Israeli Red Cabbage Salad

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This Israeli red cabbage salad is an Israeli classic! It’s very easy to put together, affordable, and delicious… it’s fresh and garlicky.


You know those dishes that every bite you take makes you feel like a child again? The kind of meals that remind you how it felt to sit at your mama’s table, a whole delicious meal spread right in front of you.

This red cabbage salad does that for me. I know it’s weird… After all, we are talking about red cabbage, raw garlic, and mayo. But back in Israel, this is a classic salad that accompanies many meals. Growing up, it was a regular at the dinner table.

Israeli Red Cabbage Salad…

israeli red cabbage salad in a bowl

This salad goes very well as a side to any meat or seafood main dish. My mother used to serve it regularly and even though you might not expect young kids to love raw garlic and cabbage, we all loved it. And it’s not just us… This simple salad is notorious in Israel! Every hummus or falafel place you go to (these are our street food/fast food places) serves this red cabbage salad as a side dish or stuffed in a pita alongside shawarma or falafel. It’s a staple and I love sharing this piece of Israeli culture with you!

Why You’d Love this Salad…

  • Easy to make – only five ingredients and the only thing we spend time chopping here is the cabbage.
  • Affordable – a head of cabbage costs less than a dollar where I live at the time of writing this post.
  • Make ahead – this is the best salad for a party! As we already mentioned, it’s affordable so feeding a ton of people is easy, but it’s also great for a party because you can make it hours before the party. Feel free to make it in the morning or even the night before.
  • Gets better as it sits – you can’t say this about many salads if any, but this one gets even better as it sits in the fridge! It gives the cabbage time to soften a bit and soak up all the delicious flavors. This fact makes it a great salad for a large party or to make ahead for the week. If I know that the week ahead of me is going to be a busy one and I probably won’t have time during the day to chop a salad, I’ll make a bowl of this one and store it in the fridge. I’ll give it a good mix before I grab some for lunch.

Ingredients…

  • Red cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Mayo
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

Tools…

How to Make Israeli Red Cabbage Salad…

Step one – chop the cabbage. Start by chopping the cabbage into thin pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. You can do this with a knife or you can use a food processor if you prefer. I like giving this job to the kids because it doesn’t matter how the cabbage is chopped as long as it’s chopped so even young kids can practice chopping without messing anything up.

Add the minced garlic

Step two – add minced garlic. Peel the cloves and mince them right over the red cabbage.

Step three – add mayo, lemon, and salt. Squeeze fresh lemon juice right into the bowl, then add salt, and lastly, add the mayo.

mixing the salad

Step four – mix. All that is left to do is to give this salad a good mix!

israeli red cabbage salad ready to serve

How to Serve…

It’s the kind of salad that will benefit from sitting a little bit before you dig in because then the cabbage softens a bit and absorbs the flavors. If you want, you can make it during the day and have it for dinner but even a couple of hours before the meal is fine. And if you really can’t wait, you can dig in right away. Grab a bowl and enjoy or serve it as a side dish to many dishes… Here are a few ideas…

Storing this Salad…

As I mentioned before, this salad gets better after a few hours in the fridge. Cover the bowl with plastic food wrap and store in the fridge. Or you can always transfer it to a fridge-safe dish and store it there. It should be good for 5-7 days in the fridge.

Options and Variations…

  • Double the recipe – the recipe in the card below is for a half head of cabbage. Feel free to double it if you have to feed many people. It’s very easy to double this recipe.
  • Add other veggies – I am giving you this salad in its basic and most traditional form. Feel free to play a bit and add other veggies… Things like shaved carrots or thinly sliced celery can work well. Or maybe white cabbage or radish.
  • Add spices – you can try to add black pepper or if you want, try adding chili flakes to make this salad a bit spicy.
  • Add seeds – sesame seeds can work well. Or try hemp hearts or maybe flax seeds or chia seeds. One note here… I would add the seeds right before serving.

I hope that you’ll give this salad a try! I made it for a few parties here in the US. I was a bit afraid to serve people raw garlic, I thought that it might be too much for them to handle, but everyone always loves it so much! I hope you will too.

More Veggie Recipes…

Israeli Red Cabbage Salad

Israeli Red Cabbage Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This red cabbage salad is an Israeli classic! It's very easy to put together and it's fresh and garlicky.

Ingredients

  • ½ head of a large red cabbage sliced thin or diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice from one medium lemon
  • 3 tablespoons mayo (or a little more!)
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix, taste and correct salt and mayo.
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips...

  • Make this salad a few hours before serving it. This gives the cabbage time to soften a bit and soak up all the flavors.
  • You can chop the cabbage with a knife or use a food processor.
  • Easily store in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Options and Variations...

  • Double the recipe – the recipe in the card below is for a half head of cabbage. Feel free to double it if you have to feed many people. It’s very easy to double this recipe.
  • Add other veggies – I am giving you this salad in it’s basic and most traditional form. Feel free to play a bit and add other veggies… Things like shaved carrots or thinly sliced celery can work well. Or maybe white cabbage.
  • Add spices – you can try to add pepper. Black pepper or if you want, try adding chili flakes to make this salad a bit spicy.
  • Add seeds – sesame seeds can work well. Or try hemp hearts or maybe flax seeds or chia seeds. One note here… I would add the seeds right before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 141Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 276mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 2g

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9 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I recently wanted to get a red cabbage to make a sweet and sour soup that I’ve made before. I only found this huge 3+ lb cabbage and bought it. I did make the soup, but I recently went back to the store and saw some small heads in the organic section. I struck up a conversation with a nice young woman who had purchased one. I asked her what she did with it. She described that she adds garlic and mayo to it, and it’s delicious. That sounded right up my alley! I searched on line and found your recipe, which added lemon juice and salt/pepper. I just made it with your additions, and it was delicious! I think it’s a healthy one, too. Thank you for your recipe!

    1. Awww! That’s awesome. I tell you, it’s one simple recipe/salad and I almost didn’t feel as if it was worth writing a post about but it was such a staple for us growing up that I decided more people should know about. I’m so glad that you found it! It’s a regular in our house. It’s cheap, easy to make, and so healthy! Thanks for taking the time to come back and write this comment. It made my day!

      1. Hi Lee,
        Thanks for the reply! Interesting that you grew up with this dish. I have a Jewish penpal in London, England, so I will ask her if she’s had this. Prior to learing about such a recipe, I always just had green cabbage. I’m Polish heritage and have had it in many dishes. This recipe is a new favorite! Thanks also for your many helpful tips for this. I will plan to check out other recipes, etc on your website.
        P.S. I believe I just found your Youtube channel on my TV, speaking into the remote! Even better!

      2. Awww, that’s awesome! I try to have a printable recipe on the blog for every video that I record but some recipes are only on YT and some are only on the blog. So now you have access to all of them. I hope you’d like them!

  2. Delicious! I’ve made this salad many times and we all love it.
    I use my Tupperware mini chopper with the garlic and the pieces are so small – perfect for the salad. We love garlic and lemon.
    I have to have a bowl, right away. I can’t wait for it soften.

    1. I’m so glad you like it! It’s an Israeli classic.

  3. Instead of Mayo Would Greek yogurt work
    I love call your recipes for Israeli cuisine
    Please keep posting
    You are awesome
    Enjoy your moms recipes
    Todah Rabah

    1. No no, I don’t think it will work because there isn’t much fat in it.
      Of course, you can give it a try and see if you like it, but the result won’t be the same as this salad.
      Thanks for the feedback! I try to find simple and easy traditional Israeli recipes to share.

  4. logan wilhelm says:

    Sounds yummy…hubby doesn’t do well with garlic or onions so will make for me ! Thanks!

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