This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for more info.
This easy recipe for coleslaw has no mayo and is colorful, refreshing, and has a great crunchy texture. Plus, it’s made with an unusual coleslaw ingredient that makes it unlike anything you’ve had before.
Coleslaw is typically associated with barbecues or potlucks as a side dish and more often than not is mixed with a heavy hand of mayo (among other things).
In my humble opinion, this is the best mayo-free coleslaw I’ve ever had!
Why Does Coleslaw Get a Bad Rap?
I didn’t grow up going to KFC, but I know that many people seem to be obsessed with their “healthy” coleslaw. Once I looked at the ingredients, it made sense as to why.
The coleslaw at KFC is loaded with refined sugar, inflammatory oils, and dairy products, which makes people crave more of it.
Store-bought coleslaw is made similarly.
What Makes this Coleslaw Recipe Different
This easy coleslaw recipe uses no mayo or refined sugar and is dairy-free.
It’s light, crunchy, fresh, and the flavor gets even better the next day. Plus, its vibrant color will brighten up any dish.
- purple cabbage
- green apples
- extra virgin olive oil
- white wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- raw honey
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Make It Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions
Please remember that recipes are meant to be used as guides.
How can you make this recipe for coleslaw (no mayo) using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- Cabbage ➝ use any color or combination: purple, green, savoy, or napa (also called Chinese cabbage)
- Apples ➝ any variety will work, but if your apple is sweet, omit the honey in the dressing
- Delicious add-ins ➝ shredded carrots, bell peppers (red, orange or yellow are best), fennel, celery, kale
For the slaw ingredients above, just make sure whatever you use is equal to about 8 cups.
- No olive oil? ➝ use avocado oil
- No white wine vinegar? ➝ other vinegars that work: apple cider, champagne, or rice wine
- No dijon mustard? ➝ use another type such as whole grain, etc.
- No raw honey? ➝ maple syrup is great
How to Cut the Cabbage
1. Remove the loose outer leaves of the cabbage and rinse.
2. Cut off the stem and slice the cabbage in half (no need for perfection).
3. Now remove the white core that you can see in each half and cut each half in half so you have four quarters (depending on the size of your cabbage, you may only need half).
4. Cut each quarter into thin slices until you’ve reached your desired amount.
- Use fresh ingredients. I recommend using fresh produce over a bag of pre-chopped vegetables. You get way more bang for your buck this way and you’ll also get a much more flavorful result. Plus, it’s better for the environment.
How to Enjoy Coleslaw
- by itself
- on top of fish (or breakfast) tacos
- on an open-faced sandwich
- alongside grilled salmon
- on top of a salad
- as a burger topping
More Recipes You’ll Love
How to Make The Best Coleslaw (No-Mayo!)
- 6 cups shredded cabbage (purple, green, napa, etc) sliced
- 2 cups green apples, thinly sliced (or substitute) (see notes)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp raw honey
- ½ tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cabbage, apple, and any other vegetable you’d like to add.
- In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together until combined.
- Add the dressing to the cabbage and apple mixture and mix until evenly coated.
- Enjoy for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Green apples fall on the tart side. If using a sweeter apple, use less honey (or omit completely).
- This coleslaw is best the day(s) after you make it.
- 2 cups of apples are about 2-3 small apples.
- You can do any combination of slaw ingredients, just make sure it’s equal to about 8 cups.