by Olena

Vinegar Based Coleslaw (No Mayo)

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Olena Osipov
5 from 4 votes

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Vinegar Based Coleslaw is made with just 4 ingredients and without mayo. Combining freshness with texture in every bite, this healthy vinegar coleslaw will be a hit at your next cookout!

It pairs well with all your grilled favorites from carne asada steak to healthy turkey burgers!

Vinegar based coleslaw in a glass bowl.

This vinegar coleslaw is utterly addicting. If you love all things fresh, vibrant, crunchy, and tart, this healthy salad recipe is for you.

You may already love my healthy coleslaw which is a delicious creamy version. Or maybe you’ve enjoyed my Ukrainian dill coleslaw, either way I know you will love how delicious this oil and vinegar based coleslaw recipe tastes!

It can be used to fill your crispy healthy fish tacos or use it as a sandwich topping the next time you make Instant Pot pulled pork!

This scrumptious mouthwatering cabbage salad will be gone in no time!

Is Vinegar Coleslaw Healthy?

Growing up in Ukraine, we ate cabbage year round in popular dishes like cabbage soup and unstuffed cabbage rolls. So believe me when I say, it’s a super easy, cost-effective way to add nutrients, flavor, and texture to your everyday meals. 

It’s only when you add a ton of dairy and sugar to coleslaw, that it starts to get a bad reputation! Unfortunately, many store-bought brands do exactly that.

By eliminating heavy mayo and only using just enough amount of sugar to balance the dressing, this vinegar slaw recipe is dairy-free and packed with fresh vegetables that are low in calories.

Ingredients You Will Need

This vinegar coleslaw without mayo comes together in minutes using simple ingredients and a homemade tangy vinegar dressing.

  • Green cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Extra virgin olive oil

How to Make Vinegar Coleslaw

What I love about coleslaw recipes is how easy they are to make!

1. Shred veggies: Shred both the carrots and the cabbage separately. Be careful when shredding the cabbage as to not make it too thick or too thin.

Too thinly sliced cabbage will become mushy when combined with the salt and too thick will make it hard to chew.

I used a mandoline but you can also use a knife.

2. Massage cabbage: Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large bowl with carrots and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage cabbage for a few minutes or until it shrinks down a bit.

If you’ve ever made sauerkraut or my massaged kale salad, this technique may seem familiar!

3. Combine with dressing and chill: In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the vinegar dressing. Whisk together until somewhat dissolved and pour over cabbage.

Toss together to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Serve: When you’re ready to serve, add fresh ground black pepper to taste, give it another stir and enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Tips

I will always prefer this vinegar coleslaw recipe exactly the way we ate it back home, but there are some tips on how to to accommodate your personal tastes, including:

  • To save time: You could buy pre-packaged coleslaw mix that has not been dressed.
  • Other sweeteners: There is a distinct taste that I’m not a fan of when I tried to use maple syrup or honey in the dressing, so I tend to stick with sugar. The option is up to you!
  • Toasted sesame oil: Adding a touch of toasted sesame oil reminds me of when mom made slaw with unrefined sunflower oil.
  • Want to use more vegetables? Freel free to add some red onion, green onions, broccoli or bell peppers!
Coleslaw in a serving bowl.

FAQs

Which vinegar should I use?

While I prefer white vinegar as that is what we used growing up in the Ukraine, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will work, but will change the flavor to less tangy.

What type of cabbage is best for this slaw?

This recipe is pretty flexible with the type of cabbage. Green cabbage or red cabbage will work. Savoy cabbage is great too but you may notice the texture of the slaw will be softer.

Serving Suggestions and Storage

A vinegar based coleslaw can replace a creamy coleslaw side dish most of the time and is a cookout favorite. Serve it alongside some of these other BBQ favorites:

This vinegar coleslaw will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You may find yourself grabbing a spoonful right out of the container, so it may not last that long!

More Favorite Salads and Slaws

You may also love this list of over 50 healthy salad recipes!

Vinegar coleslaw in a bowl with red serving tongs.
Vinegar Based Coleslaw (No Mayo)

Vinegar Based Coleslaw (No Mayo)

Vinegar Based Coleslaw is made with just 4 ingredients and without mayo. Fresh, easy and crispy it will be a hit at your next cookout!
5 from 4 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 63kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs green cabbage medium thin shredded
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Vinegar Dressing

Instructions

  • Shred cabbage using a knife or mandoline. Don't shred cabbage too thin or thick. If you shred cabbage too thin, salt with make it even thinner turning slaw into a mush. And too thick slaw is hard to chew. I used a mandoline.
  • Transfer to a large bowl with carrots and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage cabbage for a few minutes or until it shrinks down a bit.
  • In a small bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Whisk until somewhat dissolved. Pour over cabbage, stir with tongs and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Add pepper to taste, give another stir and voila.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Other cabbage: Red cabbage will work. Savoy cabbage is great too just slaw texture will be softer.
  • Other sweeteners? So I tried to use maple syrup or honey in the dressing but they add very distinct taste I am not a fan of.
  • Other vinegar: Again, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar is not like my mom used to make or the taste I crave but technically recipe will work.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Adding a touch of toasted sesame oil reminds me of when mom used unrefined sunflower oil.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 28mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

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