Whether you like a classic creamy coleslaw dressing or one that’s  vinegar based, I’ve got 4 delicious versions for all occasions. And they are so much better than store-bought mixes!

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

Coleslaw is one of those dishes everyone loves and has their own version of.

Even Japan loves coleslaw (or cole slaw, or slaw – you can spell it however you like 🙂)! Their version is usually made with a vinegar and soy sauce based dressing. They love shredded cabbage so much that it’s a standard accompaniment to heavier dishes like tonkatsu and other fried foods.

Personally, I grew up eating all sorts of versions of coleslaw – Japanese style, the classic creamy kind, lemony or vinegar based, you name it.

Which one do I prefer?

It really depends on what I am eating that day. If it’s something heavy like fried oysters, I follow the Japanese rule of pairing a heavy main dish with something lighter on the side like a vinegar based coleslaw.

My favorite food pairing for creamy coleslaw are sandwiches. The combination makes me feel like I’m at a picnic out in the park, lounging on the grass with good company. Plus, alternating between bites of crunchy and creamy cabbage slaw and light and fluffy sandwiches feels so satisfying!

And as far as the Japanese version is concerned, this may sound cliché but it’s really good with izakaya type foods. Think tapas, small plates of various Japanese dishes that you get to share with friends in a cozy atmosphere, with a glass of beer or shochu in hand.

As you can see, I cannot pick a favorite coleslaw flavor since I love them all dearly. And because of that I have decided to share with you four of my favorite coleslaw recipes.

Maybe we can collectively decide on a winner!

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

How to Make Coleslaw

Making coleslaw can be as easy as dumping a bag of coleslaw mix into a bowl and pouring dressing over it.

But let’s not be too lazy here.

This is a recipe blog after all so I’m going to show you how to make it from scratch 🥣

And honestly, it won’t take that much longer to make and is so much better! Nothing beats fresh ingredients for taste and texture.

A basic coleslaw consists of:

  • Green cabbage
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrots
  • A salad dressing that’s mayonnaise or vinegar based

These are the essential ingredients to make a coleslaw.

From here you can add your own twist such as sliced apples, raisins, nuts, shallots, etc…

A good coleslaw should have a good crunch but not be so crunchy that your neighbors across the street can hear you chew. The key here is to dress your salad 1-2 hours before serving it to give the carrots and cabbage time to soften a little.

And that’s basically how you make a coleslaw – easy, peasy, yummy in my tummy!

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

How to Make a Creamy Coleslaw that’s Lower in Fat and Sugar

A classic coleslaw is surely very tasty but it does come with a high fat and high sugar content.

So it’s easy to understand why some of us prefer to make it healthier.

The way I like to make my coleslaw dressing healthier is by substituting some of the mayonnaise for yogurt, and lower the amount of sugar used.

I personally don’t recommend getting rid of mayonnaise entirely since it has a silkiness and smoothness that yogurt doesn’t have. I find that by only using yogurt my coleslaw tends to have a puckery taste and texture that’s not as enjoyable as the original recipe.

So my healthier recipe looks like this: I swap 3/4 of the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt and use honey instead of granulated sugar. Yes, honey is still sugar but at least it’s high in antioxidants and the amount is quite small.

This way you still get to enjoy your coleslaw while saving on fat and a few calories.

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

4 Easy and Tasty Coleslaw Dressings

So now that you know what goes into a basic coleslaw and a healthier one too, let me share with you some simple and delicious dressing recipes.

All four recipes are quick to make and the list of ingredients is easy to find.

Let’s make some coleslaw dressing!

Classic Creamy Coleslaw Dressing + Healthier Coleslaw Dressing

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

This is a simple coleslaw recipe with mayo that’s sweet – but not too sweet – and tangy.

It’s similar to a Southern coleslaw, minus the celery seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Add more sugar for extra sweetness or more mustard for a tangier taste.

For the healthier version of this creamy coleslaw recipe, use:

  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey (add more for a sweeter taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 freshly ground black pepper

The preparation is very simple for both dressings: whisk everything into a bowl and serve!

 

Vinegar Based Coleslaw Dressing

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

This is my go-to vinegar based slaw dressing.

The flavors are so good I find myself unable to keep away from it! If you happen to be in my kitchen while I’m making this dressing, you will see me scooping up small teaspoons of it to sip on.

The combination of minced garlic, maple syrup, lemon juice and vinegar is really refreshing and cleansing. I’m actually drooling right now as I’m writing this!

Ingredients:

Vinegar Based Coleslaw Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For this one you will want to slowly whisk in the oil last, so it emulsifies with the acidic ingredients. Add dried herbs such as oregano, parsley and basil to give it an Italian flair.

Japanese Style Coleslaw Dressing

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

This is another vinegar based dressing but quite different in flavor.

This dressing is more tangy than sweet and has an added layer of umami thanks to the soy sauce. I’ve used a very similar version for this Japanese cabbage salad I created a few years back.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks scallion (finely chopped)

Whisk everything together and pour on the slaw. Add sugar if you like your dressing on the sweeter side. You can also add 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil for nuttiness.

Coleslaw Dressing - Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipes. Vinegar, creamy, no mayo, Asian, with Greek yogurt, apple cider, there is one that's just right for you! #coleslaw #dressingrecipe #pioneerwoman #saladdressing #cabbage #slaw #vegan #nomayo #sidedish | pickledplum.com

Did you like these Easy Coleslaw Dressing Recipes? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

Print

Easy Coleslaw Dressings

Four easy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressings for all occasions and way better than store-bought mixes!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 people 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

Basic Coleslaw Salad

  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Classic Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For buttermilk or sour cream based dressings: swap half of the mayonnaise for buttermilk or sour cream

Healthier Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey (add more for a sweeter taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 freshly ground black pepper

Vinegar Based Coleslaw Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Japanese Style Coleslaw Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 stalks scallion (finely chopped)

Instructions

Directions for Creamy Coleslaw and Healthier Creamy Coleslaw Dressing

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour dressing over the coleslaw and toss well.
  3. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Directions for Vinegar Based and Japanese Coleslaw Dressing

  1. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the oil has emulsified.
  2. Pour dressing over the coleslaw and toss well.
  3. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Notes

The classic creamy coleslaw dressing will keep refrigerated for up to 3-4 weeks.

The healthier creamy coleslaw dressing will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Both vinegar based and Japanese coleslaw dressings will keep refrigerated for up to 3-4 weeks.

Keywords: recipe, salad dressing, vinaigrette, homemade sauce, condiment

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