Warm rainbow cabbage salad recipe

(154 ratings)

This warm rainbow cabbage salad is the perfect healthy side for the cooler months of the year, giving you a fresh crunch with your meal without it being too chilly...

Warm rainbow cabbage salad
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories149 Kcal7%
Sugar6.5 g7%
Fat11.6 g17%
Saturated Fat1.6 g8%
Salt0.05 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein3 g6%
Carbohydrates8 g3%
Salt0.05 gRow 7 - Cell 2

A fresh and colourful winter salad that makes a great light lunch.

Cabbage is a classic food for anyone following a healthy diet but banish all thoughts of tasteless cabbage soup. This warm rainbow cabbage salad is the absolute opposite. It features two types of cabbage, plus fennel and carrot, all so lightly stir-fried they keep all of their taste and health benefits. It only takes 3-5 minutes to cook once the vegetables have been prepared. In fact, the whole thing is ready to eat in under 20 minutes. And at just 129 calories per portion, it's one of our best low calorie lunch ideas.


  • 1tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced, optional
  • ½ a red cabbage finely shredded (about 350g)
  • ½ a sweetheart or pointed cabbage (about 250g), shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
  • 3tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • Handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • For the dressing:
  • 2tsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
  • Good pinch of soft light brown sugar
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4tbsp good olive oil




  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and fennel, if using, for 1-2 minutes. Add the red cabbage and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Tip into a large serving bowl. Add the raw green cabbage and carrot.
  2. To make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together, adding some seasoning. Pour over the salad and mix in well.
  3. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and flat-leaf parsley over the top and serve warm.

Top tips for making warm rainbow cabbage salad

To make it an entire meal in a bowl, add some toasted pecans or walnuts with thinly sliced apple or pear, or a few slivers of cold chicken or even chunks of cheese.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.