This red cabbage slaw is easy, crunchy, and comforting, just like a regular slaw, and you can make it with or without mayo.
The sliced apples and chopped walnuts add an irresistible sweet, sour, and nutty crunch that our taste buds love.
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A slaw - also known as coleslaw or cole slaw - is a side dish generally made with thinly shredded raw cabbage commonly dressed with vinaigrette or mayonnaise.
We use crunchy red cabbage as a base to make red cabbage slaw. Then, we mix it with shredded carrots to add sweetness, sliced green apples to add sour notes, and chopped walnuts to add a nutty and earthy flavor.
For the dressing, you can use a simple maple syrup vinaigrette (our favorite) or light mayonnaise (we make our homemade mayo without eggs).
This red cabbage slaw is perfect for any special occasion - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even new years eve.
If you want to make this recipe even more unique, you can add candied walnuts. The slaw gets even more crunchy and delicious this way.
Red or purple cabbage is our favorite type for slaws because it's super crunchy and packed with an incredible amount of antioxidants.
You can also use regular white cabbage if you can't find red.
Carrots add crunch, sweetness, and bright orange color.
We like to use green apples such as Granny Smith in this red cabbage slaw, as they are less sweet, tarter, and acidic and are great with the sweet dressing.
Golden delicious or other varieties are also acceptable.
You can substitute pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts for walnuts. However, if you want to make the red cabbage slaw even more unique, try making candied walnuts. They get super crunchy and irresistible.
To make our dressing, we use:
- Pure maple syrup: you can substitute honey, agave syrup, or brown sugar for maple syrup.
- Extra virgin olive oil: you can substitute canola oil for olive oil.
- Apple cider vinegar: you can substitute citrus juices (lime juice, lemon juice, or orange juice for a sweeter variation) for the apple cider vinegar. You can also use other types of vinegar, such as red and white wine.
- Salt: we use sea salt or kosher salt.
- Black pepper: freshly ground if you can. You can also add ½ teaspoon of celery seeds if you have them.
- Dijon mustard is optional; you can replace it with yellow or American mustard.
Alternatively, you can use mayonnaise or our homemade vegan mayo.
Slice the veggies
Cut the red cabbage in half, then in half again to have four pieces.
Take one part and slice it thinly with a chef's knife, a mandoline slicer, or a food processor with a slicing disk attachment.
Try to cut the cabbage into thin strips, as thinly as possible, then add it to a large bowl.
Note: ¼ of a medium size red cabbage feeds about 4 to 6 people if you serve the slaw as a starter or side dish.
Cut the apple into four pieces and remove the core and seeds.
Slice the apple into chunks. Like with the cabbage, you can use a knife or a mandoline slicer. Add the apples to the bowl with the cabbage.
Grate or shred the carrots, chop the walnuts, and add them to the bowl.
Note: you can shred the carrots with a box grater, julienne peeler, the fine grating cone attachment of an electric salad shredder (we use that), or a food processor with a shredding disc with small holes.
Make the dressing
Whisk together maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Pour the dressing into the bowl with the chopped veggies and mix well with two spoons.
Transfer the red cabbage slaw onto a serving platter or serve right from the mixing bowl.
Serve with a wholesome pasta dish:
- Mushroom pasta with cherry tomatoes and chewy mushrooms
- Garlic and oil pasta with authentic Italian flavor and plenty of parsley
- Broccoli pasta with mashed broccoli takes only 20 minutes to make!
Serve next to a warming and nutritious soup or stew:
- Cauliflower soup with a velvety smooth texture, perfect as a winter appetizer or main!
- Butternut squash soup: creamy and easy to make with easy-to-find ingredients
- Lentil curry: a wholesome and easy-to-make curry that will please everyone around the table
- Chickpea soup with rosemary, a rich and rustic Italian recipe
Red cabbage slaw with homemade mayo
If you want a more traditional red cabbage slaw recipe, you can substitute our maple syrup dressing with a couple of tablespoons (it's up to you how many) of mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise.
Of course, the slaw will be delicious!
Red cabbage slaw with candied walnuts
This variation is the ultimate holiday recipe. Candied walnuts are so tasty, shiny, sweet, nutty, and crunchy; everyone will love them (especially kids).
You only need three ingredients to make them: walnuts, sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Check out our candied walnut recipe.
Store red cabbage slaw in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days, ideally in an airtight container. The salad will lose some of its crunch as time passes.
We don't recommend freezing this recipe.
There are several ways of shredding or cutting red cabbage for coleslaw.
You can use a chef's knife and thinly slice the cabbage julienne(thin strips)
You can also use a food processor with a slicing disk attachment. That's the fastest way if you don't have much practice with a chef's knife.
You can also use a mandoline slicer, making sure you use a hand guard to protect yourself from accidentally cutting yourself.
We don't recommend using a box grater to shred the cabbage for coleslaw.
Yes, eating red cabbage raw is safe and will nourish you with plenty of antioxidants and plant compounds.
Coleslaw is the name of a dish, more precisely, a salad made with cabbage, while cabbage is a vegetable and an ingredient in coleslaw.
Yes, you can mix red and white cabbage in a slaw recipe.
More recipes with cabbage
- Red cabbage salad with orange and a light maple syrup dressing
- Roasted Brussels sprouts with a finger-licking good marinade
- Tuscan soup with cabbage and kale; it's a wholesome Italian dinner recipe
- Lentil soup with savoy cabbage and fresh Italian herbs
More fall salads
- Pear salad with ricotta and balsamic dressing
- Fennel salad with orange wedges and pomegranate seeds
- Shaved Brussels sprouts salad with cranberries, a perfect side salad for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners
- Sweet potato and lentil salad with a creamy cumin dressing and fresh parsley
- Cauliflower salad with chickpeas and tahini dressing
- Black bean salad with fork-tender sweet potatoes
- Chickpea pasta salad: an easy lunch and dinner idea ready in 20 minutes!
- Green bean salad with mustard dressing and crumbled feta
For many more side dishes ideas, check out our sides category page.
Red Cabbage Slaw
- Chef's knife or mandoline slices, or food processor with slicing disk attachment
- 1 pound red cabbage that's about ¼ of a whole red cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 2 green apples
- ½ cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 twists black pepper
- Cut the red cabbage in half, then in half again to have four pieces.Take one part and slice it thinly with a chef's knife, a mandoline slicer, or a food processor with a slicing disk attachment. Add it to a large bowl.
- Cut the apple into four pieces and remove the core and seeds.Slice the apple into chunks. Like with the cabbage, you can use a knife or a mandoline slicer. Add the apples to the bowl with the cabbage.
- Grate or shred the carrots, chop the walnuts, and add them to the bowl.
- Whisk together maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Pour the dressing into the bowl with the chopped veggies and mix well with two spoons.
- Transfer the red cabbage slaw onto a serving platter or serve right from the mixing bowl.
- You can substitute mayonnaise or our vegan mayo for the vinaigrette if you prefer a creamier slaw.
- You can shred the carrots with a box grater, julienne peeler, the fine grating cone attachment of an electric salad shredder (we use that), or a food processor with a shredding disc with small holes.
- To make a special holiday slaw substitute candied walnuts for walnuts. They are crunchy, sweet, and delicious.