Can incorporating more cabbage into your diet help you save money? Absolutely! You just have to have the right (delicious) recipes up your sleeve – like this flavor-packed Thai peanut cabbage slaw.

Thai peanut cabbage slaw: An inexpensive salad recipe that's bursting with flavor!

Never in a million years will I buy the argument that one cannot eat healthy for cheap. I’ve heard over and over how some of the unhealthiest foods are the cheapest out there – and I don’t disagree (think potato chips, microwave meals, hot dogs, and convenience store foods).

There is certainly an argument to be made for the accessibility of healthy foods and the space to cook healthy food – not to mention the time needed to do this.

But for every unhealthy cheap food, there’s a healthy but budget-friendly counterpart out there.

Take, for example, this Thai peanut cabbage slaw. Super healthy. Not expensive at all.

Ingredients for Thai peanut cabbage slaw: Click through for recipe.

What You’ll Need To Make Thai Peanut Slaw

The list of ingredients for this slaw is basic and affordable:

  • Cabbage: I used a half-and-half mix of green cabbage and red cabbage. Alternatively you could use a bag of coleslaw mix (the kind that contains a mix of cabbage and carrots). 
  • Carrots: Use a couple of whole carrots and julienne them yourself – or purchase a bag of ready-to-go shredded carrots.
  • Red bell pepper: Red pepper adds some sweetness and extra crunch to this salad. Feel free to substitute a yellow pepper or orange pepper.
  • Green onion: I like to add a lots of green onions to this slaw – both in the salad and as a topping. The green onion adds a little bite and also makes the salad look pretty for presentation when you sprinkle some on the top before serving.
  • Peanuts: This Thai peanut salad wouldn’t be complete without the addition of peanuts + the creamy peanut dressing. Feel free to add even more peanuts than the recipe suggests. Add them to the salad and on top before serving. Another option: Top with homemade Thai fried cashews.
  • Optional toppings: Sesame seeds and lime segments.

All of these ingredients are easy to find and low cost. Green cabbage costs about 17 cents per cup of chopped cabbage. It’s so incredibly cheap and can be prepared in a million different ways. Same goes for red cabbage and carrots.

Dressing Ingredients

This peanut coleslaw is topped with a delicious Thai peanut sauce that’s made out of easy-to-find ingredients that you may already have on hand in your pantry:

  • Peanut butter: Use creamy peanut butter or chunky peanut butter – either will work fine.
  • Soy sauce: For gluten free or paleo diets, feel free to substitute tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Brown sugar: The added sugar sweetens this dressing up to taste like the dipping sauce served at Thai restaurants.
  • Ginger: You can buy a small knob of ginger at the grocery store for under $1.00. If you can’t find fresh ginger, feel free to substitute a small amount of powdered ginger.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic or garlic powder will work.
  • Rice vinegar: Adds to the flavor of this dressing, but in a pinch you could substitute apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Sriracha sauce: Optional, for a bit of heat.

For even more Thai flavor, consider drizzling on some homemade sweet chili sauce on top of this salad.

Thai peanut cabbage slaw: An inexpensive salad or side that is full of flavor.

Serving Ideas

There are a couple of great ways to enjoy this crunchy slaw: On its own (with protein added) or as a healthy side dish.

One of my favorite ways to eat this is as the recipe is written, below, with some rotisserie chicken or fried tofu added for extra protein.

But this slaw is the perfect side dish to all sorts of dishes like: 

It also makes a great potluck dish. Or consider bringing this salad to your next summer picnic.

Thai peanut cabbage slaw: With a homemade flavorful peanut sauce. Click through for recipe.

More Cabbage Recipes

If you want to save money on food and still eat deliciously, consider adding more cabbage into your diet. Wondering where to get started? Try some of these recipes:

Thai peanut cabbage slaw: An inexpensive salad recipe that's bursting with flavor!

Thai Peanut Cabbage Slaw

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

To make this salad more substantial, add some fried tofu, chicken or rice noodles.


For salad

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 red Fresno or jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • Lime wedges, cilantro and sesame seeds for serving

For dressing

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Combine cabbage, carrot, red pepper, Fresno pepper, and green onions in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle peanuts, cilantro, additional green onions, and sesame seeds on top.
  2. To make dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour over salad and serve with lime wedges and cilantro on the side.

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