Make this Cabbage Crunch salad if you’re craving something light and fresh yet satisfying. Crisp fresh cabbage and carrots are tossed with edamame and cashews in an Asian-inspired almond butter dressing with fresh ginger and garlic.
Enjoy this salad as a side, or top it with some Sesame Panko Tofu to make a more filling meal. It’s perfect year-round, and most especially during the warmer months.
Ingredients for the Dressing (with Substitutions)
- Fresh ginger & garlic. Finely mince, or use a microplane to grate. In a pinch, you can sub in about 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger and garlic.
- Soy sauce. Use gluten-free tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos if needed.
- Rice vinegar. In a pinch, you can sub in a different kind of vinegar (such as apple cider, white wine, or red wine vinegar), although this will impact the flavor.
- Brown sugar. A little bit of sweetness balances out the flavors in the dressing. You can substitute in another sweetener of choice, such as agave or maple syrup. Or you can leave it out altogether if you prefer.
- Toasted sesame oil. For a delicious, nutty flavor. A little goes a long way.
- Lime juice. To add a little extra brightness and freshness to the dressing. Lemon juice works too.
- Almond butter. Any nut or seed butter you like would work well in this dressing, such as peanut butter, sunflower butter, or tahini.
- Chili paste. Optional, for a little heat. Sriracha or sambal chili paste are our favorite in this recipe.
Cabbage Crunch Salad Ingredients
- Shredded cabbage. Finely shredded cabbage is what makes this salad so delightfully crunchy! Use all red or green cabbage, or a blend of both for color.
- Shredded carrots. For extra color and a little bit of sweetness.
- Shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce. Lettuce is less hearty than cabbage, so I like to add some of this in to lighten the salad up a little bit, and to make it extra crisp and refreshing.
- Edamame. These boost the protein content of the salad. For ease, try to find them already shelled. You can simply defrost them on the counter for a few hours (or overnight in the fridge if you think far enough ahead). Or you can cook and chill them.
- Roasted cashews. Another great source of protein that also adds a satisfying crunch to the salad. Feel free to mix it up with your favorite nuts — such as peanuts, toasted almond slivers, or even toasted sesame seeds.
- Cilantro. Optional, of course. If you’re not a cilantro lover, try subbing in some fresh Thai basil or even some mint. Or leave it out altogether.
How to Make Cabbage Crunch Salad
The key to making this salad is to shred all the veggies very finely. That way, you get a nice mix of textures and flavors in every bite. You’ll start by shredding both red and green cabbage, along with a carrot. Then, add in some shredded romaine lettuce, edamame, and cilantro (if you like it). Toss it all together in a large mixing bowl.
Now it’s time to make the dressing. This is where the magic happens! The dressing for this salad is made with almond butter, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, and a touch of brown sugar. You can also add some chili paste or sriracha if you like a little spice. Whisk everything together until it’s smooth and creamy, adding water as needed to thin it out.
Once your dressing is ready, pour it over the salad and toss everything together until it’s well coated. Finally, top the salad with some roasted cashews (or your nut of choice) for an extra crunch.
One of the great things about this salad is that it’s so customizable. If you want to add more protein, you can toss in some crispy sesame and panko crusted tofu, vegan chicken, or chopped soy curls. And if you want to mix up the flavor profile, you can use pre-seasoned nuts like spicy cashews or peanuts, or add in fresh mint and/or Thai basil along with the cilantro.
Craving Extra Crunch?
For some extra texture, try adding in some wonton strips, chow mein noodles, or puffed rice noodles. Add them right when you’re ready to serve the salad so they stay nice and crunchy. You can also add in extra nuts and/or toasted sesame seeds, or even a handful of wasabi peas if you enjoy the flavor.
If you’re making this salad ahead of time, keep in mind that the salt and acid in the dressing will make the lettuce soggy if you dress the entire salad at once. Instead, keep the dressing separate from the salad mix and dress only the amount you need for your meal. Alternatively, you can leave out the lettuce and use extra cabbage instead for a version that holds up better over time.
More Vegan Salad Recipes
Cabbage Crunch Salad
Almond Butter Dressing
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
- 1 small clove garlic minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons almond butter or sub peanut butter or tahini
- chili paste or sriracha to preference, optional
- water to adjust consistency
- 1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup thinly shredded green cabbage
- 1 large carrot peeled and shredded
- 2 cup shredded romaine or iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup shelled edamame defrosted
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro optional
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews or sub almonds or peanuts
Make the Dressing
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Add a splash of water as needed to thin it to a pourable consistency.
Prepare the Salad
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot, romaine, cilantro, and edamame, along with the dressing.
- Top with roasted cashews and enjoy!
- If you think you will have leftovers, I recommend keeping the dressing separate from the salad mix and dressing only the amount you need for your meal. The salt and acid in the dressing will make the lettuce soggy. For a version that holds up for several days once dressed, you can leave out the lettuce and use extra cabbage instead.