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Cabbage is having a bit of a moment right now, and I feel as if I’ve been waiting for it all along. This Asian Cabbage Salad with peanut dressing is light and bright, filling, and has been adding a burst of life to my lunch routine.

A fresh and healthy Asian Cabbage salad with raw cabbage, almonds, bell pepper and carrots in a ginger peanut dressing in a clear salad bowl

While we usually think of cabbage as bland or part of a heavy spread (St. Patrick’s Day; German cuisine), this vibrant salad proves that cabbage can be bright and even fun.

Asian cabbage salad is playful.

It’s got crunch and zip and layers of texture from ingredients like red bell peppers, edamame, and almonds.

You’ll feel happy after you eat it. It might even make you think about cabbage in an entirely new way.

I have long felt a tenderness towards under-appreciated vegetables like cabbage (hence the respectable collection of healthy cabbage recipes you’ll find here).

I recognize that most of us probably only think about cabbage when tasked with making coleslaw for the company picnic, or at least until recently.

Or, we only think about cabbage when cooked, like Cabbage Soup, Cabbage Roll Soup, and Cabbage Stir Fry.

Something in the world of cooking with cabbage has changed.

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen a mega spike to my posts for Sautéed Cabbage and Cabbage Steaks. This Asian Ramen Salad is seeing social media love too!

If I were the betting type, I’d say the sudden cabbage fervor stems from the fact that a whole head cabbage can last for 3 weeks in the refrigerator (some sources claim 4 to 5 weeks). If you’re limiting trips to the store, cabbage is an ideal choice.

I’m hoping those who try cabbage for the first time are sold on its good qualities and become cabbage regulars in the future. In addition to its long shelf life, cabbage is high in fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin-C.

When treated properly, cabbage is also delicious!

It’s the crunch at the heart of this healthy Asian cabbage salad with almonds.

If you’ve never tried a raw cabbage salad before, this recipe is an excellent gateway. The peanut dressing alone promises as much.

A bowl of Asian cabbage slaw with almonds and ginger peanut dressing

How to Make Asian Cabbage Salad

I love this recipe for its layers of colors and textures.

It doesn’t skimp on flavor, and there is plenty of good crunch.

The Ingredients

  • Cabbage. I used a blend of both green and red cabbage for color (you’ll need about ½ of a small head of each), but if you prefer not to have extra, you can use just 1 small head of red or green, instead of both.

**While you can swap a bag of premade coleslaw in a pinch, the texture of the cabbage you find in a bag does not compare to thinly slicing it yourself from a whole head. See below for tips.

  • Red Bell Pepper. Bell peppers are rich in Vitamin-C, potassium, and numerous antioxidants. Plus, they add a pleasant crunch and subtle sweetness.
  • Shredded Carrots. You can get away with pre-shredded carrots here, so if you’re looking to save time, this is the place to do it. Carrots bring an abundance of Vitamin-A and fiber to this salad and a stripe of orange to the salad rainbow.
  • Edamame. I love to keep a bag of shelled edamame in my freezer for adding to stir fries and salads. It’s also packed with protein, Vitamin-K, and folate.
  • Cilantro. For color and extra freshness. Cilantro livens it up!
  • Almonds. For nuttiness, crunch, and satisfying healthy fats. You could also swap peanuts (which are fabulous in Asian Cucumber Salad), or try a blend of almonds and sunflower seeds.
  • Ginger Peanut Dressing. It takes just minutes to stir together and makes this salad totally addictive. I like to make a little extra for my leftovers.

The Directions

  1. Toast the almonds (do NOT walk away as the cook).
a bowl with ingredients for cabbage salad
  1. Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl. For tips on how to slice your cabbage heads, see the section below.
  2. Prepare the dressing, then pour it over the salad ingredients a little at a time. Toss, and continue to add more dressing until you’ve reached your desired amount. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top, toss, and DIG IN!

How to Thinly Slice Cabbage for Salad

  1. Start by cutting the cabbage heads in half from top to bottom, slicing down through the stem. Remove any brown outer leaves.
cutting cabbage for salad
  1. Then, place the cabbage with its flat, cut-side facing against the cutting board. Cut the halves into quarters (slicing down from the top through the stem again). Carefully cut out the core and discard.
  2. Turn the pieces so a flat side is on the cutting board, and slice them as thinly as possible, working your way across each quarter.
slicing cabbage thin for salad
  1. From there, you can keep the cabbage as is or chop it further. Personally, for my raw cabbage salads, I like to roughly chop it into smaller pieces (pictured above), which I find a little easier to eat.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop all your vegetables up to 1 day in advance, and store them in the refrigerator. You can also prepare your dressing up to 1 day in advance, and store it in a separate container in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Place cabbage salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. Once dressed, it will save for 3 or 4 days and can save a day or so longer if not yet dressed. If you prefer to dress your salad as you serve it, store your dressing separately. I like to keep a little leftover extra dressing on the side no matter what to liven up each serving.
Asian cabbage salad with almonds in a large mixing bowl

What to Serve with Asian Cabbage Salad

Crunchy Asian cabbage salad in a mixing bowl with almonds and ginger dressing
  • Mixing Bowls. Stackable for easy storage and microwave safe.
  • Baking Sheet. One of the items I use most often in my kitchen. It’s ideal for toasting the nuts here.
  • Chef’s Knife. When cutting large items like cabbage, it’s important to have a high-quality chef’s knife.

I smiled every time I opened our refrigerator and found a container of crunchy Asian cabbage salad beaming back at me.

This recipe yields a large quantity, but since it lasts for several days in the refrigerator even after the ginger peanut dressing is added, I had no problem polishing it off. I suspect it will go quickly in your home too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cabbage the Same as Coleslaw?

While cabbage is the main ingredient in coleslaw, the two are not the same. Coleslaw refers to the popular side dish made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and usually a creamy dressing. See this Healthy Coleslaw for a recipe.

Can I Make Cabbage Salad the Day Before?

Absolutely! One of the reasons this cabbage salad is great for a crowd is that it can be refrigerated overnight, since cabbage is so hearty. In fact, this tastes even better after it’s been in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Can I Make This Recipe with Bagged Coleslaw?

While you can make a cabbage salad with bagged colesaw mix, for the best salad, I recommend slicing a head of fresh cabbage yourself, as the texture will be noticeably better.

Can I Make this Recipe with All Red Cabbage?

Sure! For a red cabbage salad, use 1 full small head of red cabbage instead of a 1/2 head each of red cabbage and green cabbage.

Asian Cabbage Salad

4.91 from 62 votes
This crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad is colorful, healthy and delicious! Made with raw cabbage, carrots and almonds, topped with an easy ginger peanut dressing.

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 8 side servings

Ingredients
  

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • ½ small head green cabbage finely sliced (about 3 cups)*
  • ½ small head red cabbage finely sliced (about 3 cups)**
  • 1 medium red bell pepper very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots about 2 medium
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

FOR THE DRESSING


Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts in a single layer on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 4 to 6 minutes, until fragrant and crisp. Toss once halfway through and do not walk away during the last few minutes of cooking (TRUST ME). Immediately remove to a small bowl or plate (or if your salad is ready to go, you can add them directly to the serving bowl).
  • In a large bowl, place the green and red cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, edamame, and cilantro.
  • In a medium mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, peanut butter, and ginger. Pour enough over the salad to moisten it. Toss to coat. Assess the amount of dressing and add more as desired. Add the almonds and give the salad a final, light toss. If time allows, let marinade for 30 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy!

Notes

  • *In a time crunch, you can swap the green cabbage for a 16-ounce bag of prepared coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw, though I find cutting it yourself is well worth it in this recipe; see blog post above for tips and photos.
  • **If you prefer not to use 2 different kinds of cabbage, you can swap the two half-heads here for 1 full, small head of green cabbage.
  • TO STORE: Place cabbage salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. Once dressed, it will save for 3 or 4 days and can save a day or so longer if not yet dressed. If you prefer to dress your salad as you serve it, store your dressing separately. I like to keep a little leftover extra dressing on the side no matter what to liven up each serving.
  • MASON JAR VARIATION: Add 3 T olive oil to the dressing. Cook 8 ounces soba or whole wheat spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Rinse under cool water and shake very dry. Divide the dressing between three 32-ounce mason jars like these. Stack the remaining ingredients on top, dividing them between the jars. Store for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8)Calories: 123kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 366mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 3604IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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Recipe Rating




138 Comments

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  1. Excellent and full of crunch. I didn’t have all of the ingredients in my cabinets but the vinaigrette is light and full of flavor. My man said no more coleslaw with mayo after tasting this recipe.5 stars

  2. Ew ew ew! Followed this recipe exactly as it was written and was so excited for this dish, but it tastes HORRIBLE. The ginger is way overpowering and the salad gets watery FAST1 star

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe! It is definitely zippy so if you don’t love ginger, I can see how it would be off-putting. To confirm, you used fresh ginger, not ground ginger, correct?

    2. You’re out of your mind! The dressing was AMAZING and perfectly seasoned. Please give it another try as written. You must have done something wrong!5 stars

    3. I served this to a chef trained at Culinary Institute of America and he loved it. Asked for the recipe. You must have messed something up.5 stars

  3. I haven’t even chopped my vegetables yet, but I made a double batch of the dressing yesterday. Today I took a taste after reading a bad review. They are out of their minds or did something wrong! This dressing recipe is PERFECT and ADDICTIVE even before putting it on the salad! If you had bad results, I beg you to re read the recipe and try it again! I am serving the salad tonight for guests along with your Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe over rice. Another perfectly flavored recipe! Thanks, Erin, for making our cooking SHINE5 stars

  4. This is the salad I make for all social dinners as well as keeping extra dressing for Everything!
    Thank you so much!5 stars

  5. everything mixes so well! Its easy to make for the fam, and so healthy too! Your recipe is life changing for us. My partners daughter is inspired. Almonds were tricky! 🤣 It is such an easy going beneficial recipe. Great with soy and ginger chicken. 👍😁👏

  6. The salad is wonderful. It’s easy to make, I suggest using a food processor. It’s perfect for a warm day! The dressing is excellent, well balance. This will be in regular rotation in my home5 stars

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