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SESAME CABBAGE SALAD (QUICK + HEALTHY)

Sesame Cabbage Salad with green cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes tossed in a tangy apple cider vinegar dressing is fresh, healthy and delicious!

top down view of small bowl with healthy cabbage salad.

Why We Love This Cabbage Salad

This cabbage based salad was just one of those salads I threw together to use up leftover produce and it turned out to be ridiculously good!

Typically, cabbage salads are drowning in a creamy dressing, but this recipe adds just the right amount letting the fresh salad flavors shine through.

We love how easy it is to make and stores extremely well, getting even better with time. You can assemble the salad well in advance and keep it stored in the fridge until ready to serve.

It’s easily customizable using what you have on hand or your preferred ingredients. Plus, it’s oil-free, sugar-free, and contains no mayo!

Cabbage salad is perfect as a side for picnics, potlucks, and BBQ’s. And if you feel like it, enjoy this salad as a main salad for lunch or dinner!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy cabbage salad recipe.

Ingredients + Substitutions

Here is everything you will need to make the best healthy cabbage filled salad, including substitutions. You can find ingredient measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Cabbage. Use any one or combo of green, napa, or savoy cabbage. Feel free add in a little red cabbage for even more color.
  • Cucumber. Adds a healthy dose of cool and crunchy texture.
  • Carrots. Use pre-shredded for convenience.
  • Radish. Adds a peppery flavor and pop of color.
  • Green onion. Adds just the right amount of onion flavor.
  • Cilantro. Used to add a layer of herby flavor.
  • Sesame seeds. For an extra smidge of protein, calcium and texture.
  • Apple cider vinegar. Can sub with rice wine vinegar if needed, but I highly recommend apple cider vinegar as it’s the healthiest.
  • Tahini. Adds another addition of protein and calcium.
  • Dijon. Can sub with whole grain mustard if preferred.
  • Salt + pepper. Salt brings out all the flavors and pepper add a spicy warmth.
top down view of cabbage salad ingredients in large bowl with dressing on the side.

How To Make Cabbage Salad

Here is a quick look at the steps with a few photos for guidance. You can find the full printable recipe below.

  • Start with dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, tahini, dijon, salt, and pepper. Set aside to let the flavors develop.
  • Assemble the salad. Once the produce is prepped, place it in a large mixing bowl.
top down view of cabbage salad dressing being poured over salad produce.
  • Toss it all together. Pour the dressing over top the salad and toss to combine.
  • Chill or eat as is. I love this salad both chilled and at room temp. The longer it rests, whether in the fridge or on the counter, allows the cabbage to soften.

Top Tips

  • Add a little sweetener. If you prefer a dressing with sweetness, add 2 – 3 teaspoons of pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or pure cane sugar.
  • Add a little spicy heat. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the salad or a pinch to your serving for a nice bit of heat.
  • Adjust to taste. Feel free to adjust any ingredient up or down to suit your taste.
top down view of serving bowl with healthy sesame cabbage salad.

Storing + Make Ahead

Cabbage salad can last for up to 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator. It’s perfect for making ahead and can be prepared 1 – 2 days in advance. When ready to serve, be sure to give it a good mix.

More Healthy Salad Recipes!

side angle view of small bowl with oil-free cabbage salad.

If you try this healthy salad recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

SESAME CABBAGE SALAD (QUICK + HEALTHY)

Quick and healthy, this easy cabbage salad is full of texture and flavor. Salad can be served as a side dish or main salad.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Salad, Entree, Side
  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded (green, napa, or savoy)
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, shredded (optional)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thin and cut in half moons
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 23 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup radish, thinly sliced and cut into half moons
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds, to garnish

Dressing

  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, optional
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Instructions

Dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, tahini, dijon, salt, and pepper. Set aside to let the flavors develop.

Assemble: In a large mixing bowl, add the cabbage, cucumber, carrots, radish, green onions, and cilantro. Pour the dressing over top and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Chill: Place in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 – 3 hours to chill and soften. Alternatively, enjoy right away.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in a covered container. Give a good mix before serving.

Notes

Add a little spicy heat. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the salad or a pinch to your serving for a nice bit of heat.

Adjust to taste. As with all my recipes, feel free to adjust any ingredient up or down to suit your taste.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

Updated: Sesame Cabbage Salad was originally published in January 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in January 2021.

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