This apple fennel slaw with cabbage and pomegranate makes a refreshing and healthy addition to any winter meal. It's especially festive for the holidays' thanks to the lovely addition of fresh pomegranate arils! Ready in less than 20 minutes!
💚 Why You Will Love Fennel Apple Slaw
- A fennel slaw recipe with only four slaw ingredients plus a simple vinaigrette made with ingredients you likely already have in the kitchen.
- A simple salad that's a nice change from a traditional green salad.
- This fennel and fresh apple slaw with no mayo is a healthier way to enjoy coleslaw.
This fennel and apple slaw requires just four fresh ingredients and a handful of others to make a simple vinegar dressing. Let's take a look at the highlights.
Green cabbage: Thinly sliced, it makes the perfect foundation for this apple cabbage slaw.
Fennel and fennel fronds: No waste here! We will be using the sliced fennel bulb in the slaw and garnish with the fronds!
Apple: Use a crisp variety such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Rome apples.
Pomegranate arils: These add a tart, sweet flavor and a terrific crunch to the salad.
Olive oil: A healthy oil that's perfect for making salad dressings.
Apple cider vinegar and lime or lemon juice: Both add some tang to the dressing!
Maple syrup: Just a touch of sweetness to balance out the acid in the vinegar and lemon juice.
Herbs: Fresh herbs are optional, but they add great flavor. I suggest chopped fresh parsley basil, mint, or cilantro.
✅ How to Make Fennel Apple Slaw
Let's look at what goes into this simple homemade slaw! You're going to be amazed at how easy it is to make.
- Thinly shred the cabbage. I highly recommend a mandoline slicer for the best results)
- Remove bulb from the fennel. Rinse the fennel fronds and set aside two tablespoons of chopped fronds for garnish. Cut the fennel bulb in half and slice into thin strips.
- Core, peel and quarter the apple. Thinly slice the apple. Stack slices on top of each other and cut into matchsticks. Reserve a few apple slices for garnish.
- Remove the pomegranate arils (in a bowl of water). Drain well and set aside one cup for the recipe.
TOP TIP: Have some pomegranate left? Don't let it go to waste! Use it on yogurt parfaits, add it to oatmeal or top off your favorite salad with a handful. They also make a tasty addition to desserts or as a snack on their own.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.
- Place the cabbage, fennel and apple in a large bowl and mix in the dressing, pomegranates, fronds and herbs.
- Garnish the top with the extra apple slices and fronds you set aside.
❄️ How to Store
Leftovers: It's best to try to plan ahead if you think you might have leftovers and skip adding the dressing to the entire salad. The slaw will wilt the longer it sits in the dressing. Store the prepped vegetables and fruit in the refrigerator, separate from the dressing, for up to three days. Add a bit of lemon juice to the apple to keep it from browning.
Make ahead: This apple fennel slaw doesn't work great to make ahead too far in advance. You can prep all the ingredients the day before except for the apple and then combine them the next day, slice the apple and serve it up.
Freezer: This recipe doesn't work well with freezing.
🔪 Helpful Kitchen Tools & Gadgets
I highly recommend a mandoline for getting a great thin slice of cabbage and fennel. It's a worthwhile investment, and if you cook even occasionally, you will find it comes in handy.
Other than that, you only need basic items such as a cutting board, sharp knife, measuring cups, and spoons.
💸 Money Saving Substitutions
Have some ingredients leftover after making this salad? Here are some of my favorite recipes you can make with them.
- Cabbage: Make a bowl of this bean cabbage soup or use it as a topping for plant-based tacos.
- Pomegranate: Add a sprinkle over the top of this winter citrus fruit breakfast bowl.
- Fennel: It makes a great addition to soup or broth. Add it to cook with the onions for a nice flavor.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips and FAQs
- Plan ahead if you know you will have leftovers, and store the extra without the dressing added so it will last longer.
- Use a mandoline to get evenly sliced cabbage and fennel. It's not necessary but makes it easier.
- Buy ingredients within a few days of making this apple slaw for the best flavor and freshness.
Crisp apples with a sweet-tart flavor profile work best! Granny smith, Fuji, Pink Lady, Rome, and Honeycrisp. While other apples will work, try to avoid McIntosh and Red Delicious, which tend to be quite soft and mealy in texture.
🌎 Sustainability Suggestion
Buying produce in season is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. These days you can get many items available year-round, but that's because they may be shipped from outside the US and travel thousands of miles to arrive in your grocery store.
Pomegranate season is sweet but short! The harvest runs from mid-September through early January, with 80% of the U.S. crop from California.
Pomegranate trees need plenty of heat to grow and ripen their fruit. They are best picked right when they are freshly ripe. That means buying them at the farmer's market is the best choice.
If purchasing from a supermarket, look for plump, rounded pomegranates that feel heavy for their size and are free of bruises; naturally occurring splits are fine.
Most of us are familiar with pomegranate arils, commonly referred to as pomegranate seeds. But the seeds are actually within the arils and are surrounded by the sweet, juice-filled pulps that this fruit is well known for. The seeds themselves are perfectly edible but can spit out if you don't like their crunch.
Did you know that the average pomegranate fruit contains 800 arils?
➕ More Vegetarian Salad Recipes
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Apple Fennel Slaw Recipe
- ¼ head green cabbage
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 2 tablespoon fennel fronds
- 1 large crisp apple
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice or lemon
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon parsley basil, mint, or cilantro, chopped, optional
- Thinly shred cabbage. (a mandoline slicer is recommended for best results).
- Remove bulb from fennel. Rinse fennel fronds, remove and set aside 2 tablespoon chopped fronds. Cut the fennel bulb in half and slice thin.
- Core, peel and quarter the apple. Thinly slice the apple. Stack slices and cut into matchsticks reserving a few slices for garnish.
- Remove pomegranate arils (in bowl of water) and set aside 1 cup for the recipe.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients in a measuring cup.
- Place cabbage, fennel & apple in a large bowl and mix in the dressing, pomegranates, fronds and herbs.
- Serve topped with apple slices and fronds.