Pepper Cabbage

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Crunchy, tangy, sweet pepper cabbage slaw is a welcome variation on classic creamy coleslaw recipes.

cabbage slaw with bell peppers

Last year, a reader emailed me this recipe for pepper cabbage (thanks, Amy!) and I’ve had it on my must-try list ever since. I finally had a chance to make it last week.

I took Amy’s advice and made this a couple of days before I planned to serve it and I’m glad I did. The slaw was tasty after a couple of hours in the fridge, but it was so much better after 2-3 days. The flavors mingled nicely and the cabbage absorbed a great deal more flavor over time – while still maintaining its awesome crunchiness.

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cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers in mixing bowl

Pepper Cabbage

I served this with crispy chicken sandwiches this past weekend and we all really liked it. I stuffed some of the pepper slaw inside my sandwich and loved the extra crunch and tang that it contributed.

One of the benefits of vinegar-based coleslaw that is made without mayo is that it can be held for hours at room temperature without any food safety issues.

This is a terrific salad to share at potlucks and barbecues. I can’t wait to try it on a burger or hot dog next time I make it.

vinaigrette poured over cabbage with bell peppers

Pepper Slaw

Having done a little research now, I’ve learned that many people credit their Amish friends or grandparents for this recipe, as the pepper slaw recipe that most people use originated in Pennsylvania.

Per Amy, the use of shredded carrots is considered sacrilege to a few, but others like using them for a little color. Well, you know me, I can’t ever leave well enough alone, so I added a red bell pepper too, for a bit of extra color. (And because I’ll happily add red pepper to just about every salad I make.)

There weren’t exact measurements in the recipe I was sent, so I played with it a bit to figure out what we liked best. While the original recipe would’ve made more brine, I found that the amounts below work well when the slaw is allowed to marinate for a day or two.

pepper slaw mixed together

The amount of brine required for pepper slaw depends on how much cabbage you use. The liquid does not need to cover the cabbage completely, but it should create about an inch worth of brine at the bottom of the container.

Be sure to stir it a few times throughout the day to ensure all of the cabbage mixture has a chance to marinate in that tangy sweet dressing.

Pepper cabbage tastes better after resting for a day or two. So, this is a great picnic dish to make ahead of time.

Pepper Cabbage Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • green cabbage
  • green bell pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • carrots
  • apple cider vinegar
  • white sugar
pepper slaw in black bowl on table

Mayo Free Coleslaw

As much as we enjoy classic southern-style coleslaw, and make it often, there are times when I crave the fresh flavor and bite of a vinegar-based mayo-free coleslaw.

Red Cabbage Slaw is as flavorful as it is colorful. Tangy and a little spicy, it’s great paired with a bbq pork sandwich or burger. Like this pepper cabbage recipe, this slaw may be served immediately. However, the flavors will meld together and be even better after a couple of hours in the fridge and it will keep nicely for a couple of days.

The crisp crunch of cabbage is elevated with a tangy dressing in this Spicy Pickled Cabbage. With just the right amount of heat, each bite will have you coming back for more.

I first made this crunchy, pungent spicy cabbage thinking that I’d serve it in fish tacos or maybe with a chicken sandwich. Ha. We didn’t even get to the sandwiches. My husband and I stood at the counter and finished off almost the entire batch on its own as soon as I snapped a few pictures. Served as a side dish, a salad, or a condiment, it’s a hit.

Looking for more carrot side dishes? With the satisfying crunch of carrots, the juicy burst of apples, and the delightful chewiness of raisins, this Carrot Apple Salad is an old-fashioned favorite that is both refreshing and wholesome. It’s time for this vintage recipe to have its comeback.

pepper slaw mixed together

Pepper Cabbage

5 from 1 vote
Crunchy, tangy, sweet pepper cabbage slaw is a welcome variation on classic creamy coleslaw recipes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 small green cabbage very thinly sliced and shredded, about 8 cups
  • 1 large green bell pepper finely diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 large red bell pepper finely diced, about 1 cup
  • 4 medium carrots shredded, about 1½ cups
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup white sugar


  • Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to simmer until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  • Combine the cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots in large bowl or container with a lid. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and stir to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving. Stir a few times a day to ensure that all of the cabbage has a chance to marinate in the dressing.


Calories: 66kcal · Carbohydrates: 16g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 0.2g · Saturated Fat: 0.04g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g · Sodium: 29mg · Potassium: 239mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 12g · Vitamin A: 3818IU · Vitamin C: 50mg · Calcium: 39mg · Iron: 1mg
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Amish Pepper Slaw in black bowl

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