Dairy free, Gluten free, Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

Classic Greek Winter Salad

Greek cabbage and carrot saladWe all have heard of the famous Greek Salad know as horiatiki in Greek. It is basically a salad with tomatoes, cucumber, feta and some other condiments, but tomatoes are tasteless in the winter so in the cold months, Greeks eat 2 types of salads: green salads (prasini salata) or cabbage and carrot salad (lahano-karoto). It is a simple salad and you can add other ingredients such as apples, pomegranate seeds and walnuts as I did here for a festive holiday salad. The classic version is perfect when accompanied with crumbled feta.

Greek cabbage and carrot salad

This salad obviously has a high nutritional value. The cabbage belongs to the cruciferous family, these vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, compounds that are produced by plants. They are associated with a reduced risk of cancer by stopping the growth of tumors. It also seems that these substances detoxify carcinogens before they cause any damage. They are also associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Carrots are are alos rich in the phytochemical beta-carotene. With the addition of antioxidant rich olive oil and lemon juice which is a great source of vitamin C which is also an antioxidant, you have one of the healthiest salads around.

Classic Greek Winter Salad

Greek cabbage and carrot salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
A easy, tasty, classic Greek winter salad, and one of the healthiest around!
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Cabbage salad
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 10 cups of shredded cabage (about 1 ½ pounds or 700 grams)
  • 4 carrots shredded
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Kalamata olives


  • Use a shredder to shred cabbage or slice thinly with a knife. Soak in water, rinse and dry.
  • Shred the carrots.
  • In a jar or small bowl mix the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic.
  • Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, pour the dressing and add the salt. Toss the salad (it will reduce in volume).
  • Add the olives on top.
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Photo by Elena Paravantes

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  • Reply Carla October 29, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Looks really good! What is the purpose of soaking and rinsing the cabbage?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks Carla! It’s just to wash it.

  • Reply Caterina October 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I prefer the “politiki” version of this salad, where you also add a finely chopped bell pepper and a bunch of chopped celery leaves.
    I then sprinkle salt and rub everything together, finally add white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
    I let everything stay in the fridge overnight, so that the salad marinades in the vinegar and olive oil.
    Tastes delicious with all pulses, above all chickpeas.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD November 2, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Yes, there are several versions of this classic salad. It tastes more “marinated” the next day and has the more soft “coleslaw” like texture, if that is what you are going for. But we have always served it fresh (maybe a couple hours) with a bit of crunchiness, otherwise it looks mushy and changes color.

  • Reply Katina Vaselopulos October 31, 2015 at 3:18 am

    Looks wonderful! Fresh, crisp, and inviting!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 31, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thanks Katina!

  • Reply Beth October 31, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    Looks great – just the thing now it is fall. How long will it keep in the fridge? There is only my husband and myself so even if I halve the recipe it might last us a couple of days.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD November 2, 2015 at 6:44 am

      Hi Beth. A couple of days. After a few hours it will have a softer, coleslaw like texture, still tastes good but is not really crunchy.

  • Reply Eat Like A Greek? Greek Dietary Guidelines- A Better Choice | Olive Tomato January 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    […] Chicken cooked with okra and a cabbage-carrot salad […]

  • Reply Dorothy February 13, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    We had this salad in a small village on Crete. It had just hint of sweet taste. We tried to make it with rice vinegar, not luck. Could there had been sugar added? It was so good that’s why I’m trying to make it now that we are back home in the states. The kitchen lady said just olive oil and vinegar but what KIND of vinegar…..we forgot to ask,

    • Reply Elena March 22, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Hi Dorothy, Red wine vinegar is used.

  • Reply 25 Delicious Mediterranean Christmas Brunch Recipes | Olive Tomato December 21, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    […] 7. Classic Greek Winter Cabbage Salad […]

  • Reply Donna Stath April 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you!

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  • Reply Authentic Greek Lemon Roasted Chicken and Potatoes January 14, 2020 at 8:19 am

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  • Reply Inge February 15, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you for the lovely recipe. Since I discovered your website (trying to find more plant based recipes and eat healthier/less meat) my whole family is enjoying healthier meals. I wasn’t sure about this salad, not something I usually make, but I’m glad I did!5 stars

  • Reply Mediterranean Fall Recipes | Greektown Chicago January 28, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    […] Classic Greek Cabbage Salad: While the most famous Greek salad consists of tomatoes, cucumber and feta, the fall months call for a seasonal dish like this cabbage salad, which merges fresh seasonal vegetables like cabbage and carrots. The dish merges fresh fall vegetables like cabbage and carrots to create a delicious veggie side or lunch dish. […]

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