This delicious, refreshing cabbage salad recipe is the perfect choice for potlucks, barbecues and so much more. 

Learn the secrets to the light and tangy cabbage salad dressing in this fresh and fabulous side dish!  

White salad bowl filled with colorful cabbage salad and wooden serving spoons.
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I really debated about what to call this yummy cabbage salad. I love that it’s so light and refreshing – a taste of summer. It’s a fresh and flavorful spin on vintage colelaw 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.

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.

love bringing you fresh and tasty salads of all kinds – check out this incredible spring salad mix, or this arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette!

White salad bowl filled with colorful cabbage salad and wooden serving spoons.

Cabbage Salad

This salad is one of my favorite Burger Sides! It serves up beautiful with anything off the grill, actually – check out this round up of my favorite BBQ Sides and Side Dishes for Fish, as well.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Wholesome – Fresh, tasty and a great way to get your veggies in!
  • Colorful – It’s so bright and beautiful to serve.
  • Easy to Customize – 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.
White salad bowl filled with colorful cabbage salad and wooden serving spoons.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • Cabbage – You can take the easy route and buy a simple 14 ounce bag of mixed coleslaw. I like using this shredded cabbage mixture because they come with a delicious crunchy mix of green and red cabbage, carrots, and even radishes! You can of course use just green cabbage, but I think the purple is such a beautiful addition!
  • 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 – 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 and 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!
A white bowl full of shredded cabbage.

How to Make this Simple Cabbage Salad

  1. Make Cabbage Salad 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!)
  2. Prep Salad – If you’re anything like me, this involves tossing your pre-washed bag of coleslaw mix into the bowl or shred your own. A white bowl full of shredded cabbage.
  3. Toss – Add dressing and toss to ensure it thoroughly coats all the cabbage. A hand holding a jar full of salad dressing. A hand holding a jar full of salad dressing that is pouring over a bowl of cabbage salad.
  4. 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!

Variations

  • Add Protein – adding easy protein such as chicken or salmon would be perfect for this cabbage salad.
  • Fresh Herbs – you can never go wrong with adding fresh herbs from your garden into your cabbage salad dressing! Rosemary, oregano or even basil would be beautiful here.
  • Ramen Noodles – this is such an easy way to give the salad even more crunch, and a retro Asian coleslaw spin!
  • Mandarin Oranges – another classic Asian coleslaw idea.
  • Apples – grate an apple and add it to this salad for a delicious fall twist.
  • Nuts – pecans or almonds would be perfect additions to this salad!
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – for a little bit of an Asian spin.
A close up of colorful cabbage salad.

How to Shred Cabbage

  1. Cut the cabbage in half.
  2. Cut the stem out in a triangle.
  3. Place the cabbage flat side down and slice into thin strips.

Tips

  • Serve Immediately for a traditional crispy cabbage salad.
  • It’s easy to make this cabbage salad low carb by simply eliminating the sugar, or replacing with your favorite substitute sweetener.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of cabbage is best for salad?

Green cabbage is inexpensive, stores well, and works beautifully for salad. However, red (purple) cabbage is a gorgeous and colorful addition, too!

Is raw cabbage healthier than lettuce?

Cabbage is a slightly elevated healthy choice over traditional iceberg lettuce. It is full of antioxidants like Vitamin C, too!

White salad bowl filled with colorful cabbage salad and wooden serving spoons.

Serving Suggestions

Because this cold cabbage salad has such a simple flavor profile, it serves beautifully as a side dish with so many entrees! I love that it’s such a colorful, vibrant addition to potlucks and barbecues!

Try this cabbage salad alongside some of these faves:

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – You can leave this cabbage salad out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
  • Refrigerate – Store covered in an airtight container 2-3 days. If you like your cabbage a little more wilted for more of a coleslaw vibe you can store up to 4 days.
A hand holding a jar full of salad dressing that is pouring over a bowl of cabbage salad.

I hope your family enjoys this cabbage salad recipe just as much as mine does! If you make it, please be sure to come back and leave a five star rating!

More Salad Inspiration

White salad bowl filled with colorful cabbage salad and wooden serving spoons.
5 from 6 votes

Cabbage Salad Recipe

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!  
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
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Ingredients  

  • 14 ounces cabbage shredded (pre-shredded coleslaw bag works well)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon white granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • In a jar (or bowl with a whisk) combine apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, minced garlic and sugar.
  • In a large bowl, toss cabbage with dressing.

Tips

Substitutions

  • Cabbage – You can take the easy route and buy a simple 14 ounce bag of mixed coleslaw. I like using this shredded cabbage mixture because they come with a delicious crunchy mix of green and red cabbage, carrots, and even radishes! You can of course use just green cabbage, but I think the purple is such a beautiful addition!
  • 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 – Canola oil will work in a pinch.
  • Minced Garlic – A jar of minced garlic or fresh minced garlic.
  • 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!

Variations

  • Add Protein
  • Add Fresh Herbs
  • Add Ramen Noodles
  • Add Mandarin Oranges
  • Add Apples
  • Add Nuts

Tips

  • Serve Immediately for a traditional crispy cabbage salad.

How to Shred Cabbage

  1. Cut the cabbage in half.
  2. Cut the stem out in a triangle.
  3. Place the cabbage flat side down and slice into thin strips.

To Store

Refrigerate – Store covered in an airtight container 2-3 days. If you like your cabbage a little more wilted for more of a coleslaw vibe you can store up to 4 days.
Serving: 4g | Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this to go with my husband’s birthday dinner tonight. I added ramen noodles as was suggested and it was a good addition. I’m always looking for the perfect cabbage salad and dressing and found it with this recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This salad was great and super simple. I served it will grilled chicken and everyone loved it. I think the dressing was my favorite part, tangy perfection.