This colorful and subtly sweet and tangy cabbage apple slaw recipe results in a salad with an appealing crunch. Featuring crisp apples, red and/or green cabbage, and a lemony dressing, this easy salad goes with many kinds of meals.
The flavor and crunch of this apple coleslaw are a nice contrast to creamy dishes like vegan mac and cheese. It’s a refreshing contrast to bold dishes like veggie chili or curried stews.
A family-friendly salad, it might just be the kind of salad that older kids and teens will enjoy eating! Leftovers are great to pack up in small containers for a portable lunch the next day.
Tips for a tasty cabbage and apple slaw
- What kind of apple should be used? For this salad, I prefer a tart variety like Granny Smith apples, but honestly, use whatever apple is your favorite or that you have on hand, like honeycrisp, gala apples, and that like, as long as it’s crisp and juicy.
- What kind of cabbage should be used? Red cabbage or green cabbage are both fine; my favorite way to make this slaw is with a mixture of both; about half of each.
- The dressing pulls it all together. A simple coleslaw recipe like this one needs a flavorful dressing! This one features a dressing made with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, maple syrup or agave, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and an optional smidgen of Dijon mustard — all whisked together in a couple of minutes.
Main dishes to serve this slaw with
- Super-Easy Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
- Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
- Curried Lentils and Spinach
Of course, that’s just a sampling — this simple cabbage apple salad recipe goes with just about any type of meal!
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- 4 cups shredded green or red cabbage, or half of each
- 1 large Granny Smith or other crisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 2 large stalks celery or bok choy, sliced
- 1 cup pre-grated carrot, or 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or dark sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper (a few grindings)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- Combine the cabbage, apple, and celery in a large mixing bowl and toss together.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir or whisk together.
- Add any of the optional add-ins you'd like to use to the vegetable mixture, then pour in the dressing and toss well.
- Cover and let stand for 15 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the lemon and syrup balance (or any of the other dressing ingredients) before serving.
See more salads & sides.