Asian Kale Apple Slaw

This easy Asian Kale Apple Slaw packed with fresh kale, cabbage, carrots, mint, and cilantro in a creamy peanut vinaigrette makes a delicious side dish or add chicken or tofu for a healthy meal.

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Kale Apple Slaw covered in a homemade peanut dressing is the healthy, tasty salad you have been dreaming about. This salad is a favorite for a quick lunch with grilled chicken or as a side dish with Broiled Asian Chicken Thighs or Slow Cooker Korean Pork.  

I have been eating this kale apple slaw on repeat all week. The peanut dressing is everything and makes this salad addictive. We seriously can't get enough and have been eating it daily. The kale gets tender, the cabbage stays crunchy, and the apples add a nice touch of sweetness.

And don't get me started about the fresh herbs. Ever since falling in love with store bought herb salad mixes, I have been adding herbs to all my salads. This one gets fresh cilantro and mint, which add tons of brightness to the salad. Don't skip the herbs. You could throw in some fresh basil as well. It mimics the fresh Asian dishes that use tons of herbs and makes this kale slaw something special.

The other thing that makes this kale apple slaw amazing is the peanut vinaigrette dressing. It's made with a combination of peanut butter, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime juice. For such a simple dressing, you will be shocked at how much flavor it packs in. Plus it is easy to customize. Like things spicy? Add some Sriracha or Asian garlic chili paste. Eating paleo? Make it with almond butter and coconut aminos. Love coconut? Add some coconut milk to the dressing as well.

Kale Apple Slaw on a white plate with fresh herbs.

Make this Kale Apple Slaw a Meal

  • Add Chicken: To make this salad more substantial and turn it into a meal, I almost always add some leftover rotisserie or grilled chicken, really whatever I have in the fridge. Any cooked protein will work, but chicken is the one I have in the fridge most often and is my favorite for this salad. Sometimes I throw some chopped cashews, peanuts, or almonds on top as well for some crunch.
  • Consider Tofu: If you a vegetarian or vegan, tofu is a great addition to this kale slaw. For a fast option, I use the packaged baked tofu since it has more texture and taste than regular tofu. You can also use any cooked or grilled tofu that you have leftover.
  • Toss with Salmon: Another good option is adding cooked salmon. You can use either a freshly cooked salmon like this honey garlic broiled salmon or canned salmon will also work for a faster option.
  • Add Edamame, Avocado, and Quinoa: To add protein, healthy fats, and some extra fiber and whole grains to the salad, consider adding some shelled edamame, sliced avocado, and your favorite grain. I always have cooked quinoa in the fridge but you could also use brown rice, farro, barley, or couscous.

What kale should I use for kale slaw?

There are tons of different kinds of kale but the most common ones in the grocery store are curly kale and Lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale. Both will work for this kale apple slaw, but I personally prefer Lacinato kale since it is slightly softer with a milder flavor. When you are looking for Lacinato kale in the grocery store, it is the dark green kale with flat leaves. When preparing it, make sure to remove the stems, which are fibrous and hard to eat. You can save them for juices, smoothies, and soup stock.

Kale slaw with apples, cucumbers, and fresh herbs on a white ceramic plate.

Can I make Kale Slaw ahead of time?

Kale salads and slaws are great for meal prep since the kale won't wilt immediately in the fridge. It is best to eat in within 2-3 days since after that some of the vegetables may take on a bit of a slimy appearance. If you need to store it longer in the fridge, pack the salad and dressing separately and wait to cut the apple until you are ready to prepare the salad so it won't brown.

What makes Kale Apple Slaw healthy?

  • Kale is a green leafy vegetable that is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition. With more iron per ounce than beef as well as plenty of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, antioxidants and even Omega 3 fatty acids, this veggie is one you definitely want to add to your diet.
  • Cabbage is an ingredient many of us don't think of when it comes to health, but it is actually filled with nutritional benefits. Not only is it packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it also supports digestion and brain health. 
  • Carrots are best known for being good for your eyes and packed with beta-carotene but they are packed with fiber, Vitamin A, and many other vitamins and minerals. And in addition to being great for eye health, they also support boosting your immune system, regulating blood sugar, and supporting digestion.
  • Mint is a fresh herb that is great for anyone looking to support digestion. It also helps with nausea, headaches, and supports weight loss as well as fights fatigue.
  • Cilantro is best known for its fresh flavor but in the background, it is helping your body to detox from heavy metals, supports skin health, and can even help fight seasonal allergies.
  • Lime juice is high in Vitamin C and actually helps with iron absorption so that you can maximize the benefits of the iron in the kale. 
The Recipe
Asian slaw with kale, apples, and carrots with fresh basil and mint on the side.

Asian Kale Apple Slaw

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  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage slaw mix
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 persian cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/8 cup mint, chopped
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

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Make the dressing by mixing together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, lime zest, garlic powder, and pepper. If it is very thick, thin it out with a touch of water or oil.


Toss together the kale and cabbage slaw. Add the dressing and massage into the kale and cabbage using your hands.


Toss with apples, cucumber, mint, and cilantro.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145
Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 335mg
Total Carbohydrate 19g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 9g
Protein 4g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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