Chopped Kale Cabbage Salad with Sweet Mustard Dressing, Chickpeas & Avocado

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 12 votes

Chopped kale cabbage salad with sweet mustard dressing is a great lunch to meal prep ahead of time. The food processor does a lot of chopping work so that this hearty salad can be made in 30 minutes.

An overhead shot shows an individual serving of a chopped kale cabbage salad with chickpeas, avocado, pickled red onion, and sweet mustard dressing. A fork is sticking out of the bowl.

Learn how to make this meal prep-friendly chopped kale cabbage salad in just a few simple steps! It’s an excellent hearty vegan salad to serve for dinner or to prepare for lunches throughout the week. Kale, cabbage, and carrots are simply chopped in a food processor before being tossed with a sweet mustard dressing and topped with chickpeas, creamy avocado, and pickled red onions. This salad takes 30 minutes to put together and requires no cooking. The crunchy, sweet, tangy, and savory notes make it so crave-able!

An overhead shot shows an individual serving of a chopped kale cabbage salad with chickpeas, avocado, pickled red onion, and sweet mustard dressing. A fork is sticking out of the bowl. Salad components are nearby and a napkin is bunched up around the serving bowl.
An overhead shot shows ingredients for a chopped kale cabbage salad with sweet mustard dressing: maple syrup, vegan mayonnaise, 3 types of mustard, chickpeas, carrots, avocados, pickled red onions, avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, cabbage, vegan Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and kale.
An overhead shot shows a food processor set up with kale leaves, chopped carrot, and roughly chopped cabbage nearby.

I have been prepping this salad for weekday lunches for a little while, and figured it was time to share this creation from my real life kitchen. The sweet mustard kale cabbage salad dressing is inspired by the creamy bottled honey mustard dressing that I used to absolutely love as a teenager. Mine is sweetened with maple syrup, has 3 types of mustard, and also a touch of vegan mayonnaise (I’m partial to Chosen Foods lately) to give it that lush texture.

The veggie base of kale, cabbage and carrots is all finely chopped in the food processor. I first saw this technique in a salad recipe posted by Pinch of Yum! It’s kinda fun to do, super quick, and the veg keep in a sealed container for up to 4-5 days. This is a great salad to try if you don’t love a ton of chopping. The vegetables stay nice and crisp, and pair perfectly with the tangy dressing.

I like topping this with creamy chunks of avocado, protein-packed chickpeas, and pickled red onions (same as the ones in my kale sweet potato salad). Of course if you want to plus it up with some vegan feta crumbles, chopped toasted nuts/seeds, croutons etc, it would be even more delicious.

How I prep this kale cabbage salad for lunches all week:

  • Chop the kale, cabbage, and carrots in the food processor and place in a sealed container or bag in the refrigerator. I place a paper towel in with the veg as well to absorb excess moisture.
  • Prepare the pickled red onions and keep in the fridge.
  • Prepare the sweet mustard dressing and keep in the fridge.
  • Keep avocados on the counter until ripe and canned chickpeas in the pantry.
  • Assemble portions of all ingredients as you require!

You may have noticed that I love the flavour combination of cabbage and kale with mustard! If you can relate, I recommend checking out my Sautéed Cabbage, Kale & Butter Beans with Mustard Cream, Creamy Mustard Slaw, or this Grilled Cabbage and Fennel with Maple Mustard Cream.

An overhead shot shows all prepped ingredients for a chopped kale cabbage salad: finely chopped kale, cabbage & carrots, ripe avocados, sweet mustard dressing, chickpeas, and pickled red onion.
An up close, overhead shot shows finely chopped cabbage, kale, and carrots in a wide bowl.
A 3/4 angle shot shows a mixture of chopped kale, cabbage, and carrots being mixed in a bowl with chickpeas and a sweet mustard dressing. A halved, diced avocado is nearby as well as a jar of dressing.
An overhead shot shows an individual serving of a chopped kale cabbage salad with chickpeas, avocado, pickled red onion, and sweet mustard dressing. A fork is sticking out of the bowl. Individual components of the salad can be seen nearby.

Chopped Kale Cabbage Salad with Sweet Mustard Dressing, Chickpeas & Avocado

Chopped kale cabbage salad with sweet mustard dressing is a great lunch to meal prep ahead of time. The food processor does a lot of chopping work so that this hearty salad can be made in 30 minutes.
5 from 12 votes
An overhead shot shows an individual serving of a chopped kale cabbage salad with chickpeas, avocado, pickled red onion, and sweet mustard dressing. A fork is sticking out of the bowl.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings 4 -6

Ingredients

Pickled Red Onions (makes extra)

  • 1 large red onion, cut into thin half moons
  • 1 cup water
  • cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Sweet Mustard Dressing

  • cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced with a microplane
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Salad & Assembly

  • ½ medium head cabbage, core removed
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed (about 4 cups kale leaves, lightly packed)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (2 cups chickpeas)
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and diced

Notes

  • Food processor chopping technique is inspired by Pinch of Yum’s Roasted Peanut Kale Crunch Salad.
  • I make this as part of my meal prep for lunches. In the fridge, I’ll have: jar of pickled red onions, jar of dressing, and one big container/bag of the chopped kale, cabbage & carrots (with a paper towel in there to grab extra moisture). Avocados are on the counter and canned chickpeas are in the pantry. I combine all the components in a serving bowl as I need!
  • As always, I recommend plussing it up! Toasted chopped nuts/seeds, whatever vegan cheese you like, even chopped dill pickles are amazing here.
  • You don’t have to use a food processor to chop! I often do it by hand and while the pieces are a bit bigger, the texture is still crunchy and satisfying.
  • Vegan Worcestershire contains wheat! To keep this salad gluten-free, substitute Tamari.
  • If you don’t have grainy mustard on hand, just omit it!

Instructions

  • The day before: make the pickled red onions. Pack the red onion slices into a jar that’s big enough to hold them all plus all of the liquid. In a small saucepan, combine the water, white vinegar, cane sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then pour the liquid over the onions in the jar. Let the onions and liquid cool to room temperature before putting a lid on top and placing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Make the dressing. In a sealable jar, combine the olive oil, vegan mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon, yellow mustard, grainy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic, salt, and pepper. Seal the lid on top and give it a good shake. Set aside.
  • Cut the cabbage into 3-4 inch chunks and place in the food processor in batches. Pulse until you have finely chopped cabbage. Transfer chopped cabbage to a large bowl. Place the kale in the food processor in batches and pulse until it is finely chopped as well. Add the chopped kale to the large bowl. Finally, add the carrots to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then, transfer chopped carrots to the large bowl.
  • Season the chopped cabbage, kale, and carrots with salt and pepper and pour all of the dressing over top. Add the chickpeas and toss to coat in the dressing. Top the salad with as many pickled red onions as you desire and the diced avocado. Enjoy!
27/03/2024
Posted in: autumn, carrots, chickpeas, creamy, gluten free option, kale, main course, nut free, quick, salad, sauce, sour, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

7 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Ann

    5 stars
    I love this salad and have it almost every day! Easy to add to and the dressing is to die for! Will you please share the nutritional info for the dressing? Need to figure WW points. Thanks in advance.

  • Julia

    5 stars
    This is my new favorite salad. Honestly the best and easiest salad ever. I added some vegan feta but with such a flavorful dressing it didn’t even need it.

  • Emily

    5 stars
    This is so tasty! I don’t love uncooked chickpeas, so I popped them in the air fryer and they added a nice croutony crunch. The dressing is incredible! Such a good hack to use the food processor. Chopped salads are the best, but I don’t have the patience for finely chopping so that was a huge win! I followed your meal prep instructions and have been so pumped to eat this for lunch all week.

  • Kailee

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious!

  • Paige

    5 stars
    THANK YOU LAURA! This is suburb as is, but I’ve been playing with it all week for deeply satisfying lunches. I had made the previous snap pea salad (YUM!) and used the lemon miso dressing with delicious results. I skipped chickpeas and added sweet potato, broccoli, and sunflower seeds as a wonderful side dish. Cannot fathom a more satisfying salad at this time of year when I’m craving crunchy green goodness.

  • Cynthia K

    5 stars
    This is delicious! It makes a huge amount, so would also be great as a side for a gathering, or for sharing with a neighbor (which I did!). I did sub plain Greek yoghurt for the vegan mayo b/c I didn’t have any mayo on hand, and it worked just fine. The dressing would be great on other salads as well. It’s really tasty!

  • n

    5 stars
    Yummy! This is a winner because I usually hate chopping things up for salads.
    You are the queen of salads!