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Apple Coleslaw

Apple Coleslaw features apples, carrots, cranberries, and cabbage tossed in a peppery-sweet creamy slaw dressing. It’s healthy, full of texture and flavor, and so easy to make!

top down view of freshly mixed easy apple coleslaw in a glass bowl.

I love making coleslaw, and this light and refreshing fruit-filled apple slaw is a welcome addition to the other great slaw recipes on the blog!

Sweet & peppery, this delicious slaw with apples is crowd-pleasing and a nice change from the usual coleslaw recipes.

Why We Love This Recipe 🍎

  • Great flavor and texture: Coleslaw with apples and cranberries combine creamy, crunchy, sweet, tangy, and savory flavors for the ultimate crave-worthy apple slaw.
  • Super versatile: Apple coleslaw can easily be customized to suit your preferences. Change up the cranberries and almonds, or switch up the cabbage and dressing base. We love options!
  • Quick and easy: Apple Slaw is simple to make and requires minimal effort. Once you’ve prepped the produce, it’s easy as can be to put together.
  • Make it ahead: We love that this recipe can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making it a convenient option for meal prep or as a side dish for gatherings and events.
top down view of a large glass mixing with ingredients for apple coleslaw with dressing in a small bowl nearby.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Made from scratch, this apple coleslaw recipe includes cabbage, apples, dried cranberries, carrots, green onions, and slivered almonds tossed in a deliciously creamy vegan dressing.

Here is everything you’ll need, including variations:

  • Cabbage – Use regular green or Napa cabbage.
  • Carrots – Shred your own, and for convenience use pre-shredded carrots.
  • Apples – Use your favorite apples, sweet or tart – fuji, granny smith, honey crisp, gala, golden delicious, or a combo.
  • Cranberries – We love using organic cranberries, preferably unsweetened. They add a nice pop of color. Raisins make a great substitute when needed – use regular, jumbo, or golden.
  • Almonds – We used slivered almonds here, but you can easily change it up with sunflower seeds, pecans, or walnuts. They all add extra crunch and nutrition!
  • Green onions – Diced red onions can be used in place of green onions.
  • Apple Coleslaw Dressing – The dressing is a creamy, no mayo recipe, but feel free to use vegan mayo or plain non-dairy yogurt instead of the tahini, as noted in the recipe.
top down view of a large glass mixing with ingredients for apple coleslaw with dressing being poured overtop.

How To Make Apple Coleslaw

Making apple slaw is super easy, requiring just a few simple steps:

  • Start with the coleslaw dressing by mixing together the tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside to let the flavors combine.
  • Prepare the cabbage by removing the first cabbage leaf, core and finely slice the cabbage, then give it a good rough chop.
  • Wash the apples well, core, and julienne into matchsticks.
  • Assemble coleslaw. In a large mixing bowl, add the cabbage, apples, carrots, cranberries, green onions, and almonds. (If you don’t have a large mixing bowl, a 6 qt. soup or stock pot will do perfectly.) Pour the dressing over the slaw salad and mix well to combine.

Serve as is, or let chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.

I often make a batch and eat it as a main dish, grazing on it throughout the day. It’s also great for make-ahead lunches and is even better the next day!

top down view of freshly mixed easy apple coleslaw in a glass bowl.

How To Store Apple Coleslaw

Coleslaw can be safely stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 5 days.

Can You Make Apple Slaw Ahead?

You can make coleslaw 3 to 4 days ahead of serving it. For the best presentation, I recommend making it within 24 hours of serving. Otherwise, it tends to become watery and limp. You can always prep the ingredients, keeping the slaw and dressing separate until a few hours before serving. To keep the apples from browning, place them in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Will the Apples Turn Brown in Coleslaw?

Nope! The apples will not turn brown with the use of apple cider vinegar in the coleslaw dressing, so you can safely make your apple coleslaw a day or two ahead of time. Just keep it stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

side angle view of freshly mixed easy apple coleslaw in a glass bowl.

Serving Suggestions

What to serve with apple coleslaw? Here are a few of our favorite pairings from the archives:

top down view of best apple coleslaw in a white serving bowl with wooden fork.

More Coleslaw Recipes!

If you try this apple slaw recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

Crisp, fresh, and delicious, this Apple Coleslaw features a colorful combo of fruits and veggies tossed in a delicious creamy apple cider dressing! Recipe is versatile and can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side
  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American


Units Scale
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 45 cups), shredded
  • 2 carrots (about 1 1/2 cups), julienned or shredded
  • 2 apples (green or red), cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 3/41 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 23 green onions (about 1/2 cup), sliced

Tahini Maple Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini (sub with 1/2 cup mayo or plain non-dairy yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • pinch of salt


Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and pepper. Add 1 -2 tablespoons of water as needed to thin. Set aside to let the flavors mingle.

Assemble coleslaw: In an x-large bowl, add the cabbage, apples, carrots, cranberries, green onions, and almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the top and mix well to coat. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as is, or store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

Coleslaw can be made a day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes about 8 cups

Serves 4 – 8


To replace the tahini: use 1/2 cup non-dairy plain yogurt or vegan mayo.

The ingredients can easily be changed up for variation:

  • Replace green cabbage for napa or red cabbage, or use a combo.
  • Use your favorite apples – fuji, granny smith, honey crisp, gala, golden delicious, etc.
  • In place of cranberries, raisins would work well.
  • Vary up the almonds, using sunflower seeds, pecans, or walnuts.
  • Use diced red onion in place of green onions.

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  1. Delicious! I have to eat low sodium and this is perfect. I add the almonds at the last minute so they stay crunchy.

  2. Made this twice and it is a hit! I plan to add it to my holiday dinner because it is also colorful. Thank you!

  3. This recipe really earned its five stars – fantastic! It’s hard to find good vegan recipes with no oil, and this one is a gem! I’m going to use it as a side and also a topping on some lentil sloppy joes.

  4. This is an excellent coleslaw recipe. Sweetness from the fruit, tangy from the dressing and I added a fresh jalapeno for some spice! Very light and refreshing. No mayo is a bonus! So delicious!

  5. My entire family LOVED this coleslaw! So delicious!!

  6. I can’t believe this doesn’t have any reviews! Made this a couple of days ago and it was DELICIOUS! I was a little worried about the amount of apple cider vinegar as I thought it would be wayyyyy too sour but the dressing is so so good and the tahini and agave syrup (I didn’t have maple so I used agave) really offset the sourness. Made this 4 hours in advance and it was great at that point but the leftovers on day 2 were even more delicious. Thanks for this recipe – bookmarking it for future use, will be perfect to bring to BBQs and potlucks :)

    1. This was just added to my favorite list for rotation!!! Had a small party and everyone loved!! I almost always change recipes to fit my preferences, did not on this one!! Thank you Julie!!!

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