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    Vinegar-Based Coleslaw Recipe

    Published June 14, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Try this amazingly delicious and easy-to-make side dish for a Vinegar Based Coleslaw recipe at your next barbecue or backyard get-together. You will love how delicious and refreshing this coleslaw is.

    vinegar based coleslaw recipe with apple cider vinegar

    If you’re looking for a ridiculously easy recipe for slaw, look no further than this one.  It seems like vinegar coleslaw has been all the craze in the BBQ world in the last few years.  This tangy vegetable slaw is perfect when eaten by itself or when served up alongside my Grilled BBQ Chicken.

    Vinegar Coleslaw

    Vinegar coleslaw is a simple recipe consisting of a sweet and tangy vinegar-based dressing tossed with shredded cabbage and other vegetables served as a side dish or on top of Barbecue-style sandwiches.

    This is a great option if you want to eliminate any additional fats since this recipe does not use any mayonnaise as a creamy coleslaw recipe would. The pre-made store-bought version is loaded up with sugar and fat. However, this sweet and tangy homemade version is dairy-free and packed with fresh hand-cut vegetables that are low in calories.

    What Kind of Vegetables Can I Use?

    In a standard slaw, the most common vegetables are green cabbage and onions.  Here is what I like to put into my recipe as it will add more flavor:

    • Green Cabbage
    • Red Cabbage
    • Red Onion
    • Carrots
    • Green Onions
    • Cilantro

    However, you could add these ingredients:

    • Sliced red, green, yellow, or orange bell peppers
    • Sliced spicy peppers, like jalapeños
    • Thinly sliced kale or jicama.

    Slicing the Vegetables

    There are few ingredients in this recipe, along with the sweet and tangy vinegar-based dressing, and it all starts with slicing the vegetables.

    If you do not have a mandolin, it’s completely fine to slice things using a chef knife.  My rule of thumb for using a mandolin is when you start to get nervous, you might cut yourself, just stop.

    Slice the green cabbage in half and remove the core.  Slice in half again and then thinly slice it on a mandolin, or you can use a very sharp chef knife.

    coring and slicing green cabbage on a mandolin

    Next, Slice the red cabbage in half and remove the core using a knife.  Slice in half again and then thinly slice it on a mandolin, or you can use a very sharp chef knife.

    slicing red cabbage in half and then thinly slicing

    Next, peel the carrots and thinly slice them on a mandolin using the shredded blade attachment.

    Shredding carrots on a mandolin

    Vinegar Coleslaw Dressing

    Making the coleslaw dressing recipe is very easy.  A traditional vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  Well, for me to maximize flavor, we have to bring down that oil count to like 2 or even equal to 1 to the vinegar, which will make the coleslaw much more flavorful.

    • Add the vinegar, mustard, and sugar to a bowl.
    • Whisk while slowly drizzling in the olive oil until emulsified, and then finish with celery seed, salt, and pepper.
    making the vinegar based dressing for coleslawe

    How to Make Vinegar Coleslaw

    1. Add the vegetables to a large bowl.
    2. Season with celery seed, salt, and pepper.
    Adding vegetables to a bowl of coleslaw
    1. Pour in the dressing.
    2. Toss using some tongs and serve.
    adding dressing to a bowl of coleslaw

    Making-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: If you make this vinegar coleslaw ahead of time and slice the vegetables super thin, it may not be perfect when you go to serve it several hours later or the next day.  If you plan on making it ahead of time, I would recommend combining the vegetables and keeping the dressing separate right until you are ready to serve.

    How to Store: It is best to store this vinegar coleslaw recipe undressed and unseasoned, covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  It can stay in the refrigerator undressed and unseasoned for up to 5 days.  When ready to serve, simply pour the vinaigrette over top, season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • Also, if you want to make it ahead of time, don’t plan on seasoning it to the end because if you salt the vegetable, it will wilt super quick.
    • Now just know that when you shave vegetables super thin like I did in this recipe and apply an acid to them, like vinegar, it’s going to break down faster and become wilted or, to put it simply, soggy.
    • You can substitute honey or agave for sugar in this recipe.
    • To save some time, If you don’t want to slice the cabbages and carrots yourself, I suggest buying the pre-made coleslaw mix. It will work just as well.

    Serve It with These BBQ Recipes

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Vinegar Based Coleslaw Recipe

    4.99 from 54 votes
    Try this amazingly delicious and easy-to-make side dish for a Vinegar Based Coleslaw recipe at your next barbecue or backyard get-together!
    Servings: 12
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 1/2 thinly sliced head of green cabbage
    • 1 cup of thinly sliced red cabbage
    • 2 whole shredded carrots
    • 3 thinly sliced green onions
    • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
    • 1 tablespoon of honey or 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1/4 cup of olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon of celery seed
    • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, and olive oil and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together cabbages, carrots, green onions, and celery seeds.
    • Next, pour a small amount of the dressing onto the cabbage mixture and mix until combined and until the desired amount of dressing is achieved.
    • Season with salt and pepper, and chill before serving.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: If you make this vinegar coleslaw ahead of time and slice the vegetables super thin, it may not be perfect when you go to serve it several hours later or the next day.  If you plan on making it ahead of time, I would recommend combining the vegetables and keeping the dressing separate right until you are ready to serve.
    How to Store: It is best to store this coleslaw recipe undressed and unseasoned, covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  It can stay in the refrigerator undressed and unseasoned for up to 3 days.  When ready to serve, simply pour the vinaigrette over the top, season with salt and pepper, toss and serve. 
    Now just know that when you shave vegetables super thin like I did in this recipe and apply an acid to them, like vinegar, it’s going to break down faster and become wilted or, to put it simply, soggy.
    You can substitute honey or agave for sugar in this recipe.
    To save some time, If you don’t want to slice the cabbages and carrots yourself, then I suggest buying the pre-made slaw mix. It will work just as well.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 63kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 31mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1850IUVitamin C: 19.2mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 0.4mg
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Author: Chef Billy Parisi