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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

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

25 Comments

  1. I used your vegan mayo recipe and that was brilliant but coupled with the rest of the coleslaw ingredients for this it was far too mustardy!! Very nice if you LOVE mustard but I think I’ll need to adapt for next time

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Laura! Hope next time it’s perfect.

  2. Suzanne Shone says:

    Just made this and it is brilliant! I added in a thinly sliced red pepper just for the colour as I only had green cabbage. It’s brilliant, thank you

  3. Made this 3 times already. My husband loves it! We’ve been having this coleslaw on toasted whole wheat buns with IKEA veggie balls that we simmer in homemade BBQ sauce. So good. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  4. delicious and easy! Thank you!

  5. Soooo good! Used packaged vegetable slaw and added a squeeze of lemon.

  6. This looks so good! Until recently it was hard to find decent store-bought mayo in the uk, but now Hellmann’s have released one and its sooo good. So good, in fact, that no one can tell that it’s vegan.

    I love to add pickles and fresh dill to my coleslaw, which is a game changer ?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, I just picked up some of their vegan mayo this morning to try it out, thanks for the suggestion. I love your additions, I’ll have to add those suggestions to the add more flavor section. Have a wonderful day! Cheers :)

  7. I made this for my non-vegan friends BBQ and everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, so glad everyone enjoyed the coleslaw! Thanks for sharing, Brit!

  8. Very easy recipe with lots of chopping and slicing, but absolutely delicious!

  9. Lovely recipe! The family enjoyed this, even my picky teenager.

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