This vinegar coleslaw recipe is a no-mayo coleslaw made with finely shredded cabbage, carrots, bell pepper and onion tossed in a tangy vinaigrette. It's the perfect side dish.
What is the best recipe for coleslaw? I got it right here. If you prefer your coleslaw without mayonnaise, this is the best way to prepare it. Coleslaw is a must for summer cooking. It's a side dish that goes with anything off the grill. I'm always disappointed if I attend a barbecue and there is no coleslaw.
Coleslaw is often prepared with mayo for more of a creamy coleslaw, but vinegar-based coleslaw is becoming more and more popular. You'll find it more in the southern U.S., though it is thankfully working its way northward.
I have a creamy coleslaw recipe that is mayo based that you may want to try if you prefer your coleslaw with mayo, but if you prefer the oil and vinegar version, here you go!
Let's talk about how we make vinegar coleslaw, shall we?
Vinegar Coleslaw Ingredients
- FOR THE SHREDDED VEGETABLES
- Red Bell Pepper
- Red Onion (green onions are nice as well)
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE / DRESSING
- Olive Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar (a good tangy vinegar)
- Spicy Brown Mustard (Dijon mustard is good, too)
- Seasonings. Dried basil, dry mustard, celery seed, red chili flakes, sea salt and black pepper.
How to Make Vinegar Coleslaw - the Recipe Method
First, finely shred a medium-sized head of green cabbage along with a large carrot and one red bell pepper. Add them to a large bowl.
Thinly slice a small red onion and add it to the bowl.
Make your Vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon red chili flakes and a bit of salt and pepper to your personal taste.
Next, pour the vinegar based dressing over the coleslaw mix and toss everything. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure the veggies are evenly coated with the sweet and tangy dressing.
You can serve up your vinegar coleslaw right away if you'd like, but I like to let the flavors mingle and develop in the refrigerator, covered, for an hour before serving it up.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- What's the Best Vinegar for Coleslaw? Apple cider vinegar is the best vinegar for making any vinegar based coleslaw recipe, as it has an inherent sweetness that accentuates the dish. You can use white vinegar, however, if you'd prefer. A good white wine or champagne vinegar is a good substitute as well.
- Other Vegetables. You use other vegetables in your coleslaw to make it your own. Crunchy vegetables make the best choices. Consider purple or red cabbage, green onion and other spicier chili peppers to add some variety. Others to try are radicchio, broccoli, celery, apple, pear and others.
- Punch Up Your Coleslaw. You can consider coleslaw a base recipe that is ripe for additional ingredients. Add some punch and pizzazz to your vinegar coleslaw with other ingredients like fresh or pickled cherries, pickled peppers, spiced nuts, grapes or tropical fruit like pineapple.
- What Goes With Coleslaw? Coleslaw is best served with anything off the grill, like burgers or hot dogs, grilled chicken, pork chops, or steaks. It's a summer BBQ staple, offering up a wonderful tangy crunch. It's also great served over pulled pork sandwiches, providing a light and bright crunchiness to complement soft and juicy pork. Scoop some onto grilled sausages or sandwiches as an alternative to more traditional condiments.
Serve Your Coleslaw With Some of These Popular Recipes
- Grilled Pork Chops with Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Shrimp Po' Boys
- Spicy Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
- Choripan Argentina (Grilled Chorizo Sausages) - SO GOOD!
- Grilled Harissa Chicken Legs
- Grilled Beer Brats with Homemade Beer Cheese - Did Someone Say BEER?
- Grilled London Broil
Try Some of My Other Popular Side Dishes
- Jerk Rubbed Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Elotes Salad (Mexican Corn Salad)
- Cajun Corn Maque Choux
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Collard Greens Recipe
- Pikliz (Haitian Pickled Slaw)
- Black Bean Salad
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe
- 1 medium sized head of cabbage shredded or chopped
- 1 large carrot finely shredded
- 1 red bell pepper shredded
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE / DRESSING
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the cabbage, carrot, bell pepper and red onion together in a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, brown mustard, dried basil, dry mustard, celery seed, red chili flakes and a bit of salt and pepper.
- Pour the vinaigrette into the slaw mixture and toss to coat.
- Serve right away, or refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flavors mingle and develop even more flavor.
NOTE: This post was updated on 7/9/21 to include new photos, video and information. It was originally published on 7/3/19.