This fresh and crunchy Apple Slaw with Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette is so perfect for a fall side dish!! It’s just the kind of recipe you want to eat when you are craving something healthy, fall inspired, and a tad bit fancy. You’ll love the crunchy ingredients (apples, cabbage, and shaved Brussels sprouts), and the flavor profile of toasty pecans with a hint of maple syrup in the most amazing dressing!
I had originally intended on writing my recipe for Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette. But as I got to photographing and using this dressing, I created the best tasting Fall Slaw you could possibly imagine!
Fresh off a trip to the apple orchard, I knew a likely pairing with this sweet and nutty dressing was apples. I threw in healthy cruciferous veggies like shaved Brussels sprouts kale, and red cabbage. It’s fiber rich and filling. It’s more than good, it’s sooooo dang delicious! Let’s also not forget the dried cranberries, and added toasted pecans to top it all off.
Looking for a Thanksgiving side dish? Oh yes, this one should be at the top of the list. Need a simple lunch idea for the week? I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this slaw!
How to make Apple Slaw:
The simple ingredients you need to make this slaw:
- brussels sprouts
- red cabbage
- chopped kale leaves (you can also use green cabbage in its place or even matchstick carrots)
Slice each of these ingredients finely (not the cranberries or pecans, those are for tossing later). For a short cut, use a pre-packaged bag of slaw! I love the cruciferous slaw pack from Trader Joes. For the Brussels sprouts, I trim off the edges and slice thinly with a chef’s knife.
How to make Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette:
The star of this dish that makes all the flavor come out– the dressing! You only need a few ingredients for this:
- raw pecans
- white wine vinegar
- real maple syrup
- avocado oil or olive oil
- sea salt
To make the dressing, place the raw pecans in the oven and toast for 12-14 minutes. Let them cool, then toss in a high powered blender or food processor with the chopped shallot, maple syrup, and vinegar. While blending, pour in the oil and sea salt, and continue to blend until smooth.
It’s so creamy, dreamy, with a smoky sweet taste. The added toasting of the pecans gives this dressing a robust flavor that will have you licking your plate! Seriously, this dressing is everything. If you are ever looking to impress your guests or friends, this dressing is the one you should go with.
Serving Apple Slaw:
With the big bowl of sliced veggies, simply pour the toasted pecan vinaigrette on top and toss. Now top with extra pecans and dried cranberries.
Looking for more additions? Some crumbled bacon would be absolutely amazing!!
Some options for a main course to serve with your slaw:
- Smoked Turkey (the Thanksgiving kind)
- Pecan crusted Pork Chops
- Easy Instant Pot Salmon
- As a side dish to a a soup like my Carrot Ginger Soup!
- Make Ahead: You can easily make this up to 1 day ahead of time! This makes it a great option for your holiday table. Only add 1/2 of the dressing, and keep the remainder of the dressing in a separate container. Add just before serving. Also, don’t add the cranberries and chopped pecans for topping until right before serving.
- Storing: This slaw will hold well in the fridge for up to 3 days. I would recommend keeping some of the dressing separate if possible. This allows for more flavor right before eating agin. Or, sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon right before serving.
Apple Slaw with Toasted Pecan Vinaigrette
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar*
- 2 tbsp real maple syrup
- 2 tbsp chopped shallot
- 1/4 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 3/4 cup avocado or olive oil
- 1/4 cup water for thinning (optional, only if needed)
For the Slaw:
- 5 cups shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage and kale**
- 1 large apple*** (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup thinly sliced (shaved) brussels sprouts
- 1/3 cup roasted pecans****
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by making the dressing. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place pecan halves on a sheet pan and transfer to the oven once hot. Toast for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Once pecans are cooled, give them a rough chop. Place the chopped pecans in a blender or food processor. Add the maple syrup, vinegar, and shallot. Begin to blend and slowly pour in the oil and salt. Continue to blend until smooth. If dressing seems to thick, add in a bit of water to thin it out.
Now make the slaw. Toss together the sliced cabbage, kale, apple, and brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and toss. Now add in the pecans and cranberries, and sea salt and pepper to taste.
*You can also use apple cider vinegar in place of white wine vinegar
**Use a combination of cabbage and kale. You can vary this up and use a combo of green and red cabbage to omit the kale. Or even add in matchstick carrots to the mix. Just use 5 cups total!
***I used Golden Delicious apples for this recipe. Honeycrisp is also a good option
****For the pecans on top, you can always roast those with the dressing pecans