Move over, coleslaw! There's a new cabbage salad recipe in town. Crunchy, colorful, and tossed in a tangy dressing, it's an easy, delicious side dish.
I can’t get enough of this cabbage salad recipe! It’s vibrant and colorful, crunchy and refreshing, made with red and green cabbage, crisp bell peppers, carrots, herbs, and toasty pepitas. But the real star of this cabbage salad recipe is the dressing. It’s a tangy, nutty vinaigrette. A couple tablespoons of peanut butter give it a lightly creamy texture, and apple cider vinegar adds amazing zip. It makes this cabbage salad so lively and unexpected. Serve it as a side dish at your next summer cookout, and everyone will ask for the recipe!
Cabbage Salad Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this cabbage salad recipe:
- Cabbage, of course! I use a mix of red cabbage and green cabbage here because I love the combination of colors, but if you’d rather just buy a single cabbage (totally get it!), feel free to choose one or the other. Napa cabbage or Savoy cabbage would also work, though it has a softer, less crunchy texture. You’ll need 2 small heads of cabbage or 1 medium to large one to make this recipe.
- Red bell pepper – It adds natural sweetness and a juicy bite.
- Carrots – Like the peppers, they add a great earthy sweetness to this salad. I like to julienne the carrots so that they incorporate evenly with the shredded cabbage.
- Fresh cilantro – It adds fresh flavor and appealing flecks of green.
- Toasted pepitas – For nutty crunch! Toasted sliced almonds would be great here too.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Cut Cabbage for Salad
You’ll need to shred, or thinly slice, the cabbage for this cabbage salad recipe. This is super easy to do using a sharp knife and a cutting board.
- Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut it in half through the core. Then, cut the half into four wedges.
- Place one wedge cut-side-down on the cutting board, and slice off and discard the tough core.
- Thinly slice the wedge crosswise. The cabbage will break apart into fine shreds.
- Repeat with the remaining wedges until you have enough shredded cabbage to make this salad.
For step by step photos and additional cabbage-cutting tips, check out my guide to how to cut a cabbage!
You’ll also need these ingredients to make the cabbage salad dressing:
- Avocado oil – Or any neutral oil you like.
- Apple cider vinegar – For bold, tangy flavor.
- Creamy peanut butter – It makes the dressing lightly creamy and adds delicious nutty flavor. Toasted sesame oil deepens the nutty flavor even more!
- Maple syrup – For sweetness. Honey would work here too.
- Garlic – For savory bite.
- And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Cabbage Salad
This cabbage salad recipe is so simple to make!
Next, mix up the dressing. In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the avocado oil, vinegar, peanut butter, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, and salt.
Then, dress the salad. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to coat.
Set the salad aside for 10 minutes. It might be tempting to skip this step, but please, don’t! The raw cabbage and carrot will soften and soak up flavor as they sit in the dressing. These 10 minutes turn a good salad into a really great one!
Finally, season to taste and serve. Sprinkle the toasted nuts or seeds over the salad right before you dig in. Toss one more time, and enjoy!
This easy cabbage salad is a fantastic side dish for a picnic or cookout. Pair it with veggie burgers, black bean burgers, vegan hot dogs, BBQ tofu…whatever you happen to be grilling! Round out the meal with one or two more summer sides you love. Any of these classics would go nicely with this cabbage salad recipe:
Want to meal prep this recipe or make it in advance? Go for it! It keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Just wait to garnish it with the pepitas or almonds until right before serving. If you add them too far ahead, they’ll get soggy in the dressing.
More Favorite Summer Salads
If you love this cabbage salad recipe, try one of these summer salads next:
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Vinegar Coleslaw
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli Slaw
- Carrot Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Mango Salad
- Or any of these 51 Best Salad Recipes!
Crazy for cabbage? Check out our 17 Best Cabbage Recipes!
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and very thinly sliced
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup toasted sliced almonds or pepitas
- In a large bowl, toss together the green cabbage, red cabbage, red pepper, carrots, and cilantro.
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the avocado oil, vinegar, peanut butter, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, and salt.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the cabbage to soften.
- Season to taste and top with the almonds. Toss and serve.