This Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad features a delicious combination of ingredients tossed in a flavorful citrus vinaigrette. This quinoa-veggie salad can be served warm and cold, and will make a delicious addition to your table, whether you’re serving it as part of a holiday meal or a scrumptious weeknight option. Thanks to the hearty, real-food ingredients used here, this salad leftovers also make good leftovers to enjoy in the days to come.
This recipe was originally published January 8, 2018; Updated October 25, 2022.
A healthy Side Dish recipe
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad goes great with chicken, pork, or turkey. The citrus vinaigrette with fresh thyme complements the flavors of the meats. If you’re looking for a salad to make for a fall or winter gathering or to add to a holiday menu, this recipe is for you. It’s a little different then your typical salad or veggie side dish, and it’s both nutritious and delicious. Everyone will love it!
Recipe Highlights: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad
- Made with fibrous-rich foods, including Brussels sprouts and quinoa, that can help support healthy digestion
- A delicious salad that’s perfect for fall and winter gatherings
- Contains heart-healthy fats from the pecans and olive oil
- Can be served warm or cold
- Thanks to the hearty ingredients that stand up well in storage, the leftovers taste great
- Gluten-free, and can be made dairy-free and nut-free with modifications
Ingredients to Make this brussels sprout quinoa Side Dish
These real food ingredients come together to make this unique and delicious salad:
- Brussels sprouts – a hearty vegetable that’s perfect for roasting
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil – may substitute avocado oil
- Pecans – omit these for a nut-free
- Dried cranberries – may substitute dried raisins, dried cherries, or pomegranate seeds
- Shredded Parmesan cheese – we also love this salad made with crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles. Omit cheese for a dairy-free or vegan salad
- Quinoa – a hearty and nutritious addition
- Orange and orange zest
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Pure maple syrup
- Fresh thyme leaves – may substitute dried thyme
- Fine salt & black pepper to taste
Find the ingredients list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
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How to Make This Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad with Citrus-Thyme Vinaigrette
This easy quinoa salad comes together in three simple steps:
- Roast the Brussels Sprouts: For perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, we like to place the Brussels sprouts cut-side down on the pan. See more tips for roasting Brussels sprouts below.
- Cook the quinoa, make the vinaigrette, toast the pecans: While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, cook the quinoa, make the citrus vinaigrette, and toast the pecans.
- Combine the ingredients to make the salad: Simply add everything to a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Serve this salad warm or cold.
For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, and sodium per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Toasting Pecans Is A Step Worth Doing!
Toasting is a great way to enhance the flavor of nuts and add a little extra crunch to them. We think that toasting nuts is always worth an extra 5 to 10 minutes. Our favorite methods are to toast nuts on the stovetop or directly in the oven.
How To Toast Pecans On The Stovetop: Place a skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to the hot skillet, and then heat until the nuts give off a toasted aroma, 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stay near the stove, watch them closely, and stir often to avoid burning. Once the pecans are fragrant and golden brown, remove from heat.
How To Toast Pecans In The Oven: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Place the pecans on a small sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning. Once pecans are fragrant and golden brown, remove from the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to roast Brussels Spouts?
Roasting Brussels Sprouts is a favorite way to enjoy this cruciferous vegetable. We have a few tips up our sleeves for perfectly roasted Brussels:
– toss them lightly in avocado oil or olive oil
– buy Brussels that are (or cut them to) a uniform in size
– place the Brussels cut-side down on the pan
– do not toss the Brussels during the baking time
– bake until they are fork tender (not too soft) and golden brown on the bottom. 375℉-400℉ is a good temp range for roasting vegetables.
What can I use instead of the Parmesan cheese?
We love the addition of Parmesan cheese in this recipe! However if you would like to use a different cheese, some other delicious options are crumbled soft goat cheese and feta. Now if you are wanting to make this recipe dairy-free, simply omit the cheese.
Can I use a pre-made dressing instead of making my own?
The citrus vinaigrette dressing with fresh thyme is made with just a few ingredients and so simple. But you can make this salad even faster, if you’d like, but using a store-bought vinaigrette. Look for an oil-based vinaigrette that has an orange, lemon, or other citrus flavor.
When to Serve Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
This salad is like that piece of clothing you can dress up or down. It’s ‘fancy’ enough to serve at a holiday meal and also simple enough to serve as part of a weeknight meal. Here are a few occasion where this salad would make a great addition:
- Thanksgiving or holiday side-dish – with the roasted Brussels sprouts, citrus vinaigrette, pecans, thyme, and cranberries, this salad is a perfect side-dish to serve at holiday meal
- Weeknight meals – serve it with chicken or pork for an easy and delicious weeknight meal
- Meal prep salad – due to the hearty nature of the ingredients, this recipe is great for meal prep. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad: Easy Substitutions to fit your dietary preference
Make this recipe dairy-free
Omit the Parmesan cheese to make this recipe dairy-free, or use your favorite non-dairy or vegan cheese
Make this recipe Nut-Free
Make this recipe nut-free by omitting the pecans. If you would like, you could substitute the pecans for roasted pumpkin seeds
For the salad:
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved (or quartered, if large)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ⅓ cup pecans, chopped and toasted
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese*
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup water
For the vinaigrette:
- Juice of ½ orange
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- Fine salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400℉.
- On a sheet pan, combine the Brussels sprouts and minced garlic. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the Brussels so they are all cut-side down on the baking sheet (Tip: This helps them roast better and get more evenly browned).
- Roast in the oven until Brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
- While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, in a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water plus a pinch of salt to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa and stir. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and let set for 10-15 minutes covered.
- While the Brussels sprouts and quinoa are cooking, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, orange juice, zest, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and thyme; whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a serving dish, combine the roasted Brussels sprouts, cooked quinoa, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. Pour the vinaigrette over all and gently toss to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve warm or cold.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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*May substitute soft goat cheese or feta cheese crumbles for the shaved parmesan. For vegan or dairy-free, omit the cheese or use your favorite vegan cheese.
**May substitute roasted pumpkin seeds for the pecans for a nut-free option, or omit pecans.
How To Toast Pecans On The Stovetop:
Place a skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to the hot skillet, and then heat until the nuts give off a toasted aroma, 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stay near the stove, watch them closely, and stir often to avoid burning. Once the pecans are fragrant and golden brown, remove from heat.
How To Toast Pecans In The Oven:
Preheat the oven to 400℉. Place the pecans on a small sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning. Once pecans are fragrant and golden brown, remove from the oven.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe (a generous 1/2 cup)
- Calories: 166
- Fat: 8 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 190 mg
- Carbohydrate: 20 g
- (Fiber: 4 g
- Sugar: 7 g)
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 2 mg
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Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she, her husband and daughter reside with their two pups. She’s a co-founder of The Real Food RDs and content creator of simple and wholesome recipes. She loves all kinds of fitness and has a passion to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life both in and out of the kitchen – the driving force behind the co-development of the The Real Food RDs brand.