Easy Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe

This easy vinegar coleslaw recipe is a refreshing summer side dish that pairs well with veggie burgers, sloppy joes, skewers, and more!

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe

Finding a good easy coleslaw recipe is deceptively difficult. Or maybe we’re just slaw-challenged. For whatever reason, of the many we’ve tried over the years, we’ve yet to find one we truly liked. They’ve been too oily, too cabbage-y, you name it. Finally, we’ve found one we enjoy, this easy coleslaw recipe with vinegar inspired by the “Fresh” cookbook by Jennifer Houston and Ruth Tal. We’ve enjoyed the book’s “fresh” take on meatless eating, based on recipes from the restaurants with the same name (located in Toronto, unfortunately for us!).

We adapted this easy vinegar coleslaw recipe from their healthy coleslaw recipe, and found it to be flavorful, delicious, and yes, fresh! It was a great side to pair with some Two-Bean Sloppy Joes. And, we were able to use some green cabbage from our local farmer’s market. Keep reading for the easy vinegar coleslaw recipe!

No Mayo coleslaw

All about vinegar coleslaw!

The main ingredients for this easy coleslaw recipe with vinegar are red onion, red and green cabbage, and celery. Although this is a simple recipe, the mix of these budget-friendly vegetables make for a healthy coleslaw recipe that won’t weigh you down.

Unlike many slaw recipes, this vinegar based coleslaw tastes best right away and doesn’t need any time in the fridge to let the flavors combine. The tangy vinaigrette easily soaks into the cabbage, making this a great dish to whip up at the last minute. It’s also alternative to the mayo-based creamy coleslaw dressing, for potlucks where food sits out on a table for a few hours in the sun.

Want a different variation? Try our Red Cabbage Slaw, Creamy Coleslaw, or Broccoli Slaw instead!

Serving this vinegar coleslaw

Serve your homemade vinegar coleslaw with veggie burgers, skewers, and any other summer dishes you enjoy. This recipe serves four to six people and can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd. If you don’t plan on serving this slaw right away, we recommend prepping the vegetables and dressing ahead of time and storing them separately. Then, when you’re ready to serve simply mix everything together and dig in!

coleslaw recipe vinegar

Video: How to cut cabbage

The only challenging part about making a coleslaw recipe with vinegar is how to cut the cabbage! Alex and I have recently learned a trick to cutting cabbage that makes it much easier to cut. We used to just cut it in half and then hack at it until we got some uneven “shreds.” After we learned this little trick to how to cut cabbage, making a coleslaw or cabbage salad has been a breeze! See the video below of me showing how to cut cabbage in our home kitchen.

And that’s it!

Ok, are you convinced to try our vinegar coleslaw recipe? Want to try your hand at our method for how to cut cabbage? Let us know if you try it, and what you think in the comments below!

Vinegar coleslaw

This vinegar coleslaw recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and plant-based.

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Easy vinegar coleslaw recipe | No Mayo coleslaw

Easy Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

This easy vinegar coleslaw recipe is a refreshing summer side dish that pairs well with veggie burgers, sloppy joes, skewers, and more!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 head red cabbage (about 4 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage and measure out 8 cups. Thinly slice the onion and the celery.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, cider vinegar, dill, chili powder, and kosher salt. Whisk in the olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until a creamy emulsion forms. 
  3. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, red onion, and celery with the dressing. Add ground black pepper to taste, and additional salt as necessary. Serve immediately. (Note: The slaw is best served the day that it is made; leftovers do not save well. One idea is to only add dressing to the vegetables that you plan to eat.)

Notes

Inspired by Fresh

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vinegar Coleslaw, Coleslaw Recipe, Easy Coleslaw Recipe, Vinegar Based Coleslaw

Looking for more healthy side dishes? 

Outside of this easy vinegar coleslaw recipe, here are a few of our favorite side dish recipes:

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

9 Comments

  • Reply
    Emilia
    March 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    This looks amazing! I love slaw and this one looks particularly good; I’ve never thought of adding chili powder, but I can’t wait to try it. What a delightful kick :)

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    It looks very fresh and pretty!

  • Reply
    Sylvie (A Pot of Tea)
    April 1, 2012 at 3:55 am

    That looks crunchy, fresh and pretty.

  • Reply
    Kate
    April 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I love slicing apart a head of red cabbage, as the inside is like a glorious maze woven of nature. Every head looks so different and the color is lustrous and rich.

    I’ve loved cabbage salad since I was a little kid. Even more so now, with the love of kale and other crunchy things to add to it.

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    April 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    My mom always made coleslaw when I was a kid and I just cringed at the amount of creamy dressing involved. I recently had a similar coleslaw to the one in your post – something lighter and less rich – and I fell in love. This recipe looks great. I never would have thought of adding chili powder! Great idea to boost flavour :)

    Beautiful photos :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Thanks! We’ll have to check yours out too :)

  • Reply
    Laura F
    April 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I made this last night to go along with your two-bean sloppy joe’s recipe, as suggested. Really enjoyed it! I didn’t have any rice vinegar, so I just used all cider vinegar and it tasted just fine.

  • Reply
    Julie
    July 10, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I made it yesterday, with a slight modification on vinegar as I did not have any rice vinegar and served it paired with zucchini blinis, some ewe yogurt and fresh herbs and a simple carott salad for a healthy dinner. It was pretty good, thanks!

  • Reply
    Diane Fager
    April 7, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    tastes great. you guys totally know how to cook

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.