This vibrant apple cider coleslaw is a tangy and crunchy slaw prepared without mayo and sweetened with thin slices of apples.
Coleslaw is a popular summer side and is typically found at any BBQ, picnic, or potluck. This vinegar-based slaw uses simple ingredients to create a fresh alternative to classic coleslaw and will sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
Coleslaw without Mayo
Traditional coleslaw is typically swimming in a creamy mayo-based dressing, however, in recent years vinegar-based slaws have become increasingly more popular. This coleslaw dressing is primarily comprised of apple cider vinegar, however, I add stone ground mustard as well. Both of these are low-calorie additions.
Is Vinegar-based Coleslaw Healthy?
Since apple cider vinegar coleslaw does not use any mayo-based salad dressings, it is considerably lower in calories than most coleslaw. It is also loaded with fresh cabbage, carrots, and even apples, making it a vibrantly healthy salad with a low-calorie and low-fat vinegar dressing you can feel good about compared to a traditional creamy coleslaw.
My recipe does use a touch of added sugar for additional sweetness, but this can easily be skipped if you are health-conscious.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cabbage - You can use your choice of green cabbage or red cabbage when making coleslaw, however, the slaw is most attractive when you use a combination of both. Be sure to remove the outer leaves of the cabbage prior to preparing it for the slaw. The outer leaves are not only dirtier, but they are softer and won't produce that wonderful crunchy cabbage texture you crave in a good slaw.
- Apple cider vinegar - I do feel apple cider vinegar is an essential ingredient but you can use other types of vinegar. White vinegar or red wine vinegar would both work in a pinch.
- Dijon mustard - You can substitute a stone ground mustard or brown mustard. Yellow mustard can also work, but it wouldn't be my first choice.
- White Sugar
- Ground celery seeds
- Salt - Table salt is best, but kosher salt and sea salt can be substituted.
- Ground black pepper - Freshly ground black pepper is highly preferred.
- Optional - A sprinkling of caraway seeds or diced red onion can also be added if desired.
How to make it
Begin by thinly slicing the cabbage, or shredding it. Follow my tutorial on how to cut cabbage if you need in-depth tips. However, a simple cheater method is to just buy shredded cabbage from the store. The carrots are best julienned so they look like matchstick-cut carrots, but you can shred them if you are in a hurry. Finally, thinly slice the apples and add all of the produce into a bowl.
Prepare the dressing by adding vinegar, mustard, sugar, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a dish and whisk to combine. Pour this over the cabbage mixture and mix to evenly coat.
This can be served immediately, but it can also be made a few days in advance if needed as well. If making it in advance, or storing leftover coleslaw, place the slaw in an airtight container in your refrigerator and enjoy it within three days for the best flavor.
More Picnic Sides
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Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw
- Large Bowl
- 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (green or purple cabbage)
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1 apple (core removed and thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground celery seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add sliced cabbage, carrots, and apple to a large bowl.
- In a separate dish mix together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, celery seed, salt, and pepper. Once combined add it to the bowl with sliced produce and combine the coleslaw mix well.
- Serve immediately.
This recipe was originally published on FoxValleyFoodie.com on July 15, 2020.
Slaw looks good; however, I cannot abide apples or pineapple in cole slaw. Prefer cabbage, a tad of grated onion, finely chopped celery and a sprinkling of celery seed. Vinegar and sugar as a dressing. You can tell I definitely have my preferences !!