Aarón Sánchez's Brussels sprouts salad is his ultimate holiday side dish

Celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez shares signature holiday side dish recipe

‘MasterChef’ judge joins Fox News’ Ashley Dvorkin to discuss recipe made famous at his New Orleans restaurant Johnny Sánchez

A salad made with Brussels sprouts might not scream Christmas at first, but Aarón Sánchez's version, which uses seasonal ingredients and layers of spice, is one of his signature holiday sides.

The salad is made with fried Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and crumbled cotija cheese. Sánchez has said this dish "could satisfy even the most carnivorous guest." And it's been doing just that at his New Orleans restaurant Johnny Sánchez, where the salad frequently makes appearances on his menu.

Chef Aaron Sanchez called this brussels sprouts salad an ultimate holiday side dish. (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

Sánchez demonstrating how he makes his dish for Fox News. Sánchez says all home chefs — novices and more seasoned cooks alike — should be able to easily recreate this dish at home, as long as they follow one simple rule: Taste your food as you're cooking!

Oh, and don't forget the jalapeno dressing, which was inspired by a dressing Sánchez used to make while working under Chef Paul Prudhomme's K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen in his younger years.

Ready to get cooking? Keep reading for the salad recipe, then visit ChefAaronSanchez.com for the secret to his vinaigrette.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Butternut Squash, Cotija, and Jalapeno Vinaigrette
(Randy Schmidt)


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground yellow mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 cups (about 790 grams) Brussels sprouts
  • 2 quarts canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup Roasted Jalapeño Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
  • 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds


Note: To roast the brussels sprouts, line another baking sheet with cooking parchment and adjust the oven to 400° F (205° C). Prep the sprouts as described in Step 2, then toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt, and roast until deeply golden, 20 to 25 minutes.


For the rest of the recipe, including the secret to Sanchez's jalapeno vinaigrette, visit ChefAaronSanchez.com.

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