Dressings and Sauces/ Salads/ Side Dishes

Apple Cabbage Slaw with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette

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This apple cabbage slaw is the perfect light salad or side for late summer and early fall. So easy to throw together and delicious with a drizzle of tangy brown sugar cider vinaigrette!

Two small plates filled with apple cabbage slaw with brown sugar cider vinaigrette dressing.

Since I have started to shop and eat more seasonally, I’ve realized that late summer and early fall are some of the most delicious times of year. Between the fruits, berries, and vegetables – I mean, juicy tomatoes followed by apple and pumpkin, hello – it’s a good time to cook. And an even better time to eat!

That said, it’s also a time of year when most of us are BUSY. Even more than usual. So there’s an extra premium on recipes that are both seasonal and simple – like this delicious apple cabbage slaw.

A shortcut to making great slaw

I used to make a similar salad with apples and cabbage, but that involved a lot more ingredients and chopping and work. And guess what? I rarely actually made it as a result – even though I really loved the taste. So I recently simplified, and love this version even more.

The base is so simple – grab one carrot and one apple. Peel the carrot and chop into matchsticks. Core the apple – don’t bother to peel – and chop into small pieces. Add these to a few generous handfuls of shredded red cabbage. I buy it pre-shredded, so it’s really about as easy as possible. 🙂

Then the slaw. You could definitely use your own mix of greens, but I take another shortcut here and buy a mix. Feel free to use any you find and like – my personal favorite is the “Cruciferous Crunch” from Trader Joe’s!

Flat-lay close-up of apple cabbage slaw.

The best slaw without mayo

I have to say that I’m averse to mayonnaise – and apparently not alone – so for me, an ideal slaw of any kind does not have a creamy, mayo-based dressing.

When I do want a creamy dressing, I typically use Greek yogurt as the base, but honestly, my favorite is to skip it entirely in favor of something light and tangy. And light, tangy dressings don’t come any better than this vinaigrette with brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. I just love the sweet-tart combination, especially over a crunchy slaw or salad like this.

Hand pouring salad dressing out of a small jar and onto an apple cabbage salad.

I especially love making this dressing with walnut oil, but totally understand you may not keep that in your pantry! There are a few substitution ideas in the recipe notes below. If you do decide to pick up a bottle, though, you can probably find it near olive and other cooking oils at your grocery store – or there is always Amazon!

Ideas for serving apple-cabbage slaw

I honestly could eat a big plate of this by itself for lunch! But it’s terrific as a side to some simple grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or to round out pulled pork sandwiches.

If you try this slaw or any other recipe on the blog, please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!

5 from 7 votes
Two small plates filled with apple cabbage slaw with brown sugar cider vinaigrette dressing.
Apple Cabbage Slaw with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette
Prep Time
10 mins

This apple cabbage slaw with a light, tangy vinaigrette dressing is the perfect side or salad to serve in the late summer and early fall!

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cabbage slaw
Servings: 4
Calories: 268 kcal
Author: Monica | Nourish + Fete
For the Slaw:
  • 3 cups thinly-sliced red cabbage
  • 3 cups slaw mix (see recipe note 1)
  • 1 medium apple - diced small (see recipe note 2)
  • 1 medium carrot - peeled and cut into matchsticks
For the Dressing:
  • 6 tbsp walnut oil (see recipe note 3)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
  1. To make the slaw, add cabbage, slaw, apple, and carrot to a large serving bowl; toss to combine.

  2. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid or a liquid measuring cup. Close tightly and shake, or whisk, until the mixture is smooth and emulsified into a uniform dressing. Dip a piece of cabbage or slaw into the dressing and sample; adjust salt, pepper, or other seasonings to taste.

  3. Pour dressing immediately over the slaw and toss once more to combine; serve immediately.

  1. I love to use Trader Joe’s “Cruciferous Crunch,” which is a mix of shredded kale, Brussels sprouts, red and green cabbage.
  2. Tart, crisp apple varieties, like Honeycrisp, work especially well in this slaw.
  3. I love the rich taste walnut oil brings to this vinaigrette. I don’t always keep it in my pantry, though, and you may not, either! Feel free to substitute other oils, like extra-virgin olive, avocado, sunflower, etc!
  4. If you want to add a little crunch to this, try adding toasted walnuts or pecans!
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cabbage Slaw with Brown Sugar Cider Vinaigrette
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Potassium 348mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 15g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 67.4%
Vitamin C 73%
Calcium 6.4%
Iron 4.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You might also like this 5-minute salad with arugula, Parmesan, and pine nuts – I make it AT LEAST once a week! And for more seasonal inspiration, check out the autumn chopped salad with creamy poppyseed dressing on The Recipe Critic, or the gorgeous fall harvest salad on A Beautiful Plate.

Before You Go…

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The best fall salad is this apple cabbage slaw with brown sugar cider vinaigrette dressing! Easy to make, light, and delicious, perfect on its own or with pulled pork, chicken, BBQ, and more! #cabbage #slaw #fallsalads #applerecipes


  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    This would be the perfect refreshing lunch for me while working!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Absolutely!! I ate this exact salad pictured here for lunch immediately after taking the photos, and it was divine! Plus so many veggies in one go – winning!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I’m such a fan of apple cabbage slaw and I love it that it’s available all year. I make it a lot and will have to try your recipe. Pinned!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:26 am

      Thanks so much, Traci – hope you love it!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 11:13 am

    I love the flavor mixes here, I am trying this this weekend and I can not wait!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Great! I’d love to know how it turns out for you! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

    This slaw is perfect for any day of the week, and a great way to eat veggies. I love apples in salads!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:27 am

      They add such a great, fresh crunch! Thanks, Shadi!

  • Reply
    Cliona Keane
    August 20, 2018 at 10:11 am

    This looks like the perfect accompaniment to any meal! Scrumptious!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    August 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I love all of these colors! And that vinaigrette looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Monica | Nourish + Fete
      August 26, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Thanks, Jessica! I agree – the colors alone make it so appealing to me! And I really love the vinaigrette – just adds that little something, you know??

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    August 20, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I love the colors in this fresh, crunchy slaw — and your dressing sounds positively delectable.

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