Byeeee goupy, mushy, mayo-slicked coleslaws of picnics past. HELLO, creamy, crunchy, Healthy Coleslaw!
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.
And yet…we need coleslaw.
- It’s just the crunch to top Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Shredded Chicken Sandwiches.
- It goes along with BBQ classics like Instant Pot Ribs.
- A side of Easy Baked Beans would feel lonely without it.
My quest was to create a better, fresher coleslaw that still hit the potluck spot, but was much better for you. This is it!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut the vegetables and place in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
- Toss to evenly coat. ENJOY!
- 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.
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.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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