Bring on the crunch with this perfect, picnic-ready classic vegan coleslaw with a light and creamy dijon-spiked, mayo-based dressing!

vegan coleslaw on plate with bowl and fork
This super easy, crunchy and creamy vegan coleslaw has the best, not-too-heavy dressing!

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Sometimes, you just don’t want to mess with the classics…too much…I am who I am, ha! And there are few things as perfect as a crunchy vegan coleslaw with shredded cabbage whether you need a BBQ side, something to bring to the picnic or as a fresh topping for vegan taco night!

This is the kind of side salad that you can pop on the table and no one will think it’s vegan. It’s just GOOD. And that’s so important to me, as someone who creates plant-based recipes for a living. The idea that plant-based food should be SO delicious that it doesn’t feel like a compromise…which is 100% the energy I brought to my bestselling plant-based cookbook, Plant Magic.

I love serving this crunchy, creamy coleslaw with my falafel burgers for an easy weeknight meal. If you want to make this recipe even faster, you can absolutely use store-bought coleslaw mix for this and it will come together in 5 minutes flat. Buuuuut… if you want your vegan coleslaw extra crunchy, I highly recommend shredding it yourself..and using a mixture of half red cabbage (which is extra crisp!) and half green cabbage.

When it comes to add ons, use whatever you have on hand. I really love sunflower seeds in my coleslaw because that’s how my mother-in-law makes it. And a slaw is a great way to use up broccoli stalks (and reduce food waste!) or any carrots or apples you have in the bottom of the produce drawer. You can’t go wrong…just add them in!

The secret to making a creamy coleslaw dressing that doesn’t feel heavy is Dijon mustard…it adds a little zip (go ahead and double it if you want major zip!) that lightens everything up. If you want a creamy dressing, but prefer it mayo free, you could totally sub some homemade cashew cream for the mayo!

How to make a super classic vegan coleslaw…it’s easy!

Grab those ingredients: red and green cabbage, any bonus veg you want to add (like carrot or apple), vegan mayo, djion mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and sunflower seeds.

cabbage, mayo and broccoli on purple background
Shred your own cabbage, add any bonus veg you want, OR use bagged coleslaw mix to make it faster.

Step One: In a large salad bowl, whisk up the mayo, dijon, sugar, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Taste, and adjust anything you like: a bit more Dijon, a bit of salt, or a bit of extra sugar to tone down the acid. Make it your own!

Step Two: core and shred the cabbage finely with a sharp knife, about ⅛ inch wide, and julienne any bonus veggies you want.

Step Three: toss the cabbage and sunflower seeds in the coleslaw dressing to get it really well coated and enjoy!

15 minutes…one bowl…7 simple ingredients…SO nutritious…what’s not to love about a slaw??? It keeps really well too, in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Why cabbage is so, so good for you

As a dietitian, I feel like folks think coleslaw isn’t good for you, which is so interesting to me. I know that it’s because of the mayo, but honestly, we needn’t fear a bit of fat and the fat doesn’t erase how incredibly nutrient-dense the cabbage is! 

Cabbage doesn’t get nearly the press of its cousin kale but it’s a cruciferous veggie packed with the same sulfur-based phytochemicals that are thought to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and supportive of overall health. 

Plus, a single cup of cabbage is packed with nutrition: it has 1.3 grams of fibre, 1 gram of protein, 126 mg of potassium, plus small amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins C, K and folate as well as beta-carotene. Doesn’t sound impressive? Well, you have to understand it has all this with only 18 calories. I don’t mention calories very often because it gives me the ick…but I want to give you context into how truly nutrient-dense cabbage is!

Red cabbage contains EVEN MORE plant pigments like anthocyanins that have their own benefits. Affordable, lasts forever in the fridge, super nutrient dense…get that cabbage on your plate, friends!

hands tossing coleslaw
This coleslaw just so happens to be vegan, gluten free and low FODMAP…but it’s also just delicious!

More incredible vegan picnic-ready salads

vegan coleslaw on plate with bowl and fork

15 Minute Crunchy Vegan Coleslaw and Dressing

Bring on the crunch with this perfect, picnic-ready classic vegan coleslaw with a light and creamy dijon-spiked, mayo-based dressing!
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Ingredients

Coleslaw

  • 6 cups shredded cabbage, I like a mix of green and red, but you can totally use bagged coleslaw mix
  • 2 cups bonus veg: apple, broccoli stalk, carrot, kohlrabi, or more cabbage
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, optional

Vegan Coleslaw Dressing

  • cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar, or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • In a large salad bowl, whisk up the mayo, dijon, sugar, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Taste, and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking, like more Dijon or salt.
  • Toss the cabbage and sunflower seeds with the coleslaw dressing until well coated…and enjoy!

Notes

If using only cabbage, in a 3/4 cup serving size, this recipe is also Low FODMAP!!
This coleslaw keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days.