This Red Cabbage Salad is a refreshing and light side dish to serve with lunch or dinner! Shredded carrots, apples, sunflower seeds, and walnuts add sweetness and crunch. The salad is tossed in a creamy tahini and apple cider vinegar dressing. This vibrant purple cabbage salad adds a rainbow of healthy ingredients to your plate!
A Perfect Red Cabbage Slaw
Cabbage is perfect for making crunchy salads! If you’re like me, and love your salads filled with flavors and textures, you’ll adore this Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts.
This salad is the perfect way to get in your purples! Alone, the purple cabbage, orange carrots, red apples, and green herbs make it the perfect rainbow to add to your plate.
Salads made with cabbage are great make-ahead options. Cabbage stays crunchy and soaks in the flavor of the dressing, so it just gets better on day 2 and 3.
I added in apples and walnuts to make this salad perfect for fall and winter. It would be equally good with mandarin oranges, pears, pecans, or almonds. Mix it up based on what you have or what you’re serving it with!
This salad is brought together with a creamy tahini and apple cider vinaigrette.
Serve this vibrantly colored slaw with grilled meats or alongside sandwiches!
What You’ll Need
Red Cabbage Salad Ingredients
- Red Cabbage (purple cabbage)
- Carrots (shredded or cut into matchsticks)
- Apples (this adds a sweet/tart crunch to the salad. Mandarin oranges or pears would also be delicious).
- Cilantro (or Italian parsley, if you prefer).
- Walnuts (pecans or almonds are great subs!)
- Sunflower Seeds (or pumpkin seeds!)
Creamy Tahini Cabbage Slaw Dressing
- Tahini (optional, but adds a beautiful creaminess to the salad!)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (unfiltered varieties are the best!)
- Lemon Juice (lemon juice cuts the harshness of apple cider vinegar – do not skip!)
- Olive Oil (avocado oil is also great here!)
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
How to Make a Red Cabbage Salad
Step 1: Combine all dressing ingredients in a small jar, and shake to mix well. Set aside.
Step 2: In a large salad bowl, add shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, chopped cilantro (or Italian parsley), and thinly sliced apples.
Step 3: Drizzle the creamy dressing over the salad, and toss to combine well. Taste, and adjust the salt and lemon juice to taste.
Step 4: When ready to serve, top the salad with sunflower seeds and walnuts, and gently stir in. (The salad can be made ahead of time, or stored for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. The nuts will get soggy so I keep them out and add them to serve).
How to Store, Substitutions and FAQ
How to Store Leftover Red Cabbage Slaw
Only add the nuts and seeds to the portion of the salad that will be used. If you’re planning on enjoying this salad for a couple of days, add the nuts and seeds to serve.
It’s okay to add the dressing to the vegetables, and store the salad refrigerated for 3-4 days. The dressing marinates the vegetables and it’s delicious!
Red Cabbage: Green cabbage works in it’s place, if that’s what you have on hand!
Fruit: Instead of apples, try a crisp pear, mandarin orange segments, or pomegranate arils.
Nuts & Seeds: Try toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, or pecans in place of the walnuts.
How to Cut Red Cabbage for Salad
A food processor with a slicer blade works to thinly slice red cabbage.
I use a sharp knife, and cut the cabbage into segments. Then, very thinly slice the cabbage.
Other Winter Salad Recipes
- Wilted Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
- Winter Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Blood Orange Kale Salad
Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts
- 8 cups red cabbage shredded
- 2 cups carrots shredded (about 2 large carrots)
- 2 apples thinly sliced, honey crisp or other sweet/tart variety
- 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped (or sub Italian parsley)
- 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds toasted
Creamy Red Cabbage Salad Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper optional, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons honey or monk fruit sweetener optional, to add a sweet/tart flavor
- Add all dressing ingredients into a small jar, and shake well to mix into a creamy dressing. Set aside.
- Into a large salad bowl, add the shredded red cabbage, carrots, apples, and cilantro.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss to evenly coat. Taste, and adjust the salt and lemon juice, if desired.
- When ready to serve the salad, top with sunflower seeds and walnuts.
- Store leftover salad in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The vegetables soak up the dressing and the salad becomes even more flavorful! Reserve the nuts and seeds and add to serve to keep them crunchy.