Cabbage Salsa

Cabbage Salsa - My recipe for traditional cabbage salsa. This variation of classic salsa is perfect for snacking and really cheap and easy to make.

I didn’t really know cabbage salsa was a thing until we moved to Colorado. One of the very first times we went out to grab Mexican food here the server brought out a big basket of warm chips with standard salsa and also a small bowl of cabbage salsa.

I didn’t think I would like it. After all, it’s kind of a weird idea. After I tried it though, I knew the server would need to be bringing me a larger bowl!

There’s a lot to like about cabbage salsa when you think about it. The flavors are fantastic but it costs almost nothing to make because cabbage is a lot cheaper than tomatoes. Also, just like traditional salsa, you can adjust the spice levels to your tastes.


Cabbage Salsa

My recipe for traditional cabbage salsa. This variation of classic salsa is perfect for snacking and really cheap and easy to make.
3.43 from 21 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Resting time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizers, Side Dishes, Snack Time
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 12 Servings
Yield 10 cups


  • 6 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups diced white onion about 1 large onion
  • 2 green jalapenos diced
  • 2 red jalapenos diced
  • 1 cup diced radish
  • 1 can 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro minced
  • 2 limes juice only
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • Tortilla chops for serving


  • Chop cabbage very finely. You can use a food processor for this, but it only takes about five minutes by hand and gives you more control.
  • Stir cabbage with onion, jalapenos, radish, tomatoes (with juice), cilantro, and lime juice.
  • Season with salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving so flavors can meld.
  • Serve with tortilla chips and store leftovers in fridge for up to a week.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 210mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 86IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Cabbage Recipes, Cabbage Salsa, Homemade Salsa

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Cabbage Salsa

The Basics

Most of the ingredients in this salsa are pretty standard salsa ingredients. Basically, I just replaced the tomatoes for a huge head of cabbage and some radishes for extra crunch.

ingredients for Cabbage Salsa
Good simple flavors.

The most important part of this salsa is to make sure you take the time to get your cabbage really well shredded. I used a knife for this and it took me about five minutes, but you could also use a food processor.

Personally, I like a knife because it lets you get the cabbage to the exact size you want. I’ve had this salsa with large chunks of cabbage and also versions with very tiny strands of cabbage. It is totally up to you. For my homemade version, I ended up with a middle of the road shred. Not too thin and not too thick.

chopped cabbage for Cabbage Salsa
Spend some time on this.

I used about six cups of shredded cabbage for my salsa, but you can definitely just eyeball it. It’ll be fine if you use five or seven cups.

Once the cabbage is shredded, take some time to dice up your other ingredients. I used a few jalapenos along with a large white onion.

peppers going in Cabbage Salsa
Lots of spice is good.

The diced radish adds a small amount of spice but also gives the salsa great crunch and color. They aren’t the most important flavor in the salsa so you could leave them out, but if you have a chance toss them in.

A small can of diced tomatoes gives the salsa some acid. In the finished salsa you can almost not even see the tomatoes, but a few canned ones help even out the flavors. Don’t bother draining them. Just pour in the juice and everything.

tomato for Cabbage Salsa
You don’t need a ton of tomato.

Season the salsa with a big pinch of salt, a lot of fresh cilantro, and lime juice.

Lime juice is very important. Don’t skimp on it!

squeeze of lime - Cabbage Salsa
Most important.

Stir this all together and let the flavors mingle for thirty minutes or so before serving.

Cabbage Salsa recipe from Macheesmo
Will keep great for a week.

The nice thing about this Cabbage Salsa is that it gets better as it sits in the fridge. I think it’s at its best on day two or three. After that it starts to degrade a bit and by day six or seven the cabbage starts to taste off.

This is way different than traditional salsa obviously, but I think most people will be surprised by how wonderful it turns out.

Has anyone had cabbage salsa before? I’m obsessed with the stuff!

25 Responses to “Cabbage Salsa” Leave a comment

  1. Thank you so much for posting this! I love this stuff and have always wanted to find a recipe for it.

  2. just curious, did you happen to eat this cabbage salsa at Arceo’s Mexican Restaurant? I live in the springs and that is the restaurant i tried it at and i love it! my dad wanted me to get the recipe but your recipe looks pretty good to me :)

    1. Nah… different place, but I think this is a standard app in a ton of mexican places in the colorado area. I’ve had it at multiple places. Hope you like my take on it!

  3. I live in Colorado also and had never had cabbage salsa until I visited Casa Vallarta restaurant in Aurora. I love it! I always liked cabbage but so many people turn their noses up at it but the flavor is so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Do you know if you can can the recipe?? If so water bath or presser cooker? And for how long? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this and would like to have it year round! :)

    1. Hey Jamie, I’ve never canned it to be honest. Canning veggies that aren’t pickled can be a bit tricky. I wouldn’t just can this recipe without checking its PH and stuff.

      So I have zero help if you wanted to try it… I always just make it fresh. ;)

    2. Jamie, you can can this, but it comes out more like a kraut, so it’s just not the same. I hope I can try this, but it’s missing some ingredients that are in our favorite cabbage at a restaurant in Delta, CO. They use orange and pineapple juices in theirs, they said. We still can’t find quite the right recipe. To get the pH right, you have to add citric acid, I believe, and I think we used a pressure canner. Still…no.

  5. We live in Colorado, and I prefer the cabbage salsa to the regular stuff. So yummy! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. I, too, discovered cabbage salsa here is eastern Washington (state). Many of the Mexican restaurants I’ve visited in this area (Yakima, Moses Lake, Deer Park, Pasco, Newport, and Spokane) serve cabbage salsa with their chips. They do seem to have a slightly different makeup than your recipe. I would say all of them have a definite flavor of black pepper and maybe a little vinegar. I love it.

  7. Thanks! My picky eater son LOVES this – so great to find healthy and delicious in one recipee!

  8. Cabbage salsa is premier- Tequila’s in Colorado is the spot. Here are some fundamental changes that turn this great dish into exceptional- volume of corn oil for depth f flavor, and to forther boost this depth a bit f high quality lard from pi (I render my own from butchered pigs. Then toast and grind your own cumin seed and coriander seeds ( may need a mortar and pestle). Salt heavily.

  9. I’m guessing this is from the restaurant tequilas I actually asked for the recipe one time and they told me

  10. I’ve made this many times and love it. I did add a bit of vegetable oil as the only change. Recently I was in a hurry and just grabbed a bag of shredded cabbage. Worked great.I prefer to cut the cabbage myself, but I can whip up a batch in 1/4 of the time. However, If I had to choose, I’d stay with your version and oil.

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