Red Cabbage Slaw

5 from 157 votes

Simple, 4 ingredient red cabbage salad/slaw with an even simpler vinaigrette! Mayo free and full of flavor this red cabbage slaw makes for a great side!

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This red cabbage and carrot slaw is the perfect easy side dish for any occasion! The vibrant colors of the vegetables are beautiful, and the vinaigrette adds a delicious depth of flavor. You can serve this slaw as is or top it with some grilled chicken or blackened salmon for a complete meal.

Red cabbage slaw in serving bowl with tongs .
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This red cabbage salad recipe was inspired by one that I enjoyed at the posh California grocery store Erewhon. It was one of many salads in the salad bar, and it stuck out to me because of how simple the ingredients were but how flavorful the end product was. My version is not exactly the same, but I think you’ll agree that the sum is more than equal to the parts of this simple red cabbage slaw recipe!

Why you’ll love this red cabbage and carrot slaw

  • Crisp & refreshing. The shredded red cabbage and carrots add crunch, while the cilantro and vinaigrette add a hint of zing to the salad.
  • Easy & healthy. This red cabbage slaw comes together quickly with just a few ingredients and is full of vitamins and minerals. It’s also vegan and gluten-free!
  • Deliciously versatile. Serve this slaw as it is, or top it with your protein of choice, salmon, shrimp, or even tofu. It’s also great on burgers!
  • Perfect for potlucks. If you’re in charge of a summer side dish, this red cabbage and carrot slaw is a crowd-pleaser and easy on the wallet.

Ingredients to make red cabbage salad

One of the great things about this slaw recipe is that the ingredients can be adapted to what you have on hand. The salad itself only requires 4 ingredients, and the dressing is made up of pantry staples that I bet you already have!

For the salad:

  • Red cabbage: Shredded red cabbage adds a beautiful color and crunchy texture to the salad.
  • Carrots: Match stick carrots add sweetness as well as an additional layer of crunch.
  • Red onions: Finely sliced red onion adds a nice pop of flavor without being too overpowering.
  • Cilantro: Fresh cilantro brings brightness and herbal notes.


  • Red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar provides a subtle tartness to the vinaigrette.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil adds a smooth texture and nutty flavor to the dressing.
  • Maple Syrup: A little bit of maple syrup balances out the acidity of the vinegar.
  • Salt & Pepper: To finish, add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients for recipe before prepped: salt and pepper, maple syrup, oil, whole red onion, 2 carrots, red wine vinegar, head of red cabbage, and fresh cilantro.

How to make red cabbage slaw with vinaigrette

  1. Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the cabbage, carrots, red onions, and cilantro.
  4. Toss well to coat the dressing into the cabbage. Serve immediately.
4 image collage making recipe in one bowl: 1- dressing ingredients in bowl, 2- whisking dressing, 3- cabbage, carrots, onions, and cilantro added on top, 4- tongs tossing slaw to combine.

Tips for making the best red cabbage slaw

  1. Cut the cabbage, carrots, and red onions to the same size. You want the veggies to be evenly distributed so that each bite has a balance of flavors.
  2. Add the dressing just before serving. The vinaigrette can make the vegetables soggy if it is added too far in advance, so aim to add the dressing as close to serving time as possible.
  3. Keep the cabbage crisp. If you want to meal prep the salad in advance and you’re worried about it getting soggy, I recommend adding 2 teaspoons of salt to the cabbage after you shred it and allowing it to sit for 1-2 hours. Then rinse the cabbage with water to remove the salt. This process helps to draw out the excess moisture from the cabbage while keeping it crispy.
  • Try different veggies. If you don’t have red cabbage on hand, this slaw is also delicious with green or Napa cabbage. You can also swap out the carrots for grated beets or radishes for a different flavor profile.
  • Mix up the dressing. The great thing about vinaigrettes is that you can pretty much add anything to them (if you’ve seen enough episodes of Chopped, you know what I mean!). Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices or even purchase a bottled vinaigrette of your choice.
  • Add seeds. If you want to add some extra crunch to this slaw, try adding some pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Top with cheese. A sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese adds a nice salty bite!
Large bowl of red cabbage slaw with serving set dipped inside.

What to serve with your red cabbage salad

How to store red cabbage slaw

If you are making this recipe in advance, you’ll want to store the salad and the vinaigrette apart, both in their own air-tight container. You can store leftovers altogether if it’s already mixed.

How long will red cabbage slaw last in the fridge?

This red cabbage slaw can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. The dressing will last up to a week if stored in the refrigerator on its own.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use prepackaged slaw mix?

Yes, you can certainly use a bag of prepackaged slaw mix instead of shredding the cabbage and carrots yourself. You’ll just want to add some onions.

How do I make this slaw creamy?

To make this slaw creamy, you can add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise to the dressing. Alternatively, you can also use Greek yogurt or sour cream as well. You will want to use a blender to make sure everything is well incorporated and does not separate.

Why do you use red cabbage instead of green for this recipe?

The red cabbage provides a slightly peppery flavor as well as an interesting color contrast to the other vegetables in the slaw. The purple hue also stays vibrant and bright even after being dressed, making it a great addition to any salad! Green cabbage can also be used, but I like the color of red cabbage.

Large portion of red cabbage slaw on plate with half an open-faced chickpea salad sandwich next to it.

The red cabbage and carrot slaw with a vinaigrette is a great side dish for any meal. It’s full of fresh flavors, and the bright colors make it visually appealing. Whether you use homemade or store-bought dressing, this slaw will be sure to please! Plus, it’s an easy way to get more vegetables into your meals. With a few simple tweaks, you can customize the slaw to fit any dietary needs or flavor preferences.

More slaws and salads:

If you try this feel good Red Cabbage Slaw recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

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Red Cabbage Slaw

Simple, 4 ingredient red cabbage salad/slaw with an even simpler vinaigrette! Mayo free and full of flavor this red cabbage slaw makes for a great side!
5 from 157 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 186
Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


For the dressing

For the salad

  • ½ red cabbage about 6 cups thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into matchsticks (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ red onion very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup packed cilantro chopped


  • Whisk the red wine vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots, red onions, and cilantro. Toss well to coat the dressing into the cabbage. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.


Tip: Salt your cabbage leaves for a few hours to keep them crisp and fresh longer. 


Calories: 186kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 635mg, Potassium: 406mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 6537IU, Vitamin C: 63mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Salad, Side Dish

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Recipe Rating


  1. This looks great! Thinking of using it for lunch prep for the week, to go with marinated tofu sandwiches. How long do you think it would last in the fridge? I don’t mind if it loses its crispness.

    1. Hi Lisa, great question. If you store the slaw separately from the dressing it will last 3 to 4 days. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it when you make it!