red cabbage

Tangy Purple Cabbage Slaw

sweet and spicy red cabbage slaw

So I get it, this recipe might not look like the most interesting thing I've ever made but hear me out for a minute! I think I solved an age-old problem that I used to run into constantly - the leftover cabbage dilemma. 

Purple cabbage adds the most insanely beautiful pop of color to just about any dish you can imagine. Personally, I think fish tacos and peanut noodles practically scream for it, but it also goes well diced up in a summer salad and helps step up a burrito bowl. 

The problem is and always has been, what the heck do you do with the rest of the cabbage after you use exactly 1/8 of the head? One of my favorite ways to "clean out" the fridge, is to start by pulling everything out that still has some life left, then figuring out a way to food prep it into something that we can eat for lunches during the week. The cabbage was turned into this tangy slaw and it turned out so well (and was so incredibly simple) that I had to share!

red cabbage and carrot slaw

I almost always have carrots on hand (because they last forever), so I just cored and chopped up the cabbage, shredded a couple of carrots and added some dates for sweetness and texture. Using some pantry staples, I whipped up a sweet and tangy dressing that pulled everything together.

We ate this as a side dish for dinner, then as a lunch for the week but I could not help but wonder how perfect it would be on top of some pulled pork sandwiches (one of my favorite summer meals!). Or, if you need a side dish for a pot luck in a hurry, I'm sure this would be a welcomed addition to any spread. Give it a try and make sure to let me know when you do!

Tangy Purple Cabbage Slaw 

Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: Serves 6-8 | Prep time: 20 minutes 


  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, cored and chopped into small pieces

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates (about 10)

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  1. Add vinegar through brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk until well combined, then slowly stream in olive oil while mixing to emulsify.

  2. Add cabbage, shredded carrots, and dates and toss with tongs until totally coated in dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.