Loaded with all of the crunch, and none of the creamy mess, Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw is easy, fast and versatile. This cold-and-flu-season superfood is incredibly nutrient dense with plenty of Vitamins A and C. Tuck a few handfuls of this no mayo coleslaw into a sandwich, add in some chicken for a salad, or enjoy it on its own as a side dish.
Everyone needs a good slaw in their arsenal, and IMHO it’s even better if it’s mayo-free coleslaw.
I know, I know. I’m going to catch some heat for that, but I don’t care. Because we all know, 9 times out of 10, creamy coleslaws are too sweet, too soggy, too soupy…and sometimes all of the above. Pre-made or not.
Whether you’re looking to add a little cool, crisp crunch, or a snappy, tangy bite, skip the bagged mix and the mayonnaise. Our apple cider vinegar coleslaw calls for fresh sliced cabbage, fennel, carrots and celery, plus fresh parsley. The marinade is just cider vinegar, honey, and olive oil, with salt and pepper to taste. No mayo in sight! Super fresh, super crunchy, super tangy.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar?
Health benefits aside, apple cider vinegar is a terrific choice for no-mayo coleslaw because of its sweet, sour, and tart flavor. It’s a much richer than white vinegar, but not as overpowering as red wine or balsamic vinegar.
A touch of honey (or agave) really brings out the sweet notes in cider vinegar, while dijon mustard highlights the tang. Apple cider vinegar makes for an incredibly flavorful (and autumnal!) dressing for coleslaw.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw
Versatility is the name of the game, and Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw is the MVP. Fresh, crisp shredded veggies in a super simple cider vinegar marinade will have you wondering what you ever saw in creamy coleslaw. No mayo coleslaw is a perfect partner for sandwiches, but can also play the field as a side and a salad.
- Whisk together vinegar, oil, honey, salt, and a pepper in a small bowl
- Thinly slice cabbage, fennel, and celery stalks with a mandoline slicer or chef’s knife.
- Use the julienne attachment on the mandoline or a box grater to julienne or grate the carrots. Chop the parsley.
- Combine cut veggies in a large bowl and add the dressing; toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, or marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- The key to this coleslaw recipe is consistency – shred and slice the veggies to a consistent size for perfectly portioned bites.
- For best results, marinate at least one hour in the fridge, but a few hours is even better.
Make It Your Way
- Swap out half of the red cabbage for green.
- No fennel? No problem! Substitute 2 stalks of thinly sliced celery.
- Add julienned or shredded radishes, apples, beets, or jicama.
- For a crunchy topping, add sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or hemp hearts right before serving. They’ll lose their “snap” in the fridge so I sprinkle them on just before serving.
Is Vinegar Coleslaw Healthy?
Depending on your dietary needs, it sure can be! While mayo-based coleslaw recipes are made with plenty of vegetables, the dressing is often packed with sugar and of course lots of mayonnaise (which may or may not be “healthy” for you).
Apple cider vinegar coleslaw is packed with plenty of cold-busting nutrients like Vitamins A and C. The health benefits of cabbage and apple cider vinegar are plentiful, and it can’t hurt to find just one more way to get raw veggies into your diet. Plus, with a refined-sugar free dressing, this recipe is great if you’re on a paleo diet or minding your intake of dairy and carbs.
What Goes Good with Vinegar Coleslaw?
I’m a firm believer in vinegar coleslaw on pulled pork sandwiches, so I always make this when I have a batch of apple cider pulled pork in the slow cooker (or any other pulled pork in any other cooking vessel), but it’s good for so much more.
No-mayo coleslaw is the perfect balance for richer, saltier flavors – pair it with bacon wrapped chicken and corn fritters for a fun indoor picnic. It’s awesome alongside Buffalo chicken – meatballs, shredded, or restaurant-style boneless bites. But I also love just topping it with grilled chicken (this one’s got more cider!) and treating it like a salad.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days in a tightly sealed container. Apple cider vinegar coleslaw is best the second day after the cabbage has time to soften a bit and the flavors have really melded.
Did you make this apple cider vinegar coleslaw? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 8 cups shredded red cabbage, see Note 1
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced, see Notes 2 and 3
- ½ c chopped parsley
- ½ c apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey, or agave
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- Make the dressing. Combine the vinegar, olive oil, honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a 1-cup measuring cup or lidded jar; whisk or shake until the ingredients are well combined.
- Combine the cabbage, carrots, fennel, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, then toss until well combined.
- Marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge, but ideally overnight. Place at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to remove the chill.
- Note 1. Use a mandoline or your food processor to shred the cabbage and carrots; pre-shredded is terrific as well! Just be sure to closely inspect for freshness.
- Note 2. Thinly sliced fennel using a mandoline is perfect for this recipe. If your knife skills are sharp, thinly slice the fennel by hand.
- Note 3. If you can’t find, or don’t care for, fennel, substitute with 2 stalks of thinly sliced celery.