Cabbage Salad with Dijon-lime Dressing

Using cabbage instead of lettuce makes a hearty salad, perfect for an entree. With cabbage and carrots as the foundation, almost any vegetables and beans you have on hand can be added. Sometimes I keep it really simple, using only cabbage, carrots and chickpeas, and other times I just keep adding veggies until it’s a rainbow of colors.

1/2 head small-medium green cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 4 cups), core removed
2 carrots, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 ribs celery, diced
3 green onions/scallions, chopped
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (about 20 large leaves)
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo or black beans (or 1 15-oz. can)
1 avocado, diced

2 limes, juice from (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 garlic clove, minced)
ground black pepper to taste

1. Using a chef’s knife or mandolin slicer, slice the cabbage so that the strands are very thin, and place into a large bowl. Add to this the grated carrots, celery, onion, cucumber, basil, beans, and avocado. Toss.

2. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and blend with a fork. Add dressing to bowl of vegetables and toss thoroughly. If you are making this ahead of time, add the diced avocado just before serving.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 0
Serves: 2 (as entre), 4 as side salad


Add color: Add in a little purple cabbage, chopped red onion, and/or a small red or orange bell pepper for a more colorful salad.

Herbs: I often use basil in this salad, but you can also use parsley, oregano, thyme, cilantro, or any other fresh herb you like. Adjust the measurement down if using oregano or thyme; I’d use a couple teaspoons (minced) since they have such strong flavors.

Dressing: If you’re not a lime fan, feel free to use lemon or grapefruit juice. You can also substitute with a combination of water and brown rice vinegar.

For fun: Add in a small handful of raisins, walnuts and/or pumpkin seeds.

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  1. boppies says

    I made this Thursday night and had a bunch for lunch the next day. Very yummy. Next time I think I will put some horseradish in the dressing to give it a little kick. For dinner, I made a black bean and brown rice mixture, topped with grilled veggies with some of this on the very top – quite delicious. Thanks!

  2. Carolyn says

    Delicious! The lime and mustard dressing was surprisingly creamy and had a terrific tang. This is something I will bring to a summer cookout for certain. Thank you.

  3. says

    My kids and I had this for lunch today! It was soooo good! Amazingly fresh and flavorful, perfect for a hot, summer day!! And it was quick and easy to throw together, love that!! :)

  4. Theresa says

    Awesome salad, the second time I made this, I added a Tbs of honey to the dressing, I liked it better with a little sweetness.

      • says

        Thanks for all the great reciipes. I love the avocado and chickpea spread and the cabbage salad. I started this because my cholestrol is 397 and I don’t eat much bad, but doc said I needed to figure something out, so friends shared your website. Thanks for helping make this a great transition. I am just worried about loosing weight. I am 5′ 6 and weigh 110 lbs. I work out and run daily, yoga morning and night. 7 marine corp marathons under my belt. Maybe i’ll live a healthier life. What about pasta? Thanks from a newbe. Ann

        • says

          Hi Anne, great note, thank you! :) I am 5’7″ and 118 lbs. so I hear you. Pasta is fine, just use whole-grain. You work out a lot, so you’ll need to eat more calories via more food or more calorie-dense food, or both. Keep experimenting and you’ll find your groove.

  5. Charlie Dain says

    OMG, I was looking in the kitchen for food that need to be used before it goes bad and made a list including basil, avocado, cabbage. Right, like I am going to find a single recipe using those ingredients. So I went to my favorite sites to search on those terms and I found this recipe.

    This was amazing and has a unique flavor. Thankfully, I made enough to eat yesterday, today, and probably a little tomorrow. That’s okay because I don’t see myself tiring of this any time soon.

  6. Peanut Blossom says

    I just made this for dinner tonight – I’ve been meaning to o it all week – and it was delicious! Thank you so much! I also made your carrot cake donuts tonight….Wow! It is indeed a happy Friday!!

  7. Lynn says

    This is so eye-catching! It looks good and has a wonderful fresh taste. I am confident that I could take this to a potluck or summer cookout with any group.

  8. Chloe Osborne says

    For those who are looking for a little sweetness, try some finely sliced apple. Choose a variety with a crisp texture and sweetness like Jonagold or Braeburn… Thanks for the great recipes, Cathy!

  9. Doreen Karp says

    I just love your website!! I made this recipe tonight for dinner. I didn’t have any avocado, but added some pumpkin seeds and raisins. It’s delicious!! A definite keeper!!

  10. Kris McCormack says

    Another great recipe, Cathy! Thank you! I made this today for the first time and it was absolutely super. Added some purple cabbage to the mix and doubled up on the garlic powder in the dressing. Also, snipped in a bit of dill with the basil… A very yummy salad.

    I have one slight quibble (just an fyi, really) and that is with the 15-minute prep time you mention. I did not use any machines, just sliced and chopped and grated by hand and it took me a bit more than 30 minutes.

    Since I knew we would have some left over, I served the chopped avocado separately so that the next day there would not be brown chunks mixed in the salad.

    I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful food ideas on this site. THANK YOU!


  11. Liz says

    I am making this today for the first course of our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s going to be great. The pumpkin pie is already done. It was easier than it looked.

  12. mirthe says

    WOW! This salad is amazing! I made it tonight as I had cabbage that needed to be used and was so surprised at how good it was. Love the basil in there. So glad to have left overs for tomorrow :)
    Cathy I LOVE your recipes. You’re the best of the best.

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