Coleslaw Recipes With Vinegar

Who doesn’t love coleslaw? It’s the perfect side dish, makes an otherwise bland sandwich “pop” with flavor and crunch, and it can be customized to give you exactly the flavor you want. Does it get any better than that?

Most of us grew up eating mayonnaise based coleslaw, a creamy delight that goes great with everything barbequed and is always welcomed at picnics and parties. But a few of us were lucky enough to experience vinegar based coleslaw, and recently it has become a gourmet favorite used in ways never seen before.

Using vinegar as the forward flavor in your coleslaw, instead of mayonnaise, offers the benefits of ingesting less fat and calories while opening up a world of flavors. And the diversity of vinegars just makes the choices that much wider.

Now chefs around the world are switching up the vegetables they use, and by adding cilantro, jalapenos, gochujang and a host of other herbs and spices they’re creating fabulous new dishes.

And that’s one of coleslaws’ greatest offerings…that great crunch, an endless number of flavors and the ability to customize the dressing to fit your palate.

Coleslaw is what you want it to be…. change the ingredients, change the vinegar, change the amounts…whatever you like is what’s right, so go ahead and have some fun and experiment. You can’t go wrong.

Although there’s no end to the ways you can compose a vinegar-based coleslaw, here are five of the best tasting recipes that are guaranteed to garner compliments and smiles.


by Diana Rattray

Whether you’re dining on barbecued beef, pulled pork or pulled chicken sandwiches, this tangy topping is the perfect finishing touch to complete the dish. You’ll also find that using vinegar, instead of mayonnaise, cuts through the fat of the meat for a more balanced flavor.

Unlike most other coleslaw recipes, this recipe cooks the tangy sauce first to then be poured on top of the vegetables. As with all coleslaws, time in the refrigerator is required to enable all the flavors to meld.

  • 1 large head of cabbage, finely shredded                  
  • 1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated or julienned
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or as desired
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup neutral flavor vegetable oil, such as corn oil, grapeseed, safflower, peanut, or canola
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white or apple cider vinegar

Combine the shredded cabbage, chopped bell pepper and onions and the grated or julienne carrots in a large serving bowl.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, salt, oil, dry mustard, celery seed, pepper, and vinegar and bring to a boil.

Simmer, frequently stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Cool slightly, then pour over the vegetables and toss well.

Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw until thoroughly chilled, at least two hours.


By Bobby Flay

If anyone on this planet knows barbecue, it’s Iron Chef Bobby Flay. This recipe takes coleslaw to a whole new level.

Sweet Vinaigrette:

  • I cup olive oil                                                       
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1/2 head green cabbage, julienned
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, julienned
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 green onion, green part only cut in 1-inch lengths

Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl. Mix all vegetables in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, toss and chill until ready to serve.


  Recipe by SOUTHERN LIVING May 2005

This tangy dressing makes for a wonderfully tender-crunchy texture and with the addition of turmeric, adds a pungent flavor and rich yellow color.

  • 1/2 cup sugar                   
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 large green cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar diced pimiento, drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (optional)

Microwave first 7 ingredients in a 1-quart glass bowl at HIGH 3 to 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring once. Let cool.

Combine cabbage, bell pepper, pimiento, and, if desired, onion in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing, tossing to coat. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.


Recipe by Kittencalrecipezazz

A simple yet very flavorful dish.

  • large cabbage (shredded or finely chopped)    
  • 1 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 green onions/scallions, chopped (or use sweet onion)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded (hand-squeeze excess moisture out)
  • 3cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or use white salt to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar(or to taste)
  • 1teaspoons celery seeds
  • 2 -3 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 12-1 teaspoon garlic powder(optional)
  • 2cup vegetable oil
  • 1cup white sugar (can add up to 3/4 cup)
  • black pepper (optional)


 by Shaina Olmanson

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded                                         (or 1 head radicchio for a spicy kick)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar*
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed

In a large bowl toss the green cabbage, red cabbage, and red onion until mixed. Set aside.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar, honey, and oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, dry mustard, and the celery seed. Allow the dressing to cool slightly. Pour the dressing over the cabbage. Toss to combine.

Allow the slaw to cool, then refrigerate until cold. Serve chilled.


A classic balance that will enhance any meal.

  •  medium head green cabbage, finely shredded (4 cups)     
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded (1 cup)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2-3 medium green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar, white vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In large glass or plastic bowl, place cabbage, carrot, bell pepper and onions. In tightly covered container, shake remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables; stir.

Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours, stirring several times, until chilled and flavors are blended. Stir before serving; serve with slotted spoon.

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