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Savoy Cabbage Coleslaw combines savoy cabbage, carrots, scallions, and red bell peppers in a light and refreshing lime-infused dressing with a touch of spice. So refreshing with grilled meats and tacos.
Summer cookouts need a great coleslaw on the menu – and you’ve got to try this Savoy Cabbage Coleslaw!
It’s different than a classic coleslaw recipe in that we made it with savoy cabbage, and it has a citrus-infused dressing with a touch of spiciness. The bright flavors are the perfect complement to grilled meats or seafood, and it would be also great on a pulled pork sandwich or fish tacos as a delicious change of pace.
What is savoy cabbage?
Savoy cabbage has a round, bright green head – just like a typical head of green cabbage – but the leaves have a distinctive, wrinkled and “vein-y” appearance on the outer head.
It has a less dense, softer leaf (so it’s easier to chew) and a nice mild flavor. It’s perfect for a coleslaw recipe! And, savory cabbage can be used interchangeably in many recipes that call for green cabbage.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Savoy Cabbage – Look for a head that’s around 1 ½ pounds in weight, with bright green outer leaves.
- Scallions – Also called green onion, we use both the green and white parts in this recipe – adding a nice fresh bite of flavor to the slaw.
- Shredded carrots – Larger shreds of carrot will give the salad a touch of orange color, plus sweet, carrot flavor.
- Shredded radish or daikon – Either of these vegetables will work in this slaw and they add a zesty freshness to the slaw. If you use daikon, peel it first. If you use radish, no need to peel it.
- Red bell peppers – Slice into thin, matchstick strips for easy mixing and a splash of red throughout your salad.
- Cilantro – Just a coarse chop of the leaves is necessary, but leave the stems out.
- Mayonnaise – This adds creaminess to the dressing, but it isn’t overly heavy.
- Lime – You’ll use both the lime juice and zest in this recipe, giving this Savory Cabbage Coleslaw its distinctive, slightly tart flavor.
- Garlic Chili Paste – Just a small about of this Asian-inspired condiment adds a touch of heat that balances the other flavors of this coleslaw.
- Spices and seasonings – Including celery salt, coriander, cumin, white pepper, granulated sugar, Dijon mustard, grapeseed (or other neutral) oil. These ingredients add depth to the dressing and help smooth out the lime and garlic-chili flavors as well.
How do I make Savory Cabbage Coleslaw from scratch?
- Prep the vegetables – For any coleslaw recipe, it’s always good to shred or cut the ingredients in similar thin strips so that they are easy to mix and combine. More details for each vegetable are in the recipe card below.
- Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Make the dressing – Combine the coleslaw dressing ingredients together, adjusting the quantities to suit your tastes. If you are worried about the garlic chili paste being too spicy, start with less and add more.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables, then toss to combine and evenly coat.
- Chill until ready to serve.
This recipe serves eight to ten people – enough for a cookout. If you are feeding a smaller crowd, feel free to mix up only half the amount of vegetables and dressing to avoid a lot of soggy leftovers. Mix the other half together for a second meal just before serving.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I make this coleslaw ahead of time? Yes – to a point. Allowing the coleslaw to sit in the fridge is a great way to make sure that the flavors meld together. But overtime, the celery salt and lime in the dressing will start to soften the vegetables. It’s best to make the coleslaw no more than a day ahead – ideally the morning of when you plan to serve it.
- How long can I store leftover coleslaw? Homemade coleslaw from fresh ingredients will last three to five days in the refrigerator. But – as noted above – the vegetables may get limp as time goes on. You can strain any excess liquid before serving.
- Do I need to wash cabbage before making coleslaw? The inside of the cabbage does not really need to be washed, but you should remove the outer leaves and toss, or give those a good wash before adding to the recipe.
You may enjoy these other coleslaw recipes:
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Savoy Cabbage Coleslaw
1 ¼ – 1 ½ pound head savoy cabbage
1 bunch scallions
1 medium to large carrot
1 pound daikon or red radish*
½ large red bell pepper
¼ cup cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
Zest of one lime
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
1 teaspoon celery salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other neutral oil
Cut cabbage in half and remove core. Set each half cut-side down on cutting board and with a long sharp knife, begin shredding. Place in a very large mixing bowl.
Cut each scallion into thin strips, two inches long and add to the cabbage.
Shred the carrot and radish on the large holes of a box grater. You could use shredder attachment of a food processor if you have one. Once shredded, place in a sieve or strainer and squeeze out as much water as possible, then add to bowl with cabbage. The radish will give up quite a lot of water.
Slice bell pepper into thin two-inch-long strips and add to the bowl.
Add the cilantro to the bowl.
In a separate small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, garlic chili paste, celery salt, coriander, cumin, white pepper, sugar, mustard and oil. Then add to the bowl with the cabbage.
Toss and mix the slaw, pour into a serving bowl and serve.
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*If you use daikon, peel and shred. If you use red radish, nip off each end but leave the red skin on before you shred. If you have one, using a shredder attachment on a food processor is easier than a box grater.
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