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This Asian cabbage salad recipe is my favorite light and refreshing side dishes when I don’t have much time to cook. It comes together lightning fast! The crunchy cabbage (with a time-saving shortcut I use for all kinds of cabbage salad recipes), bell peppers, and sunflower seeds combine perfectly with the sweet and salty flavor of the dressing. It has a distinctive flavor that pairs well with just about anything, from classic Asian-inspired meals (like Hunan beef) to your favorite grilling recipes.
Why You’ll Love This Cabbage Salad Recipe
- Savory and tangy, with optional spicy kick
- Crisp, crunchy textures
- Time-saving shortcut for shredded cabbage
- Ready in just 10 minutes
- Easy to make ahead
- Healthy, low carb, and vegetarian
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for cabbage salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Coleslaw Mix – Using fresh pre-made coleslaw mix is my time-saving shortcut for all kinds of cabbage salad recipes! (I also use it when I make taco slaw and egg roll in a bowl.) If you prefer, though, you can combine your own shredded green cabbage with shredded carrots. You can also use red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage which is more traditional for an Asian cabbage salad.
- Bell Pepper – For crunch and natural sweetness. You can also try carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, or cucumbers as well.
- Green Onions – Scallions add a delicious, mild onion flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.
- Sunflower Seeds – You could also use nuts here instead, such as walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
Asian Salad Dressing:
- Coconut Aminos – This is a soy sauce alternative. Feel free to use conventional low-sodium soy sauce instead.
- Olive Oil – You could also use avocado oil, or any neutral cooking oil you prefer.
- White Wine Vinegar – You could also use rice vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or apple cider vinegar for a more mellow flavor. Lemon juice (either bottled or squeezed from fresh lemons) would also work.
- Sesame Oil – Adds a nutty taste and aroma. I prefer toasted sesame oil, but regular also works.
- Seasoning – I seasoned the dressing simply with garlic powder, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes for some heat. A sprinkle of ground ginger (or fresh grated ginger) or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard would also make nice additions.
How To Make Cabbage Salad
This section shows how to make an Asian cabbage salad recipe, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, olive oil, white wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. (I use the same bowl I use for the salad, for less dishes to wash, but you could also whisk the dressing in a smaller bowl and then pour over the salad instead.)
- Toss the cabbage salad ingredients. Add the vegetables (cabbage mixture, bell peppers, and green onions) and sunflower seeds.
- Combine. Stir until well coated. If you have time, refrigerate to intensify flavors. Garnish this cabbage salad recipe with more green onions and sunflower seeds if you like.
- Store: Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezing is not recommended.
- Meal prep: This recipe for cabbage salad is great for meal prep, because it stores very well and the flavors actually develop more over time. Make this dish at least a few hours in advance if you can, but it’s not required.
What To Serve With Cabbage Salad Recipes
Cabbage salad recipes are so versatile that they can go with just about any main course, but here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve with this as a side salad:
- Asian Mains – Serve this side salad with tender Mongolian beef, healthy sweet and sour chicken, or sweet teriyaki chicken.
- Grilled Mains – Cabbage salad is perfect for cookouts! Serve it with the best burgers for a quick and easy side, but it is also works with flaky grilled salmon or a tender grilled steak.
- Air Fryer Mains – For a complete quick and easy meal that won’t heat up the kitchen, pair this easy salad with air fryer pork chops or crispy air fryer chicken thighs.
- Chicken – For sweet and savory flavors, pair this salad with honey garlic chicken or sriracha chicken.
More Make Ahead Salad Recipes
Bring a new twist to your table with these healthy, hearty salads. These quick dishes pair with so many meals:
Cabbage Salad Recipe
Cabbage Salad Recipe (10 Minutes!)
Make this easy cabbage salad recipe in just 10 minutes, with shredded cabbage, bell peppers, sunflower seeds, and easy Asian salad dressing.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Asian Salad Dressing:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos or soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic powder, sea salt, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
Add the coleslaw mix, bell pepper, green onions, and sunflower seeds. Stir until well coated.
Serve immediately, or if you have time, refrigerate for 1 hour to intensify flavors.
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Serving size: 1 cup
For a sweeter dressing, add honey (regular or sugar-free honey) or powdered sweetener of choice to the dressing, to taste.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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