Kalyn's Kitchen

Cabbage Apple Salad (VIDEO)

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

PIN Cabbage Apple Salad to try it later!

Cabbage Apple Salad in glass serving bowl on napkin

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 holiday salad, we got the inspiration to combine cabbage, apple, and kale from Cabbage and Apple Salad in Bon Appetit. But our salad definitely took off in a different direction with a sweeter dressing and the addition of dried cranberries and pistachios.

What ingredients do you need for this salad?

How can you make a salad that’s 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.

What are some 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.

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

How to make Cabbage Apple Salad:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe.)

  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.

More Meatless Cabbage Salad Recipes:

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Low-Carb Asian Chopped Salad ~ Sugar-Free Mom
Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baby Kale and Cabbage Salad with Feta, Olives, and Greek Dressing ~ The Perfect Pantry
Asian Cabbage Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Quick Korean Spicy Slaw ~ Foodie Crush

Cabbage Apple Salad

Cabbage Apple Salad

Yield 8 servings
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.


  • 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


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


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:



Serving Size:


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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, 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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    16 Comments on “Cabbage Apple Salad (VIDEO)”

  1. Pingback: 20+ Gluten Free AND Vegan Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner Recipes. - Live Planted

  2. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Can’t wait to try this recipe.  Trying it for family dinner this weekend.

  4. Wowza! Such an amazing combination of flavors and so pretty! Made it into work lunches for the week and kept the apples and dressing separate. Added some leftover chicken to make it a meal. I looove your cabbage salad recipes. So crunchy and satisfying and filling and they keep so well!

    I added my signature to a ballot initiative at the Utah/Stanford game last weekend and saw Kalyn Denny at the top. I whacked my boyfriend on the arm and said “OMG that’s my favorite food blog lady!” You are so beloved in my household. And I have met mega celebrities from years of working Sundance Film Festival events LOL. Made my day even though we lost the game 🙁 You’re the best!

    • Tanya, so glad you liked it! And fun that you saw my name. I try to keep politics off the blog, but I DO have plenty of opinions.

      Brilliant to keep the ingredients separate in this and then add chicken to make it a meal!

  5. can this be made the night before for lunch the next day?

    • For best results Id chop up the cabbage and kale and mix the dressing in advance, then cut up the apple and toss together the salad right before you eat it.

  6. This is my new favorite salad! It has so many good things going for it…first of all, it's very healthy, visually inviting, crunchy, and very tasty! I'll be eating for lunch quite often. So much more interesting than my usual luncheon salad. This is perfect for the holidays! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  7. I love this combination as well, it looks so refreshing. Cabbage salad is always a favorite of mine anyway, I would love to try your version.

  8. I love the combination of cabbage and kale (thanks for linking to my salad recipe). Pistachios are a lovely touch here.

    • Lydia, my pleasure!

      We loved this salad with the pistachios, but Kara and I kept thinking of other nuts that would also be good.

  9. Very creative, great flavors and textures