Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw


This crunchy red cabbage slaw is packed with flavor. It’s quick to make and can be made ahead of time, perfect for picnics or barbeques.

Prep time:

15 mins

Cook time:

0 mins

Total time

15 mins

Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw

I’ve been making a crunchy red cabbage slaw like this for years and love it in place of the traditional soggy, mayo-filled coleslaw. It’s light, crunchy, and packed with flavor. Plus, the toasted sesame oil and ginger give this crunchy slaw a flavor profile that works perfectly with a wide array of cuisines.

Recipe Notes

Unlike lettuce salads, this slaw keeps very well, making it perfect when you need to prep things ahead of time. I love bringing it to picnic lunches or summer barbeques.

This slaw calls for shredded red cabbage. You can either thinly slice it with a knife or, for a finer texture and softer slaw, shred it in your food processor using the grating disc.

Ingredient highlights & substitutions for this Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw

Ginger and garlic – These two powerhouse flavor enhancers provide a massive boost of flavor in this slaw. But if you’re not a fan of raw garlic or ginger, feel free to reduce or eliminate one or both of them. The slaw will still be delicious, but you might want to add more lemon juice and Dijon to make up for the lost flavor. You can also substitute 2 thinly sliced green onions in their place.

Tahini – Use a light-colored, runny tahini for this recipe. Dark, thick tahini will make the slaw bitter. If you can’t find tahini, you can substitute a plain, unsweetened yogurt instead. I like this cashewmilk yogurt from Forager, but any natural yogurt should work.

Cilantro – I absolutely adore cilantro, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. Feel free to substitute another herb in its place. Italian parsley, fresh basil, or mint would all be delicious here.

This image shows a close up of the crunchy red cabbage slaw on a blue plate.

This recipe is part of my Quick & Easy Summer Salads roundup. Check out two more summer salads like this one here.

If you make this Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw, I’d love to see your results! Send me a DM or tag @plantssogood on Instagram or Facebook.

Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw

This crunchy red cabbage slaw is packed with flavor. It's quick to make and can be made ahead of time, perfect for picnics or barbeques.

Crunchy Red Cabbage Slaw

Prep time:

15 mins

Cook time:

0 mins

Total time:

15 mins




  • ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded

  • ½ inch nub of ginger, grated

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

  • Big handful cilantro, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon runny tahini

  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

  • Generous pinch flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil


  1. Thinly slice the red cabbage or shred it in a food processor. Grate the ginger and garlic, and chop the cilantro. Add all of this along with the sesame seeds to a large bowl.

  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to a jar and shake until smooth. 

  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss well to combine.

  4. You can serve this slaw right away for a fresher, crunchy texture or cover the bowl and let it sit for an hour in the fridge for more of a traditional slaw texture.

Meet Fiona

Meet Fiona

Hi, I'm Fiona

Founder of Plants So Good.

I love to help people eat more plants in a delicious and satisfying way, feel amazing, and live a life in which they can truly thrive!

Plants So Good is where I combine my passion for helping people with my education in plant-based cooking and holistic nutrition to bring you personalized cooking classes, special event catering, and one-on-one nutrition coaching.

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