You'll love this extra crunchy and bright Mediterranean Cabbage Salad, a no-mayo coleslaw with loads of fresh veggies, herbs, toasted almonds, and a zippy Dijon vinaigrette! This is the perfect make-ahead salad, and it comes together in 20 minutes!
An easy coleslaw without mayo
Everyone seems to have a favorite cabbage salad or coleslaw, and mine, no surprise here, takes on a bold Mediterranean twist with a few surprising elements I love!
First off, in this no-mayo slaw, mayonnaise is traded for a bright vinaigrette that relies on Dijon mustard and good extra virgin olive oil (I like a robust peppery EVOO for this like Greek Early Harvest or Spanish Hojiblanca EVOO). Then, to add all sorts of bold colors and crunch, I throw in red bell peppers, carrots, radish, green onions, and loads of fresh herbs. Last but not least, toasted sliced almonds add a subtle nuttiness that takes it to next level delicious!
This may have started as simply making an easy coleslaw without mayo, but the end result is far more. Sure, this crunchy cabbage salad makes a great side dish, and I've used it as a topping on salmon burgers and lamb burgers. And because it's the perfect make-ahead salad, I've enjoyed it for lunch several days in a row!
What you'll need to make it
This fresh cabbage salad is made with crisp, fresh vegetables and topped with an easy homemade mustard vinaigrette.
For the cabbage salad dressing
- Dijon mustard - Adds a sharp, tangy flavor to the vinaigrette.
- Lime - 2 limes
- Garlic - 2 fresh cloves, minced
- Extra virgin olive oil - You can check out my favorite olive oils here. If you like something robust for your salads like I do, try Greek Early Harvest or Spanish Hojiblanca EVOO
- Sumac - I use it in both the vinaigrette and salad. Sumac adds tang and depth.
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes - Optional red pepper flakes at just a pinch of heat.
For the cabbage salad
- Cabbage - A combination of both green and red cabbage to add a variety in color but also flavor. Though the two are similar, red cabbage is slightly sweeter.
- Carrots - Carrots add mild flavor and a lot of crunch to this salad.
- Green onions - Both the white and green parts of the green onion are used in this coleslaw.
- Red bell pepper - You can also use orange bell pepper, which has a similar taste.
- Radishes - Thinly sliced radishes add a zesty bite to the salad.
- Fresh herbs - A combination of parsley and dill elevate the flavors of this salad.
- Sumac - This secret seasoning made from ground sumac berries adds is tangy, earthy, very slightly smokey all at the same time. Once you try it, you'll find many uses for sumac beyond this delicious slaw. You can use it to season a tomato salad; to rub on meats, chicken, or fish; or to jazz up some layered hummus dip. Find our all-natural sumac here.
- Toasted sliced almonds - You can easily toast your own or buy a package at the store.
How to make Mediterranean cabbage salad
This no-mayo cabbage salad recipe is easy to make. It's a matter of whisking a simple dressing and chopping up the cabbage and veggies (and yes, you can save time by using a food processor to shred the cabbage)
- Make the mustard vinaigrette. Whisk together the mustard, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
- Prepare the salad. Combine the cabbage, vegetables, herbs, toasted almonds in a large bowl. Season with salt and sumac. Toss to combine.
- Add the vinaigrette. Pour the vinaigrette over the cabbage salad. Toss to combine.
- Chill and serve. If you can, let the salad rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors time to meld.
Tips for success
With a salad this easy, there's only a few things to keep in mind when preparing it.
- Give the coleslaw time to absorb the dressing. This healthy cabbage salad is best when it's had at least 30 minutes to rest but I like to give it an hour or so in the fridge. This really allows the cabbage and vegetables time to soak up the zesty flavors of the vinaigrette.
- Use fresh, crisp vegetables. With a dish so focused on vegetables, it's essential to choose ones that are at their peak of freshness. Each vegetable should be firm and crunchy when you bite into it, not soft or overripe.
- Make extra vinaigrette. Double the vinaigrette recipe and use the other half on other salads and dishes throughout the week!
Serve it with
There are so many ways to use this gorgeous healthy cabbage salad to elevate a meal. You can use it as a side next to things like baked cod, chicken drumsticks, or grilled lamb kabobs. Or use it as coleslaw to jazz up sandwiches from salmon burger to chicken gyro wraps, if you like.
And let's not forget about the dijon vinaigrette - once you try it on this coleslaw without mayo, you'll be looking for more reasons to make it! You can serve this easy mustard vinaigrette over any salad. It makes a great replacement to a typical vinaigrette or Italian dressing. Try it over a big salad of leafy greens and your favorite vegetables!
How to store leftovers
The great thing about a cabbage salad, especially one without mayo, is that it can be even better the next day, making it ideal for lunch throughout the week. Just store it in the fridge for up to 4 days, in a covered container.
More easy salad recipes:
- Mediterranean-Style Mango Salad
- Greek Salmon Salad
- Healthy Chicken Salad (No Mayo)
- Mediterranean Tomato Feta Salad
- Faro Salad with Argula and Feta
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Mediterranean Cabbage Salad (No Mayo Coleslaw)
For the mustard vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 limes, juiced
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
For the cabbage salad
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 green onions, trimmed, chopped (both white and green parts)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into thin sticks
- 4 large radishes, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ½ cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- kosher salt
- 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
- Make the mustard vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and spices.
- Make the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onions, red bell pepper, radishes, parsley and dill. Season with salt. Add the sumac. Add the toasted almonds. Toss gently to combine.
- Pour the vinaigrette all over and toss to combine.
- If you have the time, give the salad 30 minutes to 1 hour for the flavors to meld.
- Leftovers: You can store leftovers in the fridge in a covered container for up to 4 days.
- Make-Ahead: You can chop the cabbage and vegetables and keep them in the fridge in separate containers or zip-top bags for use in the next few days. You can also make the dressing and save it in the fridge in a tightly-closed jar.
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices, including sumac.
This was okay. It was a little tart. I used it as a side and then used it in shrimp tacos for the rest of the week. It was better in the tacos than by itself. This is the only recipe from this website that I haven't absolutely loved.
I made this for the family and we all loved it! Delicious, unique salad full of so many flavors. It took me quite a while to prep the salad, but I made a lot of extra and we enjoyed it for days!
So delicious! I substituted cilantro for the parsely to give it a slightly different flavor. I'm a cilantro lover!
Suzy, this is a keeper. It was easy and I loved the fresh ingredients. Your recipes are helping me to eat healthy and I'm loosing weight too! Thanks so much!
Awesome! Thanks, Joni!
This was so good, my husband and I devoured it in one evening. I used a bag of coleslaw mix to save a little time. I had dried dill and parsley instead of fresh, so I used 1 tablespoon of each. This is going into our regular meal rotation.
Thanks for sharing, Sara!
Delicious! I omitted the green onion since I didn’t have any. And was too lazy to toast some almonds. The dressing is delicious and I love anything with sumac in it. Thank you!
Oh, this is just the BEST! Love anything cabbage and anything with sumac. Never thought about combining them. Wow.!!! Used what I had on hand. Subbed cucumber for pepper, Omitted green onions: none on hand. Subbed cashew for slivered almonds. Subbed basil from the garden for fresh dill. Didn't have Dijon mustard so used abou 1 1/2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard. Omitted red pepper flakes b/c hubby was going to eat it. This recipe is a keeper. Stands up to substituions fabulously.
Thanks for sharing, Karen!
Figured it out, AMAZING! especially the next day!
Yay! So glad to hear!
Has anyone used dried dill in place of the fresh? Just wondering if it was a good idea? Of if I should just leave it out. Thank you!!
Hi, Kristy. That may work, but I've never tried it personally. If you go with dry, remember that the substitution ratio for dill is typically 3 tsp fresh = 1 tsp dry.
Hi there how can I cut this down to recipe for 1 person.
Hi Kristy, I used 1 tablespoon of dried dill and it was great!
I'm eager to make the cabbage salad but can't find sumac. It seems there are several substitutes, but I prefer your opinion. I saw your Facebook and will be trying other recipes soon!
Hi, Lydia. There really is no good substitute for sumac as it is very unique. I often recommend just omitting the sumac and compensating a bit by adding more of the other spices in the recipe if possible, or something else you enjoy that might be complimentary. By the way, we have sumac available right here in our online shop: Sumac.
you can get sumac at pretty much any major market in US or trader joes, sprouts, whole foods
Beautiful tasty salad! So quick and easy to put together too. I ate it with toasted whole wheat middle eastern flatbread which I dipped in olive oil with Zaatar and salt added. Tasty healthy meal! I will definitely make this again and again!
Awesome! Thanks, Lynne!
I have to say this is the BEST tasting Coleslaw that I have ever made or tasted. Mayonnaise is never in any coleslaw made in my home as I am not a fan and the coleslaw does not last. With this recipe the taste gets better as it ages. Thoroughly enjoy your site as Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods and spices have always been my favorite and yet I never grew up with this type of food. Only once I got older and doing all my own cooking did I finally make the food and actually converted many family members. Koodoos there. Can't wait to try more of your recipes.
Oh, wonderful, Debora! Thank you for the kind words! Can't wait to hear what else you try :).
What could I use instead of dill as we are not very keen on it? thanks.
Hi, Jane. You could just omit it here.
These flavors were fabulous in this we will make it often thank you!
Wonderful! Thanks, Claudia!
This salad was delicious! We made it today for lunch. We were craving something light and fresh, and if this was just what we were looking for! This recipe will be a good companion this summer!
This is such a great salad for summer! I love the extra crunch and protein that the almonds add to it. So easy and good!
This is a fun spin on slaw and I did as you suggested and made extra dressing. It was so good!
So glad you enjoyed it, Pam!
Yummy! This salad is perfect for our lunch today. Looks so refreshing and very delicious! My hubby and I are so excited to try this! We absolutely love cabbage and we can't wait. Thanks! 🙂
We really enjoyed this and hubby even went back for seconds. I added more EVOO because I was afraid it would be too citrusy for him. Such a pretty salad. Thanks for the recipe.
Glad you enjoyed it, Sharon!
This recipe is definitely a keeper! Really flavorful, plus, we loved the addition of almonds!