Cabbage Salad with Apples & Walnuts

This Savoy cabbage salad is a tasty mix of cabbage, apples, walnuts, with an apple cider vinaigrette tossed with Parmesan cheese.

Apple, Walnut and Savoy Cabbage Salad | A Couple Cooks

This cabbage salad was intended to be a shaved Brussels sprout salad, the kind that are very “in” right now. We tried shaved brussels sprouts last winter and loved them, so we thought we’d try them again in salad form. I was fortunate to find some at the market, and after removing them from the stalk, I threw them in the food processor to shave them. Ooops! Some how I over-processed them and they turned into small shards that barely resembled the fluffy, slender shavings fit for a salad. Luckily, I was able to salvage it into something even better: this cabbage salad with apples and walnuts. Keep reading for the recipe!

Apple, Walnut and Savoy Cabbage Salad | A Couple Cooks

How to make cabbage salad

After that shaved Brussels sprouts salad fail, I had also picked up a Savoy cabbage at the farmer’s market. So instead of running back to the store (yet another trip!), I decided to shave the cabbage and keep the rest of my idea for the salad the same. Fortunately, the substitution worked!  The Savoy cabbage shreds are little confetti-like streamers that go hand-in-hand with the crisp apples and crunchy walnuts. It was just the right balance for our meal of wild rice stuffed squash and rosemary roasted potatoes, and would be an excellent compliment for any fall or winter meal.

To make this cabbage salad, it’s very simple: thinly slice the Savoy cabbage and chop the apple. Then mix up a vinaigrette of cider vinegar and olive oil, with a bit of maple syrup. Toast the walnuts in a pan, and then mix it all together with a bit of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. The result is any incredibly refreshing wintery salad that pairs perfectly with almost any main course.

What is Savoy cabbage?

Now, what is Savoy cabbage? Can you substitute regular green cabbage for Savoy cabbage? Savoy cabbage looks like a green cabbage, but it’s a lot different: the leaves are crinkled. When thinly sliced, they look like beautiful frizzy confetti. The flavor of Savoy cabbage is mild and its leaves are much more tender than green cabbage. Because of the differences, we do not recommend substituting green cabbage for Savoy cabbage in this recipe. Try to find Savoy cabbage at all costs: it’s available in most mainstream grocery stores!

Video: How to cut cabbage

Are you wondering how to cut up cabbage for this cabbage salad but not sure the best way? Alex and I have perfected a method for how to shred cabbage perfectly, without your knife slipping or ending up with really long or uneven pieces. Using this method really changed the game for us, and we hope it will for you too! Even though purple cabbage is shown in the video, it applies to how to shred Savoy cabbage too. Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut cabbage, including a video of me cutting cabbage in our kitchen.

Related: 20 Knife Skills Videos: How to Cut Everything!

Looking for more salad recipes?

Outside of this cabbage salad, here are a few more of our favorite salad recipes:

This recipe is…

This cabbage salad recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese.


Cabbage Salad with Apples & Walnuts

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (14 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This Savoy cabbage salad is a tasty mix of cabbage, apples, walnuts, with an apple cider vinaigrette tossed with Parmesan cheese. 



  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ⅓ cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 head Savoy cabbage*
  • 2 apples
  • Pecorino romano cheese (or Parmesan)


  1. For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, honey, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  2. If desired, toast the walnuts by placing them in a dry skillet over low heat for several minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and fragrant. Immediately remove from the heat into a bowl.
  3. Thinly slice the cabbage. Core 2 apples and chop them. (If not eating immediately, sprinkle the apples with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.) Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Pecorino romano cheese, enough for around 1/2 cup.
  4. To serve, place cabbage on a serving plate, then top with apples, walnuts, cheese, and dressing.


*Use Savoy cabbage in this recipe, which is light and fluffy; avoid substituting green or red cabbage as it has quite a different texture.

  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Cabbage Salad, Savoy Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage Recipes, Apple Salad, Walnuts, Recipes with Cabbage, Salad Recipes, Winter Salad

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Belinda @themoonblushbaker
    November 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I like to use a mini drum head Savoy cabbage because it is not as bitter as the big heads. Also makes it so much easier to cut. We get ones as big as melons in Australia.
    So pretty and light!

    • Reply
      March 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

      very good

  • Reply
    November 13, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I love that you used savoy cabbage here. I always see them and think how beautiful they are but never know what to do with them.
    Cabbage and apples are so good together and this looks like both a fresh and hearty dish.

  • Reply
    November 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

    This is so pretty! I would love to have it on my Thanksgiving table!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Cabbage and apples are such a perfect match. I bet this salad would be perfect for Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    November 13, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I am all over this. Cabbage salads are so tasty!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Kind of like a Waldorf Salad but with cabbage – what a great idea! A nice light addition to an otherwise rich meal!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 12:50 am

    This sounds exactly like the sort of side dish I’d love to serve at Thanksgiving… conveniently, my mom doesn’t share my love for brussels sprouts so this is perfect! Also, I love the beautiful platter!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I made this for dinner last night, and 5 of us ate it, and absolutely loved it! It is going into my recipe book for keeps! The only thing I did differently was I toasted the walnuts in a pan, and added just a sprinkling of brown sugar on them. It was so delicious we couldn’t stop eating it!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    This looks like a wonderful healthy recipe to try.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    I made this salad exactly as the recipe instructions. My husband and I thought it was just a little bit too sweet so I made it agaim, but this time I cut back the honey just slightly and then I added just a sprinkle of dried cranberries. Yum we love this salad. My husband wants to make this for the Christmas potluck at his office.

  • Reply
    Lola Balaton
    November 18, 2015 at 11:30 am

    I made this salad this afternoon and it was truly wonderful! Never thought savoy cabbage could taste soo good in a salad!

  • Reply
    Trish MacQuarrie
    January 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I really disliked the sweetness of this. I would reduce the honey by a quarter, up the cider vinegar, maybe add onion… I

    • Reply
      Paul M.
      November 5, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Agree. I saw 3 Tbs. of honey and knew that would dominate. Like another poster mentioned, a small, finely-chopped shallot adds some enhancement. But, the big question is , how big a head? There is a wide range of weights/sizes and I always stick with the smaller ones. I also opt for good ol’ salt and black pepper over the obfuscating cheese.

      • Reply
        November 5, 2017 at 7:46 pm

        I would say a medium head of cabbage! We wrote this recipe quite a few years ago; in our recipes now we measure out cups of cabbage since sizes can vary so widely. If you’re worried about honey, we’d add a tablespoon at a time and taste until it is to your liking! Thanks for commenting — hope you try it out!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Turned out wonderfully. I didn’t measure anything, just eyeballed it using common sense. I tasted it before adding cheese and preferred it to the final flavour which was still good anyway. Next time I’ll add avocado to the mix to contrast with the crunchiness.

    • Reply
      June 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Avocado sounds like an interesting and tasty addition! Thanks for trying this out!

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