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Vinegar Coleslaw (No Mayo)

Vinegar Coleslaw is an excellent no mayo coleslaw recipe for those who love coleslaw but don’t love mayonnaise. This vinegar based coleslaw is tangy, not overly sweet and provides the perfect crunch with its combination of green cabbage, onion and carrots.

I bring this slaw to BBQs and parties as it pairs great with Carne Asada, Honey Mustard Chicken and BBQ ribs. It’s also a delicious side to my BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes.

Vinegar based coleslaw in a white bowl.

I love a classic Coleslaw recipe with a creamy, mayo dressing. But I also love this vinegar coleslaw that’s got a stronger bite of flavor (thanks to the apple cider vinegar). It’s always great to have options and you really can’t go wrong with either recipe. So do what I do and alternate them for a little variety!

Benefits of Eating Cabbage

One reason you should eat more coleslaw is the amazing health benefits of cabbage! You can boil cabbage, sauté it, ferment it or enjoy it raw, like in this tasty coleslaw recipe. However you eat it, you’ll be absorbing plenty of necessary nutrients from cabbage.

Cabbage comes from the same plant family as kale, cauliflower and broccoli. And like broccoli, cabbage has a similar anti-inflammatory profile. Chronic inflammation over time is associated with heart disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), cancer and diabetes. In other words, eat more cabbage and other veggies!

Cabbage has a ton of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that protects cells from harmful free radicals. In turn, Vitamin C has been linked to lowering high blood pressure and boosting your immunity (and you know I’m all about boosting the immune system).

This crunchy vegetable is also high in Vitamin K. Just one cup of cabbage is 85% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, which is essential to help with blood clotting. So much goodness from one simple vegetable.

Vinegar coleslaw ingredients in a mixing bowl with dressing on the side.

Vinegar Coleslaw Ingredients

One of the things I love about coleslaw recipes are how easy they are to whip up. It’s just a handful of ingredients. Here’s what’s in this oil and vinegar based coleslaw recipe:

  • Green Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Celery Seed
  • Salt and Pepper

Vinegar coleslaw in a white bowl.

Why Does Everyone Say Coleslaw is So Bad for You?

There’s a lot of dairy and sugar in store-bought coleslaw and restaurant versions. But this recipe is dairy-free, paleo, low carb and can easily be made vegan by simply swapping the honey for maple syrup.

I’ve also limited the honey to one tablespoon for this big batch of coleslaw. So that’s very little sugar per serving. And trust me, you won’t be missing it in this easy, ultra-flavorful recipe.

Vinegar coleslaw piled on a spoon.

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe (1-Minute Video)

It’s quick and easy to make this vinegar coleslaw recipe, but it always helps to watch a step-by-step video tutorial. Give it a watch!

More Healthy Sides for a BBQ or Picnic

Vinegar coleslaw in a white bowl.
5 from 13 votes

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe (No Mayo Coleslaw)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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Vinegar based coleslaw is an excellent no mayo coleslaw recipe for those who love coleslaw but don't love mayonnaise. It's an easy combination of cabbage, carrots and onion mixed with an apple cider vinegar dressing.


  • 1 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 yellow or red onion, finely sliced


  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey, (or more, depending on sweetness)
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Add the shredded green cabbage, carrot and onion to a large bowl.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, celery seed, salt and pepper to create the dressing. Taste the dressing and decide if you'd like to add more honey.
  • Add about half of the dressing to the cabbage, onions and carrots and gently toss. Slowly add more dressing until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Lisa's Tips

  • This recipe makes approximately 12 cups of vinegar coleslaw.
  • You can also store it in the fridge for 3-5 days. 


Calories: 62kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 156mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 925IU, Vitamin C: 28.3mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: No Mayo Coleslaw, No Mayonnaise Coleslaw, Vinegar Based Coleslaw Recipe, Vinegar Coleslaw
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26 comments on “Vinegar Coleslaw (No Mayo)”

  1. I made this today loved it, thank you for the recipe! Love Dijon so it was perfect. 
    Tired of my mayo dressing glad to try something new!

  2. Absolutely perfect! I ate sooo much of this! The celery seed is a great flavor add. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Excellent and healthier!! A keeper here!

  4. Hi, I am absolutely love it! I’m also in love with your website. It’s so helpful with all recipes have nutrition and calories. I have a small question: the calories is it for 1 serving or for whole your recipe? If whole of this recipe is just 62kcal, I will be… wow.

    Thank you, have a good day!

  5. Excellent recipe!!! Hubby and I were very happy with the coleslaw!!! I did sprinkle a bit of raw sugar over the top to sweeten a bit after mixing.  The Dijon was a little heavy for us!! Even better the second day for lunch!  Thank you for a great recipe!!!

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Made your vinegar slaw last night! Yum!! Everyone love it. Big Hit! 
    Don’t care for the mayo slaws so glad for this recipe!
    I Have some left and can hardly wait to finish it off!
    I might even share it with my hubby LOL!

  7. Just made this coleslaw and it’s a hit! The nicest part was that I could eat as much as I want and not feel guilty. Love that it is mayo free. It would be great plain, on fish, in spring rolls, anything. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Hi Annie – I’m happy you loved the recipe! And yes, no guilt whatsoever with this recipe. Just healthy coleslaw goodness and I agree, top it on everything! Enjoy!

  8. This vinegar coleslaw is a great healthy alternative to a classic BBQ side dish. I love that the veggies will stay crisp too with this vinegar dressing.

  9. This looks so fresh and healthy! Planning on making this tonight! :)

  10. Apple cider vinegar is a superstar. I love this recipe. Perfect time for summer.

  11. This is just the recipe I need. I happen to like the “no mayo” version of coleslaw. This is bbq party perfect. Printing right now.

  12. This is the perfect side for any BBQ this summer! LOVE that there is no mayo as well!

    • Thanks, Caitlyn! Yes, we all know someone who doesn’t want mayo on their coleslaw ;)

  13. Hi Lisa, I used your vinegar slaw for our Memorial Day gathering. It was a big hit. Definitely elevated our hot dog and turkey burger fare. Thanks for you creativity, time and engergy publishing this. It’s now a staple in our family!