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 like a no mayo coleslaw that’s so much lighter and packed with flavor. Comes together in minutes, and leftovers taste great!
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. It’s a great side dish to so many Lebanese dishes like mujaddara, Arabic grills, kafta, and so much more. Malfouf is also really great with any protein, like salmon, chicken breasts, as a side dish to burgers, etc.
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 a 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.
Malfouf salad 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. It’s a Lebanese coleslaw without mayo.
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!
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 diced tomatoes
Green onions: These give bite and color to the salad
Radishes: Not essential at all, but also a really pretty addition to the salad
Fresh Parsley: gives a lot of nice herby flavor 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.
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.
Tips and tricks for salad success:
Make this your own! Add anything you like, 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.
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 like this recipe, you might like:
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 tsp dried mint
- 1 tsp zaatar (optional)
- 1 tsp sumac (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tsp 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!