Cabbage salad with apples and walnuts

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The humble cabbage is one of the cheapest superfoods ever and, if you’re not a big fan, I can reassure you that this colorful cabbage salad with crispy apples is so good and crunchy that everyone will love it.

A white bowl full of cabbage salad with apple slices and walnuts.

There’s more: it’s ready in 10 minutes, lasts in the fridge for days, it’s packed with amazing health benefits and it only costs less than $1 per serving.
I like the sound of that!

Super easy to prepare, this vibrant cabbage salad tastes delicious and makes the perfect make-ahead vegetarian dish for any gathering as well as healthy vegetarian meal prep.

Plus, red cabbage is absolutely cheap and huge. Yes, it’s huge and when you shred it you end up with salad for an army. That’s what I call good value for money : )

Then add roasted walnuts, crispy and juicy apples, some crumbled cheddar and toss with a light fresh vinaigrette.
Yes, you’re going to love this yummy cabbage salad!

What ingredients you need

  • White or red cabbage
  • Apples (Fuji, Gala..)
  • Walnuts
  • Mature cheddar (optional)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients for this cabbage salad are arranged over a chopping board and a white table.

How to make it

  • Slice the cabbage and the apples
  • Add crumbled cheddar and walnuts
  • Dress with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  • Done!
A close-up of a white bowl full of cabbage salad, apple slices and walnuts.

Recipe notes & tips

This crunchy and colorful salad comes on the table in 10 minutes flat and it costs about $1 per serving. Plus, it’s SUPER HEALTHY!!!


They come in so many different shapes, sizes, and colors. When you buy a white or red cabbage, pick a tight, compact head that feels heavy for its size. It should look crisp and fresh, with few loose leaves. Red and white cabbage, raw and finely shredded, add color, texture, and flavor to a boring winter salad.

Is cabbage good for you?

Absolutely yes, it’s a real rockstar when it comes to health benefits. Red cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetable family and has an outstanding nutritional profile. It’s low on calories and particularly high in vitamin C and in vitamin K. But what makes cabbage so healthy are its potent cancer-fighting compounds!

A bottle pouring olive oil over a serving of cabbage salad over a white background.


This cabbage salad is delicious with roasted walnuts, but you can substitute walnuts with crunchy roasted hazelnuts.


Mature cheese like cheddar or shaved parmesan on top are the perfect complements to this simple cabbage salad, but it’s also delicious without cheese if you prefer to keep it vegan.

How long does this cabbage salad last?

Cabbage salad leftovers keep very well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days (but without apples, they will turn brown quickly when cut).

However, if you plan to make this salad ahead, I would suggest you to store shredded cabbage in a separate container, it keeps well for several days.  Then add apples, walnuts, cheese, and dressing when ready to serve!

more delicious salads?

If you make this cabbage salad, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

A white bowl full of cabbage salad with apple slices and walnuts.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Cabbage salad with apples and walnuts

This crunchy colorful cabbage salad with apples tastes so good, looks stunning and it’s packed with amazing health benefits. Plus, it’s ready in 10 minutes and costs less than $1 per serving!
Prep Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: gluten free, vegetarian
Keyword: cabbage salad
Author: Katia


  • 1 medium-size white or red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mature cheddar, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Remove the thick fibrous outer leaves from the cabbage, cut it into quarters and wash it.
  • Finely slice the cabbage and the apples (about 1/4-inch thick).
  • In a large bowl place cabbage, sliced apples, half of the crumbled cheddar, and half of the walnuts (reserve the rest for the topping).
  • In a small bowl or in a glass, make a vinaigrette mixing extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt (I start with 1/2 tsp) and a good pinch of black pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well, taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
  • Serve at room temperature with chopped walnuts and crumbled cheddar on top. Enjoy.


    Remove any tough outer layers or loose leaves. Then, cut the cabbage into quarters through the base and cut the core out of each quarter. Finally, wash and finely slice them on a cutting board. Alternatively, you can use a mandoline or a food processor, whatever it’s easier for you.
  • SERVINGS: these quantities yield 4-6 servings.
  • VINEGAR: I prefer using apple cider vinegar in this salad, but red or white vinegar work just fine.
  • STORAGE: It keeps well in the fridge up to 3-4 days (without apples).


  1. Do you roast the walnuts or can you buy them already roasted?

  2. 5 stars
    This is surprisingly delicious! A new favourite for us. I love the simplicity of the ingredients. Together they make cabbage salad “wow”. Thanks Katia

    1. What a lovely feedback, Jane! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the recipe, thanks for sharing. x

  3. I would like to make this salad. Sounds tasty but what is “mature cheddar?” Is it a variety of cheese with a specific name? Thanks.

    1. Hi Janet, “Mature” cheddar cheese is aged a bit longer and develops a firmer texture and a sharper flavor, it’s very popular here in the UK. It’s easy to crumble over a salad and delivers more flavor than mild cheddar. However, any regular mild cheddar can work too 😉. Thanks for your question, I’ll add a note to the recipe x

  4. 5 stars
    Made this today using Granny Smith apples and mature cheddar. Whole family liked it, it was a nice light change from “coleslaw” type cabbage salads.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Kevin. I’m so pleased the whole family liked it! 🙂

  5. Debora Bellintani says:

    5 stars
    I made this as part of a light vegetarian dinner to be had after soup, it was delicious! It’s crunchy, tasty and healthy and it is now one of our favourite salads! Thanks Katia!

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Debora! I’m so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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