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Easy Spicy Coleslaw Without Mayo

A simple recipe for Easy Spicy Coleslaw Without Mayo that not only tastes delicious but is healthy too. The zesty homemade dressing has no mayo and uses creamy Greek yogurt.

A blue bowl full of homemade easy coleslaw

If you’re here looking for a KFC or Chick-fil-A copycat easy coleslaw recipe, you’ve come to the wrong place. Sugary cabbage is not my idea of a good time and all that mayo? That’s a hard pass from me.

Also? I’ve never been to a Chick-fil-A.

What you’re getting with this spicy coleslaw without mayo is a fresh tasting slaw with some kick! It’s light and savory and won’t make you feel loaded down after eating it.

What Kind of Cabbage Should I Use?

I love the bags of shredded cabbage and carrots that you can find at the grocery store. I use it for this easy spicy coleslaw, but also to add to normal leaf lettuce salads, for tacos, homemade egg rolls, etc.

Prepackaged broccoli slaw mix also makes amazing easy coleslaw! Just look and see what is in the produce section of your grocery store and see what best fits your needs.

For this recipe I used half (each) of two small heads of cabbage I got at our farmer’s market. You could use Savoy cabbage, Napa, red (which let’s be clear is actually purple), or Chinese cabbage. It all works!

Can I Make Easy Coleslaw Ahead of Time?

Yes and you should! Letting the flavors meld over a few hours really brings the dish together. It can be served right after mixing but is even better if given a few hours in the fridge.

Is This Whole30 Compliant?

As written, no. But(!) if you sub in a compliant mayo for the Greek yogurt you are cleared for take off. Related: How to Make Homemade Mayo.

Here’s How to Make It:

If using whole cabbage, remove outer leaves and cut into thin wedges. Cut out the core. Chop or shred finely with a sharp knife. Or if you have a food processor, use the shredder disc.

two steps for shredding cabbage for easy coleslaw

Place cabbage wedge in the chute and press down using the plastic pusher thingy. Repeat until all cabbage and carrot is shredded. Pro tip: If I am using both green and purple cabbage, I do all the green cabbage first, empty the bowl, then do the carrot, empty, then the purple cabbage. If you do the purple cabbage first all the colors will bleed together.

Making easy coleslaw in a food processor

Toss to combine all the veg.

Combine the Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, horseradish, and celery seed, mix thoroughly. It will be thick.

three process photos for making easy coleslaw

Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to distribute. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • The sauce for this Spicy Coleslaw is quite thick but will thin out as the cabbage releases juices after a few hours in the fridge. If you want the sauce a bit more “liquidy”, add another tbsp of rice vinegar.
  • Adjust the horseradish to your taste or leave out entirely.
  • If you want a sweeter slaw, start with 1 tsp of sugar, taste, and adjust.
  • Feel free to use apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar on hand.

two bowls of easy coleslaw on a wooden board

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A bowl of spicy easy coleslaw in a blue bowl on a wooden board
Print
5 from 1 vote
Easy Spicy Coleslaw Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

A simple recipe for Easy Spicy Coleslaw Without Mayo that not only tastes delicious but is healthy too. 

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy coleslaw, spicy coleslaw
Servings: 7
Calories: 34 kcal
Author: Sarah Cook - Sustainable Cooks
Ingredients
  • 3 cups cabbage shredded
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or mayo (to make Whole30 compliant) plain
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar apple cider vinegar also works
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tbsp horseradish prepared
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. If using whole cabbage, remove outer leaves and cut into thin wedges. Cut out the core. Chop or shred finely with a sharp knife or shred with a box grater.  Toss to combine all the veg.

    *See post for detailed instructions on using a food processor to shred the cabbage and carrot.

  2. Combine the Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, horseradish, and celery seed, mix thoroughly. It will be thick.

  3. Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to distribute. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld.

Recipe Notes

The sauce for this Spicy Coleslaw is quite thick but will thin out as the cabbage releases juices after a few hours in the fridge. If you want the sauce a bit more "liquidy", add another tbsp of rice vinegar.

 

Adjust the horseradish to your taste or leave out entirely.

 

If you want a sweeter slaw, start with 1 tsp of sugar, taste, and adjust.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Spicy Coleslaw Recipe
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 34
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 70mg 3%
Potassium 152mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 58.8%
Vitamin C 15.2%
Calcium 5.4%
Iron 1.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

This recipe was originally published in April 2014. It has been retested and updated with reader feedback. New photos have been added and the recipe has been made printable. For reference, this is one of the photos from the original post:

A simple recipe for Easy Spicy Coleslaw that not only tastes delicious but is healthy too. The zesty homemade dressing has no mayo and uses creamy Greek yogurt. #sustainablecooks #coleslaw #nomayo #easysidedish

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8 comments on “Easy Spicy Coleslaw Without Mayo”

  1. Yum! I should make a big batch of coleslaw one of these days. It definitely tastes better the 2nd day in the fridge, and I too dislike a mayo salad, as I’ve seen in some places… I love mayo, but not like that!

  2. I love to add chopped apples to slaw like this too. And I also save the broccoli stalks (we have broccoli usually twice a week) and grate them into scrambled eggs … so if I have them around, I grate broccoli stalk into my slaw too.YUM.

  3. My son likes veggies, but doesn’t care for salad dressing of any variety, so I always leave a little slaw naked for him. I also like to add a swirl of toasted sesame oil sometimes to give it a little asian flair.

  4. Hi Sara, thank you so much for posting this when you did! I needed some veggies with our meal Tuesday night and had some cabbage laying around. Husband was so happy to have cole slaw, it was perfect!

  5. I’m not a mayo lover, but I’ve been craving something like coleslaw, potato salad, or macaroni salad. However, between the kid’s dairy issues and the hubby and his egg allergy… recipes like this have been a no go. On a whim, I picked up some paleo vegan mayo and this recipe looks like the perfect way to test it out!

    And I may even have all the ingredients on hand!

  6. You’re singing my song of savory coleslaw. Not a fan of those that taste closer to dessert either. And I love the idea of the horseradish. Okay, I love horseradish tbh. (And I’ve done the purple bleed dance — tastes fine, looks alien, maybe Nickelodeonesque.) Thanks for this one, Sarah.