Help Please!

Easy Napa Cabbage Slaw Recipe

Rate This Recipe

Save this recipe for later:

This napa cabbage slaw recipe is the coleslaw you’ll make ALL summer long! My easy napa slaw is the perfect side for summer cookouts, grilled dinners, or a lighter side to a heavier meal. Napa cabbage coleslaw takes just 15 minutes to make and 8 easy ingredients and you probably have most of them already!

This napa slaw salad is a recipe that’s been a summer staple for SO LONG. I grew up eating this salad (it’s inspired by a super old one from a newspaper clipping!) and while it’s an old one, it still manages to taste fresh, light, and modern. Serve this napa cabbage slaw recipe with smoked or bbq meats for the ultimate summer meal.

If napa slaw is new to you, I’ll show you how to buy it, how to slice napa cabbage, and how to whip up the best coleslaw made with napa cabbage!

bowl of napa cabbage coleslaw

What Is Napa Slaw?

This napa slaw salad recipe is simply a vinaigrette-based coleslaw made with napa cabbage instead of traditional green cabbage.

Napa napa cabbage is kind of a cross between regular, green cabbage and lettuce, with a great crunchy texture! It’s less dense than cabbage, but still holds up to dressing well and adds great crunch to so many meals.

How To Make Napa Cabbage Slaw Recipe

This crunchy napa cabbage slaw is so easy to make and requires just 8 ingredients and about 10-15 minutes of prep.

  • Prep napa cabbage. Wash and thinly slice napa cabbage. Layer in serving bowl with thinly sliced onions and blue cheese crumbles and chill.
  • Make napa cabbage slaw dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified.

TIP: I like to make the napa salad dressing in a jar – no whisk required and perfect storage.

gif to show making napa cabbage slaw dressing
  • Assemble napa cabbage coleslaw. Toss together the napa cabbage and dressing. Top with freshly cracked pepper if desired.
drizzling napa cabbage with slaw dressing
tossing napa cabbage slaw together with dressing

How To Cut Napa Cabbage for Slaw

Don’t worry, it’s easy too cut napa cabbage for slaw. Simply hold the middle or bottom of the napa cabbage with one hand, and use a knife to slice with the other.

how to cut napa cabbage for coleslaw

How To Store Extra Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

Even though this is a coleslaw, in terms of storage, think more like salad! It’s best fresh as the napa cabbage will wilt.

However, if you want to prep the napa cabbage slaw recipe in advance, you can easily do so. Layer the napa cabbage, onions, and blue cheese in a serving bowl and store in the fridge. Make dressing and store at room temperature if using it within the day. Toss together 5-10 minutes before serving.

Napa Slaw Substitutes

This napa cabbage slaw recipe is pretty forgiving, so if you’re missing an ingredient or need to make a swap, here are few ideas:

  • Napa Cabbage – This is obviously the star of napa cabbage coleslaw recipe, but if you can’t get it, try using savoy cabbage, it’s a little denser, but very similar.
  • Celery Seeds – This ingredient gives the napa cabbage slaw dressing a distinct flavor, but if you don’t have any, you can use celery salt 1/2 teaspoon of celery salt and omit the salt in the dressing. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Anything with a sweeter flavor, like a white balsamic or white wine vinegar will work here.
napa cabbage slaw in a bowl

More Simple Salad Recipes:

  • Summer Quinoa Salad – There’s a reason that this one has been pinned over 23,000+ times! This cold quinoa salad features the best summer produce and flavors.
  • Simple Green Salad – A great go-to side salad for just about anything.
  • Garbanzo Bean Salad – 10 minutes and perfect for a light lunch or dinner side.
  • Quinoa Arugula Salad – Another great option that’s loaded with plant-based protein. Make ahead/meal prep option!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
napa cabbage slaw in a bowl

Easy Napa Cabbage Slaw Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 46 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
Save Recipe


Make this napa cabbage slaw recipe in just 15 minutes! Whenever I make napa slaw, I get asked for the recipe! It’s the perfect side to grilled or bbq meats.


  • 1 medium head of napa cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt 
  • pinch black pepper


  1. Prep ingredients:
    Thinly slice cabbage and onion.
    Mince garlic. 
  2. Layer napa cabbage, onions, and blue cheese in serving bowl and chill until serving.
  3. Whisk together garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, celery seed, sea salt, and pepper until emulsified. 
  4. Toss dressing with cabbage and chill for 5-10 minutes before serving.


  • Feel free to swap apple cider vinegar for a white wine or white balsamic vinegar. 
  • Make and store the napa slaw dressing in a small jar, simply add all of the ingredients, cover, and shake until emulsified. 

Keywords: napa cabbage coleslaw recipe, napa cabbage slaw, napa slaw

Reader Interactions

Did you like this recipe? Please leave a review and let me know what you thought! I appreciate it so much.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating


  1. erwan

    i love the concept of this site. Who would of thought that nutritionist actually eat? haha. i love how you lighten everything up without compromising flavour!

  2. Becky

    Loved this! Super easy to assemble and then serve. So tasty! The perfect healthy addition to dinner that’s also easy to make.

  3. Kim

    This is very good slaw. I eyeballed the measurements and left out the blue cheese. Didn’t have Dijon so used stone ground mustard. Made it yesterday and had leftovers today and still so good that even though I had closed the browser window I came back and found it to save it. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Mary

    delicious! i didn’t use the cheese, but i really liked the dressing…i think because i really love celery seed. i will use as a go to for napa cabbage, thanks!

    • Emily

      Oh then it’s the perfect salad dressing! And even though I’m a cheese-lover, I think I’d still like it without it!