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Spicy Coleslaw + Tahini Dijon Dressing

This spicy vegan coleslaw recipe features cabbage, carrots, green onions, and pepperoncini tossed with creamy tahini dijon dressing. It’s healthy, mayo-free, and ready in 10 minutes!

top down view of a small handmade bowl with a serving of spicy vegan coleslaw with creamy tahini dijon dressing, topped with sesame seeds.

I’ve always loved coleslaw and am pretty particular about my slaws, especially when it comes to the dressing. The perfect coleslaw has just the right amount of dressing and lightly coats it. The dressing should enhance the slaw’s ingredients rather than drown them out.

Here we have a perfect balance of ingredients, just the perfect amount of dressing, making for a delicious no-mayo coleslaw that I can easily enjoy often. Instead of reaching for a salad, I vary it up with this spicy slaw salad for an easy lunch or dinner. It would also be great as a side for this Smoky Black Bean Burger.

Spicy Coleslaw + Tahini-Dijon Dressing

It’s all about the coleslaw dressing! By using a tahini and water blend you’re cutting some of the fat and calories without losing any creaminess, making this a very healthy vegan coleslaw. The tahini mix makes an absolutely fantastic dressing. It’s seriously my favorite, and I know you’re going to love it too!

This is my favorite coleslaw of all time, and I hope you enjoy this spicy vegan coleslaw as much as I do! Feel free to cut the recipe in half, but I assure you, that you’ll be glad you made the whole recipe!

side by side of cabbage, cored and cut thin, next to prepped cabbage, carrots and pepperoncinis on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this tahini slaw recipe, green cabbage, carrots, scallions, and pepperoncini are tossed with a slightly tangy tahini dressing, creating a creamy coleslaw that is a nice change from the usual.

Here is everything you’ll need:

  • green cabbage
  • carrots
  • scallions
  • peperoncini or banana peppers
  • tahini + equal amount of water
  • dijon
  • pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • apple cider vinegar or juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper

What if I don’t have tahini?

If you don’t have tahini on hand or prefer to use mayo, feel free to replace the 1/4 cup water and tahini with 1/2 cup of vegan mayo. Add a little water to thin if needed, or add a little extra mayo if you prefer.

top down view of the produce for spicy coleslaw in a mixing bowl, and creamy tahini dijon dressing being poured overtop.

How To Make Spicy Coleslaw

1. Start by prepping the produce:

  • Slice the head of cabbage in half, remove the core, and thinly slice the cabbage halves.
  • Quarter the carrots. I used baby carrots here, but you can also use the pre-packaged shredded carrots for ease.
  • Slice the green onions, using the white and green parts).
  • Drain the peppers. If using whole peppers, remove the seeds and thinly slice them. I used a jar of pre-sliced pepperoncini, making the prep work a little easier.

2. Make the vegan slaw dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the tahini, water, dijon, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and pepper.

3. Add the cabbage, carrots, green onions, and pepperoncini to a large mixing bowl, pour dressing over the top, and mix well to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

And that’s it – simple and delicious spicy coleslaw, made healthy and easy!

top down view of a serving bowl filled with spicy vegan coleslaw ready to serve.

How To Store

  • Refrigerator: Tahini slaw can be safely stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 5 days
  • Make Ahead: This simple coleslaw recipe can easily be made ahead of time, up to a day or two, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serving Suggestions

top down view of a small handmade bowl with a serving of spicy vegan coleslaw with creamy tahini dijon dressing, topped with sesame seeds.

More Side Dish Recipes!

If you try this spicy coleslaw 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 13 reviews

If you’re a coleslaw lover, than I think you will be smitten over this spicy version adding pepperoncinis for a wonderful kick on a classic!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side
  • Cuisine: Vegan, American


  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, julienned
  • 4 scallions (green onions), sliced
  • 12 peperoncini or banana peppers, julienned or diced
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste
  • sesame seeds, to serve


  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of fresh cracked pepper


Dressing: In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients. Set aside. After five minutes or so, taste for flavor adding anything extra you might like. (You may also consider mixing the dressing on the bottom of the bowl you will be mixing your coleslaw in leaving one less dish to wash.)

Assemble: In a large mixing bowl, add cabbage, carrots, scallions, peperoncini. Drizzle with dressing and mix to combine. Add salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Serve at room temperature or chilled with a sprinkle of white seeds over top.

This is a great salad to make ahead and let set covered on the counter for an hour or so or in the refrigerator for longer.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days.


If you don’t have tahini on hand or prefer to use mayo, feel free to replace the 1/4 cup water and tahini with 1/2 cup vegan mayo. Add a little water to thin if needed, or add a little extra mayo.

I like spicy foods but feel free to adjust the amount of peppers to taste.

I tend to keep my tahini in the refrigerator so mine is always a bit thicker due to being cold, if using room temp tahini you may need less water. Keep in mind: If dressing is too thin, add more tahini. If dressing it too thick, add a tad more water until desired consistency.

A note on the dressing: I found it was a bit sweet as I was mixing and tasting it. I worried that even 2 teaspoons was too much sugar but once the coleslaw was completed it was perfect and not sweet at all. Keep that in mind when tasting the dressing and adjusting, you may feel something is off but once it all comes together the results are delicious!

Add more vinegar for extra tang.

Recipe can easily be cut in half. 

Double the dressing if you prefer a more creamy coleslaw.

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  1. This was so good! I was looking for a new slaw recipe. Even though it’s just a few ingredients, this is absolutely tasty. I do suggest adding the water last, bit by bit, to get the desired consistency.

    Will definitely make again!

  2. Christine Goodson says:

    Easy and tasty! I added no water; I did add lemon to taste, which replaced the water. This is now my favorite dressing. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is a delicious coleslaw!
    I have made Spicy Coleslaw numerous times and enjoyed each time I have eaten it.
    This is now my favorite coleslaw.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you loved it, Leslie! It’s one of our favorites too. )

  4. This reminds me of a verrrry old Nathalie Dupree recipe that had peanut butter in the dressing. It was delicious and very popular around my house. Move forward decades, it still sounds good, but this tahini dressing with mustard sounds like a very tasty allternative. Thanks!

  5. I love the dressing for this coleslaw! Really good! I had this with jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches. My husband didn’t like the “pulled pork” (he’s a really picky eater :/ ) but loved the coleslaw :)

  6. This slaw looks absolutely amazing!!! I haven’t made it yet due to the Sodium mgs. Am I reading this correctly? The Sodium is over 5000 mgs? Thank you so much. I do hope this is a misprint.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Kathy! It was definitely a miss calculation and only contains 111mg of sodium. Enjoy the coleslaw, it’s delicious!

  7. Loving this slaw!!! Been making blackened tofu tacos and this is the perfect topping! Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, that sounds so good, what a great use of this recipe! So glad you’re enjoying it, makes my day! Cheers :)

  8. Oh. My. Goodness. My flatmate and I just made this for the first time, and we are HOOKED. This is the best coleslaw I have ever eaten in my entire life. This recipe made me like raw cabbage… I've only ever enjoyed it cooked before. Thank you thank you for this amazing recipe!!

  9. Lena Blue says:

    Did you use fresh pepperoncini or the ones from a jar? Never tried them before so don't know what to buy
    Love your site and everything you post turned out amazing:)

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      I used ones from the jar. I find them either whole or sliced. If you really love pepperoncini, you can add a little juice from the jar for even more kick.

      Thank you for the kind words! Enjoy :)

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