Dairy-Free, No-Mayo Coleslaw Salad

coleslaw salad

With Potluck in the Park coming up this Sunday (you’re coming right?!) and it being the middle of football season, I thought I’d share with you this coleslaw salad recipe which has become my go-to for BBQs right now.

I’ve made this coleslaw salad a few times lately to go with brisket and the tangy, crunchy combo is tough to beat with a piece of meat.

I like to make this instead of buying the store-bought traditional coleslaw mainly to avoid the not-so-good-for-you inflammatory oils in most store-bought mayos out there.

What’s The Matter with Mayo?

The problem with most mayos you’d buy at the store or that restaurants use to make dishes like coleslaw is that they’re made with unhealthy oils like soybean, canola or vegetable oil.

The trouble with these oils is they’re highly refined, and high in pro-inflammatory fats like omega-6 fatty acid, which when we eat them in excess (which can easily happen when you’re eating a lot of packaged foods/products) can tip the scales to drive inflammation in your body.

Fear not: there are better mayos out there! Chosen Foods, Sir Kensington’s and Primal Kitchen make a mayo using avocado oil, which has a fats profile more similar to olive oil… an oil we can all agree is much better to be associated with…

It’s also surprisingly easy to make your own and it tastes so much better too. All you need are eggs, oil (I’d use avocado oil or a light olive oil) and lemon. Here’s an easy mayo recipe you can follow if you want to give it a go.

I’ve made it before myself but even with the high quality stuff, I still can’t get past it…. I’m just not a mayo person.

It grosses me out; it always has.

That’s why I made this coleslaw salad with an alternative non-mayo dressing.

If you’re a purist and aren’t ready to give up the familiar taste of a mayonnaisey coleslaw as your side, you can certainly follow this recipe and sub your favorite mayo (I recommend one listed above or homemade) for the dressing.

If you’re not avoiding dairy, use greek yogurt as your base instead of the tahini and olive oil, too.

I encourage you to experiment and find the flavors and consistency that make your palette happy. That’s what it’s all about, after all!

Pretty + Fresh Coleslaw Salad

The thing I really love about this coleslaw salad is how bright and pretty it is.

It adds a punch of color amidst a spread that’s typically pretty drab with a lot of brown and white foods. Picture brisket, buns, potato salad…. delicious, yes,… but sorta drab, no?

You could say this coleslaw salad livens things up in more ways than one…

I love the freshness and crispness to it, too. Since cabbage is a heartier green, it holds up well even when dressed. That means it maintains it’s crunch even if made ahead of time and after sitting out awhile. It probably helps that the dressing is somewhat lighter as well…

That heartiness makes this salad great for leftovers too.

Or, you know… it’s a great option for a make-ahead salad that you’d keep in the fridge for three or so days to eat off of – add to a salad, throw it in a wrap, or serve along side another protein like salmon or chicken.

You know me, always thinking about meal prep…

So many possibilities for this coleslaw salad… I hope you like it!

If you do give it a try, come back and let us know what you think! I’d love to hear! 

Get at Taste at Potluck in the Park…

This is on my short of list of ideas of what to make for Potluck in the Park coming up this Sunday, September 29.

Potluck in the Park is a semi-annual picnic I host to bring those of us in Austin together to share delicious food have an easy dinner night at the start of the week.

Get all the details and RSVP here if you want to join us. I’d love to see you there! Did I mention It’s FREE?! Just bring a sharable dish like this (or not… seriously, it doesn’t even have to be “healthy” people have brought pizza and bbq in the past!). Hope to see you there!

coleslaw salad

Coleslaw Salad

Coleslaw Salad
Prep time
Total time
This dairy-free, mayo/egg-free coleslaw salad is made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, citrus and tahini so it's slightly creamy and tangy - the perfect compliment to smoked meat.
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American
  • ½ green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, shredded (or use bagged pre-shredded carrots)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  1. In a large bowl combine cabbages, pepper and carrots and toss to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, ACV, olive oil, tahini, honey, sea salt and black pepper. Pour dressing over veggies and toss to coat evenly. Store in fridge to chill until ready to serve.

Options to change it up:

  • add herbs like cilantro or basil
  • sprinkle in seeds like sunflower or pumpkin
  • add spices and seasonings like cumin, paprika, or chili powder
  • add dice mango to give a fruity sweet flavor
  • change flavor to asian and use tamari or coconut aminos (1/4 cup) and sesame oil (1 tbsp) instead of EVOO and ACV.


P.S. If you’re working on getting more bowls of color like this into your life, you’ll love the RESET. It’s my all-you-can-eat whole-foods cleanse and it’s coming up soon. Get on the waitlist here.

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