This interesting Cabbage Apple Salad also has kale, cranberries, and pistachios, and this will be a nice alternative to rich holiday food. The salad is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and it’s delightfully crunchy and loaded with flavor. 

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Cabbage Apple Salad close-up image in serving bowl

When there’s a big buffet of holiday foods, I’ll always try to head for the salads first, hoping there will be a delicious salad to help keep me away from at least some of the sweets and rich holiday foods. And this Cabbage Apple Salad that also has some kale, dried cranberries, and pistachios would be a good candidate for healthy salad duty at your next holiday party.

When Kara and I set out to create a new salad that had a holiday vibe, we got the inspiration to combine cabbage, apple, and kale from a salad we spotted in a magazine. But our salad definitely took off in a different direction with a sweeter dressing and the addition of kale, dried cranberries, and pistachios. And we really loved this salad combination which is a pretty healthy option when it comes to holiday foods!

What ingredients do you need?

  • green cabbage
  • Granny Smith apples
  • baby kale (use less kale or another type of greens if you’re not a fan)
  • dried cranberries (optional)
  • shelled pistachos
  • Olive Oil (affiliate link)
  • white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link)
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
  • Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice (see notes)
  • pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Black Sesame Seeds (affiliate link) or poppy seeds (optional)

How can you make the salad lower in carbs?

The highest-carb ingredients in this salad are obviously the apples and dried cranberries. You could still make a tasty salad with less apples, and the dried cranberries can be left out completely if you prefer.

Want other variations for this salad?

  • Make it a main dish salad with chunks of an interesting cheese like Manchego or Swiss. 
  • Use another type of leafy greens or leave out the greens if you’re not a fan of kale.
  • You could use another fruit like pears, grapes, or persimmon instead of the apple.
  • Use almonds, cashews, or peanuts instead of pistachios if you prefer.

Want more ideas for holiday salads?

Check out Ten Low-Carb Winter Salads for Holiday Dinners if you want even more ideas for salads to serve during the holidays!

Cabbage, Apple, and Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pistachios process shots collage

How to make Cabbage Apple Salad:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Peel and chop the apples and toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  2. Shred cabbage into short thin strips. We used a Mandoline Slicer (affiliate link).
  3. Pull stems off the baby kale if desired and wash in the salad spinner (affiliate link) if needed.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. Put cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the dressing;.
  6. Then add the apples and kale and toss again.
  7. Add most of the dried cranberries and pistachios and toss once more.
  8. Serve right away, sprinkling with the reserved dried cranberries and pistachios.

Cabbage Apple Salad in glass serving bowl on napkin

More Tasty Cabbage Salads:

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw

Asian Cabbage Salad

Cabbage Apple Salad
Yield: 8 servings

Cabbage Apple Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Cabbage Apple Salad with Cranberries also has kale, dried cranberries, and pistachios and this will taste great when you're tired of rich holiday food.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 head cabbage, thinly sliced and then chopped into short strips
  • 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
  • 5 oz. baby kale, stems removed and washed if needed (use less kale or another type of greens if you're not a fan)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachos

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T white balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 T lemon juice (see notes)
  • 4 tsp. Golden Monkfruit Sweetener or sweetener of your choice (see notes)
  • pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Instructions

  1. Peel the apple and cut away the core. I used an Apple Corer and Slicer for this.
  2. Cut the apple into slices lengthwise; then chop the slices into chunks.
  3. Slice the cabbage into thin slices, then chop to make short strips. We used a Mandoline Slicer to cut the cabbage.
  4. Pull off stems from the baby kale (or not; your choice) and wash kale in salad spinner (affiliate link) if it needs it.
  5. Whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sweetener, salt, pepper, and black sesame seeds (or poppy seeds) to make the dressing.
  6. Put the sliced and chopped cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the chopped apples and baby kale and toss again.
  7. Then add most of the dried cranberries and pistachios and toss again.
  8. Put the salad into a serving bowl and top with the reserved dried cranberries and pistachios. Serve right away.
  9. I think there are endless variations of dried fruit and nuts that would be good in this salad; have fun experimenting!

Notes

You can buy white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) at Amazon.com. I originally made this salad with agave nectar, but now I'd use Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link).

I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe.

This recipe was inspired by Cabbage and Apple Salad in Bon Appetit Magazine.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 135Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Even though this Cabbage Apple Salad has a lot of healthy cabbage, apples, and kale, there is sugar in the apples and the and dried cranberries, so if you’re following the South Beach Diet this salad would probably be limited to phase 3 or as an occasional treat for phase 2. It’s also not suitable for most low-carb diets (except maybe as a treat at Christmas) but if you want a salad with fewer carbs, omit the dried cranberries.

ind More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2015. It was last updated with more information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Cabbage Apple Salad

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