Winter Apple Slaw

apple slaw recipe
Are you all aware that the Super Bowl is this weekend? I’m hardly a football fan, but I love the Super Bowl because it means I get to lounge around with friends, drink beer and stuff myself with salty crunchy things. I honestly don’t know who’s playing this year (my sports fan mom could tell me), but that’s besides the point. I’m just looking forward to chit chatting and munching away.

radishes and purple cabbage

Today I thought I’d share this mayo-free apple slaw that I’ve been snacking on all week. It’s a chomp-worthy salad that, come game day, will offer welcome relief from the salty chips and creamy dips. It boasts a satisfying crunch and an irresistible sweet, tart and tangy flavor. Plus it’s festive and full of phytonutrients, though antioxidants will probably be the last topic of discussion during the game.

lime dressing

It took me three times to get this slaw just right, and I’ve been chomp-chomp-chomping away at the leftovers for days. The first time, I added an entire purple onion as directed, and it tasted like onion slaw. Yuck. I decided that the radishes and mustard gave it plenty of kick, so I skipped the onion altogether on my second try, and tossed in a combination of parsley and mint. I love parsley, I do, but it didn’t seem like a good fit here. The last time, I traded cilantro for the other herbs (à la the green machine smoothie), and it was just right.


By the way, if you’re on the hunt for more game day-appropriate dishes, you might consider this sweet potato chili, which satisfies carnivores and vegans alike, or a giant bowl of black bean salsa. Don’t forget about sweet potato hummus, spiced chickpeas or molasses cookies, either!

Also, while we’re on the subject of salty crunchy things, check out my favorite food over on Adrienneats today (mm, sweet potato fries!).

sliced red cabbage

sliced radishes and purple cabbage

sliced apples

apple slaw

Apple Slaw for Winter
5.0 from 1 reviews
  • scant ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 small purple cabbage, cored and sliced into small stripes (about 2 cups)
  • 8 radishes, stems and ends removed, finely sliced and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium organic Granny Smith apples, or other tart, crisp apple
  • loose ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a big bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: olive oil, mustard, honey and lime juice.
  2. Toss the chopped cabbage, radish and apple into the bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly toss the chopped ingredients with the dressing. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour. Mix in the chopped cilantro right before serving.
Recipe adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.
This slaw is best eaten within a day, if not sooner.
Make it vegan: Swap the honey with agave nectar.
Change it up: For extra sweetness, mix in some golden raisins.


  1. says

    Every time I make slaw it ends up being way too much and after 2 or 3 days of leftovers I’m over it. This one though with the apples and that awesome dressing…I’m pretty sure I could eat that for days and be happy :)

  2. says

    I love all the vibrant colors! Wow, that is beautiful. And the cabbage, radish and apple sound delicious together! I’m going to save this to try some time actually – it sounds like I would love it(and maybe my hubby too, he loves radishes and this has plenty :D)

  3. Abeer says

    Long time fan, first time poster :)

    I love the idea of the salad, but i was wondering as to what you may recommend as a substitute for dijon mustard (not too much into how it tastes)?

    thank you!

    • says

      Hey Abeer, thanks for following! The Dijon mustard taste is subtle in this recipe and contributes a bit of a “je ne sais quoi” flavor. If you like any other kind of mild mustard, I would use that. If not, I think you could go without the mustard altogether. You might want to add some extra lime juice or maybe even some finely sliced green onions to make up for mustard’s extra kick, but try it without mustard first!

  4. Christopher says

    glad to hear your recipient is making out well. i signed up for ‘be the match’ a month or so back and was curious about your experience. thanks for sharing.

  5. Jill says

    Can you give # of servings ? And how much per serving? (1/2 or 1 cup? etc). Also, how do you serve? Main, side (with what?), thanks.

    • says

      Hi Jill, I’m sorry I didn’t provide that information. If memory serves me correct, this recipe yielded about 5 cups of slaw. I’d serve it as a side, maybe a heaping 1/2 cup per person, or 1 cup if you want it to be a more substantial salad-type side. It would be great to bring to a potluck. I think it’d be great with a grilled cheese sandwich, too. Hope that helps.

  6. Inés says

    Hi Kate,

    This is a wonderful new version of making salad with red cabbage! So far I had always only known one, which only came out just right with an old kitchen appliance I don’t have anymore. This week I tried your version! The first time just like you wrote in the recipe and today the second time with slight variations:
    – no mustard – but that’s due to me having bought the wrong one
    – sunflower oil instead of olive oil
    – kneading the vegetables with salt and pepper until the cabbage is soft and adding the lime juice and oil right afterwards, leaving out the refrigerating, as I was hungry ;-)
    I like it a lot and thanks for giving me an idea as to what to do with the red cabbage =)
    I love red cabbage with spices, apple and apple juice cooked in the pressure cooker, but that’s not such a summery meal so I was kind of lost ;-)

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