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Cabbage Salsa

Fresh, delicious restaurant style salsa with crunchy cabbage with fresh, warm tortilla chips.

Cabbage salsa is a type of salsa that takes advantage of the crunchy texture of cabbage. It typically has a variety of other ingredients like tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, lime juice, and cilantro to give it flavor.

The cabbage adds an extra crunch that really sets it apart from other types of salsas. Cabbage salsa is great alongside chips or used as a topping for tacos or burritos!

Why Make Cabbage Salsa

  • This is a super simple recipe that is ready in under a half hour
  • No need to visit the local Mexican restaurants when you can make your own homemade cabbage salsa recipe
  • It's super simple to customize to fit your taste buds
white bowl of cabbage salsa in a pile of corn tortilla chips next to white towel


Get all the info on these simple ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Green cabbage
  • A fresh tomato
  • Sweet onion
  • Green onion
  • Fresh cilantro -see post on How to Keep Cilantro Fresh for up to One Month
  • Fresh lime
  • Serrano pepper - with jalapeño peppers
  • Tomato juice- unseasoned, like Campbell's
  • A pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper
large bowl of finely chopped cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro, Serrano, and scallions on white stone surface

How to Make Cabbage Salsa

  1. In a food processor, or with a knife and cutting board, finely mince the cabbage, cilantro and Serrano pepper; add to a large bowl.
  2. Dice the onion and tomato and add to bowl.
  3. Slice the green onion thinly and add to bowl.
  4. Pour in the tomato juice, and the juice of one to two limes.
  5. Add the sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Toss together, add more salt or pepper to taste.
large bowl with fresh salsa ingredients including tomato juice and a wooden spoon


The Mexican cabbage salsa will keep in the fridge for up to five days in an airtight container.

It can be eaten right away, but it's actually best several hours to the next day after it's been in the fridge since the flavors have time to come together. 

How to make homemade tortilla chips:

Tortilla chips are really easy to make, and definitely worth it when you have a great salsa to serve with them.

You can also keep them warm in the oven until you're ready to serve them. 

  1. To make the chips cut a stack of small, corn tortillas into six equal triangles to prepare them for frying.
  2. Heat a large, deep pot with a few inches of frying or vegetable oil to about 350 degrees. This is around the medium high setting on most stove top burners. (You'll want to keep the oil level below halfway full, because it's going to rise rapidly once the tortillas get in.)
  3. Drop the tortilla triangles into the oil in batches of about 20 triangles. Give a little stir and flip here and there. Don't walk away from the pot, as they become golden and crisp very quickly.
  4. Remove them with a slotted spoon or frying ladle and immediately salt them with fine salt; layer on a baking sheet or large plate.
  5. Chips can be kept warm in a 170 degree oven, or even reheated at the same temperature for 5-10 minutes. Store in a plastic or paper bag for up to 5 days. 

What's the easiest way to cut up cabbage and other ingredients? 

If you have one available, I recommend using a food processor for textural reasons. It helps to get tiny, uniform pieces that make the salsa so great.

If you don't have a food processor, use a sharp knife, and a large cutting board and be intentional in cutting up small, uniform bits of the ingredients.

This is especially important when it comes to the cabbage for this easy cabbage salsa. 

​Recipe Variations

- Experiment with different seasonings and spices like cumin, chili powder, oregano, and paprika for extra depth of flavors. 

- For sweeter flavors, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. 

- To get a creamy texture, add ½ cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream. 

- For added crunch, top with some chopped green onions.

- We enjoy the sweet onion for this recipe, but if you want to change up the flavor profile a bit, try using a large red onion. 

- While using lime juice is preferred in this tangy salsa, you can swap this out for lemon juice if you want to avoid a trip to the grocery store. 

How do you serve cabbage salsa? 

Cabbage salsa can be served as a topping for tacos or burritos, as part of a nacho plate, with tortilla chips, or even over tostadas. 

It also makes a great side dish for fish tacos, your other favorite tacos, or grilled chicken. Cabbage salsa can also be used in salads and sandwiches to provide an extra layer of flavor, just like pico de gallo. The possibilities are endless! 

Using homemade salsas is a great way to change up your typical taco night and will bring even more fantastic flavors to your dinner table!

📖 Recipe

white ceramic bowl filled with cabbage style salsa surrounded by corn tortilla chips

Cabbage Salsa

Restaurant style cabbage salsa; perfectly scoop-able with warm, homemade tortilla chips!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cabbage salsa, Mexican coleslaw, pico do gallo
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $3


  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ head cabbage
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 bunch green onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lime juice of, two if dry
  • 1 Serrano pepper more or less to taste
  • 2 cups tomato juice unseasoned
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/ teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste


For the Salsa:

  • In a food processor, or with a knife and cutting board, finely mince the cabbage, cilantro and Serrano pepper; add to a large bowl.
  • Dice the onion and tomato and add to bowl.
  • Slice the green onion thinly and add to bowl.
  • Pour in the tomato juice, and the juice of one to two limes.
  • Add the sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Toss together, add more salt or pepper to taste.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


  1. Using a food processor is the best way to get the perfect texture, but a knife and cutting board will do if you make sure to get the cabbage minced very finely. It's all about the texture and uniform pieces. 
  2. Store salsa covered, in refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
To make homemade tortilla chips:
  • Cut stacks of corn tortillas into 6 equal triangular sections.
  • Fry chips in batches, make sure oil is 350 degrees. Test tortilla should sizzle immediately when hitting oil.
  • Don't heat oil too hot; if it smokes it's too hot. 
  • Use a deep stock pot to pour oil in, and leave at least 6 inches head way. Don't fill oil deeper than 2 inches because oil level can rise quickly once tortillas are dropped in.
  • Drain chips on a parchment paper or paper bag lined baking sheet. 
  • Salt fried chips immediately with fine salt while still hot; this helps salt to stick.
  • Place pot of oil in a safe space (like in a turned off oven) while it cools down. Even oil that is off the burner can cause severe burns for several hours after frying. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


Friday 4th of March 2022

Ok I just made this and it is so damn delicious!! This will be my new go to for salsa! Yummmm!!!


Friday 4th of March 2022

This sounds amazing! Gonna have to try making some this weekend!

Kimberly Linham

Sunday 2nd of February 2020

We just made this and cannot wait to eat it for the Super Bowl today and all week long on chicken tacos! Cabbage is new to me in pico, but a definite staple from now on. SO good. Thanks for this awesome recipe!


Thursday 6th of August 2020

I'm so happy you like it!! Chicken tacos is my favorite way to eat it too!