Cabbage Apple & Fennel Slaw With Orange Dressing & Hazelnuts

Crispy and citrusy, this cabbage apple and fennel slaw is the perfect side salad to serve any time of the year. It’s great at barbecues and summer picnics, as a side dish with baked chicken or fish at home, or in a lunchbox with some added protein. you can make all elements for this salad ahead of time and assemble it just before serving for extra freshness.

Cabbage Apple Fennel Slaw With Orange Dressing & Hazelnuts

This cabbage, fennel and apple slaw salad is inspired by a green bean salad from Ottolenghi’s restaurant. I loved the orange dressing and hazelnuts with the green veggies, and I wanted to try making something similar at home.

I had some lovely Savoy cabbage, which I thought would pair nicely with crunchy fennel and apple. The whole ensemble worked really well, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you guys.


We had this salad with some grilled chicken sausages but it would make a perfect side dish with any protein of choice. If you want a lighter meal, then simply enjoy it as is on its own.

Tips For Making Cabbage Apple Slaw

You can use any type of shredded cabbage: white, red, Savoy, Napa/Chinese, Brussels sprouts or even chopped-up kale.

Savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale are quite hardy, so I recommend massaging the leaves with a little sea salt and lemon juice before combining with the rest of the ingredients. This will soften the fibres of the leaves slightly.

I used a little sesame oil to give the dressing a slight toasted, nutty flavour but if you can get your hands on some hazelnut oil, that would be even better.  

As for hazelnuts, you can get already toasted nuts or toast the raw ones in the 200 C / 400 C oven for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. I think toasted nuts have much more flavour. Almonds would also work well in this salad.

More Gorgeous Salads Here:

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Cabbage Apple Fennel Slaw

Cabbage Apple & Fennel Slaw With Orange & Hazelnut

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Australian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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  • 1/2 medium Savoy cabbage, thinly shredded (or other cabbage of choice, about 45 cups shredded)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small fennel root, thinly sliced (or 1/2 large fennel)
  • 1 medium apple, core out, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (I used a little less than 1/2 cup)

For the dressing

  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • Juice of 1 medium orange
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated or finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil or 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
  • A generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


  1. If using something like Savoy cabbage, remove the first few layers of leaves, which are greener, and give them a good wash. Cut away the harder stems and shred the leaves thinly. Then add a few of the more pale green and white leaves as well. If using regular white cabbage, simply remove the core and cut the cabbage half into quarter size chunks, before shredding them thinly. Add the cabbage to a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with a little sea salt and drizzle with juice of half a lemon. Using your hands, mix and massage the leaves gently for 10-20 seconds. Add the fennel, apple and hazelnuts.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the slaw. Mix the salad well using your hands to make sure everything is well coated with the dressing.


  1. If making this salad ahead of time, simply shred and slice all ingredients ahead of time and then massage the cabbage as per step number one closer to serving time. Dress the salad just before you eat it!

Keywords: Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Whole30


Save Cabbage Apple Slaw to Pinterest

Cabbage Fennel & Apple Slaw Salad With Orange & Hazelnut (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian)
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author:Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. I am a slaw salad addict lately! I can’t get enough of them! Having this for lunch tomorrow! Thank you!

  2. This salad combo looks so refreshing and delicious ! I’m totally in love with fennel this summer and am going to try this recipe !

  3. We’re just starting into the season for local cabbage, we usually don’t get savoy here for some reason, but I can’t wait to try this out with Napa cabbage! I love the nutty touch from hazelnut/sesame oil, and the sweet savory combo going on!

  4. Love how fresh and crispy it looks! And I dig the inclusion of hazelnuts, I’ve been reading up on how sustainable they are…

  5. I made this with extra lemon juice instead of orange, and used toasted almonds instead of hazelnuts, added pepitas and shredded coconut. Especially with the dressing, this was one of the best salads I’ve ever made/eaten! Thanks so much I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe!!

    1. Thanks Rachel, I can see how it would work with all of those substitutions. Shredded coconut would give it a really fun flavour too.

  6. This recipe is another winner Irena! I made this and served alongside some sticky orange-soy-honey marinated salmon fillets and both were delicious!

  7. Wow, delicious! I had some fennel in my vegie box and don’t generally like it so was looking for something that lightens the taste. I made this with the wombok also in my vegie salad. It turned out beautifully. I didn’t have hazelnuts so swapped them for macadamia’s, that worked well. I added in some fried noodles to convince my 2 year old to try it – they worked really well with it. I now have a go-to fennel recipe 😀

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