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Healthy Coleslaw

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Add this easy Healthy Coleslaw recipe to your potluck, picnic and barbecue events this summer. It's a tangy, creamy, mayo-free coleslaw made with Greek Yogurt


Healthy Coleslaw 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.

So 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 tablespoons for 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!

Healthy Coleslaw in a large bowl on a white napkin with green onions on the side

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 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise and usually a couple tablespoons for 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 healthy coleslaw

Homemade coleslaw dressing

The most important part of the a 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.

Collage showing the homemade dressing before and after mixing

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!

Ingredients to make the recipe: green cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots and the homemade dressing

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! 😉

Collage showing all the salad ingredients before and after mixing

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.

Tips for making healthy coleslaw

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
Serving some healthy coleslaw using large serving spoon and fork

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.

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!

More summer salads:

5 from 3 votes
Healthy Coleslaw in a large bowl on a white napkin with green onions on the side
Healthy Coleslaw
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

Add this easy Healthy Coleslaw recipe to your potluck, picnic and barbecue events this summer. It's a tangy, creamy, mayo-free coleslaw made with Greek Yogurt

Course: Salads, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy, picnic, potluck, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 136 kcal
Ingredients
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 minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix the ingredients of the dressing together.
  2. Place shredded green cabbage and shredded purple cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss to combine.

  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 4 days in the fridge. I would not recommend freezing the coleslaw.

Make Ahead Tips: You can make the dressing up to 7 days in advance, and you can also shred the cabbage and carrots up to 7 days in advance. This way, when you're ready to serve, you can just toss everything together.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.

  • 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: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving assuming its' divided into 6 portions.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Coleslaw
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Potassium 290mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 7g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 79.3%
Vitamin C 53.3%
Calcium 7%
Iron 3.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Comments

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 27, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Love the healthy dressing. I actually made 3 of your salads today:this, the cauliflower potato salad and the Greek pasta salad. All super easy and yummy.

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      May 27, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      Wow that’s amazing! So glad to hear it!

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