Homemade healthy coleslaw is a delicious side dish recipe. It's much more nutritious than a handful of iceberg lettuce. A generous portion will add two of your Five A Day. The ingredients store well in the fridge for a few days, meaning there's no emergency shopping trip when you want a salad. This no mayo healthy coleslaw is also an extremely budget friendly recipe. Try serving it with barbecues, cold meats, veggie burgers or cheese and onion quiche. Or add a handful of nuts or seeds and enjoy it as a light lunch.
Why make your own coleslaw?
- It's crisp and colourful. Freshly made homemade coleslaw has the best taste and texture.
- It's healthier. There's no mayo which reduces the fat, additives and sugar.
- Easy to make, with readily available ingredients.
- Adapt the recipe to suit your taste. I find some coleslaw can be a bit onion-y, so I omit it from my recipe.
The best vegetables for your crunchy coleslaw
You can use either a firm white or red cabbage for this recipe (or a mixture of both). Both are extremely good for you, and a great source of vitamin C. Cabbage is a member of the brassica family, and packed with nutrients and gut friendly bacteria. Red cabbage also has the advantage of containing healthy anthocyanin polyphenols which result in its deep purple colour. (These are also the nutrients that give blueberries their colour). When dietitians talk about eating the rainbow, red cabbage is a great choice to provide the indigo/violet end of the spectrum. Red cabbage also adds a beautiful colour to your healthy slaw.
Carrots also provide healthy fibre, and are a rich source of beta carotene, which your body can convert into Vitamin A. They really are good for your eye sight as well, as the carotenoids that they contain can help to prevent age related degeneration. To read more about the health benefits of carrots see https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nutrition/foods/carrots#section5
No mayo coleslaw dressing
This homemade healthy coleslaw recipe is mayo free. The simple dressing is made from extra virgin olive oil and yogurt. Extra virgin olive oil has proven health benefits, and is a key ingredient of the much researched Mediterranean diet. Using extra virgin oil means that there has been no heat processing, which can destroy many of the health benefits of the oil. Conversely, bought mayonnaise often uses inferior, cheaper, highly processed oils, plus thickeners and sugar.
- Onions: if you like the taste of raw onion, add a little finely sliced onion to the vegetable mix. Red onion will be sweeter. If you want to make the onion less strong, soak it for 15 minutes in iced water. Or for a milder onion flavour, use some chopped spring onions.
- Add a little extra natural sweetness with a grated apple. Alternatively add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, or a couple of tablespoons of dried fruit such as sultanas or raisins.
- For a hint of garlic, add either a very finely chopped garlic clove or a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder.
- You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for extra acidity.
- If you want to add some extra protein and crunch, sprinkle a handful of sunflower seeds over your coleslaw.
How to make healthy coleslaw
This no mayo dressing is very easy to make as you simply stir everything together. But do this gently, otherwise the yogurt may split. Mix the dressing in a bowl large enough for all the veggies to cut down on the washing up.
Cutting the vegetables finely and evenly will definitely make for a better result, so take your time.
You can use either a food processor, or a grater and your knife skills to cut the veggies for your coleslaw. If you are making a small portion, you might prefer to prepare the veggies by hand, but for larger quantities, a food processor saves time. I find that either the grating or the chopping attachment of the processor works well. If I'm preparing the veggies by hand, then I'll use a box grater for the carrots, and very finely slice the cabbage. You can also you shred the cabbage with a y shaped vegetable peeler.
Serving and storing
Coleslaw is perfect to serve at a barbecue. Try it with these lentil burgers or turkey burgers. It's also great served alongside quiche. The crunchy texture works really well in wraps, I like to add a big handful of grated cheese as well.
Homemade healthy coleslaw will store well for 3 or 4 days in the fridge in a covered container. I wouldn't recommend freezing it as the veggies will lose some of their crunch, and the dressing may split slightly.
Frequently asked questions
If your choice of coleslaw is just raw veggies in a healthy dressing, then it is a very healthy choice. Whether or not you choose a mayonnaise dressing, make sure that it is made with a healthy oil.
That depends on the coleslaw! This healthy coleslaw recipe, packed with veggies and made with a no mayo yogurt and olive oil dressing is lower calorie than many bought coleslaws. A generous portion has just over 100 calories. If you want to reduce the calories in the recipe further, omit the olive oil and add a splash of cider vinegar to the yogurt.
A generous helping of coleslaw contains 2 helpings of veggies. Cabbage and carrots are both packed with vitamins and minerals. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are also a great source of antioxidants. Coleslaw will also add fibre to your diet which is good for digestion.
Other healthy salad recipes
You might also like to browse all vegetable and salad recipes.
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Homemade Healthy Coleslaw
- ¼ red or white cabbage finely sliced
- 4 medium carrots finely grated
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoon natural yogurt
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, carefully stir together the olive oil, yogurt and seasoning.
- Add the grated carrot and finely sliced cabbage, and stir until well mixed.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only