This Red Cabbage Apple Slaw is a wholesome and delicious side that I love to pair with BBQ chicken or pork in the late summertime! It has gorgeous fall color, crunch, and a tangy honey dressing that ties everything together.
About the recipe
You all know by now how I feel about rushing summertime out the door in favor of pumpkin spice whatever and dressing your house in a sweater of cozy decorations when it's still 90+ degrees outside. I'm not gonna have it! Not until the first day of fall. I'm pretty firm in my decision... however... I'm going to meet you in the middle when it comes to fall recipes.
September is the season of apples in my opinion because they provide a crunch and clean flavor that is so reminiscent of what we enjoy in the summer. Yet, they can be prepared in a cozy way that helps us anticipate what's to come when fall finally sets in at it's fullest.
This Red Cabbage Apple Slaw does a beautiful job of giving me the clean and bright summer flavor I crave when it's hot outside while, at the same time, being the feast of jewel-toned color that I want to enjoy for as long as possible in the fall.
While red cabbage is available all year-round, apples shine brightest in September-October. The weather is still fairly warm, and there are many outdoor barbecues still to be had as we socialize over a football game.
- Red cabbage
- Granny Smith apple
- Dried cherries
- Toasted sunflower seeds
- Lemon juice
- Neutral-flavored oil, like avocado or grapeseed
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
The recipe scores major points in the make-ahead category - you can prep it the morning that you plan to serve it and let the flavors marinate in the fridge over the course of several hours.
Prep time is minimal - about 15 minutes - and will be even quicker if you shred the cabbage with a mandoline or food processor (or buy pre-shredded!). The dressing is a simple task of combining a few pantry staples in a Mason jar and giving it a good shake.
I like to up the crunch factor with some sunflower seeds. Sweet dried cherries add extra flavor and fall color - feel free to substitute with dried cranberries if you wish! Also, this recipe makes a lot of slaw - enough for 10-12 people, so feel free to just make a half recipe if needed.
We served this red cabbage apple slaw over Labor Day weekend with smoked pulled pork - an excellent combination, in my opinion! Any slow-cooker pulled pork, chicken, or smoked sausages, brisket, or grilled meats would be delicious alongside the slaw.
The clean, bright flavor of the slaw ingredients act as a palate cleanser of sorts in between bites of heavily-flavored meat and baked beans! Below you will find a few recipes that would be great pairings as well:
- Best Homemade Hamburgers
- Shrimp Boil Foil Packs
- Fish Taco Bowls
- Peach BBQ Chicken Kabobs
- Grilled Zucchini, Sausage, and Corn Kabobs
If you are craving more fresh apple flavor, be sure to check out these recipes for Applepom Fizz Mocktails, Massaged Kale, Apple and Cranberry Salad, and Chicken Cheddar Tostadas with Apple Jicama Slaw.
Are you ready to get make some Red Cabbage Apple Slaw? Good! I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you!
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Red Cabbage Apple Slaw
- 1 whole head red cabbage thinly sliced into ¼’’ strips (6-7 cups)
- 2 medium Granny Smith apple thinly diced into ½’’ pieces (about 2 cups)
- ¾ cup dried cherries
- ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice about 2 large lemons
- 4 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil such as canola or grapeseed
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the cabbage, apple, cherries, and sunflower seeds in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
- In a mason jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lemon juice, oil, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Pour the entire amount of the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour and up to 8 hours before serving.
- Leftover slaw will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Emily @ Zen & Spice says
Ooo yum! This has the perfect mixture of sweet and tangy flavors!
Whitney Reist says