a side of carrot salad
Appetizer,  Gluten-Free,  Sides

Carrot & Cabbage Salad

Growing up we ate salad a lot. There weren’t many vegetables (actually none) that I would eat cooked, so salad was how I would get my vegetables. I would eat all of the lettuce first, and all the good stuff would fall to the bottom of the bowl. Those last bites of carrot, sunflower seeds, and cheese were my favorite. This carrot & cabbage salad is inspired by that childhood favorite of mine.

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Carrot & Cabbage Salad is:

  • nutrient dense: Carrots and red cabbage are both full of antioxidants & vitamin A. Sunflower seeds are high in protein and minerals such as magnesium.
  • vegetarian: Eating less meat is better for the planet, and any vegetarian friends or coworkers will appreciate a meatless option at potlucks. If you need a vegan dish, leave off the cheese, or serve on the side.
  • mayo-less: Without mayo, this salad lower in calories than coleslaw. Plus you don’t have to be as concerned about keeping cold at potlucks.
  • easy to assemble: Buy carrots already shredded and you only need to chop cabbage. I’ve also been known to get a container of cabbage off the salad bar to avoid chopping at all. I wouldn’t judge you if you did. And if you use a bowl with a lid, you get to shake your salad instead of stirring.

As much as I like this salad, it is not my favorite leftover. I really like leftovers, and this salad is ok the next day, but not good after that. The salt on the sunflower seeds starts to soften the veggies and they loose their crunch. The cheese starts to turn to mush. It’s not a pleasant texture.

If you have other veggies floating around the fridge that need eating, throw them in here! Red peppers and celery both add more crunch. (If you have more than one red pepper that needs using, try roasted red pepper pasta.) Cauliflower is my favorite addition because it adds a softer bite to all of the crunch. I always use carrots and red cabbage, and anything else is just a bonus.

A similar carrot recipe is the slaw topping for my Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos.

Carrot & Cabbage Salad

Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Cabbage, Carrot, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste


  • 10 oz shredded carrots 1 bag
  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


  1. Add carrots and cabbage to a large bowl with enough room to stir.

  2. Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small glass or bowl. Stir into carrots and cabbage.

  3. Add sunflower seeds and cheese.


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