This interesting Cabbage Apple Salad also has kale, cranberries, and pistachios, and this would be a nice alternative to rich holiday food. Use low-sugar dried cranberries if you have some for a bit less carbs. 

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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’s compared to most holiday foods! If you like the idea of offering a healthier option on the holiday table, I hope you’ll give this Cabbage Apple Salad a try.

What ingredients do you need?

(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

How can you make Cabbage Apple 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 fewer apples, and you could also use low-sugar dried cranberries (affiliate link) for fewer carbs. Or the dried cranberries can be left out completely if you prefer.

Want other variations for this Cabbage Apple 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:

(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete 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.

Cabbage Apple Salad in glass serving bowl on napkin

More Tasty Cabbage Salads:

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.


  • 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 (preferably low-sugar 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 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!


You can buy white balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) at 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.

Did you make this recipe?

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Square image of Cabbage Apple Salad shown in glass bowl on green napkin.

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’s some natural sugar in the apples and the dried cranberries (even if you use the low-sugar kind). So if you’re following a low-carb diet this salad would be a bit of a splurge on carbs, or if you want a salad with fewer carbs, omit the dried cranberries. For the original South Beach Diet this salad would probably be limited to phase 3 or as an occasional treat for phase 2. 

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 might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
The Cabbage Apple Salad recipe was first posted in 2015. It was last updated with more information in 2023.

Pinterest image of Cabbage Apple Salad

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