Cabbage Salad – Easy & Fresh

Crisp and colorful, cabbage salad is the perfect complement to any meal!

This easy cabbage salad recipe is super tasty and nourishing too. The sweet and sour dressing goes quite well with the simple crunchiness of fresh green apples and cabbage.

close up of Cabbage Salad in a big white bowl

Why We Love this Cabbage Salad

Recipes for cabbage salad often involve a slightly soggy scoop of shredded slaw mixed with mayo, but not this recipe! With a tangy-sweet dressing drizzled over crispy, crunchy leaves, this is one salad that will redefine things for good.

It’s fresh and crisp and because the base is cabbage instead of lettuce, leftovers keep for a day or two as well! It can also be made ahead of time.

The dressing is homemade but with just a handful of ingredients, it’s ready in just minutes.

This salad pairs well with just about any entree.

ingredients to make Cabbage Salad

Ingredients & Variations

This salad has more additions than a traditional slaw recipe. It’s easy to get creative and mix things up with this recipe.

DRESSING: No maple syrup? No problem, just use honey or even brown sugar mixed with warm water. ½ teaspoon of dry mustard powder mixed with 1 ½ teaspoons of mayo can substitute for dijon in a pinch.

CABBAGE: Napa, red, Asian, purple cabbage – any of these can be used.  Feel free to matchstick some carrots, chop some kale, or even shred a broccoli stalk for extra flavor and nutrition.

TOPPINGS: Any crumbly, salty cheese can work, including goat cheese or even blue cheese. Toasted walnuts or toasted sunflower seeds can be substituted for pecans.

top view of ingredients and Cabbage Salad in a white bowl

How to Make Cabbage Salad

  1. Thinly slice cabbage and apple (as per recipe below).
  2. Shake dressing ingredients thoroughly in a sealed jar.
  3. Toss together in a salad bowl and top with feta, cranberry raisins, and nuts.

salad dressing being poured over Cabbage Salad

Tips for Success

  • If you aren’t serving this right away, a squeeze of lemon juice over keeps the apples from browning. (Or use Opal apples that never oxidize, keeping their fresh appearance).
  • Toss the cabbage and dressing thoroughly and let it sit a few minutes before serving if time allows.
  • Toast the raw sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts or the pecans in a dry skillet for about 1 minute or until slightly browned.


Leftover cabbage salad doesn’t get soggy like tossed salad might. Just keep it covered tightly and refrigerate any leftovers.

Cabbage salad tastes great served atop pulled pork sandwiches or tucked into fish tacos!

Other Savory Salad Recipes

Did you enjoy this Cabbage Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Cabbage Salad in a white bowl

Cabbage Salad

This easy cabbage salad recipe is super tasty and nourishing too.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 206
Author Holly Nilsson


  • 4 cups green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 cups purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 small granny smith apple cored and sliced


  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  • cup feta cheese
  • cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pecans chopped


  • Place cabbage and apple in a large bowl.
  • Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage (you may not need all of it) and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle with feta, cranberries and pecans. Serve.


Cabbage salad can be prepared ahead of time and mixed shortly before serving.

Leftovers will keep 1-2 days in the fridge.

Cabbage can be replaced with store-bought coleslaw mix.


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 206 | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 323mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg
Cabbage Salad in a white bowl with writing
Cabbage Salad in a white bowl with a title
Cabbage Salad in a white bowl and a bigger bowl behind it with a title
Cabbage Salad ingredients with a title and an image of finished dish

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