This kale slaw recipe features cabbage, carrots, dried apricots and a simple yet flavorful tahini-harissa dressing. Only 10 ingredients and 20 minutes to prepare, it's the perfect healthy slaw for potlucks and backyard cookouts. The combination of earthy, smoky, salty, and sweet flavors pairs well with so many dishes!
Why You'll Love It
A fun twist on classic coleslaw, the addition of kale adds gorgeous color and even more nutrition. And instead of mayonnaise or a vinegar-based dressing, today we're using a quick and flavorful harissa dressing on our kale slaw. It's sure to keep you coming back for more!
For the dressing, I opted for dried harissa, but harissa paste also works if that's what you have on hand. And if you can't find either type of harissa in your favorite store, there are many recipes online to help you whip up a quick batch of this versatile spice blend.
Lemon juice adds fresh acidity while tahini gives the dressing nice creaminess and a wonderfully nutty, earthy flavor that complements the harissa. And just a touch of maple syrup rounds out the flavors.
- kale - since we're enjoy the kale raw, make sure it's very fresh. Regular curly green kale is perfect. Tuscan or red kale can also be used.
- cabbage - for more visual interest, I like to use both red and green cabbage, but there are no hard and fast rule here. If you have extra red cabbage to use, try this Rotkohl (German red cabbage).
- dried apricots - these add great texture and a sweetness that tastes amazing with the dressing. Golden raisins are another delicious option.
- harissa - I like to keep dried harissa in my spice rack for everything from salad dressings to sauces, marinades, and sautes. It's wonderfully versatile ingredient, and has a longer shelf-life than harissa paste.
- other dressing ingredients - tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and maple syrup or agave
See the recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make Kale Slaw
Similar to making kale salad, I like to briefly massage the kale with a little bit of the dressing. I know it sounds fussy, but it's actually super easy and only takes a minute or two.
After removing the thick stems and massaging the kale, chop it into ribbons. Combine it with the other ingredients and add more dressing. Toss everything together, and refrigerate for about an hour to give the flavors time to mingle.
And that's it! Simple, right?
- Other veggies: as versatile as any salad or slaw recipe, switch things up by varying the ratio or kale to cabbage, or make an all-cabbage slaw. Add thinly sliced red onion, radishes, jicama, snap peas, peppers, etc.
- Dried fruit: instead of apricots, try golden raisins or omit the fruit altogether if you're not in the mood for the extra bit of sweetness.
- Nuts or seeds: Pumpkin seeds add color, crunch, and nutrition but can be omitted or go with pistachios, cashews, or pecans. Make it tree nut-free with hemp, sesame, or sunflower seeds.
- Classic mayo slaw: kale slaw is also great with a tangy, mayo dressing.
How to Store
Store kale slaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The texture is best within the first 24 hours.
Can I make it in advance?
Absolutely. One of the great things about slaw, as opposed to salads made with delicate greens, is that you can dress it in advance.
In fact, this slaw tastes best after chilling for an hour or two. I like to prep it in the afternoon, enjoy some with dinner, and then have plenty leftover to enjoy for lunch the next day.
And since it's so quick to prepare, travels well, and doesn't call for ingredients that require refrigeration (like traditional mayo) this kale slaw recipe is perfect for parties and outdoor cookouts!
More Kale Recipes
I hope you enjoy this vibrant and flavorful kale slaw. If you try the recipe be sure to comment below and let us know!
Kale Slaw With Harissa Dressing
For the dressing:
For the slaw:
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed
- 6 cups shredded green and/or red cabbage - I used half small head each red and green cabbage
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 15 dried apricots, unsulphured, chopped - or more to taste
- ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds, optional - or chopped cashews
- Combine the tahini, lemon juice, harissa, and maple syrup in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the garlic, 1 Tbsp of water, and the salt, and whisk again. For a thinner consistency add another tablespoon of water.
- Spoon about half of the dressing onto the kale leaves. Rub the dressing into the leaves to massage and soften the kale. Now stack the kale on your cutting board and slice into thin ribbons.
- In a large bowl combine the kale, cabbage, carrot, and apricots. Pour the remaining dressing over the slaw and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Before serving, garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.