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!

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe 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 below!

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.

More Healthy Sides for a BBQ or Picnic

Vinegar coleslaw in a white bowl.

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe (No Mayo Coleslaw)

4.93 from 98 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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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218 comments on “Vinegar Coleslaw (No Mayo)”

  1. Zippy tasteing that went great with slow cooked pork!5 stars

  2. I love the tangy flower of the vinegar rather the the mayo. I believe that the vinegar based last longer in the refrigerator. It doesn’t get watered down as some of the mayo based can get.5 stars

  3. Delicious, and I didn’t even have the exact ingredients. I used cabbage, collards, kale, carrots, chopped celery leaves (had no seed) and apples, and it tasted great! We paired it with pulled pork. If I had apple cider on hand, I might add a splash, and cut back slightly on apple cider vinegar, but I also love it as is. Loved the honey in it.5 stars

  4. I was lazy and bought pre-packaged coleslaw mix. I added shredded carrot and onion. Can’t wait to have this with my ribs on Super Bowl Sunday!

  5. Believe it or not, I did not add the honey. Since I love a vinaigrette on anything, it was absolutely delicious and super easy to make. As always, thank you for another amazing recipe!5 stars

  6. Normally, my go to vinegar slaw is to go to one of my local barbecue restaurants.  However, today my mom let me know that she wanted some of the slaw for dinner, but my go to places were closed for the holiday.  Well, I said you can do this, can’t be that hard.  Well, this basic recipe did the trick.  I hope my family will enjoy it as much as the others we normally have.5 stars

  7. Another really good recipe. I needed more honey in mine. I don’t know why I don’t make coleslaw more often. It’s really tasty!5 stars

  8. Cant wait to try this recipe. Been looking everywhere for one little ke this. Thanks!!!

  9. Wow!  I made this tonight to go with pulled pork sandwichs and the three of us ate a pound of slaw mix together, even my daughter who usually leaves it on her plate.  I used packaged tricolor slaw mix and added some julienned red pepper and green onions for color.  This is a keeper and not too sweet.5 stars

  10. Because I don’t like mayo, I think this is a great slaw recipe. I did not have any celery seed on hand, so I just used the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper and it was great. Also added some diced jalapeno. Will have this on BBQ chicken sandwiches.5 stars

  11. Really good. I added a little caraway seed sprinkled on the slaw5 stars

  12. Great cole slaw. I used the prepackaged coleslaw mix but next time I will do my own. The store bought is too finely chopped for our taste. So easy to make–love it.5 stars

  13. My wife loved it! Due to her not being able to eat sugar, I substituted a grated organic apple that she is allowed. 4 stars

  14. Can this be mixed together a day or two ahead or will it become too soggy?

  15. What is the serving size please

  16. Made this tonight to go on top of BBQ beef sandwiches. super delicious for those like me who don’t like mayo. I didn’t have celery seed so left it out, and substituted spicy mustard and white vinegar (didn’t have the apple cider or dijon) and it was still good.5 stars

  17. This coleslaw rocks. The dressing is SOOOOO good! Best of all it comes together in a snap. I combined the dressing ingredients in a small Mason jar and shook it to emulsify. We’ve made this three times and havent had any leftovers yet. Thank you for the recipe!!5 stars

    • Great to hear you love this coleslaw version! Team vinegar :)

    • Based on the food science i understand, i think this mix would keep indefinitely because of the vinegar and mustard combo. Both are a natural preservative. Assuming you would have leftovers. Its a lot like sauerkraut.

  18. This is the best no mayo coleslaw. I have made it many times and every time both husband and I rave. It is even better the 2nd day with the flavors. Was able to make as called for the first time and now make sure I always have the ingredients on hand.
    Thank you!5 stars

  19. Love the recipe. Perfect amount of tang and sweetness.5 stars

  20. Thanks for the mayo free recipe! This coleslaw was delicious and super easy to make. I substituted maple syrup for the honey, and added a chopped apple. My husband went back for a heaping second plateful. Need I say more?5 stars

  21. Absolutely awesome recipe! Like others, I didn’t have celery seed, so substituted celery salt. I also added some chopped red pepper. I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Sooooo GOOD!!!!5 stars

  22. When I was a kid, I used to love KFC’s coleslaw. This reminded me of that. Let it sit overnight and have the next day.5 stars

  23. I made this for dinner with goods friends for social distance visit. They grilled brats and brought them over and I also made baked beans  my friends took 2nd helping of slaw. What more can I say. I used my food slicer to mince the cabbage, carrot and red onion.  5 stars

  24. I made it yesterday, really delicious and easy to make. My parents love to eat. I have reduced the mustard because I am afraid of spicy, people will not eat. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  25. Delicious!  Great for summer. No mayo worry.  5 stars

  26. Nice for a change. Yummy!5 stars

  27. Delicious and easy. I bought the pre-made cabbage mix already in the store and it worked perfectly. I added my own onions and some more carrots and I also super finely diced up some jalapeno and mixed it in the sauce for a little bit of a kick. I didn’t have celery seed but I had celery salt and I added that in at the same measurements and it still tasted great . This turned out delicious!5 stars

  28. I just made this (cheaters way with pre shredded cabbage) and it is fantastic! Thank you Lisa for such awesome (and do-able) recipes :)5 stars

  29. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Would you please provide the weight of the cabbage head and the serving size for the 12 serving yield stated in the recipe? This would help me pick the correct size cabbage at the market and help with my efforts with portion control.

    • Hi Joy- I would use between a medium to large head of cabbage for this recipe. As for the serving size, one serving is about 1 cup!

  30. Delicious refreshing recipe for coleslaw. 
    Added fresh corn and topped with grilled asparagus 
    Beautiful presentation 
    Will keep this recipe – thanks!5 stars

  31. No sweet enough for us. I’m going to tweak it. It’s very promising3 stars

  32. Made this last weekend. It was delicious! Keeper recipe 😋5 stars

  33. Easy and delicious! Thank you for this recipe! A new family favorite.5 stars

  34. Hi Lisa, Any replacement for celery seed, I don’t have it . 

  35. Got all the ingredients on the counter all set and ready to dive in. Only concern is about what to do with the leftovers ! Can I freeze it? Should I can it? 

  36. Delicious!  I added about 8 dates (chopped) for some chewy texture and sweetness.   5 stars

  37. The best easy to make taste great5 stars

  38. 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!5 stars

  39. Absolutely perfect! I ate sooo much of this! The celery seed is a great flavor add. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  40. Excellent and healthier!! A keeper here!5 stars

  41. 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 stars

  42. 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!!!5 stars

    • I’m happy you loved the recipe Nanette! And yes, you can always add a little sweetener or tweak the Dijon. It’s all about making it to your liking. :)

  43. 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!5 stars

  44. 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.5 stars

    • 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!

  45. 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.5 stars

  46. This looks so fresh and healthy! Planning on making this tonight! :)5 stars

  47. Apple cider vinegar is a superstar. I love this recipe. Perfect time for summer.5 stars

  48. 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.5 stars

  49. This is the perfect side for any BBQ this summer! LOVE that there is no mayo as well!5 stars

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

  50. 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!5 stars