Honey Mustard Coleslaw with Yogurt (No-Mayo!)

Honey mustard coleslaw with Greek yogurt is a healthy low-calorie alternative to the classic version with mayonnaise. Learn how to make spicy no mayo coleslaw that stays soft and juicy, but does not get watery over time!

close-up view of honey mustard coleslaw.

About the recipe

Cabbage slaw without mayo?” The family was quite skeptical when I made it the first time. After all, the definition of deli-style coleslaw is a few shreds of cabbage slathered with mayo and honey, and full of calories. This honey mustard coleslaw looked and tasted so light and better!

Most of the Greek yogurt coleslaw recipes tend to get watery and go limp if you make them ahead of time. Find out my LITTLE SECRET to keep it soft and juicy, and at the same time, does not ooze out moisture. So you can make this spicy no mayo coleslaw ahead of time and chill to your heart’s content.

Once everyone had a taste of this healthier version, they loved it. Since then, this honey mustard slaw has become a staple dish at home. It tastes great as a side dish with chicken, fish and shrimps. I pair it with baked chicken breasts, roasted chicken drumsticks, baked lemon mustard fish, Panko-crusted fish, and even fried shrimps.

Since trying this no-mayo coleslaw and succeeding, I got more confident and improvised it step by step. Why not make it healthier and tastier by sneaking in more variety, color, and nutrition, adding purple carrots and red cabbage in addition to the regular ones? And use Dijon mustard for added spice. Welcome to the spicy, sweet, tangy and HEALTHY no mayo coleslaw world!

Ingredient notes

Vegetables

Adding purple cabbage in salads gives a delicious crunch and color and also increases its nutritional value multifold.

I’ve used a combination of green and red cabbage and carrots. If you can get purple carrots you can replace half the carrots with purple ones. You get a coleslaw that’s more purplish like this:

spicy no mayo coleslaw in a black ceramic bowl

Herbs

This is basically a cilantro-lime coleslaw recipe. So I’ve used lots of cilantro here (a personal preference), you can use dill or chives instead, or additionally.

Honey Mustard Slaw Dressing

  • Greek yogurt is the main ingredient that gives a creamy texture and taste. You can see my love for the versatile, delicious yogurt in many of my popular sauces like the yogurt dip with simple fish cakes, salad dressings and marinades!
  • Dijon mustard, cumin and lime add a spicy tang.
  • Honey for those of us who still want the sweetness in the coleslaw, healthy or otherwise!

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. This yummy dressing will ensure that you don’t miss the mayo.

How to make honey mustard coleslaw- step by step

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Preparing the no-mayo coleslaw takes only 10 minutes. You don’t even have to give it time to rest. BUT, the secret to a crunchy coleslaw lies in preparing the cabbage so it doesn’t get watery.

Salting the cabbage

Cabbage is a water-rich vegetable with 92% water content. Water is held by pectin, a soluble fibre in the cell walls of the cabbage. When you add salt to cabbage, it breaks down the pectin and draws out the water. So if you want to prevent a watery coleslaw, the solution is to draw out water from the cabbage BEFORE adding the dressing. So much science in making a simple coleslaw!

Note: As in most of my salad recipes, I’ve used Himalayan pink salt for its health benefits and more flavor. You can use regular salt, too.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the shredded cabbage, mix well and let it sit for an hour (or up to 2 hours if you can) in a colander. You’ll be surprised to see the amount of water that comes out of the cabbage. Squeeze the cabbage dry, but DO NOT RINSE. You don’t have to worry about excess salt since we don’t add any more salt to the dressing.

Spicy no mayo coleslaw

Combine the cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing and toss until well combined. This coleslaw doesn’t have to sit long in the fridge since the cabbage is already soft from all that soaking earlier. You can serve it as soon as it is chilled which would take 20 minutes, max.

Common questions

How long does homemade coleslaw last?

This coleslaw can be eaten right away or refrigerated for later. This coleslaw can last in the fridge for about 4 days if handled with care. As soon as you serve, remember to return the leftover coleslaw back to the fridge so it stays fresh.

What do you eat no mayo coleslaw with?

No mayo honey mustard coleslaw can be served with chicken:
Oven-baked chicken breasts
Baked chicken legs with olive oil and mint
Sheet pan chicken with potatoes
Or fish:
Baked salmon kebabs
Baked fish with lemon mustard glaze
Citrus marinated salmon
Simple fish cakes
Fried prawns
Or go ahead and eat spoonfuls of just the coleslaw. It is so good for you that nobody’s gonna stop you, not even your guilt.

How do you keep red cabbage from bleeding in coleslaw?

Salting the cabbage for about 1-2 hours and squeezing out the water before adding the dressing is a simple but effective way to prevent cabbage from bleeding in coleslaw. This way, homemade coleslaw doesn’t go watery. It can be refrigerated and also frozen with all that creamy texture and flavor intact.

What can I use instead of mayo in coleslaw

Greek yogurt is a healthy alternative to mayo in coleslaw. The creamy texture of yogurt enables it to be used as a substitute for cream, mayo or even cheese in many recipes, limited by only your imagination and creativity.

What can I substitute for vinegar in coleslaw?

Lemon juice can be used instead of vinegar in the ratio 3:2. (Use 3 teaspoons of lemon juice for every 2 teaspoons of vinegar, since vinegar has more of a tang than lemon juice.)

Trending Videos

Health benefits of green and red cabbage

  • Cabbage is a very powerful brain food. The presence of vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage can boost brain power and concentration.
  • It is a low-calorie vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
  • It is rich in vitamin C which boosts immunity. Red cabbage has 30% more vitamin C.
  • Cabbage, especially the purple variety has a high content of glucosinolates which have been associated with anticancer properties.
  • It contains insoluble fiber which helps improve digestion.
  • The vibrant red cabbage contains anthocyanins that reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Cabbage, especially red cabbage is rich in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure.
  • It is a great source of sulfur that helps fight infections and speed-up healing.

Health benefits of Greek Yogurt

The health benefits of yogurt are well-known, it’s full of nutrients– probiotics, protein, calcium and vitamin D to name a few, and is essential for maintaining your gut health. Yogurt becomes an essential ingredient in your meals, especially when you are trying to lose weight by eating a healthy diet.

Looking for more sides?

close-up view of honey mustard coleslaw.

Honey Mustard Coleslaw Recipe with Yogurt (No-Mayo)

Honey mustard coleslaw with Greek yogurt is a healthy low-calorie alternative to the classic version with mayonnaise. Learn how to make spicy no mayo coleslaw that stays soft and juicy, but does not get watery over time!
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 84 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups green cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt (regular or Himalayan pink salt)
  • 1 cup carrot grated
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped

honey mustard dressing

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the shredded green and red cabbage in a colander. Toss well and leave it aside for an hour.
    The salt draws out a lot of water from the cabbage. After an hour, squeeze the cabbage dry. It is now ready to be used in the coleslaw. (note 1)
  • For the dressing, place the yogurt, mustard, cumin, lemon juice, honey and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until blended.
  • Combine the shredded green and red cabbage and grated carrots in a salad bowl and add the dressing and cilantro. Toss well and adjust seasoning according to your taste.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate if using later.

Notes

  • Salting the cabbage is an important step in making this coleslaw. Since cabbage has high water content, adding salt tends to make it watery. Here we draw out that water before adding the dressing so the coleslaw doesn’t get watery and stays crunchy and crisp for days.
  • Variations:
  • You can replace half the quantity of carrots with purple ones.
  • Add lemon zest for added flavor.
  • Feel free to add salt and lemon juice according to taste.
  • Storing leftovers: Store leftover coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Make-ahead option: This coleslaw can last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 weeks.
 
Honey Mustard Coleslaw with Yogurt (No-Mayo!)

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