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Classic Vegan Coleslaw

This is an easy vegan coleslaw recipe that’s a perfect side dish for summer parties, potlucks, and barbecues. It’s light, flavorful, and so much healthier than store-bought, and it’s 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 drenched in dressing. It is one of those back-pocket side dish recipes that we love making all year round and that 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 – add 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, and 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 shreds 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

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

Coleslaw Tips

  • 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 its 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 store it 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 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.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 32 reviews

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


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


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.


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.

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  1. Virginia Vilčinskas says:

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I used a small cabbage from a farm a mile away. This dressing befit this perfect summer day. ❤️

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Virginia! Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. Jim Felder says:

    This recipe is lovely. To avoid so much fat I replaced the Mayo with a 12 oz box of silken tofu, 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp dry mustard powder. Since this make about 1 1/2 cups of tofu “Mayo”, just double the other dressing amounts and then save the other half for dressing on other salads (it is great on messaged kale, dried cranberry, toasted walnut, orange chunks and diced beet salad).
    And as a whole food alternative to the sugar, I use 2-3 medjool dates.

  3. This is soooo good! And so easy to whip up. No need to buy coleslaw again!

    1. This is the best coleslaw I think I’ve ever had! I used a sprinkling of Stevia rather than sugar and it turned out perfect, even my husband loves it!

  4. Michele Lewis says:

    This is the best coleslaw dressing recipe hands-down that I have ever tried. I made portobello wraps (Sliced portobellos sautéed in olive oil with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then finished with a little bit of balsamic) and I put the coleslaw on top of the portobellos in the wrap and it was absolutely amazing!

  5. Hi I want to make your classic vegan coleslaw for Christmas. I have to travel for an hour, so would it be best to prepare the vegetables and add the dressing before we eat. Thanks

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Stacey! Either way works, it depends on if you prefer a crisp or soft coleslaw. Mixing the coleslaw ahead will allow the cabbage to soften. Alternately, assembling just before eating will yield a crisper slaw. Both ways are delicious! Enjoy the vegan coleslaw, and happy holidays!

  6. Deborah Gelerter says:

    This was so easy and delicious we gobbled it down at Thanksgiving so it’s making an encore tonight! I am looking forward to trying it with celery seed; this will be the second time without it on my spice rack or the recipe.

  7. Now I know what I was missing out of my slaw. This was good, I didn’t have celery seed powder, so I used celery seeds instead.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  8. So easy! So nice! I didn’t have celery powder so I used 3/4 teaspoon dried dill. Will definitely recommend widely.

  9. Super tasty coleslaw! I only used green cabbage because I only had that type at home and it turned out super delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Janine Gerhard says:

    Love this recipe, the mayo mix is heavenly! My go-to coleslaw.

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