Red Cabbage Slaw

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Red cabbage slaw is a vibrant and flavorful dish that has become a staple at many gatherings, from casual picnics to elegant dinner parties. This versatile side dish is not only a feast for the eyes with its deep purple hues but also a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential vitamins and minerals. In this article, we will delve into what makes red cabbage slaw unique, explore its health benefits, provide a simple recipe, and offer tips on how to customize it to your taste.

What is Red Cabbage Slaw?

At its core, red cabbage slaw is a type of salad made primarily from thinly sliced red cabbage. It often includes other ingredients such as carrots, onions, and sometimes fruits like apples or pineapple for added sweetness. The slaw is typically dressed with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing, which can be flavored with various herbs and spices to create a refreshing and tangy taste.

The Health Benefits of Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is not just a pretty face; it’s also loaded with health benefits. It is low in calories but high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut. Additionally, red cabbage is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and skin health. It also contains vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and proper blood clotting.

One of the most notable compounds found in red cabbage is anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that gives the cabbage its distinctive color. Anthocyanins have been studied for their potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Customizing Your Slaw

The basic components of red cabbage slaw are like a canvas waiting for your personal touch. Here are some ideas for customization:

  • For a Creamier Texture: Swap out the vinaigrette for a mayonnaise or yogurt-based dressing. You can add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to balance the creaminess with some acidity.
  • To Add Sweetness: Incorporate fruits like diced apples, mango, or dried cranberries. Their natural sugars will complement the tanginess of the dressing.
  • For Extra Crunch: Include nuts such as almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds. They’ll add texture and a nutty flavor that pairs well with the slaw.
  • Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or mint can brighten up the dish. Spices such as cumin, coriander, or caraway seeds can introduce an earthy warmth.
  • Protein-Packed Slaw: Make your slaw a hearty meal by adding shredded chicken, tofu, or chickpeas.

Serving Suggestions

Red cabbage slaw is incredibly flexible when it comes to serving options. It’s a perfect accompaniment to grilled meats, making it a BBQ favorite. It can also serve as a refreshing contrast to rich dishes like pulled pork sandwiches or fish tacos. For a lighter option, pair it with a simple grilled chicken breast or a veggie burger.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

One of the advantages of red cabbage slaw is that it can be made ahead of time, which allows the flavors to develop more fully. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and it can last for several days. Just be aware that if you’re using a mayo-based dressing, you shouldn’t leave the slaw out at room temperature for too long.


Red cabbage slaw is more than just a colorful addition to your plate; it’s a tasty and healthy choice that can be tailored to suit any palate. With its crisp texture, tangy flavor, and numerous health benefits, it’s no wonder that this dish has earned its place as a beloved classic. Whether you stick to the basics or get creative with your ingredients, red cabbage slaw is sure to be a hit at your next meal.

Red Cabbage Slaw

Red cabbage slaw is a crunchy, tangy, and colorful side dish perfect for picnics and barbecues.
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Prep Time 8 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings


  • ½ head red cabbage thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and shredded
  • cup rice vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Toss everything together until well combined.
  • Cover and allow to sit for at least an hour in the fridge or at room temperature.
  • Stir once more before serving.
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