This homemade creamy no-mayo coleslaw with red cabbage is a healthy alternative to the high-calorie version with mayonnaise. Learn how to make this delicious homemade coleslaw that stays crisp and crunchy. (does not get watery over time.)
Healthy coleslaw recipe overview
“A homemade coleslaw 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.
Once everyone had a taste of this low-calorie homemade version, they loved it and since then, this no-mayo coleslaw with Greek yogurt and mustard has become a staple househlod recipe. We often make coleslaw for fish tacos, pulled pork, fried or baked fish.
Since trying this recipe for no-mayo coleslaw and succeeding, I got more confident and improvised it step by step. Why not make the coleslaw 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, tangy, HEALTHY no mayo coleslaw world!
Adding red cabbage in salad gives a delicious crunch and color and also increases its nutritional value multifold.
What you need for the homemade no-mayo coleslaw
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 the purple ones. You get a coleslaw that’s more purplish like this:
The flavorful coleslaw dressing uses simple ingredients like Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, cumin, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
- Greek yogurt gives a creamy texture and taste.
- Dijon mustard, cumin and lemon add a spicy tang.
- Honey for those of us who still want the sweetness in the coleslaw, healthy or otherwise!
- As in most of my salad recipes, I’ve used pink Himalayan salt here that has a distinct flavor than regular salt. You can use regular salt if that’s your preference.
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. This yummy dressing will ensure that you don’t miss the mayo.
Step by step instructions
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the 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!
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.
Combine the cabbage, grated carrots and chopped parsley in a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing and toss until well combined.
Common questions about no-mayo coleslaw
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.
Can I use homemade yogurt for the no-mayo coleslaw?
Homemade yogurt can be used for this recipe. That’s what I do when I run out of storebought Greek yogurt. If the yogurt is not as thick and creamy as the store-bought one, don’t worry. Scoop the yogurt onto a cheesecloth, tie it up with a string and hang it from the kitchen tap. Let the water drain completely before using.
What do you eat no mayo coleslaw with?
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.
- Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
- Cabbage is rich in vitamin C which boosts immunity. Red cabbage has 30% more vitamin C.
- Cabbage, especially the red variety has a high content of glucosinolates which have been associated with anticancer properties.
- Cabbage 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.
- Cabbage is a great source of sulfur that helps fight infections and speed-up healing.
Health benefits of 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. 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. Yogurt becomes an essential ingredient in your diet especially when you are trying to lose weight by eating a healthy diet.
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