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Traditional Swedish Pizza Salad (Pizzasallad)

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Although Swedish pizza can stand on its own, most pizzerias offer a complimentary side of Swedish pizza salad with it.  It is so good, you may never want to eat pizza without it again. You can serve pizzasallad on the side, toss it on top of a slice, wrap the pizza up with it, enjoy it however you please!

traditional swedish pizza salad pizzasallad presentation
traditional swedish pizza salad pizzasallad presentation

Pizza salad is made of shredded white or green cabbage, oil, vinegar and some basic seasonings, that comes together much like coleslaw, but is refreshingly light and accentuates the pizza in a satisfying way. 

It almost makes you feel less guilty about eating the pizza, especially if you are on a low carb diet.  That’s what I love about it. 

You can have less pizza than you normally would, by filling up on some healthy and great tasting, low carb salad.

I usually only have a half of a pita pizza when we also serve pizza salad. The pizza salad is so filling that a half a pita pizza is the perfect amount.

We usually save the other half for lunch the next day and it’s great to already have something prepared. There’s usually plenty of cabbage salad left for lunch also.

I also feel great eating this because of the nutritional benefits of cabbage. 

We have gotten so used to having this with our pizzas that it has came to the point that if we don’t have a cabbage, we will wait until we do to make pizza, or make a quick run to get one.

Check out our favorite easy Pita Pizza Recipes for more flatbread pizza ideas! You won’t want to miss our best Pizza Side Dish recipes and suggestions.

Content of this Post

How to Choose a Cabbage for Pizza Salad

Make sure you select a cabbage that is large, dense and firm to the touch. The leaves should be crisp and without any discoloration.

Be sure to check that the inside looks fine after it’s been cut in half. You will want to ensure there are no dark spots.

Ingredients Used in Swedish Pizza Salad (Pizzasallad)

The refreshing cabbage salad known to all Swedes as pizza salad (pizzasallad) consists of white or green cabbage, oil, vinegar and a few common spices (mainly salt, pepper and oregano).

The cabbage is shredded into very thin strips, strained through boiling water and softened up by kneading by hand.

After that, oil, vinegar and spices are added for flavor.

swedish pizza salad ingredient mise en place
  • Cabbage — this recipe uses half a head of cabbage, you can always double the recipe if you’d like to use the whole cabbage. Half a cabbage makes enough for a dinner for two and lunch for two the next day.
  • Olive Oil — we use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
  • Rice Vinegar — offers a subtle sweetness, you can try other vinegars (white wine vinegar is nice) but this is our favorite.
  • Oregano — dried oregano leaves or ground into a powder.
  • Salt — Himalayan, ground, enhances all of the flavors.
  • Pepper — we use freshly ground black pepper but you can use white pepper if you like.

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Variations and Additional Ingredients for Pizza Salad

Aside from trying a different cabbage type, such as red cabbage , you can also add liquid honey (between 1 tablespoon and 1/4 cup) to add some sweetness to the salad. If you want some heat to the pizza salad you can add some green or red Tabasco sauce (1/4 to one teaspoon) or a few splashes of Chili sauce (such as Frank’s).

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Being high in Sulfur it’s a good addition to the vegetarian meal plan. Cabbage also provides fiber and protein and loads of Vitamin K and Vitamin C. In addition, cabbage contains both Calcium and Potassium.

How to Make Swedish Pizza Salad Step by Step

The most difficult part of this recipe is slicing your cabbage. You’ll need to find an easy method that works for you.

STEP 1 — Split the Cabbage

First step is to split the cabbage in half, lengthwise. Aim to cut the cabbage in two equal pieces along the middle on the external leaves.

swedish pizza salad cabbage

STEP 2 — Cut the Cabbage

Second step is to cut the cabbage in small strips, about 1/16″ to 1/8″ widths.

You can use a cabbage slicer, mandolin, a serrated knife with a guide, a food processor or a KitchenAid stand mixer with a cabbage slicing attachment or a large bread knife.

Once you’ve determined your favorite method, and can slice cabbage comfortably (and safely) – you’re off to the races!

swedish pizza salad cutting method
swedish pizza salad step 1
Cabbage Slicing Hack: Use a serrated knife with a guide.

STEP 3 — Boil Water

Be sure to boil some water so you can pour it over your cabbage once it’s shredded. Pour the boiling water over the shredded cabbage in a colander in the sink, cool it down a bit and then knead the cabbage with your hands until it’s soft. The purpose of this is to break down the cabbage fibers to make it soft.

swedish pizza salad step 3

STEP 4 — Add Ingredients and Mix

Transfer to a large serving bowl, add your oil, vinegar and seasonings, mix well and you are good to go! For best result, let the pizza salad cool down in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

swedish pizza salad step 5

Bring on the pizzas!

Does the Width of the Slices Matter?

Yes, it does. Thin slices of cabbage, less than 1/8″, are preferred as you want the cabbage to be soft and allow it to soak up the dressing. We try to keep the slices between 1/16″ and 1/8″ wide.

Anything wider than that will be crisp and hard and have a sharper taste of cabbage. They will be difficult to knead as the boiling water will not have time to wilt the cabbage slices.

How Long Should the Cabbage Soak in the Dressing?

The longer the better. For the pizza salad to get the full flavors you should try to let the cabbage soak up the dressing for at least an hour while it’s getting chilled in the fridge.

The pizza salad is best enjoyed after it has been sitting in the fridge overnight. If you are in a hurry, you can eat the salad right after the dressing is poured over it, but you will be missing out on the full flavors of this Swedish pizza side dish staple.

Can You Make Swedish Pizza Salad with Red Cabbage?

Yes! Feel free to use white, green or red cabbage, or a mix of these.

The red cabbage pizza salad tastes great too, slightly more pungent, but in a good way.

Red cabbage is known to have more antioxidants so there is that benefit as well. And just look at that stunning color!

We love to make kebab shop Turkish red cabbage salad to go with all of our doner kebab recipes.

red cabbage pizza salad

Try Pizza Salad With Our Quick and Easy Pita Pizzas

Swedish pizza salad is perfect alongside any pizza or pita pizza. If you have leftovers, within the next two days, you can make more pita pizzas for another quick meal.

Try these favorites whenever you want to make a quick and healthy pizza at home:

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Reap the benefits of sardines in this easy and tasty pita pizza that will keep you satisfied. Super fast and convenient to make using shelf stable tins of sardines in tomato sauce. Top with crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese if you prefer. Serve with Swedish pizza salad or a salad.
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Take advantage of the health benefits of mackerel in this easy and super satisfying pita pizza. Shelf stable tins of mackerel in tomato sauce are put to great use as a tasty and inexpensive last minute meal option. Melted cheddar cheese on top pulls it all together. Serve with Swedish pizza salad or a salad.
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Feel free to customize your pitas with your favorite pizza toppings. You can’t really go wrong with any combinations of fresh vegetables, cooked meat, canned seafood, herbs, spices and cheese.

If you want some extra flavor on your pizza salad or pita pizza, Kebab sauce adds a special savory touch when drizzled over top of pita pizzas or served on the side with your pizzasallad.

kebab pizza pita recipe presentation
Pizza Salad is Perfect with Doner Kebab Pizza and Kebab Sauce

Other Uses for Swedish Pizza Salad (Pizzasallad)

Use this tangy cabbage salad to elevate sandwiches and wraps. I like to put some in a Lebanese style pita bread with any leftover spicy meat and some homemade Instant Pot yogurt.

Pizza salad can also be served as a low calorie coleslaw and as a side dish to a barbecue menu. You will find that there are many uses for pizza salad in meals and leftovers shouldn’t last too long.

If you want a different breakfast take on the cabbage salad, add it to your omelet with fresh mushrooms, green onions and any of your favorite vegetables.

Storage Tips

Pizza salad should be enjoyed fresh as it is not recommended to freeze this dish. It keeps well in the fridge for three to five days. and can be made ahead a day or two before it is needed. It is served best chilled but can be enjoyed at room temperature as well.

We’ve shared some favorite Swedish main course, side dish and breakfast ideas below:

These restaurant and café style dishes are all perfect for everyday and festive occasions.

Yummy Salad Recipes

Pizza salad is one of the salads we make most often, but there are a few more we love to make quite regularly. They are also fantastic with pizza and doner kebab meals, and basically any main course.

These salads are fabulous accompaniments to picnics and barbecues and they happen to go well with pizzasallad.

You’ll Also Love

You’ll be amazed at how easily you can make Instant Pot Doner Kebab (Kebabkött) for all of your favorite doner kebab recipes.

Instant Pot doner kebab kebabkött presentation 1

This homemade doner kebab recipe is perfect in kebab roll (kebabrulle), kebab plate (kebabtallrik) and kebab pizza (kebabpizza). Repurpose leftover kebab meat into super delicious appetizers like doner kebab poutine and doner kebab quesadillas.

homemade doner kebab plate kebabtallrik presentation
Doner Kebab Plate (Kebabtallrik) With Air Fryer French Fries and Kebab Sauce

In addition to enjoying pizzasallad with pizza, Swedish pizza salad is also a refreshing side dish to serve along with all of these delicious doner kebab dishes.

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traditional swedish pizza salad pizzasallad recipe

Traditional Swedish Pizza Salad (Pizzasallad)

Susan & Björn
A fresh and savory finely shredded cabbage salad with a refreshingly light dressing that pairs well with most pizzas. Very filling, and an excellent dish to make you feel more satisfied on a lower carb diet.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Swedish
Calories 609 kcal
Fiber 12 g
Carbohydrates 28 g


1 Colander large, stainless steel
1 Cabbage Slicer


  • ½ head Cabbage
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil, cold pressed extra virgin
  • ¼ cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, Himalayan, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon Pepper, ground


  • Boil a kettle (1-2 quarts) of water.
  • Shred the cabbage into thin strips using a mandolin or cabbage slicer. The finer you can shred it, the better.
    swedish pizza salad step 1
  • Place the shredded cabbage in a large (5 quart) colander.
    swedish pizza salad step 2
  • Pour the boiling water evenly over the shredded cabbage, and mix the cabbage after half the water is poured (use salad tongs to avoid burns).
    swedish pizza salad step 3
  • Pour cold filtered tap water over the cabbage to let it cool until lukewarm.
  • Using you hands, knead the cabbage (squeeze large bunches of it with your hands) until it loses some of it's crispness and becomes softer.
  • Transfer the cabbage into a large sized (4 quart) mixing bowl.
    swedish pizza salad step 4
  • Add the remaining ingredients (oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper) to the cabbage.
    swedish pizza salad step 5
  • Mix until the shredded cabbage is thoroughly combined with oil, vinegar and spices.
    swedish pizza salad step 6
  • Cover the pizza salad and let it chill in the fridge for an hour. Serve chilled with your favorite pizza or as a side dish for meat or pasta dishes.


Calories: 609kcal Carbohydrates: 28g Fiber: 12g Protein: 6g Fat: 55g Saturated Fat: 8g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g Monounsaturated Fat: 40g Sodium: 1247mg Potassium: 806mg Sugar: 15g Vitamin A: 482IU Vitamin C: 166mg Calcium: 221mg Iron: 3mg


The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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