This cabbage cashew salad recipe has the ultimate crunch factor! Made with slaw-style cabbage, roasted cashews, carrots, edamame, bell pepper, green onions, and a creamy sesame tahini dressing, it’s chock full of vegetables and flavor in every bite. You’ll love this vegetarian salad as a side or main dish!
Say goodbye to boring salads and hello to this flavorful, nutritious, exciting, and colorful cabbage cashew salad! This recipe has a LOT going on, and it’s all good, my friends. VERY good.
First, there’s the base. Shredded cabbage proves to be an excellent foundation for ALL the best toppings, especially buttery cashews and plenty of other veggies. Plus, I added edamame for a punch of plant protein. Everything is then tossed in a flavorful tahini and lime juice dressing that’s spiked with garlic, sesame oil, and honey. Does that sound delicious or what?
With so much going on, this salad is suitable as both a main or side dish. Serve it for lunch or dinner, as is or topped with my Vegan Crispy Panko Tofu, or on the side of baked salmon or chicken. I can’t wait to hear what you do with it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shredded cabbage: You’ll need about 6 cups. I like to use stringy, angel hair style pieces of cabbage, since they are the easiest to eat and taste best in the salad. To achieve this, I shred the cabbage using a mandolin. To save yourself some time, you can easily substitute a 10 ounce bag of shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix instead.
- Carrots: I usually use a box grater to grate them myself, but you can use pre-shredded carrots from the store too.
- Green onions: I like to use scallions in particular, due to their mild flavor. If you don’t have green onions and don’t mind a more potent onion, try red onion.
- Bell pepper: Use any color you want, as long as it’s thinly sliced.
- Roasted cashews: Of course, you need these to make cabbage cashew salad! Look for dry roasted cashews that do not have any added oil, with or without salt depending on your preference. You can also substitute raw cashews.
- Edamame: You can usually find cooked edamame (that’s also shelled) at most grocery stores. If it’s frozen, heat it in boiling water according to the package instructions before adding it to the salad.
- Tahini: I love Mighty Sesame Co. tahini. It comes in a squeezable bottle and is so easy to use. Soom tahini is also a great product.
- Lime juice: You need some acid to cut some of the bitterness from the cabbage and to add a little sweetness. Lime juice is my preferred option, but lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar would work as substitutes.
- Honey: This is key to balancing the flavors in the salad. If you want the recipe to be vegan, swap in maple syrup instead.
- Sesame oil: You can use regular or toasted sesame oil.
- Garlic: I like fresh garlic, but you can substitute a half teaspoon of garlic powder if that’s what you have.
- Sesame seeds: To make it a really sesame-y dressing, add a scoop of these, but only if you have them on hand.
The full recipe card for cabbage cashew salad, including ingredient quantities, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you.
Prepare the ingredients for the salad. Grate the carrots if you are not using pre-shredded ones, slice the green onions, and thinly slice the bell pepper. If you are shredding your own cabbage, do that now too.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a measuring cup. Whisk until smooth, adding splashes of water as needed to thin it to your desired consistency.
Combine the salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad. Use tongs to toss the salad until everything is well-coated.
If you have leftovers, cabbage cashew salad will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. However, it will lose some of its crunch and may even getting soggy over time. If you want to make the salad in advance to eat at a later time or over a few days, keep the salad undressed in one container and the dressing in another. Dress the salad right before you want to eat it.
Since it already has a good amount of protein from the nuts and edamame, cashew cabbage salad can stand alone as a main dish. However, you can easily bulk it up with chicken, shrimp, or tofu (like my Vegan Crispy Panko Tofu). It also makes a delicious side for salmon and other lean proteins.
More Cabbage Recipes
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Cabbage Cashew Salad with Sesame Dressing
For the salad
- 6 cups shredded cabbage - or substitute a 10-ounce bag of coleslaw mix
- 1 bell pepper - thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots - use pre-shredded or grate by hand
- 2 green onions - sliced
- 2 cups edamame - shelled and cooked
- 1 cup dry roasted cashews - roughly chopped
- Prepare the vegetables for the salad. If you are shredding your own cabbage and have a mandolin, use that to get very stringy pieces. If your edamame is frozen, prepare it according to package instructions while you gather the other ingredients. Slice the bell pepper, grate the carrots if they're not already shredded, slice the green onions, and roughly chop the cashews.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, sliced bell pepper, grated carrots, sliced green onions, edamame, and cashews.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the tahini, honey, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, salt, and sesame seeds. If the dressing seems too thick, whisk in splashes of water as needed to thin it.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients. Toss until everything is well-coated.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. However, the salad might get a little soggy over time. If you want to make it in advance to eat over a few days, keep the salad and dressing in separate containers. Dress the salad right before serving.
- To boost the protein content of this meal, add chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
This post was originally published in August 2019. It was updated with new photos and recipe tweaks in September 2023.