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Purple Cabbage Slaw (Grilled)

Purple cabbage slaw is transformed on a grill into our version of a super flavorful, no mayo coleslaw.

The vibrant colors of the red cabbage, julienne carrots, green onion  and sesame seeds make a stunning vegetarian side dish.

purple cabbage slaw on white plate

I’m in love with the colors – one of my favorite parts about serving food – but I also love the trifecta – quick, easy, great taste.

Grilling cabbage is not a new idea. Most recipes, however, just grill wedges or grill wedges then chop them up into a slaw. I tried that and found it awkward as my wedges kept falling apart and slipping through the grill.

Ingredient notes- tailored to your taste

purple cabbage, carrots, green onion, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper, sesame seeds, lemon
Ingredients: purple cabbage, carrot, sesame seeds, lemon, Dijon, green onions, lemon, oil, salt, pepper

Variations and substitutions

  • Cabbage: Use green cabbage or half green, half red.
  • Dressing variation: Try other dressings such as an Asian dressing.
  • Add ins: Add some finely chopped red pepper for additional color.
  • Texture: Grill the cabbage until it is as soft or crunchy as you like.
  • Garnish: We love toasted sesame seeds in this recipe because they add amazing flavor and pair so well with the cabbage. If you don’t have any on hand, any toasted chopped nuts will work. Or just leave them out.


  • Using a grill basket makes this recipe a breeze. If your grill basket is on the smaller side, cooking time will take a bit longer and you will need to stir a bit more often to make sure the cabbage gets some char all over. If you don’t own a grill basket (my favorite BBQ tool), you can use the wedge method  (instructions in the recipe).
  • Dressing: The dressing is a simple vinaigrette with a bit more punch to offset the blandness of the cabbage. The amount of dressing in the recipe is more than you will need, so you can use more cabbage (almost, but not quite a whole medium cabbage) or save it for your next salad.


purple cabbage slaw  no mayo on white plate

How to Serve Grilled Cabbage


The recipe only takes about 22 minutes, but if you’re really feeling lazy (like I often do).

  • Use a good bottled Italian dressing.
  • Buy matchstick carrots.
  • Buy pre-shredded red cabbage (and cook it less time on the grill)

Make Ahead

  • The grilled cabbage can be served warm or at room temperature or even cold. Perfect for picnics, buffet, BBQs and potluck.
  • Safe leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.

Other grilled vegetables to try

Or try this quick and easy sautéed peppers recipe, ready in 12 minutes.

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

purple cabbage slaw on white plate
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4.84 from 6 votes

Purple Cabbage Slaw (Grilled)

Purple cabbage slaw is transformed on the grill into our version of a super flavorful, no mayo coleslaw. The vibrant colors of the red cabbage, julienne carrots, green onion  and sesame seeds make a stunning vegetarian side dish.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl


  • Grill basket: makes the recipe very easy.


  • 1/2 medium purple cabbage (about 1-1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup julienne (or matchstick) carrots
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (or more to taste) Note 1
  • Garnish: additional chopped green onions

Vinaigrette Dressing (this will make more than you need)

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • HEAT GRILL: to medium-high heat or high (about 450F). Spray a Grill Basket with oil and set on a pan. Note 2
  • PREPARE AND GRILL CABBAGE: Slice the half cabbage into thin slices (I set the half cabbage on cutting board flat side down. Cut into thin slices, Then cut those slices into thin slices.) Place in grill basket. Drizzle on oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place grill basket on grill. Cover grill. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir, cook another 3-6 minutes (depending on how much char you want, how small your cabbage pieces are and how crunchy or soft you want the cabbage). Remove and set aside.
  • MAKE VINAIGRETTE: While cabbage is grilling, place all vinaigrette ingredients in a sealed container and shake well. (Or whisk together all ingredients except oil. Then whisk while slowly adding oil).
  • ASSEMBLE: In a medium bowl, add grilled cabbage, carrots, green onion and sesame seeds if desired. Add about 3 tablespoons of the Vinaigrette and toss everything together. Taste and add more dressing, salt and/or pepper if needed. Garnish with additional green onion and toasted sesame seeds if using. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be made ahead and served warm or at room temperature.


  1. To Toast Sesame Seeds: Place seeds in small pan over medium heat and toast for 4-5 minutes until light brown, shaking pan regularly to avoid burning.
  2. To grill without a grill basket: Cut cabbage in wedges leaving the core intact. Season with oil, salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until softened (but still with some bite). Chop into slaw. 
Nutrition values are estimates. 


Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 658mg | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3921IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. I always hate throwing out red cabbage because I only use a little bit for salads. So thanks for the recipe. Boy, it took on such a different flavor. I had some leftover cooked farro and tossed it in for a complete meal. Will definitely do this again.