Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw


Makes: 8 servings

Time: 30 minutes

If you want restaurant-style coleslaw, you take shredded cabbage and combine it with mayo and maybe a little lemon juice. This version is far more flavorful with far less fat. I like cabbage salad (which is what coleslaw amounts to) on the spicy side, so I use plenty of Dijon, along with a little garlic and chile (you could substitute cayenne for the chile or just omit it if you prefer), and scallions.  Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile, like jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero, or to taste (optional)

1/4 cup peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil

6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green, and/or red cabbage

1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced or shredded

1/3 cup chopped scallion, more or less

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. To make the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl, along with the garlic and chile. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage, bell pepper, and scallion and toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It’s best to let the slaw rest for an hour or so to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. You can let it sit longer, up to 24 hours, if you like. Drain the slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw, Mexican Style. Grate 2 medium carrots and use them instead of the bell pepper. Use freshly squeezed lime juice in place of the vinegar. Finish with cilantro if you like instead of the parsley.

Apple Slaw. Use carrots instead of bell pepper, as in the preceding variation. Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion. Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large Granny Smith apples (or use any tart, crisp apple) and include them in the mix. Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice of acid here.


Posted in American, Vegan


  1. Harry Chittenden said...

    This is a great concept. We employ a similar technique every summer for our Chunky Salads. Scallions and salt provide tons of flavor, esp after a rest.

  2. sueb84 said...

    This is my go-to coleslaw reciipe. So delicious and everyone loves it

  3. Blanche George said...

    i love coleslaw!

  4. yournamehere53 said...

    I make this a lot. Best and most healthy coleslaw I know of. Three thumbs up.

  5. Bethany Chintana Malone said...

    I like cabbage salads because they keep their crunch in the refrigerator. Great to make ahead for next day’s lunch.

  6. kitchencoyage said...

    The another day my flat-mate bought Coleslaw from M&S a famous pre-ready meal in Uk and the salad side packet have 24 g fat. Without doubt i will start to making my own coleslaw.

  7. HappyHealthMama said...

    This looks fantastic! Going to try soon. Thanks!!

  8. Veggiewala said...

    Just made this for dinner. It was delicious! Can’t wait to make it again for friends.

  9. drcimperman said...

    What a healthy and delicious recipe!

  10. cathy Shields said...

    I didn’t like this at all. Sorry it was not tasty.

  11. Beth Alltop said...

    Fantastic. I added shredded carrots (no pepper or scallions in the house) and then a generous tablespoon of tarragon to the dressing. It got rave reviews even from my teenagers.

  12. miriam said...

    delicious recipe

  13. Geri said...

    Just made this….and it’s excellent. Substituted rice vinegar and jalapeños into the recipe. Going to use as slaw for fish tacos. Can’t wait!

  14. Alexander Rothzeid said...

    I have not touched coleslaw in years, especially the kind served in restaurants because =it is submerged (drowned?) in mayo! This recipe looks like a palatable alternative and I will try it.

  15. Debi said...

    I had a bag of finely shredded cole slaw mix and made the base dressing, using a squirt of Sriracha instead of the chili, grapeseed oil, and no extra veggies, and it was a hit! I used a lemon and it didn’t seem like enough dressing, so I added another tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar. I was able to make it an hour or so before the meal, so it had time to marinate. I have saved this recipe to my files!

  16. B said...

    So so good. The hot pepper really added a great kick and flavor that’s missing in most slaws, which end up just being homogenous mush.

  17. Donna Mathwig said...

    Just made this – we love all forms of cabbage slaw, and enjoy trying new dressings. This was fabulous – though, I did add a 2 teaspoons of sugar, which, I realize is a tweak, and not a representation of the true recipe. For the commenter who didn’t like it at all – try a wee bit of sweetener

  18. Mike Mc said...

    Made the regular version and the Mexican-style version. Both were excellent. Did it again a few days later with horseradish mustard for a little more zing.

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