Cabbage Salad

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.

Cabbage salad

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

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.

  1. Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage, and cut it in half through the core. Then, cut the half into four wedges.
  2. Place one wedge cut-side-down on the cutting board, and slice off and discard the tough core.
  3. Thinly slice the wedge crosswise. The cabbage will break apart into fine shreds.
  4. 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!

Whisking dressing ingredients in liquid measuring cup

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.

Whisking peanut dressing in liquid measuring cup

How to Make Cabbage Salad

This cabbage salad recipe is so simple to make!

Start by tossing together the vegetables. Cut the cabbage, julienne the carrots, and slice the peppers into thin strips. Roughly chop the cilantro. Place them all in a large bowl and toss to combine.

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.

Pouring dressing over cabbage salad

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!

Tossing cabbage salad in large bowl

Serving Suggestions

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:

This cabbage salad recipe also makes a great lunch! Bulk it up by pairing it with my baked tofu or air fryer tofu, or add a scoop to a grain bowl with quinoa and a protein like tempeh.

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.

Cabbage salad recipe

More Favorite Summer Salads

If you love this cabbage salad recipe, try one of these summer salads next:

Crazy for cabbage? Check out our 17 Best Cabbage Recipes!

Get This Recipe In Your Inbox
Share your email, and we'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, enjoy daily doses of recipe inspiration as a bonus!

Cabbage Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 6
This cabbage salad recipe is a fresh and delicious side dish! It's colorful, crunchy, and doused in an easy peanut dressing. It's a fun alternative to coleslaw at a cookout or picnic.

Ingredients

  • 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

Dressing

Instructions

  • 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.

9 comments

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. R Bell
    04.12.2024

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made this for the family. Looks like it will be served often. 🙂

  2. Collin
    09.13.2023

    5 stars
    I have made a couple of changes to this recipe to suit my personal taste, but I doubt I ever would have known how vibrant and zesty a cole slaw could be without Jeanine’s recipe!

  3. Jordan
    07.11.2023

    5 stars
    This is going to be the salad of the summer for me. WOWOWOW. Do not change a thing, it’s perfect.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.13.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this and it’s SO good! I added red onion slices, chopped cucumber and garbanzo beans and topped it with sliced avocado and chopped cashews. It will definitely be our go-to summer lunch! Thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.19.2023

      Hi Lacy, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  5. Bluejean
    06.15.2023

    I think a swapping out of cilantro for parsley will work. That’s how I will make it.

  6. Barbara
    06.15.2023

    How would this work with Almond Butter for those of us who (unfortunately) can’t eat peanut butter?
    Thanks!
    It sounds lovely…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.19.2023

      Hi Barbara, I would choose cashew butter as my second choice, if that’s a possibility? It has a similar creamy texture. Otherwise almond butter should be fine. If the dressing is a little thick, stir in a tiny bit of water. Hope that helps!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.