Cabbage Salad Recipe – healthy, crunchy, vibrant, and beautiful (here is a quick video how I made it)! It’s a wonderful addition to any meal and fits right into a casual weeknight dinner or a fancier occasion. It’s always a hit and people will definitely be asking for seconds!
Delicious cabbage salad is a simple and versatile side dish that pairs just as well with heavier meats like beef and pork as it does with lighter poultry and fish! It acts much the same way a coleslaw does but without the creamy dressing. Instead, this cabbage dressing recipe is tangy, zesty, and light.
This fantastic salad made with cabbage has a beautiful array of colors, crispy crunchy textures, and the bright vibrant flavors come together so harmoniously. It’s such a simple way to add a refreshing side dish to any meal but it also makes for an awesome topping for tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, you name it.
During the holidays, it’s nice to have a lighter option for a side to balance out the heavy creamy, cheesy, carb-filled side dishes. It’s impressive despite how easy it is to make! I use two kinds of cabbage, bell pepper, and green onions, but you’re welcome to make your own adjustments.
One of the best things about learning how to make cabbage salad without mayonnaise is that you can make it ahead of time and it just gets better the longer it sits! It’s a great option for when you’re in need of a dish to bring to a potluck.
This healthy and humble side dish can easily become the star of the show!
Ingredients Needed for Cabbage Salad
For the salad
- Finely shredded green & purple cabbage – I like using both, not only for color but there is a slight difference in taste and texture as well. Purple cabbage is just a bit sweeter and not as crunchy (again, just slightly) as green cabbage. The balance of both is awesome.
- Red bell pepper – A bright red component but also adds to the crunch factor. It’s the sweetest of the peppers and has a nice juicy crispness to it.
- Finely sliced green onion – A mild onion with loads of flavor.
For the Dressing
- Olive oil – It is an oily dressing rather than a creamy dressing, so using a good quality healthy olive oil is my favorite base to use.
- Lime juice – The addition of citrus will add a vibrant element that adds the zing!
- Finely chopped shallot – A mild onion very commonly used in salad dressings.
- Sea salt & black pepper – Do a little taste test, and add your desired amount.
- Finely chopped cilantro – A herbaceous addition that will add a ton of flavor.
- Pinch of sugar – This is optional, depending on how savory you like your dressing. The sugar isn’t meant to overpower it with sweetness but instead brings a little balance of flavors.
How to Shred Cabbage for Salad
Even before you begin, you want to make sure the outer leaves of the cabbage aren’t wilted or dirty. Rinse off the cabbage and then remove any brown, wilted, or soft leaves.
- Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, and then again into quarter wedges.
- Keep the core intact for now, as it is what is holding the leaves together.
- Using a sharp knife (this is my favorite sharp knife), cut the wedges into thin strips/slices. Cut along the open face of the wedge, rather than the outer leaves.
- To get the shredded look, you’ll want to try and cut as fine as possible.
- You can also use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler. Whatever you have on hand will work!
How to Make Cabbage Salad Dressing
- Combine olive oil, lime juice, chopped shallots, and cilantro into a small bowl or mason jar.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you prefer to add a pinch of sugar to your dressing, to cut the acid and balance out the flavors, you can do that now.
- Mix to combine using a fork, or close the lid on the mason jar and give it a shake.
How To Make Cabbage Salad Recipe
Step 1: Add salad ingredients to a large bowl.
Step 2: Combine dressing ingredients.
Step 3: Pour dressing over top the salad and give it a good toss.
Step 4: Cover and allow the salad to sit in the fridge for 2-6 hours to allow the dressing to tenderize the cabbage a bit and for the flavors to meld together.
Can I make this cabbage salad recipe ahead of time?
You can and you should! Make life a little easier and make this simple salad earlier on in the day or at least 2 hours in advance. This is one dish that tastes even better leftover, once the dressing has had a chance to permeate all of those veggies!
What are other veggies I can add to the salad?
You can really add in whatever finely sliced or diced veggies you can think of. First off, you can opt to stick with one color cabbage instead of using both colors.
Also, you can add in some orange or yellow bell pepper as well. Carrots are also great. Don’t stop at veggies though, think about apple or pear, maybe even some crumbled bacon or almond slivers. The options are endless with this customizable salad.
What type of cabbage is best for salad?
Use red, green, savoy or Napa cabbage generally because they’re usually what’s available at the grocery store. I also like the texture of it, as I don’t enjoy the curly cabbage in this type of salad. There are no rules, however, you use what you like.
Can I use pre-shredded cabbage from a bag?
You bet. If you want to take a shortcut, by all means, use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage or a coleslaw mix and use that. Don’t skip the homemade dressing though, it’s worth the minimal effort.
Ways to Serve this Salad
This salad is amazing on a burger or on the side of a grilled steak or a simple pot roast.
Try it on the side of saucy BBQ ribs, or a skewer or two of grilled pork kabobs. If chicken tacos are your jam, you’ve got to try this salad as a topping!
Cabbage Salad Recipe
For the Cabbage Salad
- 2 cups green cabbage finely shredded
- 2 cups red cabbage finely shredded
- 1/2 bell pepper or whole pepper
- 1/4 cup green onion finely chopped
For the Cabbage Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice freshly squeezed about 2 big limes
- 2 tablespoons shallot finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
- pinch sugar optional
How to Make Cabbage Salad
- Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a different bowl. Pour dressing over the salad. Mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2-6 hours for flavors to blend.
Do YOU like this Delicious Cabbage Salad Recipe?
Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!
Thank YOU for YOUR Comment, Share & Recipe Review!
Quote of the Day
This was absolutely delicious…will always keep it on hand… great to have when dieting
Thank you Bonnie!
The recipe was so easy to prepare. It was crunchy delicious. Will make again
Thank you Rochelle! So happy you liked it!