Malfouf salad is a Lebanese cabbage salad that’s super simple, really healthy, and so fresh and tangy. Made with a lemon garlic and olive oil dressing, this is a slaw that’s so much lighter and packed with flavor. Salatet malfouf comes together in minutes, and leftovers taste great!
- What is malfouf salad?
- What’s so good about this malfouf salad:
- Ingredients you need for Lebanese cabbage salad:
- Steps you need to make malfouf salad:
- What to serve Lebanese cabbage salad with:
- Storing leftover cabbage salad:
- Tips and tricks for salad success:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Malfouf Salad – Lebanese Cabbage Salad
What is malfouf salad?
This is a really common Lebanese cabbage salad, made with white cabbage, tomatoes, parsley, green onions and a light lemon dressing. Also known as salatet malfouf, It’s a great side dish to so many Lebanese dishes like mujaddara, Arabic grills, kafta, and so much more.
It’s sort of like coleslaw in that it’s a salad with shredded cabbage, but the similarity stops there. This is so much lighter and fresher and has such bright flavor from the dressing.
What’s so good about this malfouf salad:
It’s really really simple to make. Just toss the ingredients together, shake the salad dressing ingredients into a jar, and drizzle over the top of the salad.
Lebanese slaw is healthy! It’s all in the dressing. This dressing is olive oil and lemon juice based, with some garlic and herbs. That, fresh vegetables, and lots of cabbage with plenty of fiber make this a very filling and hearty salad.
Since cabbage is pretty firm, this holds up really well. It was still good a few days after making, even with the dressing mixed in. A great make ahead salad! Great for potlucks, it’s sort of a version of Lebanese coleslaw without mayo.
This pairs wonderfully with many dishes, whether Middle Eastern or not. It works great as a side dish to proteins, with grills, and with rice dishes.
Ingredients you need for Lebanese cabbage salad:
White cabbage: I used 1/2 of a head and it was plenty!
Cherry tomatoes: Or regular tomatoes, diced
Green onions: These give bite and color to the salad.
Radishes: An optional but really pretty addition to the salad.
Dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried mint, salt and pepper are the essential components of the dressing. Optionally, you can do what I did and add sumac powder and zaatar for some extra flavor- so yum!
Sumac is a dark purple Middle Eastern spice made from the ground berries of sumac flowers, really tart and sour. You can find it at Middle Eastern supply stores.
Zaatar is a savory dried herb blend with thyme, oregano, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. These additions really pack in the flavor for a Mediterranean coleslaw.
If you can’t find either of these please feel free to leave them out! Salad will still be absolutely delicious.
Steps you need to make malfouf salad:
- Make the dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients into a jar, then close the lid and shake vigorously to combine well.
- Make the salad: Shred the cabbage. You can either use a sharp knife, a food processor with a grater attachment, or even easier, purchase ready shredded cabbage. You can shred the cabbage the day before assembling the salad and keep it in the a sealed freezer bag.
- Combine the shredded cabbage with the cherry tomatoes, sliced green onions, radishes, and fresh parsley. Use a really large bowl so that when you toss the salad you don’t make a mess.
- Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad, and toss again to combine well.
What to serve Lebanese cabbage salad with:
It would also be great as a taco topping!
Storing leftover cabbage salad:
Leftovers will last 3-5 days tightly covered. Although this salad is best fresh, it still tastes great after a few days, even with the dressing mixed in. The cabbage is firm enough not to get too soggy!
If you want to make ahead, you can prepare the dressing separately and keep it in a jar in the fridge. One or two days before serving, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients in a bowl. Dress and toss to combine right before you are ready to eat.
Tips and tricks for salad success:
Make this your own! Add anything you like: cucumber, avocado, even corn. Omit anything you don’t have on hand or don’t want to have in the salad.
Make it easier on yourself by shredding the cabbage in advance, using a food processor to shred the cabbage, or buying ready shredded cabbage.
Double the dressing recipe, it’ll be great on any salad and will keep well in a jar for a few days.
You can make the dressing up to 5 days in advance, and prep and chop the veggies a day in advance. Put the salad together with the dressing before serving!
Traditionally white cabbage is used, but you can use purple if you prefer! You can even do the pre-shredded bags of purple and white cabbage, it’ll make your life easier!
Absolutely. You can also omit the radish if you prefer. The only thing that’s a must is the cabbage obviously, and also the green onions and parsley for that bite.
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Malfouf Salad – Lebanese Cabbage Salad
For the salad:
- 1/2 head white cabbage anywhere between 1.5-2 lbs total
- 1 pack cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 8 oz, 250 g
- 2 green onion stalks, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
- 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
- handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
For the dressing:
- juice of 2 lemons, squeezed about 1/4 cup
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon zaatar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
For the dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar, and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
For the salad:
- Mix together the cabbage, cherry tomatoes, green onions, parsley and radishes. Pour dressing on top and toss to evenly coat the salad with dressing.
- Enjoy immediately, or store in the fridge. This'll still taste good for a few days!