This easy and healthy red cabbage slaw recipe is the perfect side dish for summer. There’s nothing complicated in the ingredient list, plus the flavor is perfect as a pairing for grilled meats.
So fire up the barbecues, and shred your cabbages, it’s time for a little red cabbage slaw.
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A Summer Side Dish
Every bite of this slaw screams summer.
If you prefer a creamy coleslaw recipe, then check out my Irish style coleslaw. It’s creamy and delicious and perfect for summer days.
Red cabbage is often served with fish tacos. This version is a perfect pairing of crunchy vegetables with mouth wateringly delicious and tangy dressing.
Have you ever wondered how coleslaw got its name?
The term coleslaw comes from the Dutch language and the word koolsla. This means “cabbage salad.”
It is a dish made with sliced or shredded raw cabbage tossed in a vinegar or mayo based dressing.
This is not a traditional Irish recipe, but you will find this slaw is served in many Irish cafés and restaurants, especially as a side where there is a buffet style counter for lunch orders.
What is the difference between coleslaw and slaw?
The primary difference is in the veggies used. When the vegetable used is primarily cabbage then the dish is called a coleslaw. The cabbage can be any variety, including napa cabbage, white cabbage, red cabbage, and savoy (an Irish favorite for cooked cabbage).
When the term slaw is used without the preceding cole, the mixture usually contains a variety of crunchy veggies with or without cabbage. The veggies can be shredded carrots, broccoli, jicama, snow peas, mangetout or anything fresh and crunchy that can be sliced or diced and eaten raw.
I’ve categorized this side salad as a slaw since there is a mixture of veggies along with the red cabbage in the ingredient list.
And so, without further ado, lets put this crunchy, fresh summer salad together.
Ingredients for Red Cabbage Slaw
Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need for this veggie salad. You’ll find exact quantities and nutritional information in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- red cabbage – thinly sliced
- shredded carrots
- red onion – chopped
- fresh jalapeno – chopped
- fresh cilantro – chopped
For the Dressing:
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- lime juice
- minced garlic
- dash of salt and pepper
I like to use lime juice for this salad dressing, but you can substitute a different citrus fruit if you wish. Lemon juice or freshly squeezed orange juice work well too.
These are the basic ingredients for this salad, but feel free to get a little creative with the veggies and other additions.
Fresh parsley works well as a garnish or just as a herb addition.
Other ideas include tossing in a few raisins, or golden raisins (known as sultanas in Ireland), or dried cranberries.
Chopped pecans or celery seeds can also make an interesting garnish.
Directions for Red Cabbage Salad or Slaw
Here you’ll find step-by-step phototgraphic instructions for making this delicious slaw.
Preapare the Dressing
First make the dressing. This is an apple cider based dressing rather than a mayonnaise one.
In a small bowl, whisk together all the vinegar, honey, lime juice and minced garlic using a balloon whisk.
Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk some more. Set the dressing aside while you prepare the veggies.
If you wish you can make the dressing in a food processor. It is easier to drizzle in the olive oil when using this handy gadget.
Prepare the Vegetables
Start by preparing the cabbage. Use a sharp knife to slice one head of cabbage in half. Only one half is required.
Remove the hard core at the bottom of the cabbage, together with any damaged outer leaves.
Turn it onto its flat, cut side and slice the cabbage to shred it.
You may be tempted to shred the cabbage using a box grater, mandoline or food processor, but I find it turns out better when sliced with a sharp knife.
Put the sliced cabbage in a colander and rinse it under cold water. Let it drain dry before using it. If you have a salad spinner then give it a swirl to dry off.
In a large bowl, toss together all of the prepared veggies for the slaw.
Top the salad with the prepared dressing and mix well to completely coat the vegetables.
Storage of Red Cabbage Slaw
Store in a large covered bowl in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the salad.
This dish needs to be eaten within 2 days and stored in the refrigerator. It is best served fresh and cannot be frozen.
Recipe Card for Red Cabbage Slaw
Here’s the recipe card, if you would like to add this recipe to your kitchen files.
You can toggle between US and Metric equivalents for the ingredients, and choose to print with or without photos.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings and happy summer cooking.
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