!

  8. says

    True dedication! You’re so awesome, Slaw Lady. Thanks for sticking with it — this sounds absolutely wonderful! Father’s Day Cookout Accompaniment!? Yum

  9. says

    This looks so delicious! I love theres no mayo in this! My mom makes something similar and she adds slightly crushed ramen noodles (not the seasoning) to it! It’s a fun crunch!

  10. says

    The combination of flavors looks so good! I love the idea of Brussel sprouts in a slaw. I must try this now, although, I don’t think I can find any at this time of year where I live (British Columbia). Regardless, this salad combined some of my favorite ingredients in a bowl, and I will try it one day!

  11. says

    I really love brussels sprouts. I know they’re much maligned in many households but I really do think it’s because people don’t know how to prepare them properly. I love the look of this gorgeous slaw bowl. Crunchy greens, seeds and nuts, soy dressing… yum! Glad that it was worth the early rise, kerb-knocks and effort that you put into it! Amazing job yet again, slaw lady!! xx

    • says

      Totally agree, it’s a shame that those delicious sprouts were boiled until bitter in so many households! I think sprouts make the best slaw. :)

  12. says

    I actually love brussels sprouts WAY more than cabbage, so I’m super thrilled you swapped them out in this slaw. Though, BOO for having to remake it and head to the store so many times!!

  13. says

    Aw man, this makes my day. I’m obsessed with my mom’s asian slaw. Then I helped make it last weekend and realized I was eating my weight in oil, sugar and all kinds of other junk. No bueno.

    I was going to play around with the recipe, which probably would have ended up unsuccessfully. Thanks for doing the experimenting for me. ;)

    • says

      Rachael, I hope you enjoy this slaw just as much! It might take some tinkering to make it taste like your mom’s. Hope we run into each other in KC sometime!

  14. Tess says

    I had a bunch of leftover cabbage and was so excited to see a slaw recipe on your blog the other day! Despite your caution against using cabbage for this, I went ahead with it and the slaw turned out crunchily delicious…not sure what I did differently. Anyways, I loved it so much I made it for lunch 3 days in a row and have been eating the dressing on everything. So yummy! Thanks!

  15. Barbara says

    Made this slaw last weekend for a BBQ- it was delicious and a bit hit! Also made your pickled radishes – genius!! Love them!!

  16. Kim says

    I made this for my cookout this weekend and all I heard were “MMMMs” and “YUMs”. It’s beautiful, healthy and different. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  17. Tricia says

    I made this for The Fourth and it was all the rage! So delicious and EVERYONE was asking for the recipe! I like having an oil based slaw the can sit out and brussels sprouts- why not!?! My taste buds (and everyone elses!) thank you, yet again!

  18. Anna says

    As I was making the dressing for this delicious salad, I spotted the sambal oelek in my fridge, I put about a tablespoon in and it made a wonderful spicy addition to the salad. I also added some toasted sesame oil since I didn’t have any sesame seeds on hand.

    My husband and I loved it! Thank you so much for posting the recipe :-)

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