This delicious, refreshing Cabbage Salad is the perfect choice for potlucks, barbecues and so much more. Learn the secrets to this light and tangy side dish!
Light and Easy Cabbage Salad
I really debated about what to call this yummy cabbage salad. Admittedly, I have never enjoyed the traditional Midwestern coleslaw served at summertime potlucks. It was too sweet, soggy and overly mayonnaise-laden for me! I wondered how I could change it to fit my tastes- and luckily, I did just that!
With those salads of yesteryear in mind, I wanted to see if I could give this classic dish a little update. This cabbage salad is a fresh and flavorful spin on the vintage coleslaw side dishes we all know! It’s a little more complex and acidic- the big flavors that shine are vinegar and Dijon mustard. There’s just enough dressing to keep the cabbage crunchy, not soggy. I think you’re going to love it as much as we do!
Cabbage Salad Ingredients
To make this simple cabbage salad, you’ll need the following:
- Cabbage– You can take the easy route and buy a simple 14 oz bag of mixed coleslaw. I like using this cabbage mixture because they come with a delicious crunchy mix of green and red cabbage, carrots, and even radishes!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – I love Apple Cider Vinegar for a touch of sweet fall flavor, but any of your favorite vinegars will do! Rice Vinegar or a red or white wine vinegar would also be delicious here.
- Olive Oil – your best, high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil is important here. In salad dressings, quality really shines!
- Dijon Mustard – a little goes a long way. Dijon mustard is tangy, strong and has a sharp finish. I like to keep it easy and use this one, but any brand will do.
- Salt & Pepper – I like using my salt and pepper grinders for big, flavorful flakes.
- Minced Garlic – To be perfectly honest, this is one area where I LOVE a shortcut! The grocery store jar of minced garlic works perfectly here- but feel free to mince your own cloves.
- Sugar – The sweetener in this recipe is the perfect foil to the tangy edge of the vinegar and mustard. You can absolutely substitute with a sweetener of your choice. However, you can make it Keto-friendly by simply eliminating the sugar!
How to Make this Simple Cabbage Salad
Now that we’ve got the ingredients in order, it’s so simple to throw this cabbage salad together!
- First, make your dressing. Simply whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until they are combined. Better yet? I like to add them to a lidded jar and then just shake it up until the sugar is dissolved and the dressing is ready to serve. (Side note: I bought this salad dressing jar lid years ago, and it’s been discontinued. These are very similar, though!)
- Prep your salad. If you’re anything like me, this involves tossing your pre-washed bag of coleslaw mix into the bowl! Seriously, though- you’re absolutely welcome to shred your own cabbage. Here’s a great tutorial in case you need some guidance in the shredded cabbage department!
- Serve. How easy was that? My favorite kinds of salads are the ones that take very little effort at all! Placing these ingredients in a large bowl means you’re basically done before you even got started- yes!
The Best Cabbage Salad Variations
While the simplicity of this cabbage salad is what really makes it special, it’s fun to add variations for a different spin! You can take this basic salad a lot of directions and customize to your own tastes.
- Add Protein – adding easy protein such as chicken or salmon would be perfect for this cabbage salad.
- Add Fresh Herbs – you can never go wrong with adding fresh herbs from your garden into your salads! Rosemary, oregano or even basil would be beautiful here.
- Add Ramen Noodles – this is such an easy way to give the salad even more crunch, and a retro Asian coleslaw spin!
- Add Mandarin Oranges – another classic Asian coleslaw idea.
- Add Apples – grate an apple and add it to this salad for a delicious fall twist.
- Add Nuts – pecans or almonds would be perfect additions to this salad!
Serving This Cabbage Salad
Because this cold cabbage salad has such a simple flavor profile, it serves beautifully with so many entrees! I love that it’s such a colorful, vibrant addition to potlucks and barbecues!
Where To Serve This Cabbage Side Dish
This cabbage salad is the ultimate side dish to go alongside protein of all kinds. It lends itself well to summertime potlucks and barbecues, and the flavors are a great foil for some of my favorite baked entrees and even sandwiches. Try this cabbage salad alongside some of these faves:
How Long Does Cabbage Salad Last
Because I don’t personally enjoy the wilted factor when it comes to coleslaw, I prefer to dress this salad and serve it immediately. However, my family enjoyed it for 2-3 days after I made it! If you don’t mind your cabbage salad a little more wilted, you can easily wrap this and enjoy it for a couple days after mixing.
More Delicious Salads and Cold Side Dishes
- Light and Easy Pasta Salad
- Peach Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
- Apple Salad Recipe
- Homemade Potato Salad
- Amazing Italian Salad with Italian Dressing
- Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Insalata Mista
I hope your family enjoys this cabbage salad just as much as mine does! If you make it, please be sure to come back and leave a five star rating! You can also share on Pinterest or in my Facebook share group, Celebrating Simple.
- 14 ounce cabbage pre-shredded coleslaw bag works well
- .5 cup apple cider vinegar
- .5 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- First, make your dressing. Simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl until they are combined. Better yet? I like to add them to a lidded jar and then just shake it up until the dressing is mixed and ready to serve.
- Prep your salad. If you're anything like me, this involves tossing your pre-washed bag of coleslaw mix into the bowl! Seriously, though- you're absolutely welcome to shred your own cabbage. If you do so, I would estimate 5 cups.
- Add Protein
- Add Fresh Herbs
- Add Ramen Noodles
- Add Mandarin Oranges
- Add Apples
- Add Nuts