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Overhead close up shot of a kale salad with avocado, mandarins, red onion, butternut squash, and candied pistachios with a dark grey napkin next to it

Shaved Brussels Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Mandarins, and Candied Pistachios

This Shaved Brussels Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Mandarins, and Candied Pistachios is the epitome of everything I want in a winter salad. Thinly shaved brussels, shredded kale, shaved fennel, maple roasted butternut squash, the sweetest satsuma mandarins, avocado, thinly sliced red onion, and the most delicious candied pistachios! All tossed with a super simple, but incredible citrus vinaigrette.

Course Lunch, Main, Main Course, Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten Free, Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword candied pistachios, citrus vinaigrette, kale salad, shaved brussels kale salad, shaved brussels salad, winter kale salad, winter salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Molly | Spices in My DNA


For the salad

  • 1 medium bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and shredded
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, shaved thin*
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 3 satsuma mandarins, peeled and sliced*
  • salt and pepper

For the candied pistachios

  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of salt

For the maple roasted butternut squash

  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the citrus vinaigrette

  • 1/2 of a medium shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • juice of 1 navel orange
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Begin by placing the kale, brussels, and fennel in a large bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Place the pistachios on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut sugar, maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt. Pour mixture over the pistachios and toss to coat. Bake for 5-6 minutes, until caramelized. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before breaking them apart.

  3. Increase oven temperature to 400℉ for the butternut squash. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Add the butternut squash and toss with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender and golden.

  4. Make the citrus vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, orange zest, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon, salt, and pepper until combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined and season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.

  5. To assemble the salad, add a few tablespoons of dressing to the kale, brussels, and fennel mixture and toss to combine. I like to season the greens with a couple pinches of salt and pepper too. You can massage the kale a bit to soften if it you'd like. Add the red onion, avocado, candied pistachios (you can save a bit for the top if you'd like!), roasted butternut, and mandarins and toss to combine. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing and toss again to coat. Serve with extra dressing and sprinkle with extra candied pistachios if you saved any!

Recipe Notes

*You can buy a bag of pre-shredded brussels to cut down on prep time!
*You can sub any citrus for the mandarins, but they're so good this time of year! Good substitutions would be tangelos, navel oranges, cara cara oranges, or blood oranges!
*You can sub brown sugar for coconut sugar if you'd like!
*Salad components can be prepped ahead of time and tossed together once you're ready to serve!