Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw

sweet and tangy coleslaw being tossed with serving utensils in a white bowl

Sweet and tangy coleslaw makes the perfect side dish to almost any meal, all the while keeping the calories light but not skimping on flavor. This simple dish can be pulled together in just 15 minutes, or you can use a store bought cabbage blend to pull this together in just 5 minutes!

Ingredient Notes


This recipe is for one whole head of cabbage. I personally love to have the beautiful colors of both the purple and green cabbage so I use half a head from each and save the other half for a stir-fry or other use. If you are making this for a crowd, then go ahead and double the dressing and use both heads of cabbage, otherwise just stick with whichever color you prefer. 

I find that the purple cabbage is a bit crunchier and bleeds if it sits more than 24 hours, but the flavor is still wonderful.

If you prefer, you can buy a premade coleslaw blend that has the carrots and cabbage all shredded for you, then you just need to toss it with the easy dressing making for the easiest homemade coleslaw ever!

Champagne Vinegar

Many sweet and sour coleslaw recipes use apple cider vinegar or other flavored vinegar. I like to keep the tang a little gentler so I prefer to make this recipe with champagne vinegar. Any leftover vinegar is lovely on salads or with chicken or pasta. 

If you can’t find champagne vinegar then you can substitute rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar in its place but the flavor will be a bit more potent.

Mustard Powder

The little hint of mustard powder does really add to the flavor profile of this easy coleslaw dish so I wouldn’t leave it out. If you can’t find mustard powder, then substitute ¼ teaspoon of dijon 

mustard in its place. Don’t substitute regular yellow mustard as it will be way too strong of a flavor in this recipe.


Scallions are simply green onions, and though not a necessity, their little burst of flavor does add a nice little surprise to this dish and makes it a little more unique than every other coleslaw recipe. Slice them thinly or feel free to leave them out if you are not an onion fan.

Ingredients needed for sweet and tangy coleslaw laid out on a black surface

How to Make Coleslaw from Scratch Without Mayo

Coleslaw is incredibly easy to make, and even without much kitchen experience you can pull this dish together relatively easily.

  •  Begin by preparing your vegetables: Slice the cabbage thinly, grate the carrots, and slice your scallions.
  • Combine prepared vegetables in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, oil, salt, pepper, mustard powder and sugar.
  • Pour the vinegar dressing over the large bowl of cabbage and carrots and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle on the sliced scallions and stir one more time to mix.
  • Serve and Enjoy!
step photos for how to make no mayonnaise coleslaw, mixing the salad and preparing the dressing


Vinegar coleslaw has the best texture the day it is made but can be made 8 hours in advance before beginning to wilt. Leftovers can be covered in the fridge and stored for up to 3 days.

Make Ahead Option

The cabbage and carrots can be shredded and stored in the fridge 24 hours in advance, and the dressing can be mixed and stored in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

When you are ready to serve then simply pour the dressing over the veggies and sprinkle in the scallions to bring this sweet and tangy coleslaw dish together. So quick and easy!

sweet and tangy coleslaw on black background served in a white serving bowl with silver serving utensils


Is Coleslaw Healthy to Eat?

Cabbage is a low calorie item and paired with a light vinegar dressing like a no mayo coleslaw, then it is the perfect healthy side to fill up your plate with! 

Can I Grate My Cabbage in the Food Processor?

Cabbage works well grated in the food processor if you use the largest grating attachment. This is very convenient when making a large batch for a crowd as you can do the carrots this way as well!

Serve With

Coleslaw is most often found at barbecues or served alongside grilled meats. Try enjoying it on a pulled pork sandwich or alongside your Shredded Pork Nachos anytime of the year for a simple gluten free side dish!

Need More Recipe Inspiration? Try These Reader Favorites:

Yield: 6

Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw

no mayonnaise coleslaw being tossed together in a white bowl

Sweet and tangy coleslaw makes the perfect side dish to almost any meal, all the while keeping the calories light but not skimping on flavor. This simple dish can be pulled together in just 15 minutes, or you can use a store bought cabbage blend to pull this together in just 5 minutes!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 Medium Head of Cabbage (or half green and half purple)
  • 3 Carrots, Grated
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mustard Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 4 Scallions, Thinly Sliced


  1. Begin by shredding the cabbage by cutting it in half and slicing it thinly with a large knife. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Add your shredded carrots to the cabbage and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, water, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, sugar and mustard powder and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the vinegar dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture then toss to combine and coat the cabbage.
  5. Sprinkle in sliced scallions and serve.


Since this coleslaw is dairy free, it is perfect for serving out at barbecues and you don't have to worry about the mayonnaise base either. Light in calories and full of flavor this can be made the day of and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

Leftovers can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

*Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram @mountainberry_eats to show me what’s cooking in your kitchen!

Spread the goodness and share this recipe with others!

4 thoughts on “Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw”

  1. Oh wow! This looks and sounds so delicious and refreshing… will definitely make it this weekend! I have all the ingredients..yay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *