Ready, set, crunch! Crisp and colorful, this cabbage salad recipe is the perfect side dish!

This cabbage salad has a blend of fresh green apples, tangy red and green cabbage, and crunchy toppings, all tossed in a simple sweet and sour dressing.

Perfect for a quick side dish or a healthy addition to your next potluck, everyone will be coming back for seconds.

bowl of Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Salad: A Crispy, Crunchy Side

Recipes for cabbage salad often involve a slightly soggy scoop of shredded slaw mixed with mayo, but not this recipe!

  • A refreshing change from ordinary greens, this salad packs a colorful and crunchy punch.
  • No more wilted leftovers; the sturdy cabbage base stays fresh for days.
  • Prepare it in advance to save time.
  • Homemade dressing with just a few simple ingredients, and ready in minutes.
  • This cabbage salad is easily customizable; add your favorite veggies, nuts, or protein for a unique twist.
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.

Cabbage: Combine thinly sliced green and purple cabbage for a delightful mix of crunch, color, and nutrients. Alternatively, use Napa, red, or Asian cabbage for variety. Add matchstick carrots, chopped kale, or shredded broccoli stalks for extra flavor and nutrition.

Granny Smith apple: Adds a tart and crisp touch; try other firm apple varieties like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady.

Cabbage Salad Dressing: A tangy-sweet blend of rice vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard is the perfect blend. Customize by swapping vinegar types or using alternative sweeteners like honey or brown sugar. Honey mustard dressing is a good alternative.

Toppings: Elevate your salad with tangy crumbled feta cheese, sweet dried cranberries, and nutty toasted pecans. Experiment with different cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.

top view of ingredients and Cabbage Salad in a white bowl

How to Make Cabbage Salad

  1. Thinly slice cabbage and apple (per the 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

Holly’s Tips

  • Discard any wilted leaves before cutting the cabbage. Once cut, wash and thoroughly dry the cabbage to ensure a crisp, crunchy salad. The cabbage and be prepared ahead of time.
  • Prepared coleslaw mix isn’t just for coleslaw; use it in place of cabbage to save prep time.
  • If you’re not serving the salad immediately, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the apples to prevent them from turning brown.
  • Allow the salad to rest for a few minutes after adding the dressing for flavors to meld together.
  • Toast the raw sunflower seeds, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, or pecans in a dry skillet for about 1 minute or until slightly browned and add just before serving.


Leftover cabbage salad doesn’t get soggy as tossed salad might. Just keep it covered tightly and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 2-3 days and give it a stir before serving again.

Ways to Use Leftover Cabbage Salad

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

bowl of Cabbage Salad
5 from 27 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Cabbage Salad

This easy cabbage salad recipe is super tasty and nourishing too!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 4 cups green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 small granny smith apple cored and cut into matchsticks


  • 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


  • Thinly slice green and purple cabbage, and core and cut a small Granny Smith apple into matchsticks. Place the cabbage and apple in a large bowl.
  • In a jar, combine rice vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and vegetable oil. Shake well to combine the dressing.
  • Gradually pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, tossing to combine (you may not need all of it). If time allows, let the salad rest for 15 minutes or up to 1 hour to blend the flavors.
  • Sprinkle the salad with feta cheese, dried cranberries, and chopped toasted pecans.


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 or pre-shredded cabbage.
5 from 27 votes

Nutrition Information

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

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
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plated Cabbage Salad with a title
close up of Cabbage Salad with writing


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Perfect salad, big party hit. Takes much longer than 15 min if you’re like me and chop everything fresh. Used 1 large green cabbage, 1/2+ red cabbage, 2 apples, walnuts, craisens, and added tablespoon finely chopped onion to dressing. I did change dressing ingredient from 1.5 maple syrup to 1 Mable syrup & 1 honey. Maple can tend to take over a dish.5 stars

  2. Ok, not terrific or terrible. I think it would’ve been better with apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar and maybe some mayo. Also, I had to make 2.5x the amount of dressing, and I did measure and make sure there was the correct number of cups of cabbage.

  3. I made this recipe without the feta/pecans and it was wonderful! Thank you for sharing it. I can’t wait to make it again.5 stars

  4. This was really good and was a great addition to our pot luck. I used store bought honey roasted pecans dressing to save a bit of time and it was fantastic. The apples give it a unique taste…not the typical cabbage salad. MUCH BETTER!5 stars

  5. At first I thought rice vinegar sounded odd, but the dressing turned out so well, both tangy and sweet. I used honey dijon mustard as i was out of regular.

    I love the namebof your website…sounds

    1. So glad you enjoyed this dressing, Pat! Honey Dijon Mustard sounds like a delicious substitution.

  6. This is so good! I was pleasantly surprised. I used the bagged tri color cabbage so it was super easy to make.5 stars

    1. I do not have specifically low salt recipes however some recipes can be made without salt (and with no sodium or low sodium products).

  7. I wanted to make this for 2 but can not for the life of me figure out how much 0.67 tablespoon is nor 0.33 of a clove clove might be???? Your measurements are weird my dear perhaps if you weighed them in grams it would be helpful.
    Your recipe sounds great but your way of measuring ????

    1. Hi Yvonne, this recipe was measured and tested for 6 servings. Leftover cabbage salad doesn’t get soggy like tossed salad might, so you can store leftovers covered tightly in the refrigerator. You can also try this recipe convertor as well.

  8. I have always loved cabbage salad. And you’re right, this would go so well with any summer meal. Can’t wait to try!