Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw With Walnuts Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw With Walnuts Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 10 minutes
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I can’t remember where I heard or read about massaging raw kale with olive oil and a little salt, but it is a very effective way to soften the leaves just a bit if you are not cooking the kale. This briny slaw gets its crunch from red cabbage and walnuts.

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Yield:Serves 6

  • 4cups stemmed, slivered curly kale
  • Salt to taste
  • 1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3cups finely sliced or shredded red cabbage
  • ¼cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 to 3teaspoons Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • 1small garlic clove, minced or puréed (optional)
  • 1tablespoon walnut oil
  • ¼cup plain yogurt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

98 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 182 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw With Walnuts Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    Place the slivered kale in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss together and massage the leaves with your hands for about 3 minutes. The kale will lose some volume.

  2. Step


    Add the cabbage and walnuts to the kale and toss together.

  3. Step


    In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, optional garlic, walnut oil, yogurt and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together and toss with the salad. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer before serving. Toss again and serve.


  • Advance preparation: The salad keeps well for a day or two in the refrigerator.



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Cooking Notes


I'm making this again today with the addition of apples and yellow pepper to use up the produce I have left in the crisper. I can't tell you how long it will last in the refrigerator because my daughter ate the whole thing on the second day.

Karen Klaas

For 150 people:
4 x 2 pound bags of kale,
4 x 5 pound bags of cabbage.
3/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 T Dijon
2 t garlic
1 cup yogurt
salt and pepper

To make two large bowls:
2 pound bag kale
1/4 cup olive oil
Massage these with salt
5 pound bag cut cabbage with purple cabbage and carrots.
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup oil
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup Greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste.


I took this salad to a family picnic on Memorial Day. All of the adults raved about it. Kids 10 and under weren't impressed!


Definitely needs a touch of sweetness. Beets, apples, dried cherries. Liked the dressing.


I mixed a couple different types of kale in with the other ingredients...it was a great slaw that we are enjoying for several days...

Oaktown Girl

As others said this is a great salad. So colorful. I too added tart apples. Seasoned Rice vinegar is a sweeter version of plain rice vinegar so that might be why folks added some sugar to the dressing. I did too. Will make this again soon.


I added 2 diced, cored medium apples with skins - one Gala and one Yellow Delicious - yummy!


This is my new go-to slaw dressing .... fantastic!I use any vegs, walnuts for sure, and always shred an apple as well.

Elizabeth Ross

I love this salad and have made it often the past few years. As others have noted, the dressing is delicious. I frequently use Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch which is a bag of shredded kale, red cabbage, and brussels sprouts. It’s makes an easy and tasty lunch.


This was tasty but unsatisfying as a main dish. I would make it again as a side.

Jackie Peffer

I added my pickled blueberries. Got that recipe from “ Watermelon and Red Birds”.This salad is delicious.Finishing it right now. Going to make a new one today.


Great salad, double veggies and dressing, add 1/2 tsp maple syrup to dressing, add salt to dressing, Finely chop cabbage instead of shred.


This is a keeper. Omitted the walnuts as I used this slaw as a topper for bulgogi tofu tacos. I used a blueberry mustard and not dijon so it added nice sweetness to the salad. Never thought about using yogurt instead of mayo for a slaw dressing, really good substitute!

Ron S

Loved this. I left out the yogurt and used a shallot instead of garlic. I also think with the yogurt left out, 2 T of dijon mustard would have been sufficient. Colorful, quick to make, delish, and healthy!


Dressing is great - made extra, and have enjoyed on multiple salads since original version

Chef Chelle

Dressing is tart and needs a sweet note- apple, pear, or orange will do it

Added blueberries

To give that touch of sweetness - was perfect ! I added about a cup.


Great recipe - made it as written, was a big hit.


Really good- though I did add other veggies from the garden, like we had arugula instead of kale and green beans sliced thinly, shredded carrot and red and green cabbage.But no worried because the dressing is the star! crisp without being overly tart, I was surprise that my low fat yogurt worked so well in lieu of the 'mayonnaise' usually found in these recipes. Go for it, whatever mixture of crunchy green stuff you have!


This also worked very well with pecan oil and pecans instead of walnut oil and walnuts.


Delicious! I make extra dressing, add anchovy and get a wonderful healthy dressing for Caesar salad.


Superb! Didn’t change a thing.

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Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw With Walnuts Recipe (2024)


What's the difference between coleslaw and slaw? ›

The real difference is that the raw, chopped vegetables in coleslaw are primarily cabbage: Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy. Slaw without the cole can feature any crunchy veggie in place of cabbage, including chopped or shredded broccoli, carrots, snow peas, jicama, and more.

What is kale slaw made of? ›

Place kale into a large bowl. Add carrots, onion, and cranberries. Toss to mix well. Whisk Key lime juice, lemon juice, mayonnaise, sugar, oil, salt, and pepper together in a separate bowl.

Is shredded coleslaw the same as cabbage? ›

Most people refer to sliced or shredded raw cabbage coated with mayo- or vinegar-based dressing as coleslaw (or just slaw). It may also contain lemon juice, onions, shredded carrots, slivered almonds, and even fruit.

Why is cabbage slaw called Cole slaw? ›

The term "coleslaw" arose in the 18th century as an anglicisation of the Dutch term "koolsla" ("kool" in Dutch sounds like "cole") meaning "cabbage salad". The "cole" part of the word ultimately derives from the Latin caulis, meaning cabbage.

Why did KFC stop selling coleslaw? ›

The fast food chain was forced to stop selling its coleslaw tubs when a supply issue meant the slaw would have to be served up without the dressing. “We are currently experiencing a supply issue with our KFC coleslaw dressing,” a KFC spokesperson said. The slaw is made up of cabbage and carrots coated in mayonnaise.

Why is KFC coleslaw so good? ›

KFC coleslaw has a sweet and tangy taste, with a creamy texture. The dressing is made with a blend of mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, and spices, which gives it its distinct flavor. The coleslaw also contains shredded cabbage and carrots, which add a crisp and fresh texture to the dish.

Is kale better for you than cabbage? ›

Kale and cabbage are both highly nutritious foods. Kale ranks slightly higher in most positive nutritional values – but only just. The only real difference in terms of nutrition between them is the anti-inflammatory factor, which granted, is quite important. But it must be pointed out that cabbage is not inflammatory.

Why is kale better than cabbage? ›

Kale is a powerhouse, and packs in much higher levels of most nutrients than green cabbage – it provides around half our daily needs for vitamin A and folate, and all our vitamin C requirements. It's also one of the richest food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin – it has 81 times more than savoy cabbage.

How long does kale slaw last in the fridge? ›

Leftover kale salad keeps well for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Because the kale leaves are so sturdy, it holds up well even when it's dressed! This recipe is a great one to meal prep for lunch. If you prep it ahead for multiple days, I recommend keeping the avocado separate.

What tool is best for shredding cabbage for coleslaw? ›

Microplane Cabbage shredders and graters provide essential kitchen tools for cabbage for making coleslaw, kimchi and more as simple as possible.

How do you keep red cabbage from bleeding in coleslaw? ›

To prevent this, toss the cabbage with 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar before combining it with the rest of the ingredients.

Why is coleslaw called John 14? ›

So familiar and faithful are we to this culinary combo that coleslaw is often referred to as John 14 – because, like the 14th chapter of the Gospel according to John, the cabbage salad is always present at important ceremonies. But just because we give food biblical names doesn't make it good for us.

Why is it called red cabbage instead of purple cabbage? ›

Red cabbages are called "red" due to their outer leaves, which often have a reddish or purplish hue. While the inner leaves can be more purple, the name "red cabbage" is based on the color of the outer layers. The color can vary, but it's the common term used for this type of cabbage.

Why is it called coleslaw and not cold slaw? ›

However cold your coleslaw may be, you are wise to spell it coleslaw. The word comes from a Dutch word (koolsla) that combines the Dutch words kool, meaning "cabbage," and sla, meaning "salad." Etymology is the main course.

What does slaw mean? ›

Slaw is a cold salad commonly made from sliced or chopped raw vegetables, especially cabbage or carrots, mixed with a dressing made with mayonnaise or vinegar.

What is slaw short for? ›

Slaw is shorthand for coleslaw, a side dish or salad that always includes cabbage and sometimes other shredded vegetables. Some slaw is dressed with vinaigrette and other types have a creamy or mayonnaise-based dressing.

What is coleslaw called in America? ›

US. noun. a salad made of shredded raw cabbage, often mixed with salad dressing and seasoning. : also cole slaw.

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