Cucumber Cabbage Salad is a simple cabbage salad recipe mainly of shredded cabbage, cucumbers, and green onions all tossed in an easy vinegar cabbage salad dressing! This is one of the cabbage recipes served at Ukrainian weddings–it’s also known as Russian Green Cabbage and Cucumber salad! 

cucumber cabbage salad with green onions and sunflower oil
Image: Alyona Demy

Need more Cabbage Recipes? Try our rolled-up Cabbage Rolls, cooked Fried Cabbage, (this warm cabbage salad can be served with bacon or pork) and stick around for a tasty cabbage soup recipe coming soon.

Ukrainians and Russians eat a lot of cabbage so here you will find plenty of cabbage ideas for raw cabbage recipes, cooked, or even marinated cabbage! We have a variety of pickled recipes for you too! Top 3 Russian cabbage salads to try is this Russian Pickled Cabbage Salad, Sauerkraut Recipe, and Bologna Cabbage Salad (aka Russian coleslaw.)

Easy Cabbage Salad Recipe

This Ukrainian recipe for a cabbage salad is widely popular at weddings and Holidays! It’s perfect for parties or summer potlucks! Out of all the cabbage salad recipes, it’s probably the most refreshing, healthy, and crunchy cabbage salad recipe to make! It’s so simple to prepare and calls for a fresh head of raw cabbage that you can shred in minutes and serve to just about any meal where coleslaw is typically served! Think of it as a healthy side dish.

A Ukrainian cabbage and cucumber salad is prepared with raw cabbage, quartered or halved cucumbers, fresh dill, and a vinegar dressing. Sometimes cooks turn this cabbage recipe into a creamy cabbage salad using part mayonnaise and sour cream but a vinegar dressing makes it much lighter.  If you do decide to make cabbage salad with mayonnaise, you should still add all the dressing ingredients except for the oil to make a creamy sweet, and slightly tart salad similar to traditional coleslaw. 

cucumber cabbage salad
Image: Alyona Demy

Ingredients For Cucumber Cabbage Salad:

You only need a few ingredients, which you likely have on hand. You can totally pull this salad off with just cabbage and cucumbers plus the dressing. 

ingredients for cucumber and cabbage salad

Base: this salad recipe is best with crunchy green cabbage. You can add purple onion or grated carrots to the mixture but we like it made simple with just cabbage, cucumbers, and green onions. Add-ins like chopped avocados, diced tomatoes, or sweet bell peppers make yummy variations!

Cabbage Salad Dressing: lots of garlic is the secret to this delicious salad along with white distilled vinegar and a touch of sugar. Homemade zesty vinaigrette takes minutes to make and is perfectly tangy with a hint of sweetness! Ukrainians love to use sunflower oil in salad recipes, it’s mildly flavored and some variations are refined so, you won’t even taste the nutty flavor. I get my sunflower oil from Walmart (it’s unscented.)

How To Make Cabbage Salad:

Green cabbage salad is made super quickly and with 3 easy steps, you can have the perfect light side dish. This vinegar dressing takes 2 minutes to make and if you really want to make this fast, use a shredded “slaw” mix that your local grocery store carries. 

  1. Shred Cabbage: you can finely shred cabbage using a mandoline, a sharp knife to make thin slices or a food processor. I like to cut my cabbage in half with the core intact and shred it against a mandoline to get consistent pieces. Add in the sliced cucumbers and green onions.
  2. Prep Dressing: whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, including the dill. You can also add cilantro or fresh parsley instead of dill. 
  3. Combine and Serve: add the cabbage mixture to the dressing and toss together to combine. This salad can be served immediately and stored with the dressing for up to 3 hours. Leftovers are good the next day, however, the cabbage will wilt in the dressing the longer it sits. 

Cabbage Salad Variations: 

We eat this salad with dill, green onion, and fresh cabbage. There are so many other vegetables you can use to clean out your fridge!

  • Add 3-4 radishes for extra crunch.
  • Nuts: can be added for additional texture (walnuts, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, or pecans.) 
  • Add dried cranberries or a chopped-up apple (tossed in lemon juice to prevent browning.)
  • Different herbs can be swapped out for the dill such as fresh cilantro or parsley. 
  • Add half of a shredded beet for a purple salad. 
  • Grate a carrot using a box grater for additional color and sweetness. 
  • Broccoli and cabbage can be mixed together in even parts. 

How To Make Cucumber Cabbage Salad With Vinegar Dressing: 

This cabbage salad dressing takes 2 minutes to make!  To make a perfectly balanced vinegar dressing with the perfect tang and touch of sweetness you want to follow the dressing proportions. The key to this cabbage dressing is to use a lot of garlic and to mellow out the zing from the vinegar with sugar. For a healthier take on this dressing use a healthy oil and honey for the sugar in equal amounts.

This cabbage recipe uses a vinaigrette-based dressing so don’t skimp on any of the ingredients for the best results. If you are looking for a delicious creamy dressing for raw cabbage then you need to try our Creamy Broccoli Salad (with bacon!)

Be sure to mix the dressing well before adding it to the cabbage mixture. This evenly distributes the dill and seasonings well.

What To Serve With Cucumber Cabbage Salad:

An Asian or Ramen Cabbage Salad isn’t the only way to make a delicious salad at home! This crisp green cabbage salad pairs nicely with grilled chicken, steaks, or Boiled Baby Potatoes and Braised BBQ Ribs. It’s perfect for a bbq dish or chicken. Think of it as a cucumber coleslaw in vinegar dressing!

 

 

Q&A

Is Cabbage Good For You? 

The benefits of cabbage are many. Cabbage is packed with Vitamin C and other nutrients. Aside from the benefits, it’s a cheap vegetable easily available to most people. It can be eaten raw like in the cabbage salad or cooked down in a Cabbage Roll Casserole. There are so many ways to eat cabbage healthy! 

How To Cut Cabbage For Salad?  

To chop cabbage for a salad you’ll want to thinly slice the cabbage using a mandoline slicer, food processor, or sharp knife. To easily grip the head of the cabbage when slicing, cut the cabbage in half with the core intact. Then work with half of the head slicing across the leaves to make thinly shredded slices. 

Do You Cook Cabbage Salad? 

You do not need to cook green cabbage to prepare this cabbage salad recipe. You can eat green cabbage raw and it’s actually the main ingredient in coleslaw recipes. However, if you wish to make cabbage soft the vinegar-based dressing will wilt and soften the cabbage as quick as 1 hour!  

What Kind of Cabbage to Use? 

The most popular variety of cabbage is green cabbage. It is a heavy round head of cabbage with tightly packed leaves. The outer leaves typically have medium to light green leaves and sometimes pale areas closer to the center. You want a head of cabbage with tightly packed leaves. Green cabbage is ideal, however red cabbage can be used as well. 

Romaine lettuce, Napa, or Savoy cabbage are tender varieties and will wilt too soon once tossed in the dressing. This raw cabbage recipe is best with densely packed cabbage leaves. 

How To Store? 

Store cabbage and cucumber salad in an airtight container for up to 1 day if you want a softened and wilted salad. To retain a crunchy cabbage salad keep the dressing separately from the cabbage mixture. Cabbage salad will not freeze well once tossed with the vinegar dressing. This cabbage and cucumber salad is best fresh. 

BEST Cabbage Salad Tips:

  1. Keep the cabbage core intact if storing cabbage for later. Mixing cabbage with salt can start a fermenting process.
  2. Use pre-shredded green cabbage or a coleslaw mix for an easy shortcut.
  3. If serving this salad at a potluck or summer event, try to keep this cool under the sun by placing the bowl of salad in a larger bowl filled with ice to keep it chilled.
  4. When shredding the cabbage always keep the core intact, it helps the cabbage from falling apart when slicing. 
  5. To make ahead salad prep the dressing separately from the cabbage and keep it in the fridge until the next day.  
  6. Fresh herbs vs dried herbs are more refreshing cabbage salad ingredients. 

More Salad Recipes To Make:

 

How To Make Cabbage Salad:

Cucumber Cabbage Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Alyona
Cucumber Cabbage Salad is a simple cabbage salad recipe mainly of shredded cabbage, cucumbers, and green onions all tossed in an easy vinegar cabbage salad dressing! This is one of the cabbage recipes served at Ukrainian weddings--it's simple and delicious! 

Equipment

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 mandoline slicer or sharp knife (to shred cabbage)
  • 1 cutting board

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs cabbage (about 7 cups of shredded cabbage)
  • 3/4 English cucumber
  • 4 sprigs of green onions (sliced)

Salad Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 TBSP white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP fresh dill (chopped)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic

Instructions

  • thinly shredded cabbage using a Mandoline slicer
    In a large bowl shred the cabbage using a Mandoline slicer (or thinly slice cabbage using a sharp knife.)
  • how to cut cucumber triangles for cabbage salad
    To make cucumber triangles; trim the ends off of the English Cucumber then cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and then in half again to make quartered pieces. Slice across the quartered cucumbers to make thin triangle slices.
  • Combine the shredded cabbage, sliced cucumbers, and green onions.
  • Whisk all the salad dressing ingredients and pour over the cabbage mixture.
  • cucumber cabbage salad tossed together
    Toss together and serve immediately or refrigerate 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingSodium: 246mgCalcium: 37mgVitamin C: 27mgVitamin A: 145IUSugar: 3gFiber: 2gPotassium: 168mgCalories: 76kcalMonounsaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gFat: 6gProtein: 1gCarbohydrates: 6gIron: 1mg

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4 comments

    • Clarsie

    Could u use a sugar substitute?

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      Haven’t tried that.

    • Sheryl

    Very refreshing salad so delicious. Definitely will make again.

      • Alyona’s Cooking

      That’s wonderful, Sheryl!

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