The Easiest No-Mayo Coleslaw

published Jul 14, 2022
No-Mayo Coleslaw Recipe

This vinegar-based, entirely dairy-free coleslaw is a refreshing summertime side.

Serves6 to 8

Prep20 minutes

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A photo of no mayo coleslaw on a plate with wooden serving utensils
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

When I was growing up, my grandfather worked at KFC — and even at 7 years old I loved those styrofoam containers of sweet and creamy coleslaw. I still have a soft spot for that chopped salad of sorts, but I love any variety of the stuff. Vinegar slaw, in particular, is a delicious summertime side. It’s cold and refreshing, and a lovely way to break up the richness from barbecued meats, mayo-based potato salads, and sweet and savory baked beans.

What Is Coleslaw Dressing Made Of?

Coleslaw tends to fall into two camps: Creamy and mayonnaise-based or tangy and vinegar-based. This coleslaw is mayo-free, with classic flavors coming from zippy apple cider vinegar, honey, olive oil, whole grain mustard, and celery salt.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Can I Use Pre-Shredded Cabbage or Carrots for Coleslaw?

You can definitely use pre-shredded cabbage and carrots for coleslaw. Most bagged slaw and grated carrots tend to be much thicker than what you can achieve at home, but you’ll save some time.

A mandoline allows you to shave whisper-thin slivers of cabbage and red onion in almost no time at all. You can tackle it with a sharp knife as well, but the results won’t be quite as thin or even. 

How Long Does Dressed Coleslaw Last?

Dressed coleslaw will last up to two days in the fridge. It will wilt and release additional liquid, but will still retain some crunch.

No-Mayo Coleslaw Recipe

This vinegar-based, entirely dairy-free coleslaw is a refreshing summertime side.

Prep time 20 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1/3 cup

    apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon

    whole grain mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    celery salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 medium head

    green cabbage

  • 2

    medium carrots

  • 1/2

    small red onion

  • 2

    medium scallions


  1. Place 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard, 1/2 teaspoon celery salt, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of dressing as it is completed: Halve and core 1/2 medium head cabbage; then cut crosswise as thinly as possible (about 8 cups). Peel and grate 2 medium carrots on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 1/2 cups). Halve and thinly slice 1/2 small red onion (about 2 cups). Thinly slice 2 medium scallions (about 1/4 cup). Toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The slaw can be up to a few hours for the best texture, and will soften the longer it sits. Alternatively, prepare the vegetables and dressing separately and refrigerate up to 1 day ahead; toss to combine when ready to serve.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.