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. But Alex and I happened to have a Savoy cabbage on hand. Turns out, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are part of the same veggie family, so they’ve got a similar flavor. Shred up Savoy cabbage and it’s frizzled leaves look just like shaved Brussels sprouts! It makes one seriously tasty cabbage salad, mixed with tangy apples, toasted walnuts, and a zingy vinaigrette dressing. Here’s how to make it!

Apple, Walnut and Savoy Cabbage Salad | A Couple Cooks

How to make cabbage salad

This salad idea was born from a Savoy cabbage Alex and I picked up at the farmer’s market. We shredded the cabbage into thin ribbons, and combined it with tart apples that we’d also picked up at the market. It makes one incredibly tasty mix! 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. Here are the basic steps:

  • Chop the veggies: Thinly slice the Savoy cabbage and chop the apple.
  • Make the dressing: Mix up a vinaigrette of cider vinegar and olive oil, with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Toast the nuts: Toast the walnuts in a pan.
  • Serve: Mix it all together with a bit of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and serve! The result is any incredibly refreshing wintery salad that pairs perfectly with almost any main course.

What is Savoy cabbage?

Savoy cabbage is a variety of cabbage that’s green in color with crinkled leaves. When thinly sliced, the leaves look like beautiful frizzy confetti. The flavor of Savoy cabbage is mild and its leaves are much more tender than green cabbage.

Can you substitute regular green cabbage for Savoy cabbage? Not really. Because of the differences, we do not recommend substituting green cabbage for Savoy cabbage in this recipe. Try to find Savoy cabbage for this one if at all possible: it’s available in most mainstream grocery stores!

What else to do with cabbage? Go to our 12 Top Cabbage Recipes.

Video: How to cut cabbage

Alex and I have perfected a method for how to shred cabbage for a cabbage salad, without your knife slipping or ending up with really long or uneven pieces! 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 sharing the knife skills for how to cut cabbage!

Variations on this salad

This cabbage salad has endless variations. Here are a few ways you could change it up!

This cabbage salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the cheese.

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Cabbage Salad with Apples & Walnuts


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 4.42 out of 5)

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

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple 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
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese shavings (or Pecorino Romano)

Instructions

  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 Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.
  4. To serve, place cabbage on a serving plate, then top with apples, walnuts, cheese, and dressing.

Notes

*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

Looking for more salad recipes?

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

Last updated: January 2020

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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.

17 Comments

  • 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
      Anonymous
      March 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

      very good

  • Reply
    Emma
    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
    Tieghan
    November 13, 2013 at 8:33 am

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

  • Reply
    Eileen
    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
    Skye
    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
    Kasey
    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
    Gail
    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
    Mara
    November 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    This looks like a wonderful healthy recipe to try.

  • Reply
    Carol
    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
        Sonja
        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
    Worldtraveller
    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
      Sonja
      June 17, 2017 at 4:39 pm

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

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