Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw! With purple cabbage, beetroot, and apple, this delicious coleslaw recipe is healthy and incredibly easy to make. The creamy texture and satisfying crunch make it a perfect side dish whether you’re hosting a barbecue, enjoying a family dinner, or planning a picnic!
- What is Purple Cabbage Slaw?
- Why You’ll Love Cabbage Slaw
- Recipe Ingredients
- Ingredient Notes
- How to Make Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw: Step-By-Step
- Substitutions and Additions
- Recipe Tips
- What Can I Serve with Purple Cabbage Slaw?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Health Benefits of Purple Cabbage
- More Favorite Side Dish Recipes
- Full Printable Recipe Card
- Pin Recipe for Later
What is Purple Cabbage Slaw?
Purple Cabbage Slaw is a fantastic variation of the classic coleslaw recipe, featuring vibrant purple cabbage and other fresh purple ingredients. While it showcases an all-out-purple color, this slaw retains the signature creamy dressing and satisfying crunch you’ve come to love about traditional coleslaw recipes.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is the healthy spin. It contains a natural avocado mayo and much less of it than your standard coleslaw recipes. Plus, we’re keeping it real with 100% whole food ingredients. That means no refined sugars or excess inflammatory fats.
And my other favorite thing. It’s just SO darn GOOD. You’re going to LOVE it!!
If you’re looking for more delicious recipe ideas, I’ve got plenty more side dishes for you to choose from. How about a Homemade Chunky Salsa, Spicy Mango Salsa, or a fresh Summertime Tomato Salad with Basil Oil?
Why You’ll Love Cabbage Slaw
- It’s flavor-packed. It’s creamy. It’s tangy. It’s crunchy. It’s earthy. It’s a little sweet. It’s loaded with fresh ingredients. It’s simply deliciousness in a bowl!
- It’s easy to make. No cooking is required! Simply chop the vegetables and stir in the dressing, and you’re done!
- It’s versatile. Not only is this creamy slaw the perfect accompaniment to many different dishes like grilled meats, salads, fish, and tacos, it’s ideal for many occasions like barbecues or summer cookouts, party buffets, potlucks, picnics, and more.
Here’s the list of simple ingredients you’ll need from the grocery store to make this amazing Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw recipe:
- Purple Cabbage: As well as its gorgeous color, purple cabbage is robust enough to hold up smothered in a creamy dressing. Simply shred cabbage with a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline if you have one. You could also use a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment. However, my preferred method is chopping by hand as the vegetables retain more liquid.
- Cooked Beetroot: I use small beets and chop them into quarters.
- Red Onion: Adds a mildly sharp bite.
- Red Apple: I’m using Red Delicious apples for their refreshing crunch and natural sweetness. Cut into matchsticks rather than using a box grater, as the apples will release too much liquid resulting in a soggy slaw.
- Natural Mayo: A good-quality mayonnaise creates a silky, creamy dressing. I like to use a natural avocado oil mayo to avoid excessive added sugars and inflammatory fats.
- Full-Fat Greek Yogurt: Combined with mayo, Greek yogurt gives you a lighter dressing and a smooth velvety texture. It also provides a tangy depth of flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Adds acidity to the dressing, balancing the creaminess and brightening the flavors.
- Maple Syrup: Balances the tangy and earthy flavors.
- Fennel Seeds: My secret ingredient. Fennel seeds are not a classic coleslaw ingredient. But something about their savory, aromatic flavor makes this slaw incredibly Dee-licious!
- Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley: adds freshness.
- Salt and Black Pepper: Adds a pop and a kick!
How to Make Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw: Step-By-Step
Purple Cabbage Slaw is such an easy side dish to make. Here’s how in two simple steps:
- Slaw Dressing
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the slaw vegetables into the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full recipe instructions at the bottom of this page. ⇩
Substitutions and Additions
A great way to make this recipe work for YOU is to make substitutions based on the flavors you prefer. Coleslaw is so versatile that way. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Dairy-Free Slaw: If you prefer a dairy-free option, you can substitute Greek yogurt with a non-dairy alternative.
- Vegan Slaw: To make the slaw entirely vegan, use vegan mayo and substitute Greek yogurt with a non-dairy alternative.
- Cabbage: While the recipe suggests purple cabbage, you can easily swap it for green cabbage, Napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage), or savoy cabbage in a pinch. To make light of prep work, you could even buy pre-shredded cabbage.
- Other Crunchy Vegetables: Coleslaw relies on robust vegetables that hold up under the creamy dressing to maintain its crunchy texture. With that in mind, you could add or replace cabbage with julienned carrots or peppers, finely sliced fennel, radishes, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli.
- Maple Syrup: If you don’t have maple syrup on hand, you could substitute it with honey, agave nectar, date syrup, brown rice syrup, or another liquid natural sweetener of your choice. You don’t want too much sugar though, just a little to balance the dish.
- Fresh Herbs: While this recipe suggests fresh parsley, you can swap it with other herbs, such as fresh cilantro, dill, or basil, to create different flavor variations.
- Acid: To make your coleslaw come alive, you need some acid. I’ve used red wine vinegar, but you could use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or fresh lime juice.
- Heat: If you prefer your homemade coleslaw to have a bit of heat, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the dressing.
- Crunch: For some additional crunch, try topping your slaw with some chopped nuts, toasted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, or sliced green onions.
- How to slice cabbage: The crunchy texture of the cabbage is crucial for a great coleslaw. Shred the cabbage into thin, uniform strips for a consistent crunch. Use a sharp chef’s knife or a mandoline for best results. And avoid shredding the cabbage too finely, as it may result in a limp and soggy slaw.
- Allow time for the flavors to marinate: Coleslaw often tastes even better when the flavors have had time to meld together. After mixing the dressing and cabbage, let the slaw sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or ideally a few hours, before serving. This resting period allows the flavors to develop and enhances the overall taste.
What Can I Serve with Purple Cabbage Slaw?
- Grilled meats and seafood: Serve cabbage slaw alongside your favorite grilled meat and seafood. It goes really well with grilled fish, chicken, steak, and pork.
- Tacos and wraps: Cabbage slaw is a wonderful topping or filling for tacos and wraps. Load it into pulled pork wraps and pile it high on fish tacos for that zippy, fresh flavor injection.
- Sandwiches and burgers: Take sandwiches and burgers to next level delicious with a generous dollop of tangy slaw.
- BBQ dishes: One of my favorite ways to serve coleslaw is alongside BBQ dishes, as the creamy coleslaw dressing compliments smoky flavors. Serve with things like BBQ ribs, skewers, spicy sausages, and chicken drumsticks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Purple Cabbage Slaw is a healthy side dish that’s loaded with nutritious ingredients. Enjoy purple cabbage slaw as part of a varied and balanced diet. Incorporating a variety of foods into your meals will help keep you feeling satisfied and nourished.
Yes! I recommended letting the slaw sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This resting time can also help soften the cabbage slightly.
While it is technically possible to freeze purple slaw, I do not recommend it. Freezing can significantly alter the texture and taste of coleslaw, particularly the cabbage, which may become watery and lose its crispness when thawed. Additionally, the coleslaw dressing can separate and become grainy upon freezing and thawing.
Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw typically lasts 2 to 3 days when stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The slaw will become slightly softer as the cabbage absorbs the dressing. Stir it well before serving.
Yes. This Purple Cabbage Slaw includes mayo as part of the dressing to add creaminess and richness.
Health Benefits of Purple Cabbage
Purple cabbage is packed with health benefits. Here are just a few of them:
- Purple cabbage is rich in antioxidants: Purple cabbage is a potent source of antioxidants, including anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep rich purple color of purple cabbage and help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. As a result, eating purple cabbage may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. 
- Purple cabbage may support heart health: The flavonoids in purple cabbage stimulate the release of nitric oxide from blood vessels. Nitric oxide makes blood vessel walls relax and widen, which helps to reduce blood pressure, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
- Purple cabbage may help boost immune function: Purple cabbage contains immune-boosting nutrients like vitamin C, which plays an essential role in immune function and fighting infections. 
More Favorite Side Dish Recipes
If you love purple cabbage, try my Braised Purple Cabbage Recipe! Alternatively, here are some more of my favorite side dishes.
- Summertime Tomato Salad with Basil Oil
- Pickled Red Onions
- Homemade Chunky Salsa
- San Marzano Tomato Sauce and Rustic Vegetables
- Fresh Vegetable Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- Herby Potato Salad with Homemade Salad Cream
Thinking of making this recipe? Please drop me a note in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I ALWAYS LOVE hearing from you.
Full Printable Recipe Card
Creamy Purple Cabbage Slaw
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- ½ purple cabbage, outer leaves and core removed, then thinly sliced
- 6 small cooked beetroot, quartered
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red apple, cored and sliced into matchsticks
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients.
- Dressing: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, honey, fennel seeds, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Combine: Add the purple cabbage, beetroot, red onion, and red apple into the bowl with the dressing, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
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- Khoo HE, et al. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food Nutr Res. 2017 Aug 13;61(1):1361779. doi: 10.1080/16546628.2017.1361779. PMID: 28970777; PMCID: PMC5613902. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613902/
- Slavin JL. Dietary fiber and body weight. Nutrition. 2005;21(3):411-418. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2004.08.018. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230563/
- Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017 Nov 3;9(11):1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211. PMID: 29099763; PMCID: PMC5707683. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/