Vegan Coleslaw

You’ll love this easy vegan coleslaw recipe made with the best coleslaw dressing! You’ll need only a few ingredients to make it and it’s a perfectly creamy and delicious side dish for any summertime meal.

Looking down on the right side of a bowl of coleslaw with a bowl of more coleslaw sauce in the background.

I love a good summer salad recipe. It’s one reason I turn to this Kale Salad so frequently. I turned to inspiration from my Midwestern roots when making this vegan coleslaw. You’ll love the creamy and slightly sweet dressing served over a mixture of green and red shredded cabbage. it’s so amazing!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Adding both green and red cabbage gives your slaw a op of color and texture
  • Maple syrup makes the sauce tangy, sweet, and irresistible
  • Letting the slaw marinade in the fridge before serving helps soften the cabbage slightly and melds the flavors together.

What You Need

Ingredients are laid out on a table. The labels next to them read, celery seeds, dijon mustard, vegan mayo, vinegar, maple syrup, green cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage.

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Vegan pie crust — This vegan pie crust recipe creates 2 flaky crusts and we’ll be using both for this dish.
  • Vegan chicken — You can use vegan beef or vegan turkey in place of the vegan chicken. You can also substitute this marinated tofu. I have used Gardein Teriyaki Chik’n Strips (and save the sauce packet for some other time). Or you can use homemade vegan chicken cut into strips.
  • Vegan butter — Use storebought vegan butter or margarine or make homemade vegan butter.
  • Onion — You’ll need a half cup of chopped onion. I recommend a yellow onion because it has a milder flavor.

Ingredient Spotlight

Looking down on a head of green cabbage in the garden, with large dark green leaves around it.

What Cabbage is Best for Coleslaw?

Red cabbage is tougher and therefore requires it to be grated finer. Green cabbage is a favorite for its texture and flavor in slaws. You can substitute with napa cabbage, but it has a tendency to leach more water than green cabbage. When selecting cabbage, look for heavy, compact heads without dried or blemished leaves. You can expect smaller heads to be more tender. Wrap cabbage tightly in a plastic bag and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Once cut, you’ll want to use the cabbage within 2 to 3 days.

How to Make Vegan Coleslaw

  1. Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a bowl. 
  2. Stir together the dressing ingredients
  3. Pour the dressing over the bowl with the cabbage.
    A hand holds a bowl of sauce pouring it over shredded cabbage and carrots.
  4. Stir it together, cover, and refrigerate for up to an hour.

How to Shred Cabbage for Coleslaw

There are many ways to shred cabbage for coleslaw, including using a knife, a mandolin, or a food processor. Each of these processes involves removing the cabbage core first. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Wash the head of cabbage under running water and remove any wilted outer leaves.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half, down through the core.
  3. Cut the halves into quarters.
    Looking down on four quarters of cabbage on a cutting board with a chef's knife beside it.
  4. Use a paring knife to cut in and down around the core on each quarter to remove it.
    Looking down on a cutting board holding four quarters of green cabbage, each with the core cut out. There's a chef's knife beside it with the cut-out core beside it.

To shred the cabbage using a knife:

  1. Use a chef’s knife to cut thin strips of the quarters, resulting in shredded cabbage.
    Looking down on a hand holding a chef's knife, shredding cabbage on a cutting board.
  2. Be sure to cut down on the cabbage, away from your hands.

To shred the cabbage using a mandolin slicer:

  • Place one of the quarters on the mandoline. If it’s too big (extends beyond the sides of the mandolin), cut off a little on one of the sides.
  • Press the guide (to protect your fingers) into the cabbage and press it to gently move the cabbage up and down the mandolin.
    A hand holds a tool shredding green cabbage with a mandoline. There are large pieces of green cabbage beside it.

To shred cabbage using a food processor:

  • Attach the shredding blade to the food processor
  • Cut each quarter into pieces that are small enough to fit through the top of the food processor’s feeder.
    Cabbage is in the top of a food processor, using the shredding blade to shred it. There is shredded cabbage in the main bowl of the food processor.
  • Use the food processor’s feeder to push the cabbage through, repeating with each section.

Quick Fix Tip

If you’re in a hurry, you can substitute two bags of coleslaw mix, which usually includes shredded cabbage combined with shredded carrots.

The Vegan Slaw Dressing

When it comes to making coleslaw, you have options for a vegan sauce, including:

  • Want your vegan coleslaw with yogurt? Substitute plain vegan yogurt for the mayo for a lighter dressing.
  • Substitute Cashew Cream for the mayo.
  • You can even use this Tahini Sauce in place of the mayo.

You can make the dressing sweeter or less sweet by changing the amount of maple syrup used.

  • Sweeter Sauce — Use 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Less Sweet — Use 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
  • Zero Added Sugars — Stir in 2 to 3 teaspoons of stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
A bowl of creamy coleslaw sauce sits in front of a larger bowl full of shredded cabbage and carrots.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What is in coleslaw?

Some slaws have a vinegar dressing while others have a mayo-based dressing. When you’re making vegan coleslaw you have options for the dressing base, including vegan mayo, vegan yogurt, and even tahini or cashew cream base.

What cabbage is best for slaw?

Green cabbage is preferred for coleslaw because of its milder flavor, color, and texture. However, you can also use red cabbage and even Brussels sprouts to make your slaw recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this vegan slaw with your favorite vegan grilling recipes, such as:

Storage Tips

Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 or 5 days. If you want to freeze, I recommend freezing only the cabbage mix and then adding the mayo-based sauce after it comes to room temperature.

Looking down on a bowl of vegan coleslaw, showing shredded red and green cabbage.

Vegan Salads

If you love this vegan coleslaw, here are even more tasty summer salads to tickle your taste buds:

Looking down on the right side of a bowl of coleslaw with a bowl of more coleslaw sauce in the background.

Vegan Coleslaw

This simple, but flavorful vegan coleslaw will be the hit of your summer picnics. Serve it as a salad, over street tacos, or even on a BBQ sandwich!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 176kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, finely shredded

Slaw Dressing

  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a bowl.
  • Stir together the dressing ingredients and pour over the bowl with the cabbage. Stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate for up to an hour to allow the ingredients to combine and for the dressing to marinade the cabbage and carrots.

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Notes

You can make the dressing sweeter or less sweet by changing the amount of maple syrup used.
  • Sweeter Sauce — Use 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Less Sweet — Use 2 tablespoons maple syrup.
  • Zero Added Sugars — Stir in 2 to 3 teaspoons of stevia or monk fruit sweetener.
Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3931IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

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

2 Responses to Vegan Coleslaw

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCatey Reply

    5 stars
    I never thought of slaw as a condiment, but added this to my black bean burger and it was so good!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hey Catey, so glad you liked that suggestion…and this recipe!

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