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This Napa Cabbage Salad is Asian-inspired, quick-to-make in under 20 minutes, and so refreshing! It’s packed with super crisp veggies and cabbage with a homemade citrus sesame dressing. 

Be sure to try my Chicken Fajita Salad and Crispy Chicken Salad next!

Salad with napa cabbage, red bell peppers and oranges on a white platter with wood salad tongs.
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Why I Love This Recipe

  • Citrus Sesame Dressing – The homemade dressing is easy to mix up in a jar using orange juice, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a few other easy ingredients.
  • Crunchy and Refreshing – It’s loaded up with fresh and crisp veggies like sliced cabbage and bell peppers.
  • Fast and Easy To Make – The entire salad is ready in only 20 minutes or less, including prep time!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Salad Dressing – Sesame oil, orange juice, honey, rice wine vinegar, canola oil, soy sauce, garlic.
  • Head of Napa Cabbage – You’ll slice the cabbage thin for the salad. Napa cabbage is softer and easier to chew, but still has a nice crunch.
  • Bell Pepper – I like to use a red bell pepper, but you can swap in another color.
  • Thinly Sliced Green Onions – You’ll use both the whites and greens.
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro
  • Shredded Carrots – You can shred your own or save time by buying pre-shredded carrots from the store.
  • Mandarin Oranges – You can use canned mandarin oranges or you can swap in navel oranges. Check out the expert tips below for how to prepare the navel oranges. 
  • Sliced Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds – These are sprinkled on the salad at the end to add some great crunch!

How To Make Napa Cabbage Salad

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Salad dressing in a clear glass bowl.

Make Dressing – An easy way to mix up the dressing is by adding all of the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar and shaking to combine. You can also whisk it up in a bowl!

Chopped cabbage, red bell pepper, cilantro and green onions on a wooden cutting board.
Shredded carrots, napa cabbage, red bell peppers and oranges in a white bowl, a spoon with salad dressing ready to drizzle over the salad.

Toss Salad – Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the dressing so everything is well coated. Finish it off with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.

Napa cabbage salad in salad tongs.

What is Napa Cabbage?

Napa cabbage is a Chinese cabbage. Compared to green cabbage, it has a milder flavor and more delicate texture. You can use napa cabbage to make this Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad or this Winter Salad with both spring mix and napa cabbage. Green cabbage works better for coleslaw, fried cabbage, or a simple cabbage salad.

Serving Suggestions

This salad can be served as a main course (try adding shredded chicken) or as a side salad. Some great main dish recipes to serve with it are these Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Drumsticks, Sticky Chicken, and Korean Short Ribs on the Grill.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. After a day, it will become more like a slaw.

Expert Tips

  • How To Cut Navel Oranges into Segments – Cut off the top and bottom of an orange and then stand it so one of the cut sides is down. Take your knife and cut away the rind and pith by going around the fruit and cutting from top to bottom. This should leave you with a naked orange. To cut out the segments, slice down one side of the membrane almost to the middle, but not through, and then slice on the same way down the other side of the membrane wall, leaving you with a perfect orange segment free from all membrane and rind.
  • Other Salad Additions – Other great additions are sliced pea pods, shredded red cabbage, or crunchy chow mein noodles. 
  • Dressing – Try this salad with a different dressing, like Lemon Vinaigrette or Oil and Vinegar Dressing.
  • Add a Protein – You can turn this into a super filling main dish by adding shredded chicken or Air Fryer Shrimp.
Napa cabbage salad with carrots, bell peppers and oranges on a salad plate with a fork.

More Salad Recipes


Napa Cabbage Salad

This Napa Cabbage Salad is ready in 20 minutes and so refreshing! Packed with super crisp veggies and a homemade citrus sesame dressing. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 -6



  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • ½ head napa cabbage sliced thin
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 3 green onions sliced thin
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 12 oz can mandarin oranges drained or 2 navel oranges, supremed (see note)
  • ¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
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Salad Dressing

  • Place all dressing ingredients in a mason jar, bowl, or small container with a tight fitting lid. Shake or whisk vigorously until ingredients are combined. Set aside.


  • In a large bowl place the cabbage, peppers, green onion, cilantro, carrots and oranges. Toss with the dressing until all of the ingredients are well coated. Garnish with toasted almonds and sesame seeds.


  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. After a day, it will become more like a slaw.
  • Other good additions are sliced pea pods, shredded red cabbage or crunchy chow mein noodles.
  • You could turn this into a main dish by adding shredded chicken or sauteed shrimp.


Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.04gSodium: 609mgPotassium: 654mgFiber: 5gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 5346IUVitamin C: 107mgCalcium: 175mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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