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This Healthy Coleslaw recipe is a must-have for your Memorial Day spread, summer potlucks, or any gatherings. This classic summer salad is usually made with only cabbage and carrots, but drenched in a thick mayonnaise dressing. My modern version still contains only cabbage and carrots, but with a lighter dressing made with yogurt. It’s the perfect side salad to accompany all your summer grilling.
If you’ve shied away from making or enjoying coleslaw because you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, this mayo-free version of my healthy coleslaw recipe is perfect for you! I enjoy a couple of tablespoons of mayo here and there, but not the amount that normally goes into coleslaw. This better-for-you version is lighter in calories, lighter in fat and overall light and fresh!
How do you make coleslaw healthier
Classic coleslaw is full of shredded cabbage and carrots. The dressing, however, is made with mayonnaise and sugar. There is usually about ½ a cup of mayonnaise and usually a couple tablespoons of sugar. That adds up to more calories and more fat than you’re probably looking for in a salad.
For this no mayo coleslaw, we use Greek yogurt instead. And although there is still carbs in maple syrup, I recommend it instead of granulated sugar because it has a lower glycemic index. That means it’s more slowly digested. And that’s the kind of ingredient that makes our bodies feel good!
How do you make this healthy coleslaw recipe
Homemade coleslaw dressing
The most important part of the coleslaw recipe is the dressing. Mine is made primarily with greek yogurt, along with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper. The ingredients are standard pantry items that come together wonderfully when mixed! You don’t need any special tool to mix them. Use a whisk, fork or even spoon until there are no more streaks of olive oil.
Assembling this healthy coleslaw
Once you have the dressing, it’s just about tossing everything together. I use primarily green cabbage and cut it with a sharp knife. I also add red cabbage because I love how colorful it makes the coleslaw recipe. And finally, no coleslaw is complete without carrots!
See what I mean about how colorful it looks? Give everything a gentle toss and your fresh and fabulous healthy coleslaw is ready to feed the masses – or just you over the next few days! 😉
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does coleslaw keep in the fridge
This coleslaw recipe will keep well for four days in the fridge. Most people agree that coleslaw is one of those salads that actually gets better when it sits in the fridge. It gives it a chance for the flavors to really combine and the dressing to adhere to the vegetables. The cabbage gets softer too when it soaks up the dressing, which makes it easier to chew and enjoy.
Can you freeze coleslaw
No. Please don’t freeze coleslaw. Sorry for the abrupt answer haha. And while we’re at it, don’t freeze any salad for that matter. That’s because when frozen, the vegetables release too much liquid and lose their crunch. Plus the yogurt in the dressing will separate from the oil when frozen, creating an unappealing texture.
What can I serve with this healthy coleslaw recipe?
This salad is a great side to serve with most main meals, from Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken to Hasselback Sweet Potatoes. It’s also a great toppings for all kinds of burgers and tacos – it would work great with all of these recipes:
Tips for making healthy coleslaw
- Shred the cabbage yourself. While it’s much faster to buy the bagged coleslaw mix, the problem with it is that the cabbage turns limp much faster than the freshly shredded kind. You could use a mandolin or food processor, but I find it easy to just use a knife and thinly slice it.
- Use a box grater for the carrots. Carrots are much harder and more tedious to slice with a knife, so I either use a box grater or buy the julienned carrots like I did in this recipe.
- Add a kick with some hot sauce. My kids like this healthy coleslaw so I usually skip the hot sauce. But if you add a teaspoon or two to the dressing, it gives it some heat and really blends well with the remaining ingredients.
- Don’t dress it earlier than half hour before serving. This is a matter of preference. But I think homemade coleslaw is best the day it’s made. While you want the cabbage to soften, you still want to have a crunch. There is something great though when it does soften slightly. It’s like fresh pizza and cold pizza – a different experience for each, but both special in their own way!
Hope you give this healthy coleslaw recipe a go for your summer occasions. It’s a great salad to add to any barbecue spread, and provides a light and healthy option for everyone. It’s a tangy, creamy and slightly sweet salad full of crunchy colorful vegetables.
More summer salads:
- Cauliflower Potato Salad
- Corn Tomato Avocado Salad
- Healthy Tuna Salad
- Healthy Egg Salad
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Green Goddess Salad
- Light Chicken Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
If you’ve tried this feel good Healthy Coleslaw recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
For the slaw
- 6 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients of the dressing together.
- Place shredded green cabbage and shredded purple cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
- Instead of Greek yogurt, you can use plain yogurt, as long as it has 3.5% fat or higher. Don’t use no-fat yogurt.
- Instead of apple cider vinegar, you can use lemon juice or another clear or lightly colored vinegar to add the acid to the dressing.
- Instead of maple syrup, you can use honey (make sure it’s soft and runny), or you can use regular sugar or skip the sugar all together.
- Instead of fresh garlic clove, you can use garlic powder, but I recommend fresh if possible.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.
I’m not a huge fan of any oil, so I subbed a nonsweetened applesauce for it instead and it came out delicious. Added some diced apples and raisins in it also. Very good and healthy. I’ve never made a coleslaw before because my husband hates it. This he liked though, will use this recipe again. Thanks!
Oo! I love the idea of using applesauce in place of the oil! Thanks for sharing!
I’m curious as to where so much sodium comes in to play? Both maple syrup and the vinegar are extremely low.
Most (around 80%) of it comes from the salt. The rest is traces from the other ingredients.
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