Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa & Lentil Salad with Spicy Caesar Dressing

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 24 votes

This hearty roasted Brussels sprouts quinoa salad with lentils and spicy vegan caesar dressing does not skimp on flavour! The dressing is tangy, garlicky and spicy. Pickled red onions for brightness and sun dried tomatoes are a bit sweet. Ready in about 40 minutes!

An overhead shot shows a bowl filled with a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and lentil salad with spicy caesar dressing drizzled over the top. The salad is garnished with chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds and chopped parsley. A pink napkin is nearby and the bowl is perched on a rough wooden board.

Ready within 40 minutes, this hearty brussels sprouts quinoa and lentil salad is a super satiating salad for colder days. It’s made with wholesome ingredients like roasted brussels sprouts, pickled red onions, quinoa, lentils, and sunflower seeds, and some components can be made ahead of time! Filled with plant-based protein, green veggies, plus a robust spicy vegan caesar dressing made from cashews, this tossed whole grain and veg salad makes excellent lunch leftovers.

An up close, overhead shot shows a bowl filled with a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and lentil salad with spicy caesar dressing drizzled over the top. The salad is garnished with chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds and chopped parsley. A wooden serving spoon is sticking out of the bowl.
An overhead shot shows ingredients used in a Brussels sprouts, quinoa and lentil salad with spicy vegan caesar dressing. Most ingredients are in bowls or jars against a blue-ish grey background.
An up close, overhead shot shows halved brussels sprouts on a baking sheet dusted with spices, salt, and pepper.

I still love using quinoa as a hearty base for salads or bowls. I know that it was everywhere about 8-10 years ago, but I still have a soft spot for it. My green love quinoa salad is always a favourite! In this recipe, I combine quinoa with cooked lentils, roasted Brussels sprouts, and pickled red onions. All topped with the most delicious, creamy-dreamy vegan spicy caesar dressing.

I wouldn’t blame you if you used this recipe for the dressing alone, which can be made up to 1 week in advance. It’s the vegan Worcestershire that really makes a difference here! I add a dash to pretty much every salad dressing I make these days. I use Lord Sandy’s brand. To make this gluten-free, substitute Tamari.

The prep for this salad involves cooking the quinoa on the stovetop and roasting the Brussels sprouts in the oven. You’ll also quickly blend up your dressing. I generally always have pickled red onions on hand, so don’t include them in the prep steps. I share a recipe for them in my recipe for kale sweet potato salad. This Brussels sprouts quinoa salad  is slightly heavier on preparation time, but I find a lot of grain/bean salads to be this way.

You can use another grain if that’s what you have on hand! You’ll need 3 cups cooked total grain. So whether you’re subbing in farro, a brown rice blend or millet, let that total amount be your guide. Same goes for replacing lentils–chickpeas would be great here! Just use a can of those instead if that’s what you prefer. I like the lentils because their size is similar to quinoa. On the note of substitutions, you can replace the cashews in the brussels sprout quinoa salad dressing with raw sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or sliced and peeled almonds. 

Hope you love this one! It’s veggie-packed and wholesome, but still ideal for these cooler months leading into Spring. The sweet little pops of sun dried tomato on top are so lovely!

An overhead shot shows a bowl of cooked quinoa, a bowl of cooked French lentils, a measuring cup with creamy dressing, a small bowl of toasted sunflower seeds, a small bowl with minced sun dried tomatoes, and a measuring cup with pickled red onions.
An overhead shot shows a large bowl with cooked quinoa and lentils all mixed together and a baking sheet with roasted halved brussels sprouts.
A 3/4 angle shot shows a hand using a spoon to drizzle a creamy dressing over a bowl with cooked quinoa, lentils, and roasted brussels sprouts.
An overhead shot shows a bowl filled with a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and lentil salad with spicy caesar dressing drizzled over the top. The salad is garnished with chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds and chopped parsley. A pink napkin is nearby.
An up close, overhead shot shows a bowl filled with a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and lentil salad with spicy caesar dressing drizzled over the top. The salad is garnished with chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds and chopped parsley. A pink napkin is nearby.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Quinoa & Lentil Salad with Spicy Caesar Dressing

This hearty roasted brussels sprouts quinoa salad with lentils and spicy vegan caesar dressing does not skimp on flavour! The dressing is tangy, garlicky and spicy. Pickled red onions for brightness and sun dried tomatoes are a bit sweet. Ready in about 40 minutes!
5 from 24 votes
An up close, overhead shot shows a bowl filled with a roasted brussels sprouts, quinoa, and lentil salad with spicy caesar dressing drizzled over the top. The salad is garnished with chopped sun dried tomatoes, pickled red onions, toasted sunflower seeds and chopped parsley. A wooden serving spoon is sticking out of the bowl.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Quinoa & Brussels Sprouts

  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lb (454 grams) brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Spicy Caesar Dressing

  • ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce of choice
  • cup water
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly

  • 1 ½ cups cooked lentils (from a 15oz/443ml can), rinsed and drained
  • cup pickled red onions
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • chopped parsley or chives, optional

Equipment

Notes

  • Cashews can be substituted with raw sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or sliced and peeled almonds.
  • Cholula is my go-to hot sauce.
  • How I make pickled red onions is broken down in this recipe. I leave them whole on top of the salad but if you prefer a more even distribution of onion, feel free to chop them up first!
  • I like a nice wide serving bowl for this so that every mouthful of the salad gets some dressing and some of the “toppings.”
  • Vegan Worcestershire usually contains gluten in the form of soy sauce. To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute Tamari.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Start cooking the quinoa. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the little tails on the quinoa have popped out, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • While quinoa is cooking, start the Brussels sprouts. Place the brussels sprouts on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the Brussels sprouts and season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat. Spread the Brussels sprouts out into a single layer, all with the flat edge facing down.
  • Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and tender. Set aside when done.
  • While Brussels sprouts are roasting, make the dressing. In an upright blender, combine the cashews, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, water, salt, and pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Check the dressing for seasoning (more salt, lemon, hot sauce etc), adjust, and set aside.
  • Assemble the salad. In a large, wide serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, roasted Brussels sprouts, and cooked lentils. Give that a quick toss. Top this with big drizzles of the spicy caesar dressing. Then, finish with the pickled red onions, sun dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and herbs (if using). Top with freshly cracked black pepper and serve!
07/02/2024
Posted in: autumn, cashews, creamy, gluten free option, lentils, main course, quick, refined sugar-free, roasted, salad, salty, side dish, sour, spicy, spring, umami, vegan, winter

18 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Carol

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Another favorite and easy, not time cosuming. I like it warm … Thank you!

  • Ellie

    This looks super-delicious, but unclear if it’s a warm salad or a cold salad?
    Would love to make as much ahead as possible, but not if it’s intended to be warm.
    Any advice?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ellie,
      It honestly works as both! Wonderful warm if you’re making it for dinner, but great as a make-ahead option for lunches.
      -L

  • Anna

    5 stars
    So good! Made this twice in one week.

  • Jenn

    5 stars
    This was delicious! Thanks!

  • Kristen

    Hi-Love the looks and thought behind all your recipes on Pinterest.I don’t see an option to print.What am I missing?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Kristen,
      When you scroll down to the recipe portion of any post on my site, right under the star rating, description, and recipe photo is a bar with text that says “print recipe” (above the prep time, cook time etc). Let me know if you’re still having trouble finding it.
      -L

  • Monica

    All my favourite things are in this salad; I am going to make this, pronto! I don’t have cashews at present, so in the spirit of working with what I’ve got, would I be able to use tahini for the creamy component of the dressing instead and if so, would I sub the same amount as the cashews called for in the recipe?
    Thank you!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Monica! I would start with 1/4 cup of tahini, blend the whole thing up, and then see if you need a bit more from there :)
      -L

  • Emily

    5 stars
    Such a perfect healthy meal! I made a couple modifications for personal preference (kale instead of brussels and pepitas instead of sunflower seeds), but it still turned out great! Came together super quickly too. Already looking forward to my packed lunches this week :)

  • Tatyana

    5 stars
    Amazing. Simply amazing.

  • Amy G

    5 stars
    You are hands down my favorite vegan recipe source. This salad does not disappoint! I made a few substitutions based on what I had – toasted pine nuts instead of sunflower seeds, dried cherries instead of sun dried tomatoes, pickles instead of capers. I just realized I forgot the oil in the dressing, but I’m not missing it. DELICIOUS!!

  • Decker

    How can I use frozen whole Brussels sprouts in this recipe?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Decker,
      I do not recommend using frozen brussels sprouts for this recipe. They don’t seem to crisp up in the oven like fresh ones do (likely because of the moisture from thawing). If the lack of crisp edges doesn’t bother you, you could thaw the frozen brussels spouts, cut them in half, towel them dry as much as you can, and then proceed with the recipe.
      -L

  • Gry Bech-Hanssen

    You are amazing, Laura! Thank you so much for sharing all of this mouth watering content. I am definitely making this!
    I very rarely comment on anything, but just wanted to pop in and say hi, since I bought your cookbook when it came out years ago and have been following you ever since. Most of my favorite go to recipes are from you, and I recommend your blog to everyone I meet who would like to start cooking more plant based. I always enjoy your food and the content you share.
    Thank you again, and I hope you never stop, because your blog is a real treasure chest of tasty, comforting and not too complicated recipes
    All the best
    Gry from Oslo, Norway

    • Laura Wright

      Gry,
      Thank you for taking the time to send this this kind message! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the recipes, both here and in my cookbook. I’m also completely flattered that you recommend my site to folks trying plant-based eating. That makes my day!
      Thanks again and be well,
      Laura

  • Nicole

    This looks soooo delish. I think I can get two recipes from this because I’m wondering if it would be good with napa cabbage as the main veggie. Question, so for the recipe as you have it, would you wait to dress it if you’re portioning out for weekday lunches?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Nicole!
      You’ve got it. Portion out the lentils, quinoa, brussels sprouts etc and keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat.
      -L