Eat the rainbow! Crunchy apple kale slaw with ginger-balsamic dressing is a colorful side dish with an amazing combination of sweet and savory flavors!
Apple kale slaw is a great year-round side dish. It's a winner at summer cookouts and picnics but also works as a cold-weather side paired with warming entrees, like quinoa loaf or cornflake tofu nuggets.
I love all of the amazing colors, textures, and flavors in this recipe! The creamy ginger balsamic dressing makes it super addictive.
The dressing is super quick to make, right in the blender. It gets its creaminess from blending up fresh garlic and ginger with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and lime juice.
Ingredients and substitutions
- shredded kale - Instead of cabbage, this slaw's base is shredded, fresh kale. For this recipe, we are not going to massage the kale, but we are removing the tough stems. If kale isn't your thing, you can use the same amount of shredded cabbage to make this slaw!
- apple - Choose a firm, sweet apple, like Gala, Fuji, Envy, or Honeycrisp.
- purple cabbage - For extra crunch! You can use green cabbage instead, if you prefer.
- shredded carrots - I love the flavor these bring to this dish! They're crunchy and a little sweet.
- red onion - Zesty red onion adds flavor and crunch to this slaw!
- fresh ginger - Grated or minced fresh ginger pairs so well with the sweet apple in this slaw recipe.
- olive oil - This is an oil and vinegar slaw, so there's no mayo. Instead, olive oil is the base for the dressing.
- balsamic vinegar - Adds acidity and a hint of sweet that brings out the sweetness in the apples.
- lime juice - Just a little bit of lime juice adds a flavor dimension that makes this slaw extra special.
- toasted sesame oil - You can leave this out, but I love how it changes the flavor profile.
- sugar - A little touch of sugar brings out the sweetness of the balsamic and balances the flavors of this slaw. You can omit, but it really does make a big difference in the flavor!
- salt and cayenne - You're adding these to taste. Feel free to omit the cayenne, if you don't want a spicy slaw.
How to make kale apple slaw
In a large bowl, toss together the kale, apple, cabbage, carrots and onion.
In your blender, combine the ginger, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, and sugar. Blend until smooth, then season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
Toss the dressing with the kale-apple mixture. Chill until you're ready to serve.
To cut the apples into matchsticks, first core it and cut it into wedges. Slice those wedges into thin slices, then stack those up and cut into matchsticks.
You can make this slaw up to a day ahead. It will keep for up to three days in the fridge in an airtight container.
More Apple Recipes
Rainbow Apple Kale Slaw
For the slaw
- 1 ½ cups shredded kale
- 1 apple - cut into matchsticks
- 1 ½ cups shredded purple cabbage
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup minced red onion
For the dressing
- ½ inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- salt and cayenne - to taste
- In a large bowl, toss together the kale, apple, cabbage, carrots and onion.
- In your blender, combine the ginger, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, and sugar. Blend until smooth, then season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
- Toss the dressing with the kale-apple mixture. Chill until you're ready to serve.