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Green Cabbage Salad with Spiced Pepitas

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

Cilantro, lime, and chili powder give this crisp salad a Mexican flavor. Toss in some Cotija, a crumbly cow’s milk cheese, and you’ve got the ultimate taco topping.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 4-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tsp. agave syrup or honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage, cored, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3-1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) crumbled Cotija or ricotta salata cheese

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 260
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 21
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 410
  • Carbohydrates (g): 12
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 8


  • Put the pepitas in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pepitas smell fragrant and start to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 Tbs. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. of the chili powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Set aside to cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, lime zest, agave, the remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Use a fork to whisk in the remaining 4 Tbs. oil. Set aside.
  • In a large serving bowl, combine the cabbage, bell pepper, scallions, jalapeño, and 1/4 cup of the cilantro. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, cheese, and half of the spiced pepitas, and toss to combine. Serve topped with the remaining pepitas.

Make Ahead Tips

The salad can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • tchunter | 12/18/2021

    Very good. It is brighter and prettier if you toss it with the dressing about an hour before serving. However, the flavors blend nicely if you let it sit longer.

  • user-3164399 | 08/03/2017

    Yummy, fresh, light, and spicy. Nothing bland about this dish at all. I used chipotle chile powder, and it was great. I will definitely make this dish again ... accompanied by grilled meat, corn on the cob, corn tortillas .... five stars!

  • user-33410 | 02/06/2017

    I've made this several times now, and it's quite good. Didn't have any pepitas, so I used sunflower seeds, just fine. I like this because it can be made in advance -- actually improves -- and doesn't get watery, like a typical cole slaw. A nice change. (Five stars.)

  • steveftc | 05/29/2016

    I've made this twice, following the directions exactly. It looks so good on paper, but both times I've been surprised with the lack of flavor. I just can't pinpoint what it needs to give it that pop.

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