Cabbage and fennel slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing is crunchy and delicious, with just a touch of heat ~ you’re gonna love it!
cabbage and fennel slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing has a mild heat and an irresistible crunch
I’m on a slaw bender right now and there’s no shame in that. It’s the way I transition into salad season. Hearty slaws satisfy my craving for raw food while my eating habits are still stuck in comfort mode.
Shred up a few veggies and blend up your creamy dressing and you’ve got one heck of a side dish. If you’re pressed for time this amazing dressing will make even a bagged slaw mix look good (but please don’t resort to that, slicing up a head of cabbage takes two seconds!). And it lasts for days in the fridge. That means for a minimal amount of work you don’t have to think about getting fresh greens and healthy fiber for days. Sweet.
veggies for the cabbage and fennel slaw
- white cabbage ~ white cabbage is the name for regular, pale green cabbage. A small head will do, regular white cabbage is so tightly packed it expands exponentially when you shred it. A tiny head will fill a big salad bowl.
- fennel ~ a late winter/early spring veg that adds wonderful crunch and flavor to a slaw. Save the fronds for a garnish, or chop them up and fold right into the slaw. Don’t like fennel? Leave it out or substitute celery, jicama, cucumber, or green bell pepper.
- Vidalia onion ~ or any generic sweet onion. Vidalia onions are quite mild and sweet, and balance out the white cabbage nicely. Yes, you can absolutely eat them raw, they’re delicious! Sweet onions lack the sharp sulphuric compounds that make regular onions sharp. Look for them right next to the regular onions in your produce aisle.
the creamy jalapeño dressing (star of the show)
How hot is this dressing? Not very! Of course you can amp up the heat with more peppers, but a single jalapeño is quite mild, actually.
- jalapeño ~ use 1-2 depending on how hot your peppers are and how hot you want your dressing.
- sour cream ~ cool and silky, it puts the ‘creamy’ in creamy jalapeño!
- mayonnaise ~ if you want to cut fat you could use yogurt or buttermilk instead. For a real treat, make your own mayo!
- lemon ~ along with the horseradish lemon just brightens the dressing.
- horseradish ~ prepared horseradish in a jar can vary in strength, so add to taste. I add to add quite a bit to be able to taste that zing I was after. For a real treat make your own horseradish sauce!
- sugar ~ just a pinch enhances and marries all the flavors, really! Add it little by little until it’s just right.
- salt ~ same as above.
the best way to shred cabbage for slaw
There’s no need to get out your food processor’s shredding attachment, or even the scary mandoline or box grater, for that matter. Let’s keep our knuckles intact ~ all you’ll need is a sharp knife. Slice the cabbage in half through the core, then in half again. Remove the core and slice your cabbage wedges into very thin slices. Slicing with a knife preserves the crunch of the cabbage and keeps the slaw from becoming too soggy. It’s also a lot quicker and easier. A win win.
when you just can’t get enough slaw
- Fried Cabbage and Bacon Slaw
- Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw
- Asian Slaw
- Favorite Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe
- Broccoli Honeycrisp Slaw
- Vibrant Winter Slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette
If you make this recipe, let me know in the comments (and leave a rating!) I read every comment and respond to questions asap. Tag me on Instagram if you take a pic of your dish so I can see 🙂
Cabbage and Fennel Slaw
creamy jalapeño dressing
- 1-2 jalapeños
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish, or more to taste
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 1 small head white cabbage
- 1 small Vidalia onion
- 1 fennel bulb
- Put the dressing ingredients into a small food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients. Note: jalapeños vary in their level of heat, but generally one pepper will give you a mild to moderate heat, and two will up the spice factor. I used 1 1/2 peppers, with the seeds and veins. I thinly sliced the remaining half pepper for garnish.
- Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Then thinly shred the quarters. Peel and quarter the onion, then thinly slice it (you may not need the whole onion.) Trim the fennel bulb and slice in half, remove the core, and thinly slice. I like to reserve some of the fennel fronds for a garnish.
- Put all the veggies in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat everything well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Toss again before serving, and add more dressing if you like. Garnish with fennel fronds and thinly sliced jalapeños if you like.