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Roasted and Raw Red Cabbage Salad with Apples Great for A Healthy Side Dish
Cabbage is a workhorse ingredient.
Whenever you go to the grocery store, pick up a head of it. It is a “pantry vegetable”.
It’s cheap, keeps well, can be cooked a ton of different ways or left raw, and looks beautiful. This means more money, convenience, time, and pretty dishes for you.
This red cabbage and apple salad recipe combines roasted and raw cabbage to make a healthy vegan side dish. The easy cabbage salad is balanced by sweet apples, nutty seeds, and bright lemon mustard vinaigrette. This is a super flavorful way to eat cabbage.
You can think of this red cabbage salad as a mix between slaw and roasted vegetables. The benefit of this is that you have the raw and crispy textures playing off one another. Plus, it will keep for days.
This salad is great make-ahead side dish. You could fee a lot of people or yourself inexpensively.
I love eating it next to a rich piece of meat or BBQ. The lemon mustard vinaigrette will add much needed zest to a heavy meal.
Add a blast of color to your next meal with this easy and healthy red cabbage salad with apples!
Health Benefits of this Red Cabbage Salad
This salad is jam packed with healthy ingredients. mighty cabbage, fruity apples, pungent scallions, nutty seeds, and a healthy vinaigrette offer a variety of nutrients that will keep you feeling your best. Here are some highlights about the health benefits of each:
Cabbage is packed with nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and K according to WebMD. Just 1/2 a cup has about 1/3 of the vitamin C you need for your entire day! It’s good for digestion, your heart, inflammation, and cancer prevention.
Apples are popular for good reason. According to Healthline, they are rich in nutrients like fiber and vitamin C. Consuming apples are also linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer while increasing healthy gut bacteria.
According to SF gate, scallions are low in calories and fat free. In addition, they provide some beneficial nutrients like calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.
According to EatingWell, studies have shown that sunflower seeds may reduce the risk of heart disease and inflammation while boosting immunity.
Olive Oil (from vinaigrette)
Opt for extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil is high in healthy fats, contains antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and even helps protect against strokes and heart disease. Read more about each of these benefits here on Healthline.
How Long Will This Red Cabbage Salad Keep?
This salad will last 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator after dressing. The vegetables are hearty enough that it can be fully made and dressed the day before serving.
To keep longer, make the salad and dressing, but do not dress the salad. When ready to serve, dress the salad according to the recipe. The dressing will keep up to a week while the salad will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, covered.
How to Store This Red Cabbage Salad
This salad should be stored, covered in the refrigerator. I love these OXO glass containers for storing completed dishes like this salad. You can store, cover, reheat (if needed), and serve all in one container.
What Type of Cabbage Should I Use?
You can use any type of cabbage for this recipe, but red cabbage is the healthiest variety according to WebMD.
I always have a head of red cabbage in my refrigerator. It’s delicious, affordable, beautiful, and available at most grocery stores.
Keep reading for a rundown of different cabbages you’ll find at your grocery store.
Common Types of Cabbage
Red cabbage is my go-to. Here are some details on the common cabbage varieties you will find at your grocery store:
Red – The healthiest variety. Delicious eaten raw in salads and slaws. Gets nice and crispy after roasting or grilling.
Green – The cheapest and most basic type. Can be sauteed, roasted, grilled, boiled, braised or eaten raw as a slaw. The standard green coleslaw? That uses green cabbage. Looks just like red cabbage except green and typically a little bigger.
Savoy – More tender and loosely packed than some of the other cabbages. Savoy has more curly leaves and is easier to eat raw. So, it can be used in place of lettuce or other cabbage varieties.
Napa – You might mistake napa cabbage for romaine lettuce. It is longer than the three cabbages above. It has a mild, peppery flavor. Use this in kimchi or an Asian stir fry.
Bok Choy – Yes, bok choy is a cabbage. This is a common variety used in Asian cooking. Use this in stir fries or braised.
How-to Buy The Ingredients
Here how to buy the main ingredients:
Cabbage – Look for tightly packed heads that feel firm and dense. It is okay if the outer leaves are loose. Avoid heads with any discoloring or cracks in the leaves.
Apples – Look for firm apples. There shouldn’t be any give when you gently squeeze it. Avoid apples with any discoloring or spots. Choose a variety that is good for baking such as Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, or Granny Smith.
Scallions – Choose scallions with bright green and sturdy tips. Avoid slimy, brown, and sagging tips.
Sunflower Seeds – Buy roasted, unsalted shelled seeds. This will allow you to skip the step of roasting or toasting seeds yourself. Buying unsalted allows you to control the saltiness of your dish better.
For the Dressing:
Olive Oil – Extra virgin is best. This oil from California Olive Ranch offers the best price, taste, and availability combination. It is what I use every day.Variations to This Salad
Lemon – Choose lemons that are fully yellow and are a little bit soft when gently squeezed. This little bit of give means that the lemon is full of juice. This citrus squeezer is the only one you’ll need for the rest of your life.
Shallot – Choose shallots that are heavy for their size, firm, and don’t have any soft spots.
Dijon Mustard – When choosing a mustard, look for one with added no sugar, preferably organic. The ingredient list should be short and sweet. High quality, minimally processed mustard like this one should just be some type of vinegar, water, mustard seeds, salt, and spice(s). You can substitute whole grain for Dijon mustard in this recipe.
Experimenting is one of the most fun parts of cooking! There are an infinite number of possibilities with this salad. Here are a few ideas:
Replace or add roasted sweet potatoes – Add or replace the apples with these Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Make a raw salad – Simplify this recipe and skip the roasting step all together. Use all raw ingredients. Thinly slice apples, cabbage, and scallions.
Make a roasted salad – Roast all of the ingredients instead of leaving some cabbage raw.
Use raw apples – My mouth gets irritated when I eat apples raw, so I have to cook them in some way. This salad would be great with raw apples to add an extra crispy. Thinly slice.
Replace apples with beets – Swap out the apples and replace with raw melon.
Add fresh herbs – Parsley, mint or cilantro would be great as an addition or replacement to scallions.
Want to Make This Healthy Salad More Filling?
To make this salad a more filling meal, add one or multiple of the following:
Beans – Add a can of drained and rinsed white bean such as chickpeas or cannellini. Or cook with dried beans and add 1.5 cups of cooked beans.
Chicken – Top the salad with some of this Buttermilk Marinated Roast Chicken for a low carb, protein packed meal.
Canned or Smoked Fish – Adding canned or smoked fish to a dish is my biggest cheat move for making a meal out of a dish. Set out a tin of sardines, mackeral, trout, salmon, or other fish for a meal packed with protein and healthy fats.
Don’t Have Any Mustard? Try One of These Dressings Instead.
Here are a few other dressings that would be great for making this salad:
Want More Veggie Salad Recipes? Check These Out.
Sometimes, you just need a healthy vegetable salad. A light dish that resets your appetite.
Check out these simple salad recipes:
Red Cabbage and Apple Salad
- 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 medium apples, cut into 1/2” slices
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 scallions, root ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Add apples, scallions, and half of the cabbage to a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Roast until cabbage is brown and ends are starting to crisp, 25-30 minutes. Toss halfway through.
- To make dressing, add shallot, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, and a punch of salt to a jar. Shake for 30 seconds to combine.
- Add the other half of cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss and gently massage cabbage with hands until slightly wilted. Let sit while the other ingredients finish roasting.
- Roughly chop roasted scallions. Add roasted cabbage, apples, and scallions to bowl with cabbage. Shake lemon mustard vinaigrette for a few seconds to combine if needed and add remaining 1/4 cup to bowl. Toss to combine. Season with salt accordingly and top with sunflower seeds.