Crunchy, fresh, and chock full of veggies, this Thai Cabbage Salad with nut free SunButter dressing makes a perfect side dish!
With lots of different veggies and herbs, this gluten free salad recipe is FULL of flavor. Add in toasted cashews and a light, nutty dressing, and this side dish definitely becomes a winner.
I cook a lot (go figure) and I'm constantly putting together new recipes (again, go figure). But I can attest, without a doubt, that this Thai cabbage salad is one of my favorite creations to date.
What's in this Thai Cabbage Salad
All the different vegetables and herbs make this salad a treasure trove of flavors and textures! I reveled in each bite of crisp cabbage, crunchy onion, sweet bell pepper, toasty cashews, and fresh herbs.
Here's what you'll need to make the salad portion:
- Fresh basil
- Red onion
- Green onions/Scallions
- Red bell pepper
- Toasted cashews (you can omit for a nut free salad)
And for the dressing:
- Sunflower seed butter OR peanut butter
- Raw honey
- Fresh ginger
- Unseasoned rice vinegar
- Sesame oil
And there you have it! The ingredient list may seem a little lengthy, but for a flavorful, variety-rich salad, you need more than just a couple ingredients!
As for the dressing, make sure you grab some fresh ginger. It truly adds something and you're not going to be able to sub with powdered ginger. (Or buy some pre-packaged grated ginger!)
How to serve this salad
This Thai cabbage salad is best within the first day or two after you've tossed in the dressing because the cabbage and carrots start to get a little soggy.
(That didn't stop me from happily eating it over 6 days, though.) If you're serving this salad to guests or specifically for meal prep, I'd suggest chopping everything up in advance but keeping it separate. Then throw everything together with the dressing just before serving.
Variations on this Thai Cabbage Salad recipe
And let me tell you—make it a meal. Add the protein. Chicken pairs so well with the flavors of this dish!
To make this salad totally nut free, opt for sunflower seed butter for the dressing and swap the cashews for toasted sunflower seeds. Make sure you swap SOMETHING for the cashews — that nutty flavor definitely adds another layer you don't want to miss!
A few more ways you can customize this Thai Cabbage Salad:
- Swap green cabbage for red cabbage (SUPER colorful)
- Any bell pepper can be used in place of red bell pepper
- Afraid the onion will have too much bite? Macerate the onions by letting them sit in the rice vinegar you'll use for the dressing for 15 minutes or so. This helps soften the onions and take out some of the overwhelming flavor.
- Cilantro hater? Just use parsley.
Frankly, just talking about this salad has me itching to make another batch during my meal prep this weekend. Bring on the veggies!
More phenomenal salad recipes to try
- Bacon, Spinach, and Red Onion Salad
- Whole30 Herbed Chopped Salad
- Best Greek Salad with Lemon Oregano Vinaigrette
- Chopped Brussels Sprout & Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Warm Winter Kale and Delicata Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Note: If you omit the honey and use unsweetened sunflower seed butter, this is absolutely Whole30, 21DSD, and Whole Life Challenge friendly!Print
For the Salad
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 3 carrots, shredded
- 5 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- ¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup toasted cashews
For the Dressing
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth. Add more water to thin if necessary. The dressing should be fairy thick, but pourable!
- Combine the basil, carrots, cabbage, red onion, cilantro, green onions, and red bell pepper in a large bowl. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss until all the veggies are coated. Sprinkle on the toasted cashews and dig in!
This salad is best served immediately. You can prep the ingredients in advance and toss in the dressing just before serving. It will get a little soggy if kept in the fridge for longer than a day, but still tastes great.
For a well-rounded meal, add some leftover chicken breast or crispy cast iron chicken thighs!
Keywords: Thai cabbage salad, nut free, cabbage salad, chopped salad