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Tangy Coleslaw

Does the word coleslaw conjure up memories of the sweet, gloppy, mayonnaise-y sides that you get with Kentucky Fried Chicken?

In truth slaw can be a really fresh, seasonable salad.

You can make it with carrots, beets, radishes, fennel, kohlrabi (just to name a few), or the standby classic, cabbage. You can choose a creamy dressing, a vinaigrette, or something in between.

You can try out different herb and spice combinations to make, say, an Asian-inspired beet slaw, spicy Moroccan slaw, or something that pairs well with Mexican food.

In this post, I’ll be sharing a simple tangy coleslaw that goes extremely well with my recipe for slow cooker pulled pork.

I’ll be honest. I don’t use a recipe when I make coleslaw, but the last time I did, I measured just for you (I know I went waaay above my call of duty. You’re welcome.).

Depending on the size of your head of cabbage, how thinly you slice it, and how long it marinates, you might need to tweak the proportions of salt, spices, or vinegar. Unlike baking, cooking is not an exact science, so just roll with the punches and use your taste buds. It’s hard to mess this up.

I like my slaw more tart than sweet (hence why I call it tangy), but you can add more coconut sugar if you prefer it sweeter. (Sidenote: I’ve seen some coleslaw recipes that call for an entire CUP of sugar, but let’s remember, colelsaw is not dessert!)

This slaw will easily keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for a week (or more) since the vinegar and salt helps to preserve it. Consider this a bonus, since the flavors improve with time. You might even want to make your coleslaw the night before. At the very least, let it marinate for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Tangy Coleslaw

  • 1 large head cabbage, shredded (use a knife, mandolin, or food processor with a slicing blade)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 3 + Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste (aim for 1 tsp per pound of cabbage)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a very large bowl, combine ingredients for dressing.
  2. Add cabbage and carrots. Toss to combine.
  3. Ideally, let slaw sit for >30 minutes for best flavor. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Well that was easy, right?

There are more simple, tasty vegetable recipes in my ebook: “Veggies: Eat Them Because You Want To, Not Because You Have To.” Grab your free copy via the box below this post.

If you like coleslaw, tell me your favorite dishes to pair with it in the comments below. Maybe it’s with stew, tacos, atop salads, or something else entirely! Let’s hear it!

Until next week,

PS – Wanna get creative? Try making slaw with one of my 8 favorite homemade salad dressings!

Veggies: Eat them because you want to, not because you have to

Your guide to making vegetables taste seriously good

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.


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  1. I love this! And with some sesame seeds and chicken, it’s perfect!

    • Great idea, Cassie. And if you’re adding sesame seeds, a little toasted sesame oil would make it even better. Yum. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing! I’ve been trying to find easy ways to eat more vegetables — signed up for your newsletter & printed out the recipe. Thanks!

    • Awesome, Kathy! Let me know how it turn out.

  3. Coleslaw of the super not so healthy variety is a NC staple. I’ve never liked it because it’s just so much. But, this recipe looks like something I could totally try and I loved the comment up there about the chicken and sesame seeds YES!

    We top our BBQ with it here served in layers in mason jars with lemonade if we’re being a little bit fancy.

    • Everything is better when served in a Mason jar. 🙂

  4. Even simpler – –
    By volume; 2 sugar, 2 oil, 3 vinegar. Plain “no name” stuff works just fine. Just be sure to stir the dressing until the sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to set overnight in ‘frig, covered, stirring once in a while. Gets better day by day!

  5. Would this freeze ok?

  6. I make this recipe all the time! It’s the only coleslaw I like, and such an easy way to eat more veggies. My 3 year old also loves it. I wish my husband would eat cabbage, but at least this way there is more for me! One of the best parts is how long it lasts in the fridge – I can eat it all week long.

    • Yes, I love that about slaw. If your husband likes vegetables other than cabbage, try making those into slaw! Carrots, fennel, and many others work well as a slaw!

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