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CLASSIC VEGAN COLESLAW

An easy vegan coleslaw recipe that’s a perfect side dish for summer parties, potlucks and barbecues. Light, flavorful and so much healthier than store-bought and ready in 10 minutes!

top down view of a glass mixing bowl with freshly made creamy vegan coleslaw.

Crunchy, healthy and easy to make this classic coleslaw is not overly drowning in dressing and is one of those back pocket side dish recipes that we love making all year round and goes with just about anything!

During summer coleslaw is the ultimate side dish and gets even better the next day, making it perfect for planning ahead. And because vegan coleslaw is dairy-free you won’t have to worry about it spoiling when taking to picnics and potlucks.

So without further ado, let’s make homemade coleslaw!

top down view of coleslaw dressing being poured over cabbage and carrots in a large glass mixing bowl.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Coleslaw is so easy to make at home and this version is a little healthier compared to most recipes. Traditional coleslaw has quite a bit of sugar and dairy. This ‘lighter’ version is dairy-free with minimal sweetener.

What you’ll need:

  • Green and red cabbage – this combo makes for a colorful coleslaw, but feel free to use just green cabbage.
  • Carrots – adds more color and crunch.
  • Homemade Vegan Mayo or good quality store bought – this will be the base of the coleslaw dressing.
  • Apple cider vinegar – adds a little tanginess.
  • Dijon – for added depth.
  • Pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup – a little sweet, but not too much.
  • Salt & pepper – for a boost of flavor and pepperiness.

How To Make Vegan Coleslaw

Making vegan coleslaw is easy and requires just a few simple steps.

1. Shred the cabbage by hand:

  • Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  • Slice the cabbage in half, cut the halves in half. Cut away the inside core with a diagonal slice.
  • Thinly shred the cabbage. You can make the cabbage as thin or thick as you like. Feel free to cut the shred as small as you like if you feel they are too long. Here’s a quick tutorial: How to Cut Cabbage

2. Shred the carrots and make the coleslaw dressing.

3. Assemble the coleslaw: Add the cabbage and carrots to a large mixing bowl, pour the dressing overtop and toss to combine. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

top down view of a glass mixing bowl with freshly made creamy vegan coleslaw.

Tips For The Best Coleslaw

  • For convenience, use packaged, pre-shredded cabbage, carrots, or coleslaw mix.
  • If you prefer a mayo-free and oil-free dressing, try the slaw dressing for this Spicy Coleslaw with a simple tahini based dressing. It’s delicious!
  • Vegan coleslaw will last about 4 – 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. After a few days, it will soften and lose it’s crispness, but it will still be delicious.

Can coleslaw be frozen?

No. Coleslaw isn’t very good after it’s been frozen. Raw cabbage does not freeze well.

Can this recipe be made in advance?

Yes, you can make coleslaw ahead and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 3 – 4 days. If making ahead for entertaining this coleslaw recipe is best made only a few hours ahead for best presentation. The red cabbage will start to bleed slightly into the dressing after 12 hours or so.

up close view of creamy vegan coleslaw.

Serving Suggestions

I love coleslaw with this Sausage & Vegetable Skewers or veggie burgers. It’s also great with veggie dogs & wraps, or can be eaten as a light main meal.

It’s also great with these sides:

You can easily make a hearty meal with sides alone!

top down view of a small bowl with a serving of creamy vegan coleslaw with items surrounding.

More Vegan Side Dish Recipes

If you try this easy 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.

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CLASSIC VEGAN COLESLAW

This Vegan Coleslaw recipe is easy to make and absolutely delicious, with just the right amount of creamy dressing to bring it all together!

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 56 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded or julienned

Coleslaw Dressing

  • 2/3 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar or pure maple syrup
  • 1/21 teaspoon celery seed powder, optional
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, apple cider vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.

Assemble: Add the cabbage and carrots in a very large mixing bowl, the larger the better. Pour the dressing all over the cabbage, and toss well to combine. Finish with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve right away, or let the coleslaw rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but it’s best within 3 days.

Notes

For convenience, use packaged, pre-shredded cabbage, carrots, or coleslaw mix.

For an oil-free & mayo-free dressing, you might consider the tahini based dressing from this Spicy Coleslaw + Tahini Dijon Dressing. I would up the recipe by 1/2, to even doubling it.

Keywords: vegan coleslaw

33 Comments

  1. Cole slay. Made this recipe scaled down in amount & by eye. I haven’t had cole slaw in a very long time. Shared with my non-vegan dad who enjoyed the salad even though he thought I made too little dressing for the amount of cabbage–I prefer less! The celery seed powder was a welcomed touch.

  2. We made this for a BBQ using Hellman’s Vegan Mayo, and it tasted just like the real thing! Shredded the cabbage and carrots ahead of time and tossed with the dressing on the morning of the event. It was so good that we’re making it again!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay! We love the Hellmen’s Vegan Mayo. Glad you’re enjoying the recipe, Manda!

      1. This is my go-to recipe!! Delicious and can’t even tell it’s vegan

  3. Very delicious! Made as instructed and it was perfect. Thank you!

  4. I’ve used this recipe a lot. I love it and love the tips/tricks on slicing or quicker versions using prechopped veggies or store bought vegan mayo. Thank you. I use this as a side or often on top of pulled jack fruit bbq sandwiches. So so good.

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