Summer calls for easy and refreshing no-cook meals, such as salads. This delightful salad is like made for hot summer days. Cranberries lend both beautiful color and zippy taste. Cabbage makes a wonderful, crunchy base. A few other ingredients complete the dish and tie the flavors together. So get ready for your favorite summer salad!
How to make this Cabbage and Cranberry Salad
As you might expect, preparing this salad is super easy — like preparing a salad should be. Even easier it gets if you buy ready shredded cabbage and ready chopped and frozen onion. Then, all you need is to mix the ingredients together and dig in!
You can also mix in the cranberries if you want a little bit more color and tangy flavor all over your salad. If you prefer a prettier presentation, add the cranberries on top of your salad. I prefer to add the cranberries in the end and mix gently after first tossing all other ingredients well.
That’s it. Preparing a tasty summertime salad is not difficult, so let’s take a look at how to prepare this quick and easy light salad.
Take a large bowl.
Add 1 lb (450 g) shredded cabbage to the bowl.
Chop 1 small onion and add it to the bowl with the cabbage. Again, for easier preparation, use about 1/3 cup (80 ml) frozen chopped onion as I’ve done here. You don’t even have to defrost the onion beforehand as it defrosts in the salad quickly. Besides, cold salad is even more refreshing!
Add also 2 tablespoons high-quality extra-virgin olive oil…
…and 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar. Yep, this salad is very healthy – and tasty!
Now, toss the salad until well combined.
Finally, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) cranberries.
Mix gently until combined. You can also transfer the cabbage mixture into a serving bowl and add the cranberries on top for a pretty presentation. If you don’t get fresh cranberries, use frozen ones as I have done here. Again, you don’t have to defrost the berries as they defrost quickly in hot summer weather.
Dig in and enjoy! Actually, you can prepare the salad beforehand and let the flavors mingle in the fridge for a couple of hours.
How I came up with this easy keto salad recipe
A variation on this recipe is actually published in a Finnish magazine called Minä Olen. I’ve written many articles for the magazine over the past couple of years.
I developed just two berry recipes for the latest number as I was too busy to write a whole article. Actually, one of the recipes was this Queen Jam I’ve posted here on my blog earlier this spring. The second one was a Cabbage and Redcurrant Salad which is a variation on this salad.
As the magazine editor knew I’m a very busy person, she asked if I could come up with two berry recipes for the magazine’s summer edition. Of course, I naturally couldn’t refuse as I love to develop recipes. And who wouldn’t love berries?
I wanted to come up with one sweet and one savory berry recipe. Jam was an easy option for a sweet recipe, but what about something savory with berries?
Berries are delicious add-ons to salads. They lend both flavor and beautiful color. I actually have posted quite many salad recipes with berries, like this Strawberry Halloumi Salad, Strawberry, Spinach, and Avocado Salad and this Blueberry and Feta Salad. I have some exciting savory berry recipes as well, like this Avocado and Strawberry Surprise that tastes awesome.
Now, I wanted to create a salad recipe with berries for the magazine. But, first, I was thinking of the base for the salad. Mixed salad greens would have been too obvious and, to be honest, a bit boring base.
Quite soon, I realized shredded cabbage would make a crunchy and tasty base for the salad. If I added extra-virgin olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar, they would work as salad dressing and make the cabbage juicier.
However, I thought there is not enough taste in just cabbage, olive oil, and vinegar, even if I added berries. So, I was thinking of a coleslaw-type approach and decided to add chopped onion. Now, this 4-ingredient base for my salad sounded perfect.
The icing on the cake – sort of – was still missing. Yes, I naturally needed berries.
I pondered over different berries and which variety to pick. I didn’t want to choose too high-carb berries but something tangy and flavorful to complement the cabbage.
In Finland, it’s really common to add lingonberries to cabbage salad. However, as this combo of cabbage and lingonberries is so common, I wanted to come up with something different but as tasty.
Since lingonberries are really tart and super flavorful, I needed a decent replacement for them. Soon, I figured out redcurrants would be just the perfect berries for my cabbage salad. They are also red and tart but in a different way.
I made some calculations on how much I need each ingredient. I didn’t actually do any experiments in practice as I was so sure my calculations work well, so I just mixed the ingredients together, shot the photos for the magazine, and after that, tasted the result.
Boy, was I happy with the salad! Again, I was amazed at how tasty a result you can make just with 5 ingredients! This salad had it all: crunchiness from the cabbage, richness and peppery flavor from the olive oil, tang from the apple cider vinegar, piquant flavor from the onions, and last but not least, color and refreshing, tart flavor from the redcurrants. So tasty, so healthy – and so simple!
Later, I decided to post the Cabbage and Redcurrant Salad recipe here on my blog. A lingonberry version would certainly have been exotic, but I wanted to keep the redcurrants as berries as my readers are mainly from the US and worldwide, so they cannot access lingonberries that easily.
However, when I went to the nearest grocery store – which is a huge store, by the way – they didn’t have any redcurrants! Now what? I knew there was a store within 15 minutes drive that most likely would have had redcurrants. I was already taking steps to the checkout when I realized that I could easily replace redcurrants with cranberries!
Cranberries are also red and tart and complement the salad perfectly. Moreover, they are much lower in carbs than redcurrants. So it was really a win-win situation.
I grabbed a bag of frozen cranberries and headed home. I prepared the salad, shot the photos and video for this post, and enjoyed my creations to the max. Wonderful!
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy. I bet you’ll like it as much as I do!
- 1 lb = 450 g shredded white cabbage
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup = 120 ml cranberries
- Place the cabbage into a large bowl.
- Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the cabbage. You can alternatively use 1/3 cup (80 ml) ready chopped and frozen onion for easier preparation.
- Add also the olive oil and the vinegar.
- Toss until well combined.
- Add the cranberries and mix gently until combined. You can also transfer the cabbage mixture into a serving bowl and add the cranberries on top for a pretty presentation.
- Serve immediately, or let the flavors mingle in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
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|Per serving if 4 servings in total
Tips for variations
Even this basic salad has it all, you can still amp it up with different herbs and seasonings. My recommendations are 1 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, caraway seeds, or fennel seeds. If you want to go wild, add 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Spice, Garam Masala, or Cajun seasoning to your salad before tossing the ingredients.
I don’t think this salad needs any salt and pepper, but feel free to add some to your salad if you desire. Also, you don’t have to restrict yourself to plain black pepper: use white pepper or rose pepper instead.
You can naturally add more veggies to your salad. For example, cooked green beans, chopped fennel, capers, olives, or finely cubed green bell pepper are great additions to this salad.
For an even more colorful salad, use shredded red cabbage and chopped red onion instead of white cabbage and regular yellow onion. Alternatively, you can use another type of onion, like chives, spring onion, or leek.
You can also replace the apple cider vinegar with another type of vinegar. Coconut vinegar, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar are all fabulous options. Just ensure your vinegar doesn’t have any added sugar.
For an even more satisfying meal, add 1 cup (240 ml) cubed cooked chicken or shredded cooked white-fleshed fish. I actually added cooked chicken to this salad, and it was both super delicious and satisfying!
You might remember that I traveled in Greece and did island hopping for a bit over a week. I so much enjoyed the trip and all the four islands (Folegandros, Amorgos, Ios, and Santorini) I visited. Everything was just perfect: the weather, food, landscape, and last but not least: the people. I have to admit that I have some withdrawal symptoms after returning home! Everything was so unbelievably awesome.
By the way, I tasted sea urchin for the first time in my life. I really liked the salty taste and the smooth consistency.
Here are more examples of the wonderful Greek (keto!) food. This pancetta was really tasty:
This cheese was local and seasoned with mastiha liqueur:
And these gratinated portobello mushrooms were super delicious!
Here are more landscape photos. The first two are from Santorini, the beach is from Ios. Greece is such a beautiful place!
I returned to Finland a couple of days ago. However, before returning back home, I stayed one day in Helsinki doing a webinar with Biohackers (in Finnish).
The webinar was about longevity. We had a great time with doctor Olli Sovijärvi and Teemu Arina.
I had some Ketokamu products with me, and I was telling about them to the webinar attendees.