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Romanian White Cabbage Salad – Salatǎ de Varzǎ

Romanian White Cabbage Salad – Salatǎ de Varzǎ

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This White Cabbage Salad is easy to make, and it is a delicious and healthy no-mayonnaise coleslaw recipe that is very popular in Romania.

Traditional Romanian cuisine is particularly known for its meaty dishes. Roasted pork knuckle, a variety of sausages, cabbages stuffed with pork, or savory meatballs (chiftale) are on the top of the menu.  

Alongside such dishes are often very simple salads, which are meant to offset the heavy entrees. Romanian White Cabbage Salad (Salatǎ de Varzǎ) is a good example of a simple Romanian recipe that is light, refreshing, and a perfect accompaniment for grilled or roasted meats.

Coleslaw dishes I am used to are often laden with mayonnaise. Romanian White Cabbage Salad is simply dressed with sunflower oil, white wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Despite being a no-mayonnaise coleslaw recipe, it is full of flavor.

White Cabbage vs. Purple Cabbage

White cabbage and purple cabbage, also known as red cabbage, differ in appearance, taste, and culinary uses.

White cabbage has a pale green hue and a milder, slightly sweet flavor, making it a versatile option for both raw and cooked dishes such as coleslaw, salads, and stir-fries.

On the other hand, purple cabbage boasts vibrant purple-red leaves and a more robust, peppery flavor.

For this traditional Romanian recipe, I suggest sticking with white cabbage so that the flavors of the fresh herbs will stand out.

White Cabbage Salad

It is important to use only fresh herbs in this salad. The added aroma and flavor they add are important to the freshness and aroma of the salad.

The other difference in this slaw recipe is that the cabbage is squeezed to remove some water and create a softer texture. 

If you love cabbage salads or slaws, try these delicious variations: Cabbage apple salad or Brussels Sprout Slaw with Bacon and Blue Cheese.

Brussels Sprout Slaw without Mayonnaise

Brussels Sprout Slaw without Mayonnaise

Here are some additional Eastern European dishes that you might enjoy!

Add the recipe to your collection on Pinterest or bookmark it for later!

White Cabbage Salad with Dill


Romanian White Cabbage Salad

Romanian Coleslaw Recipe

Romanian White Cabbage Salad - Salatǎ de Varzǎ is a light refreshing coleslaw recipe dressed simply in a light dressing and seasoned with fresh herbs. A nice alternative to traditional coleslaw.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 medium head of white cabbage (or 2 lbs/1 kg shredded cabbage)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) salt
  • 4 tablespoons (56g) sunflower or other vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 small bunch (2 oz or 56 g) of fresh parsley, dill and thyme, diced.
  • Black pepper to taste


Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the stalk

Wash each quarter of the cabbage

Shred the cabbage leaves by slicing the quarters head into very thin sections.

Add the shredded cabbage to a bowl and toss with the salt.

Set aside for 30 minutes.

Squeeze the shredded cabbage, either using your hands or a dish towel.

Discard the water that is released.

Wash and dice the fresh herbs and add them to the cabbage.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.

Grate fresh pepper over the salad.

Toss the salad with the dressing.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 31Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 531mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 0g

The nutritional data is an estimate only. Values can change based on the actual ingredients used to make the recipe.




Thursday 4th of May 2023

Delicious. Had this in Bulgaria - good to re make at home ! Thanks


Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Glad you enjoyed it!!

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