Healthy No-Mayo Coleslaw

This tangy no-mayo coleslaw is made with a vinaigrette base giving it a lively tangy taste that is perfect on its own as a side dish or to top off pull pork sandwiches, tacos, burgers or alongside some fish and chips!   

A bowl of coleslaw without mayo

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This recipe was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated to include more information as well as process shots.

I am not a huge fan of mayo! Actually, I am being polite I kinda hate it… not dislike, detest.  With a vinaigrette-based homemade coleslaw, you can rest assured that a day at the park won’t result in a day in the loo thanks to curdled mayo-based salads sitting in the sun.  And… let’s face it a coleslaw recipe without mayo is a little nicer on the waistline too. 

Another one of my favourite no-mayo salad recipes is this Potato Salad. This one has eggs so it won’t do well in the hot sun for long but I love it just the same because it is vinegar-based instead of using mayo.

A close up of vinegar based coleslaw

Where did coleslaw originate?

Coleslaw originated from the Dutch word Koolsla which means cabbage salad.  It can be made with mayo or vinegar bases but traditional European Coleslaw is made with vinegar. It was only in America during the 18th century when mayonnaise arrived on the scene that vinegar-based salads like coleslaw became used mayonnaise in salads.

Is coleslaw good for you?

Cabbage itself is low on the glycemic index and very high in fibre. Since the bulk of coleslaw is made up of green and red cabbage, coleslaw when made without the addition of creamy sauces is a very good salad to load up your plate.

A bowl of coleslaw made with a no mayo coleslaw dressing

what makes this Vinegar based coleslaw great?

  • Loaded with veggies!
  • Super quick and easy to make
  • Requires only simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry plus the coleslaw mix itself
  • Can be made and served immediately or made the night before
  • Will not spoil or risk turning if served outside on a hot day since this coleslaw recipe is made with no mayo or dairy of any kind
  • A very inexpensive recipe requiring no seeds, lettuce, fruit or cheese
Ingredients for a healthy coleslaw recipe

ingredients & substitutions

  • Shredded cabbage mix – commonly called coleslaw mix. It is a mixture of green and red cabbage along with slivered carrots. If you can’t find a prepared mix you can also shred half a green cabbage with a 1/4 red cabbage and 1 cup of carrots to make your own mixture. Shred the cabbage in a food processor or use a sharp knife to cut 1/2″ shavings from the head.
  • Corn kernels – cut the kernels off a cob of corn or use 1 cup of steamed frozen corn kernels. For even more colour and flavour, you can also roast a cob of corn on the barbecue to get nice char marks on the corn and then trim the kernels. This is my favourite thing to do in the summer!
  • Olive oil – Used as the base for the coleslaw dressing.
  • White wine vinegar – Adds acidity to the dressing and also keeps the veggies bright. Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute.
  • Honey – Adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity. Replace honey with maple syrup or your favourite vegan sweetener.
  • Salt & pepper

how to make vinegar based coleslaw

A bowl of vinegar based coleslaw dressing

Add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to a bowl. Whisk to mix well. The honey will take a little longer to mix in so keep mixing until it is dissolved into the oil and vinegar mixture.

A bowl of coleslaw mix and corn

Add the coleslaw mix and corn to a large bowl. Top with the coleslaw dressing and mix well to combine. Serve immediately or store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I like to make this the night before to allow the vinaigrette to marry with the cabbage and corn a bit. I find that it just adds a more intense flavour.

Don’t be alarmed if the red cabbage bleeds into the green cabbage a bit. This is normal.

What to serve coleslaw with

Other great salads to try!

A bowl of coleslaw without mayo

Tangy No-Mayo Coleslaw

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
Homemade coleslaw made with a vinaigrette base giving it a lively tangy taste that is perfect on it’s own as a side dish or to top off pull pork sandwiches, tacos, burgers or alongside some fish and chips! 
4.65 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 cups
Calories 113 kcal


  • Large Bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Mixing Spoon


  • 5 cups shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix
  • 2 cobs corn cooked; kernels removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp honey
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper


  • Add shredded cabbage mix, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. 
  • Remove corn kernels from the cob by cutting kernels from the cob with a sharp knife. Add corn to the bowl.  If you do not have corn on the cob use 1 cup of frozen corn kernels.
  • Mix well.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for 1-3 days.



Serving: 1cupCalories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1.6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0gMonounsaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 305mgPotassium: 176mgFiber: 7gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 0IUVitamin C: 0mgCalcium: 250mgIron: 0.2mg


If you are following the 21 Day Fix or 80 Day Obsession Meal Plan the container counts are:  1 green, 1/2 yellow, 1 tsp.
Store in the fridge inside a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How To Make No-Mayo Coleslaw Story.

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  1. I’m with you on the Mayo! This is a great alternative! I substitute the vinegar for red wine vinegar and it is delicious!

  2. 4 stars
    A rare sunny day in the UK so we are having a BBQ. This will be the perfect accompaniment.

    p.s. I’m not a fan of mayo either.

    1. It is always a rainy sunny weekend over Victoria day long weekend. Do you have a long weekend for Victoria Day in the UK?

  3. 5 stars
    I love that you balanced out the coleslaw between the tangy sweet. I can’t wait to put this on top of a pulled pork sandwich.

  4. 5 stars
    I love both vinegar based coleslaw and mayo coleslaw. I love the history of vinegar coleslaw. I learned something new today! The slaw looks delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Coleslaw is just the best! It goes so well with basically any meal! I love your fresh and tangy take on it!

  6. 5 stars
    I prefer homemade coleslaw over store bought ones any day! It’s fresh and it just has a better flavor. I’d love to try this version of yours. It’s nice on its own or as a topping in sliders!

  7. 5 stars
    Informative bit of history behind coleslaw and I too am not a huge fan of mayo. This colorful and tangy coleslaw looks delicious. Bookmarked the recipe.

  8. 5 stars
    I LOVE Coleslaw! And I am loving the fact that you used corn in yours! This looks so colorful and tasty! I cannot wait to try it!

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