Greek Cabbage Salad (Lahanosalata)

We served this salad at a Christmas party that Mama catered for me. I wouldn’t have expected party-goers to ravenously devour a humble cabbage salad, especially one served alongside such interesting dishes as Greek meatballs and moussaka, but they did. My friend Alex exclaimed, “I had no idea cabbage could taste so good!”

Here is Mama’s recipe. I usually make a half-recipe, which is plenty for two people.

1 head cabbage, chopped
Cabbage for greek cabbage salad.
4 carrots, grated
Adding carrots to the greek cabbage salad.
1 medium onion, preferably red, chopped finely
Adding onions to the greek cabbage salad.
Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Here’s how to add the dressing to your own taste. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add about half as much lemon juice and oil as you think the salad will need. Toss and taste. Add whichever ingredient you think is lacking, then toss and taste again. Repeat as necessary, keeping in mind the adage, “Leave well enough alone.” :-)
Greek cabbage salad with lemon and olive oil dressing.

Serving Suggestions

Cabbage salad goes with practically everything, and it’s also hearty enough to be accompanied by nothing more than bread and cheese for a complete meal. The tartness and crunch complement ground beef particularly well, so this is the salad I pick to accompany Greek meatballs, Meatballs with Potatoes and Tomato Sauce, Smyrna-style Meatballs, Beef Patties, pastitsio, meatloaf, etc.

Unlike lettuce salads, this will still be good the next day if you have leftovers. After more than one day it’s unappealing, at least to my taste. I love bringing this salad to work for lunch, so if I make it on Sunday I’ll eat leftovers for lunch on Monday. Another thing I like to do is make a batch without dressing it. That way it’s ready-to-go for lunches and I just put however much I want for lunch in a container and add the salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil. Done this way, you can make one batch of cabbage salad to last for a whole week of lunches.

Here are a few regional variations of Greek cabbage salad:

Maria at Organically Cooked has a version that includes peppers and uses vinegar rather than lemon: Cabbage Salad for a Lazy Saturday Meal

Nancy at has a version with celery and garlic rather than carrots and onions: Lahanosalata

Ivy at Kopiaste has a really different version: Cypriot Cabbage Salad with Nuts and Raisins. Ah, those crazy Cypriots!


  1. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    Making it without dressing it is definitely the way to go for planned “leftovers”…

  2. Comment by lulu

    Great minds think alike! :-)

  3. Comment by Ivy

    This is a wonderful salad which we often make and like very much. Thanks for mentioning my cabbage salad with the nuts which is far better than it looks in the picture. When I started blogging I added my favourite recipes (and bad photos) first and no one really saw them as I it took quite a long time to get some readers on the blog. So thanks to you someone will go and read it now.

  4. Comment by lulu

    My pleasure, Ivy! It was nice to find a substantially different cabbage salad.

  5. Comment by CypeVen

    MMMmmmmm. I love healthy foods! This looks good and goes with my favorite chicken and fish dishes! :)

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! :) I’ll try this at home!

    CypeVen’s last blog post..Hide and seek: Title deeds

  6. Comment by Janna Haymes Massey

    WOW-I have been making this for years,without the onion,but boy that sounds good.
    I never knew it had a name or was Greek-I just simply did not like the mayo ype cole slaw and devised something I did like.

  7. Comment by Wood Salad Bowls

    I like Cabbage salad, This is a wonderful salad which we often make and like very much. might be more interesting if served with a wood bowl. thanks

  8. Comment by woodsaladbowls

    this site able to become material to learn my wife in cooking…hehe..thanks,

  9. Comment by Dan

    I really like Greek salads.

  10. Comment by The Chef

    This sounds perfect to go with our greek style pork and basmati rice I am making for dinner tonight!

  11. Comment by Yehudit Steinberg

    This salad is also famous from Jewish Delis called “Health Salad”. I was pleasantly surprised to find this salad when visiting a new Greek restaurant in Oakland CA called ikaros on Grand Ave. Their salad used lemon instead of vinegar and I like this flavor a little better than the vinegar. Great tip on making salad and only dressing what you plan to eat for today, and tossing dressing as you go throughout the week.

  12. Comment by Shayla

    I was wondering if there were any way to can or freeze this up for the winter months. We have 4-6 heads of cabbage in our garden and we don’t want them to go to waste.

  13. Comment by Christine

    I make it only with cabbage and carrots add some salt, lemon juice and olive oil. And it is perfect :)

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