overhead of chopped cabbage salad with citrus ginger dressing

chopped cabbage salad + citrus ginger dressing {low-carb, dairy-free}

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This chopped cabbage salad and citrus ginger dressing is a fresh, crunchy salad, full of cruciferous greens and the easiest dairy-free, low-carb dressing. Honestly, this salad came to be one night in an attempt to use up what I had in my produce drawer, but I’m sure I’ve made different variations of it over the years. The easy salad dressing has a coconut milk base that gets a flavor boost from fresh ginger and winter citrus (I used a valencia orange and a meyer lemon). It’s an effortless, healthy meal that’s low-carb, dairy-free, and a great way to fit nutrient-dense greens into a keto diet.

overhead of ingredients for chopped cabbage salad

the chopped cabbage salad

The ingredients for the cabbage salad don’t need to be exact. I’ve made this using only cabbage as the base (for a crunchier salad), or by mixing in another green like chopped kale or spinach. For this recipe, I use a combination of kale and cabbage because I like how the salad holds up the next day or even day after. If you mix in the keto salad dressing, you can still enjoy leftover salad without it going completely soggy – it kind of resembles a coleslaw.

how to make chopped cabbage salad

Here’s what you’ll need for the salad:

  • half a head of cabbage, sliced thin and then cut crosswise for smaller pieces (I remove the hard inside layers)
  • about half a bunch of kale, de-ribbed and chopped small
  • cilantro
  • green onion
  • cucumber
  • mandarins
  • roasted cashews for topping

Chop the vegetables small, then toss together in a large bowl (save the cashews for later). Chill the salad in the fridge while you make the dressing, or until it’s time to serve.

chopped cabbage salad in a large bowl with wooden serving spoons

How to make the citrus ginger dressing

Homemade salad dressings are incredibly easy and almost always better for you than store-bought, which tend to have added sugars and unhealthy oils. This one is sweetened with stevia and is a creamy, tangy dressing with a ginger kick based on how much you feel like adding. The ingredient list is short and it only takes about three minutes to gather them and whizz it all up in a small blender. You’ll need:

  • canned, full-fat coconut milk
  • lemon
  • orange (or two mandarins)
  • olive oil
  • fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper (optional)
  • stevia

blend and serve

To make this simple, flavorful keto salad dressing, I combine all the ingredients in a bullet blender and blend for 1-2 minutes. If you don’t have a blender, you can make this by whisking everything together in a bowl (or place it in a jar, then shake). Easy!

Drizzle it on the cabbage salad, top with crunchy, chopped cashews, and enjoy!

overhead shot of citrus ginger dressing with oranges and a spoon

health benefits of cabbage

Cabbage is a wonderful cruciferous vegetable that’s low-carb, but full of vitamins and nutrients. Here are a few fun facts about cabbage from my friend Noor, a dietician, at The Nourishing State!

  • Cabbage is full of vitamin K1 to activate proteins serving important roles in blood clotting, heart health and bone health.
  • Full of vitamin C, cabbage supports your immune system and skin health. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which can neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA.
  • Cabbage includes a healthy dose of folate (vitamin B9) which contributes to normal tissue growth, cell function and energy metabolism.
  • Research shows that cruciferous veggies- like cabbage- contain different antioxidants that reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases, including heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
chopped cabbage salad with orange peel and dressing in background

This chopped cabbage salad with citrus ginger dressing is a 10-minute lunch of dinner (plus leftovers for the next day!). It’s easy and good for you, and a great way to include some lovely winter citrus into a low-carb diet!

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chopped cabbage salad on a plate with a bowl

chopped cabbage salad with citrus ginger dressing

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This crunchy, chopped cabbage salad served with a dairy-free citrus ginger dressing is fresh and light and a delicious, nutrient-dense salad for a low-carb diet!


chopped cabbage salad

  • 1/2 head cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch curly kale (about 3-4 large leaves), de-ribbed and chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, cubed
  • 3 mandarins
  • 1 small bunch green onions
  • chopped, roasted cashews for topping

citrus ginger dressing

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat, from a can)*
  • 1 orange, juice and zestĀ (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated steviaĀ 
  • 1-2 small ginger nubs, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


chopped cabbage salad

  1. Remove the hard core of the half head of cabbage. Slice the cabbage head thin, then cut crosswise to make smaller.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the chopped kale.
  3. Add the chopped cilantro, cucumber, and chopped green onion. Toss ingredients together (or place each on top in sections for a nicer presentation).
  4. Supreme the mandarins or peel and pull apart the wedges. Add to the salad.
  5. To serve, sprinkle a handful of chopped, roasted cashews on top and drizzle on citrus ginger dressing.

citrus ginger dressing

  1. In a small bullet blender (or food processor), combine the coconut milk, juice of 1 orange, 1 teaspoon of orange zest, juice of half a lemon, and the olive oil.
  2. Peel and grate (or chop very fine) 1 ginger nub (start with 1 then add a second if it needs more).
  3. Blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until the ingredients are combined. Taste and add the stevia and the second ginger nub (if needed). Blend again.
  4. Serve on top of the chopped cabbage salad. To store, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.*


Full-fat, canned coconut milk will have the best results. It's creamier and not as thin as coconut milk in a carton.

The dressing will harden in the refrigerator so let it come to room temperature before using or whisk rapidly in a bowl.

To add more fat, include an avocado or drizzle olive oil or MCT oil onto the salad.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 18mgCarbohydrates: 18gNet Carbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

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