Citrus Cabbage Salad

This napa cabbage salad is a stunning showcase for colorful winter produce. Sweet & tangy with lots of veggie crunch, it's an entertaining showstopper.

Citrus Napa Cabbage Salad on a platter

There’s exactly one thing I love about winter – the colorful produce! I know, I know, the winter is not so bad here in Austin, but I feel for those of you up north, because I used to be one of you. I live for warm sunny days, so I made this cabbage salad of bright winter produce with you in mind – to send some love – and lemons… and well, also some clementines.

Cabbage Salad Recipe Ingredients

What’s in this Cabbage Salad Recipe?

This recipe includes two major categories of ingredients. You start with a base of crispy veggies:

  1. Cabbage –  Tender napa cabbage or savoy cabbage is best here.
  2. Fennel – If you can’t find fennel, thinly sliced celery would also be good.
  3. Radishes – Use a mix of watermelon and red radishes, or all red radishes.
  4. Carrots – If you can find them, purple carrots are gorgeous in this recipe, but orange ones taste just as good.

And add these extras for flavor and texture:

  1. Avocado, for creaminess
  2. Clementines, for a sweet, juicy contrast to the bitter, crisp cabbage 
  3. Mint leaves, for surprising notes of fresh flavor
  4. Chopped almonds or toasted sesame seeds, for crunch and toasty, nutty flavor

Citrus Napa Cabbage Salad Recipe

A Bright Dressing for a Bright Cabbage Salad

Once your ingredients are prepped, toss them all with a tangy miso citrus dressing. The dressing ingredients are simple: lemon juice, clementine (or orange) juice, miso paste, ginger, and garlic. Zippy & bright, the citrus juices soften and tone down the bitterness of the veggies in this napa cabbage salad.

Napa cabbage salad dressing

Cabbage Salad Recipe Tips

Before you start prepping your cabbage salad, here are a few of my best tips for making it truly stunning:

  1. Invest in a mandoline. I highly recommend you use a mandoline to make this recipe. It’s a must-have tool for cutting uniform, paper-thin slices of crisp veggies like radishes, fennel, and cabbage (aka all the ingredients in this salad). Really thin slices will soften and absorb the flavors of the dressing, and even better, using a mandoline makes your prep work faster! And if you don’t think you’d use a mandoline often enough to justify getting one – not so fast! It’s the tool you need anytime you want thin, crisp veggie slices like in this recipe, this recipe, or many more in our recipe index.
  2. Plan ahead. The longer the cabbage, radishes, carrots, and fennel marinate in the dressing, the more flavorful this salad will be. I recommend allowing at least 30 minutes for the veggies to mingle with the dressing before you serve this cabbage salad.
  3. But save the garnish for the last minute! While the crisp veggies need time to marinate, you’ll want to add the avocado, herbs, nuts, and sesame seeds right before serving. That way, the avocado & herbs will be nice & green, and the nuts will be crunchy when you dig in.

Cabbage salad recipe ingredients

Napa Cabbage Salad Serving Suggestions

This napa cabbage salad is a great side dish for dinner or brunch. It’s wonderful as part of a holiday spread, but I also like it alongside soba noodles for a simple weeknight meal. For brunch, try serving it with a frittata, breakfast casserole, or even avocado toast!

I also love it for lunch because all of these crunchy vegetables keep well in the fridge for 2 to 3 days after it’s first assembled. See this post for my best lunch-packing tips.

Citrus Napa Cabbage Salad

If you love this cabbage salad recipe…

Try another of my colorful winter recipes like this rainbow kale salad, this arugula salad, or this bright noodle bowl.

4.8 from 5 reviews

Citrus Cabbage Salad

Prep time
Total time
This Citrus Napa Cabbage Salad is a bright, light winter side! Add a protein of your choice to make it a meal.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6 as a side
  • 1 large fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 1 medium napa or savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large or 4 small carrots, sliced into thin coins
  • 2 watermelon radishes or 4 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 clementines, sliced or segmented
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • Generous handful of mint
  • ⅓ cup sesame seeds or chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh clementine juice
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  1. In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, garlic, ginger, lemon and clementine juices and the miso paste.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the fennel, cabbage, carrots, radishes, half the clementines and half the avocado. Toss with half the dressing and let sit for 10 minutes. Season to taste adding more dressing as you like. Assemble the salad on a platter and top with the remaining clementines and avocado, mint and sesame seeds or almonds. Serve with the remaining dressing.

This post is sponsored by Method Home. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Nadi T

    Just made the salad yesterday for thanksgiving.
    I’d overall say it was a very well crafted and balanced salad. The dressing is surprisingly stronger than you’d expect, so I’d add as needed. I added some persimmon to the dish to help add more sweetness and thought it was great. Would make again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nadi, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Mary

    This is lovely. Will it travel well? What would you recommend prepping the night before.. would love to take to my family tomorrow but will be driving 2 hours.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mary, sorry for my slow reply, it should travel well if you leave the avocado and mint off until serving.

  3. Ozzy Rusell

    I will definitely try it, I’ll come here again for review.

    Thank you!

  4. zeeshanyameen

    Beautiful salad.

  5. Gwyn

    I am making this for a neighborhood brunch! I am sure it will be a show-stopper! I can’t wait to try it!


    Looks delish! My kind of salad! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  7. Caroline

    Is there any good replacement for the miso? I am planning to make this for Thanksgiving, but the grocery store was out of miso

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Caroline, I’d make this recipe (assuming you have these simple ingredients), and add the ginger and some clementine juice instead of the honey or maple:

      Or make the original dressing and just add salt to taste (since miso is salty), starting with 1/4 teaspoon.

      • Caroline

        Thank you for replying!! This is so helpful

  8. Gina

    I don’t know how I didn’t find your website before today but I’m thrilled that I found it.

    Your salad recipes are out of this world!

    I now keep your website bookmarked so I can read your recipes while I am shopping.

    So so so good I really can’t say enough about these salads. . .

    I’ve been wanting to do something with napa cabbage and I look at it every time I’m at the grocery store but just didn’t know exactly how to use it. This recipe was incredibly fresh tasting and perfectly balanced in the flavors.

    Thank you for taking the time to write out the recipe and post it on your website.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Aww, thanks Gina! This makes me so so happy to read because I’m OBSESSED with salads and I spend a lot of time trying to make really tasty combinations 🙂

  9. Beautiful salad! Have you tried pickling watermelon radishes in ume plum vinegar?

  10. Anderson

    Fantastic idea! Your. Fennel & Clementine Chopped salad looking amazing! Of course winter is very special for vegetables. I also like winter because I like all the winter’s vegetable. They are taste and healthy as well. I love your salad recipe. Thanks for sharing! Please keep writing for us and I hope we will get more post from you.

  11. James

    It looks so beautiful. I will cook it tonight for my family.

  12. Sandra

    This looks sooo yummy!! I have to try it 🙂

  13. Maria from

    How cute are those watermelon radishes?! I don’t think we have those up here in WA state. I am missing colorful produce terribly right now. I am buying clementines and hoping that the pop of color they give will tide me over until spring. I’m jealous of your produce variety this time of year!!

  14. Joy Lobo from

    Fennel Clementine Chopped Salad very nice idea, This salad is looking eye catching due to vegetable colors, This salad is also very healthy. I will try this salad at my home when I have time. Can we use cashew or coconuts in place of almonds.

  15. Lorajack from

    Wow , it sound amazing. I think this recipe is very healthy, i made this for my mom,, because she is very health-congruous. Thanks for share this healthy recipes

  16. Izzy Bruning

    This looks so good – I love all the colours! x
    Izzy |

  17. Helene Pretorius

    Looks delish! My kind of salad! Can’t wait to give it a try!

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.