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Byeeee goupy, mushy, mayo-slicked coleslaws of picnics past. HELLO, creamy, crunchy, Healthy Coleslaw!

no mayo healthy coleslaw in a bowl

Coleslaw—like every potato salad that came before this superior Healthy Potato Salad—is one of those potluck sides that feels more like checking off boxes than something I legitimately want on my plate.

After all, when there’s seasonal freshness like Asian Cucumber Salad and Watermelon Salad to be had, who wants limp, mayo-drowned cabbage?

And yet…we need coleslaw.

My quest was to create a better, fresher coleslaw that still hit the potluck spot, but was much better for you. This is it!

healthy coleslaw with Greek yogurt

How to Make Healthy Coleslaw

Yes, coleslaw can be healthy!

  • The base of coleslaw is shredded vegetables (traditionally cabbage), so inherently coleslaw is vitamin- and fiber-packed and good for you.
  • The issue is the dressing. Most traditional creamy coleslaw dressing is made with high fat ingredients like mayo and has sugar added too.
  • The workaround: skip the mayo. Instead, this healthy coleslaw recipe calls for Greek yogurt. It’s just as creamy but is low in calorie and high in protein.

With a few simple ingredient changes, coleslaw is not bad to eat on its own!

In fact, I eat this coleslaw recipe both on top of my burgers, and then put more on the side for an extra serving of vegetables.

creamy healthy coleslaw without mayo in a bowl

The Ingredients

  • Broccoli Slaw. While cabbage is traditional for coleslaw, I prefer to use broccoli slaw. NO ONE ever guesses. Broccoli gives the coleslaw benefits such as fiber, iron, and vitamins A, E, and K. Look for bagged broccoli slaw in the produce section of most major grocery stores.

Market Swap

  • If you can’t find or prefer not to use broccoli slaw, you can swap freshly shredded cabbage (see this Asian Cabbage Salad for cabbage prep tips).
  • I do not recommend prebagged coleslaw mix, as (unlike broccoli slaw) its texture quickly turns mushy.
  • Carrot + Red Bell Pepper. Healthy coleslaw is more than green! Carrots and red bell peppers add rainbow color, more servings of vegetables, and important nutritional benefits.
  • Greek Yogurt. Making healthy coleslaw with Greek yogurt (no mayo) is THE move for a side that tastes great and is good for you. Like the broccoli slaw sneak, no one will suspect.

An Easy, Healthy Substitution

Greek yogurt is one of the best healthy substitutes for mayo in just about any recipe. The two have a similar body and consistency and behave similarly in cooking and baking.

easy healthy coleslaw recipe ingredients mixed in a bowl
  • Green Onion + Dijon. Gotta have that zip!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Making the healthy coleslaw with apple cider vinegar gives the dressing acidity and punch. I like the subtle fruity notes it provides too.

Substitution Tip!

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, swap regular distilled white vinegar or sherry vinegar.

  • Pure Maple Syrup. Instead of granulated sugar, I use a touch of pure maple syrup, which plays well with the fruity vinegar.
  • Hot Sauce. A surprise ingredient for a subtle kick. Feel free to omit it, or for a spicy coleslaw, add more.

The Directions

healthy coleslaw recipe ingredients in a bowl
  1. Cut the vegetables and place in a bowl.
healthy potato salad with Greek yogurt ingredients
  1. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
low fat coleslaw recipe ingredients in a bowl
  1. Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
simple healthy coleslaw without mayo
  1. Toss to evenly coat. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate leftover coleslaw in an airtight storage container. Once dressed, it will save for 3 or 4 days and can save a day or so longer if not yet dressed.

Meal Prep Tip

  • Coleslaw is an excellent side to make ahead for a potluck, because it tastes better after it has refrigerated for a few hours.
  • Combine all of the coleslaw ingredients except for the dressing and refrigerate up to 1 day in advance. Mix up the dressing and store it separately. A few hours before serving, combine the two.

Leftover Ideas

Thanks to its array of vegetables and protein-packed Greek yogurt dressing, leftover healthy coleslaw is a nutritious side for any of your go-to summer mains. You can also tuck leftovers into lettuce wraps with Grilled Chicken Tenders, or mix them into a green salad.

What to Serve with Coleslaw

  • Mixing bowls. Durable, stackable, and dishwasher-safe; plus 10 variable sizes.
  • Small Whisk. Easily handleable with its smaller size and saves space in your kitchen drawer.

I last served this healthy coleslaw with Instant Pot Pulled Pork at a friend’s lake house, and not one of my friends asked if I had lightened it up. The group inhaled it.

I (and my happy friends) declare this recipe a keeper. You will too!

Healthy Coleslaw

4.71 from 27 votes
This creamy yet healthy coleslaw recipe stars Greek yogurt (not mayo). Vegetables add crunch and vitamins for a perfect potluck side dish!

Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag broccoli slaw 10 to 12 ounces
  • 2 cups grated carrots about 5 ounces
  • 1 red bell pepper cored, very thinly sliced, and slices cut in half (about 2 cups)
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Frank’s (optional; use 2 teaspoons for a spicy slaw)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, place the broccoli slaw, carrots, bell pepper, and scallions.
  • In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
  • Toss to coat evenly. Adjust salt, pepper, and hot sauce as desired. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld or for up to 1 day.

Notes

  • TO STORE. While this salad tastes best within a day of being made, you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 3 or 4 days (and can save a day or so longer if not yet dressed). Restir and taste for seasoning before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 8020IUVitamin C: 82mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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26 Comments

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  1. I had high hopes for this recipe and it just didn’t taste good. Needs to be a little sweeter & creamier. May try honey and leave out red pepper next time.2 stars

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Kelly. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

  2. I added the dressing to the tossed slaw ingredients in stages until I found the dressing level I liked and found it to be a tasty and refreshing alternative to mayonnaise-based slaw.5 stars

  3. Great recipe. Like that it is a healthier version of traditional coleslaw. Took it to a Spring Dinner Party. It was well liked. I like a tangier coleslaw so used less maple syrup. Also, used purple and green cabbage. It would probably taste better with the broccoli slaw but that is all I had. Will make this again. Liked the blend of ingredients. Made the slaw colorful and tasteful.4 stars

  4. About to add this to your pulled chicken sandwich recipe and I’m so excited to see how it tastes together! I tried a bit of the slaw and it was delish! I knew some people would find it too sweet (I loved it as is) so I just added a splash of jalapeno pickling juice and it worked out perfectly.5 stars

  5. Hi Erin, this recipe sounds great but I have a question. Can I substitute regular plain yogurt for the Greek? I would think I would need some kind of thickener, maybe chia seeds?

    1. Hi Nancy, plain yogurt has a different consistency then Greek but it might work. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!