This easy, vegan and nut-free Brussels Sprouts Caesar salad uses shaved Brussels sprouts and a creamy Caesar dressing, and roasted chickpea croutons - perfect weeknight salad!
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make sure you're successful in your first attempt. But if you're in a rush, please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end!
💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Vegan, nut-free, can be made gluten-free: This salad uses a crunchy Brussels Sprouts base and a delicious, creamy vegan Caesar dressing that you won't even realize is vegan!
- Ready in 45 minutes, great for make-ahead: This salad requires such minimal prep work (other than shaving the Brussels sprouts) and is great for large batches!
- Nutritious, healthy and great for a packed lunch: The addition of chickpeas, Nori, tahini all makes it a great healthy replacement for a regular Caesar salad.
📋 Ingredients and notes
For the salad, you'll need shaved Brussels sprouts, a can of chickpeas, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and black pepper (you can also add red chili powder for spicy chickpeas!). For the dressing, you'll need tahini, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), garlic, capers, Nori, lemon juice and olive oil (and water to thin out the dressing)
How do you shave Brussels sprouts?
That is, without slicing your fingers off. I hear you. I've been there. There are four ways you can accomplish this:
- The easiest, a food processor: If you have a food processor with a shredding disc of some sort, just throw them in there and shred them to bits. I own a Breville Sous Chef and it shredded a pound of sprouts in about a minute.
- The next best, a mandoline slicer: Mandoline slicers are great, but watch out so you don't get your hand chopped off. Consider getting a cut proof glove!
- An easier shortcut: Buy shredded Brussels sprouts if your grocery store stocks them. Saves you the trouble and time.
- Equally good, a Chef's knife: If all else fails, I've got you. I've developed a simple process over time to shave Brussels sprouts for salads. See in the next section!
Over the course of time, I developed a simple process to make sure that I'm doing this efficiently without, you know, cutting an appendage off. Always remember to thoroughly wash your Brussels sprouts!
📖 Step-by-step instructions
First, roast the chickpeas
Preheat your oven or air fryer to 375F. Open a can of chickpeas, drain liquid and wash thoroughly. Using a clean kitchen towel or a couple of layers of paper towels, blot them dry thoroughly. I typically lay them on a towel and add another towel on top to blot.
Once they're dry, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat or use the air fryer basket. Add the chickpeas and arrange them in a nice layer and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, garlic powder, cumin powder and red chili powder of choice and use your hands or tongs to toss them well. Pop them in the oven for 30 minutes until nice and crispy.
Then, shave the Brussels sprouts
If you're using a knife, read on. If you're just throwing it in a food processor or using a mandoline slicer, skip to the next step.
First, wash the sprouts, dry it thoroughly, and slice off the hard ends. Then, remove loose outer leaves and throw them together. Slice the Brussel sprouts in half first, and then, with the flat side down, slice them vertically, typically 3-4 slices per half sprout. So, now you end up with discs of Brussels sprouts. Toss them in a bowl and then slowly just use your hands to slowly tussle the leaves until they're "shaved" and ready to go!
By now, your chickpeas should also be done roasting. Remove them and set aside to cool. Start by alternating a layer of Brussels sprouts and a layer of chickpeas and toss to combine them well.
Finally, make the Caesar dressing and drizzle on salad
This is the easiest part! Use a small food processor container or a blender, and add garlic cloves, soy sauce, tahini, lemon juice, capers and pulse a couple of times. Then, crumble up the Nori sheet and add that along with olive oil and pulse continuously until a smooth mixture forms. Dilute this with warm water to get to desired dressing consistency!
Then drizzle with salad dressing (and remember here, more is better!)
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
This vegan Caesar salad is amazing for make-ahead, because it tastes even better when the salad marinates in the dressing for a while. You can make the chickpeas and the salad up to a day before you need it.
For make-ahead, I recommend storing the components separately in airtight containers, and then combining them up to an hour before when it's served. This will ensure that the crispy components stay crispy!
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. I recommend adding a bit more dressing and lemon juice, along with some fresh black pepper to give it a boost of flavor!
If you like this , don't forget to try out my other hearty vegetarian salad recipes:
Vegan Caesar Salad (with Shaved Brussels Sprouts)
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 toasted Nori sheet, optional
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 tablespoon capers brining liquid
For the salad:
- 1.5 lbs shaved Brussels sprouts
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Drain a can of chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly, then dry them as best as you can. Toss chickpeas in a mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. You can also add 1 teaspoon of red chili powder but this is optional for heat. Toss to coat the chickpeas well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Dump the chickpeas on the baking sheet and spread them apart. Then bake for 25-30 minutes until they're nice and crispy!
- You can buy shaved Brussels sprouts at the market these days. But if not, wash and remove the stems. Then, throw them into a food processor, use a mandoline slicer or a Chef's knife to thinly shave the Brussels sprouts.
- To make the easiest vegan Caesar dressing, add 4 tablespoons of tahini, 4-6 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of capers along with 1 tablespoon of their brining liquid, as well as a sheet of toasted Nori (optional) into a small blender or food processor then pulse / blend until you get a nice creamy sauce. Then, slowly dilute with warm water to your desired consistency!
- Toss a bowl of shaved Brussels sprouts with vegan Caesar dressing and top with the roasted chickpeas for a simple and delicious vegan Caesar salad!
- This dressing is super flexible - you can increase tahini to increase umami flavors or replace with an avocado if you want something more fresh; you can leave the Nori out if you can't find it and also replace the tahini with hummus!
- The dressing can be stored in airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Make ahead and enjoy.
- Depending on your dietary preference, you can also add vegetarian or vegan cheeses to the salad and enjoy!
Note: This recipe was originally published on March 5, 2020. It was updated on 27 January, 2021 to include more helpful tips and a slight variation to the recipe.