Coleslaw is a classic side dish that combines crisp cabbage, shredded carrot, and creamy, tangy, and flavorful dressing.

It’s the perfect side dish for hearty burgers and sandwiches; it’s an excellent recipe to make ahead and enjoy for a bbq, picnic, or an exciting family dinner.

Coleslaw with carrot and red cabbage

You’ll love our homemade coleslaw because it’s easy to make with a few simple vegetables, you can prep it in advance, and it’s tasty and indulgent while being light and refreshing.

The secret is all in the dressing, which we make with a combination of mayonnaise (we use our homemade vegan mayo but any other mayo works) and Greek-style yogurt (non-dairy yogurt works well too).

The yogurt makes the recipe much lighter and healthier while keeping it incredibly creamy and fulfilling.

Seasoned with mustard, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of maple syrup, this coleslaw dressing is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and it definitely packs a punch; it’ll make your shredded cabbage taste divine.

This is our favorite way of eating cabbage, and it’s, without a doubt, the best recipe for potlucks, BBQs, pizza nights, picnics, or dinner with friends and family.

Coleslaw serving suggestion

Ingredients & Substitutions

ingredients for coleslaw

Cabbage

We like to use both green cabbage and red cabbage, but you can also use only one of the two.

You can also purchase a coleslaw mix to make things faster.

Carrot

We use regular orange carrots and grate them with the large wholes of a box grater. Carrots add a pleasant sweet flavor to this easy coleslaw recipe.

Parsley

Parsley adds a nice touch of freshness that we like in this creamy slaw. You can keep it out if you don’t.

Coleslaw dressing

  • Mayonnaise: we use our vegan mayo but any mayonnaise works here.
  • Greek-style yogurt: full-fat, low-fat, and non-dairy yogurt; they all work well.
  • Apple cider vinegar: it’s a must in a slaw dressing. Cabbage loves acidity. Substitute red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar.
  • Yellow mustard: substitute Dijon mustard.
  • Sugar: we love the dressing with a hint of sweetness. If you don’t keep the sugar out. Substitute maple syrup or agave syrup for sugar.
  • Salt and black pepper.

We don’t add celery seed because it’s an ingredient that we don’t use in any of our other recipes, and we don’t keep it in our pantry.

BBQ tofu, coleslaw and air fryer zucchini

How to make coleslaw

Shred the cabbage into thin slices. You can do so with a sharp knife, mandoline slicer, or food processor with a slicing attachment.

Tip: we recommend cutting the cabbage in half, then in half again, then cutting each quarter of the cabbage into 2 wedges. It’s easier to slice small cabbage wedges.

green cabbage and a hand with a knife

To a large bowl, add shredded cabbage, carrots grated with the large holes of a box grater, and finely chopped parsley.

carrot, red cabbage and green cabbage in a bowl

Make the coleslaw dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, Greek-style yogurt, apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, sugar, salt, and black pepper.

Coleslaw dressing with yogurt

Pour the coleslaw dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until the ingredients are well combined.

You can serve this immediately for the best crunch, or make it ahead of time and keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Coleslaw with cabbage and a spoon

Variations

Vegan coleslaw

BBQ tofu, coleslaw and air fryer zucchini

Vegan coleslaw is easy. Follow our coleslaw recipe, and use vegan mayo mixed with unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt or vegan sour cream for the dressing. All other ingredients stay the same.

The result is a creamy, tangy, and crisp slaw as delicious as the original. Serve it with our BBQ tofu; it’s out of this world!

No mayo coleslaw

no mayo coleslaw, healthy coleslaw

Coleslaw without mayonnaise is not as creamy as classic coleslaw, but it’s still plenty delicious.

To make this healthy coleslaw alternative, we recommend a simple vinaigrette dressing with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper.

Check out our no-mayo coleslaw recipe (coming soon).

Red cabbage slaw

Creamy red cabbage slaw

Red cabbage slaw is made with only red cabbage and carrots, but the recipe is identical to our classic coleslaw recipe.

Check out our red cabbage slaw recipe.

Apple coleslaw

Coleslaw with cabbage with red apple

Apple coleslaw is every bite as delicious as classic coleslaw, but it has a delightful fruity addition: sliced apples.

You can make it with sweet or tart apples based on your taste, and you can even add some crushed walnuts if you like.

Cranberries and walnuts coleslaw

Coleslaw with walnuts and cranberries

If you are making this for a holiday or winter, you could try adding dried cranberries and crushed walnuts to have a richer and more festive flavor.

Sour cranberries and nutty walnuts are a match made in heaven with the crisp cabbage and creamy slaw dressing.

Serving suggestions

In a burger or sandwich

BBQ sauce and coleslaw in a burger

Granted, coleslaw is perfect with fried chicken, hot dogs, or pulled pork sandwiches, but we think it’s a must-try in a bun with our barbecue tofu (the best tofu we have ever had).

The chewy tofu coated in a strong, punchy BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with the cool, crunchy slaw.

As a side dish

BBQ tofu with coleslaw and air fryer vegetables

As a side for dinners and backyard barbecues with your favorite protein and a selection of veggies:

  • Airfried zucchini (zucchini, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, chili powder, etc.)
  • Roasted carrots (carrots, maple syrup, parsley, olive oil, garlic, etc.)
  • Grilled eggplant (eggplant, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, parsley, salt, etc.)
  • Grilled tofu (tofu, olive oil, sesame seeds, salt, paprika, etc.)
  • BBQ tofu (tofu, paprika, BBQ sauce, etc.)
  • Black bean soup (black beans, tomatoes, chipotle powder, carrots, bay leaves, etc.)

Tip

Save the crunch: this recipe is delicious up to 3 – 4 days after it’s made. However, if you are making it for a special occasion and want the best crunch, we recommend mixing the sauce with the cabbage 3 hours in advance max.

Storage

Make ahead: coleslaw is good up to 4 days after it’s made; however, if you want the best crunch, we recommend mixing the dressing and the cabbage 3 hours before serving it max.

Refrigerator: keep leftovers in the fridge in a bowl covered with a plate or in an airtight container. Coleslaw is delicious and served cold, so you can serve it right out of the fridge.

Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing coleslaw.

More cabbage recipes

If you love leafy greens, you can explore our other crispy cabbage recipes:

  • Braised red cabbage (apple, red cabbage, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, etc.)
  • Red cabbage salad (pinto beans, oranges, red cabbage, lettuce, mustard, etc.)
  • Tuscan soup (savoy cabbage, white beans, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, kale, etc.)
  • Italian lentil soup (dried lentils, kale, green cabbage, canned tomatoes, garlic, etc.)

More creamy salads

Get more creamy and easy salad ideas with these tasty dishes:

  • Dill potato salad (radishes, yogurt, potato, pickled cucumber, mayonnaise, etc.)
  • Broccoli salad (broccoli, sundried tomatoes, yogurt, mayo, seeds, lemon, etc.)
  • Avocado salad (cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, lemon juice, parsley, etc.)
  • Creamy pasta salad (cucumber, white beans, red onion, olives, mayo, corn, etc.)
  • Tahini salad (tahini, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, radishes, lemon, etc.)

For many more side dish ideas, check out our sides category page.

Creamy coleslaw

Coleslaw

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 9 votes
Coleslaw is a classic side dish that combines crisp cabbage, shredded carrot, and creamy, tangy, and flavorful dressing.
It's the perfect side dish for hearty burgers and sandwiches; it's an excellent recipe to make ahead and enjoy for a bbq, picnic, or an exciting family dinner.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Course: Side dish
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (12 ounces) green cabbage thinly cut with a knife, mandoline slicer, or food processor
  • 1 cup (3 ounces) red cabbage thinly cut with a knife, mandoline slicer, or food processor
  • 2 carrots grated with large holes
  • 1 handful parsley finely chopped

Coleslaw dressing

  • cup vegan mayo or regular mayo
  • cup Greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Shred the cabbage into thin slices. You can do so with a sharp knife, mandoline slicer, or food processor with a slicing attachment.
    green cabbage and a hand with a knife
  • To a large bowl, add the cabbage, carrots grated with the large holes of a box grater, and finely chopped parsley.
    carrot, red cabbage and green cabbage in a bowl
  • Make the coleslaw dressing by whisking together ⅓ cup vegan mayo⅓ cup Greek yogurt2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar1 tablespoon mustard1 tablespoon sugar1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
    Coleslaw dressing with yogurt
  • Toss cabbage with dressing and serve.
    Coleslaw with cabbage and a spoon

Video

Notes

Nutritional information is an estimate for 1 small side serving of coleslaw out of eight servings.
STORAGE
Make ahead: coleslaw is good up to 4 days after it’s made; however, if you want the best crunch, we recommend mixing the dressing and the cabbage 3 hours before serving it max.
Refrigerator: keep leftovers in the fridge in a bowl covered with a plate or in an airtight container. Coleslaw is delicious and served cold, so you can serve it right out of the fridge.
Freezer: we don’t recommend freezing coleslaw.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE
 

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Potassium: 180mg, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2825IU, Vitamin B6: 0.1mg, Vitamin C: 25mg, Vitamin E: 0.2mg, Vitamin K: 61µg, Calcium: 43mg, Folate: 27µg, Iron: 0.5mg, Manganese: 0.2mg, Magnesium: 12mg, Zinc: 0.2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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4 Comments

    1. Fantastic, Irma! I’m so happy you liked the coleslaw 💪

      Enjoy your party, and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and a rating 🙂

      Kindest, Louise

    1. Fantastic, Alina. I’m very happy you like the coleslaw.
      Thanks for leaving a message 🙂
      Kindest, Louise