The BBC Good Food logo
Vegan coleslaw in bowl with a napkin

Easy vegan coleslaw

A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratingsRate
loading...
Magazine subscription – your first 5 issues for only £5!
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • No cook
  • Easy
  • Serves 4 - 6

Make this simple dairy-free slaw that's perfect for vegan barbecues and picnics. Put it together in minutes and shake with our mustardy dressing

  • Gluten-free
  • Healthy
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
NutrientUnit
kcal107
fat8g
saturates1g
carbs6g
sugars6g
fibre3g
protein1g
salt0.23g
Advertisement

Ingredients

  • ¼ white cabbage (roughly 200g), finely sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage (roughly 200g), finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots (roughly 200g), grated
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp good quality Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil

Method

  • STEP 1

    Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk or shake in a jar. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix together thoroughly.

What is vegan coleslaw mix made of?

The non-dairy dressing in this recipe features a simple combination of Dijon mustard, lemon juice and olive oil. This is used to coat chopped white and red cabbage plus grated carrots and sliced red onion. For a creamier version, you can add vegan mayonnaise, or a dressing thickened with a handful of raw cashew nuts that have been soaked in boiling water for about an hour beforehand.

How long does vegan coleslaw last?

It can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for 3-4 days, but it’s best eaten within 1-2 days. The cabbage will start softening and lose its crispness after a couple of days.

Can vegan coleslaw be frozen?

While there’s no harm in freezing vegan coleslaw, it isn’t a good contender for the freezer. It tends to become watery on defrosting and loses some of its crunchiness. If you do need to freeze it, then use within 3 months, defrost in the fridge overnight, then drain off any liquid and give it a good mix. You can perk it up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a few fresh herbs, if you like.

Can vegan coleslaw be made ahead?

Yes, it’s possible to prepare this recipe ahead and refrigerate for 3-4 days before eating, although the fresher the better for maximum crunch. Over 3-4 days it will lose its crisp texture and bright colour but is still fine to eat. If you’re making it ahead for entertaining or a special occasion, or to serve as a salad, then we’d recommend preparing the coleslaw as close to serving as possible, ideally just a few hours ahead. Keep it in the fridge until needed and give it a stir before serving. The red cabbage’s colour will start to seep into the dressing the longer you leave it, although it will still taste good.

What to serve vegan coleslaw with?

How to use up leftovers?

  • If it’s starting to lose some of its crunch, then use it up in vegan sandwiches or wraps with some hummus or avocado, or spooned into a bun with vegan burgers, vegan sausages or even vegan meatballs. Make sure to drain off any excess liquid first from the coleslaw to prevent your sandwiches turning soggy.
  • For a speedy lunch or dinner, stir some drained, canned chickpeas or butterbeans into the slaw to bulk it out and eat as a salad.

How can I add more flavour?

  • For extra flavour, add in ½ small bunch dill, chives, parsley or coriander, finely chopped.
  • A few pinches of paprika or smoked paprika would also give the mixture a gentle warmth and smokiness.
  • Season it to suit your taste with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper if you think it needs it.
  • A small handful of toasted nuts and seeds, sprinkled on just before serving, with add a good contrast to the freshness of the slaw.
  • Chop some fresh mild red or green chilli and mix in for a gentle spike of heat.
  • If you like garlic, then add half a clove of crushed garlic to the dressing.

Variations on vegan coleslaw

  • For more texture, you could substitute wholegrain mustard for Dijon. You could also add a handful of chopped unsalted nuts (almonds or cashews would work well) or seeds for some extra crunch.
  • To make the mixture creamier, add 50g of vegan mayo to the mixture. You can either buy this at most supermarkets or make your own using our vegan mayonnaise.
  • Another tip for creamy vegan coleslaw is to add some soaked, raw cashew nuts to the dressing and blend until smooth and creamy. To soak the cashews, cover with boiling water and leave for an hour before draining and making the dressing. You can also use a spoonful of cashew butter to mix into the dressing.
  • You can give vegan slaw a Thai twist by using lime juice, fresh mint, fresh chilli, chopped peanuts and some soy sauce (leave out mustard and olive oil if you’re going for Thai flavours).
  • Add some diced or grated apple, thinly sliced celery and a tablespoon of sultanas for a Waldorf-inspired vegan slaw.
  • You can use almost any raw vegetables you like in a vegan slaw including celeriac, spring onions, peppers, sugar snap peas, mangetout and courgettes.
  • You can also add fruit such as apple, pomegranate or even slices of orange or grapefruit, although fruit is best added at the last minute.

Try more of our vegan slaw alternatives

  • Mexican curtido is a fat-free vegan slaw perfect for piling on tacos, in burritos, or on its own as a salad.
  • This shredded salad of beetroot and red cabbage is a striking red colour and would be at home on the vegan Christmas table, as well as a summer barbecue side.
  • For a family-friendly version, try our red cabbage & pickled chilli slaw – just leave out the chilli and dress with lime juice and a splash of oil for the kids.

Goes well with

Advertisement

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content