Quick and easy crunch cabbage salad with mint is a great side dish recipe to serve alongside your favorite dish. It has loads of fresh herbs with a tangy vinaigrette and super simple ingredients.
- This healthy cabbage salad is gluten-free, without mayo and dairy-free. You can also make it a vegan crunch cabbage salad by swapping the honey for pure maple syrup in the dressing ingredients.
- The honey lime dressing is tangy with a touch of sweet and adds a delicious balance to the raw crunchy cabbage.
- Makes the perfect side for any meal. Quick to make and cabbage is an inexpensive vegetable to work with. Shredded cabbage also holds up well in the fridge for make ahead meals or meal planning. A head of cabbage can last almost 3 weeks in the fridge.
- The combination of red and green cabbage makes lovely layers of color and texture in this crunchy cabbage salad recipe.
- Make it a main dish salad by adding radish slices, matchstick carrots, chopped kale, green apples, nuts, edamame, or any of your favorite protein.
- The leftovers keep their crunch!
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Green and red cabbage - also known as white cabbage and purple cabbage, are the base of this crunchy cabbage salad. The high fiber, vitamin C and antioxidant content makes them a good choice for a nutritional side dish. Swap with thinly sliced brussels sprouts.
- Fresh mint leaves - adds a delicious brightness that compliments the peppery flavor of the cabbage. You can also substitute for other herbs like cilantro, basil or fresh parsley.
- Green onions - are optional but add a mild onion flavor and works well with chopped fresh garlic gloves or zesty fresh chilies.
- Honey - adds a little sweetness to balance flavors. You can swap in pure maple syrup instead.
- Fresh lime - gives the easy cabbage salad a nice tartness that goes really well with the crunch. Substitute with fresh lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
- Apple cider vinegar - can be substituted with rice vinegar or red wine vinegar.
- Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds - give a little extra crunch and nutrition to the raw cabbage salad.
See recipe card below for all ingredients and quantities.
Clean eating tip: though convenient, the texture of prepackaged chopped cabbage mix does not compare to the thin ribbons of freshly sliced cabbage.
Expert tips and variations
- Vegan crunchy cabbage salad - substitute pure maple syrup for the honey. Or, make it an Asian crunch cabbage salad by swapping out some of the olive oil for a scant teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, and swap the apple cider vinegar for gluten free tamari or soy sauce.
- Toast seeds - in a dry skillet over medium heat until slightly golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Cool before adding to cabbage salad.
- Make ahead salad - will keep an extra day in the fridge. Store the salad ingredients separate from the vinaigrette and mix when ready to eat. You can also add the vinaigrette to the bottom of a large mason jar, add the shredded cabbage as your second layer, and sprinkle the sesame and sunflower seeds on top. Give it a good shake about 10 minutes before you're ready to enjoy.
- Allow flavors to absorb - let dressed salad sit for a few minutes before serving to allow the cabbage to take on all the bright flavors.
- Use a mandolin - slice cabbage with a mandolin to get thin ribbons of cabbage. Or, slice thinly with a sharp knife.
Hint: use a mandolin to get those thin ribbons of cabbage.
How to make this easy cabbage salad
- Toss: In a large bowl, add the shredded red and green cabbage, green onions if using, and chopped mint. Toss to combine.
- Vinaigrette: In a small bowl or mason jar, add extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic and salt. Whisk or shake well until combined.
- Combine: Add vinaigrette to cabbage mixture and toss well. Top with sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, toss gently to combine. Add a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt to taste.
Frequently asked questions
Cabbage can be cut, washed and chopped ahead of time. Store the shredded cabbage in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days before using.
To clean cabbage remove the outer leave, cut the head into quarters or wedges, and rinse well in cold running water.
The raw cabbage salad can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Works great as a make ahead salad for meal prep as the cabbage tends to hold its crunch.
Easy main dishes to pair with cabbage salad
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Crunch Cabbage Salad with Mint
- 1 large bowl
- 3 cups (300 grams) green cabbage, shredded (~¼ medium head)
- 3 cups (300 grams) red cabbage, shredded (~¼ medium head)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, loosely packed
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onions (green and white parts) optional
Honey and lime vinaigrette:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- zest from 1 organic lime
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- In a large bowl, add the shredded red and green cabbage, green onions if using, and chopped mint.
- In a small bowl or mason jar, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic and salt. Whisk or shake well until combined.
- Add vinaigrette to cabbage mixture and toss well. Top with sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, toss gently to combine.