• March 19, 2022

Favorite Healthy Coleslaw

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This vinegar-based coleslaw recipe is our favorite healthy coleslaw recipe! It’s simple and has texture and crunch in all the right places. Tossed in a smooth and balanced slaw vinaigrette, all the slaw veggies are evenly coated for a delicious, cohesive salad. Plus, it looks like a freaking rainbow.

Favorite healthy coleslaw in clear glass bowl with wooden spoon, on light gray surface

This simple, vinegar-based coleslaw recipe is our absolute favorite healthy coleslaw! It includes classic coleslaw ingredients, like cabbage and carrots, plus some green onion and fresh parsley for more flavor. For extra saltiness and crunch, we toss in sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Then we toss everything in a simple and healthy coleslaw vinaigrette that has the perfect balance of olive oil, rice vinegar, and agave.

What we love about this slaw is that it’s all-purpose. It can be used as an easy side dish, a main salad base, for topping tacos or barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, or even for topping other types of sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.

[feast_advanced_jump_to] Ingredients

This healthy coleslaw has a wide array colorful veggies and packs a TON of nutrients in one delicious, crunchy dish.

Healthy coleslaw ingredients (purple and green cabbage, carrots, green onions, parsley, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, olive oil, rice vinegar, agave) on light gray surface

  • Red cabbage – Cabbage is the primary ingredients in this healthy coleslaw recipe, and purple cabbage adds a beautiful hue.
  • Green cabbage – For cabbage number two, we’ll use green for slightly different flavor of cabbage, plus more color.
  • Green onions – We love onions for flavor and opted for milder one in this recipe.
  • Parsley – Fresh parsley brings an incredibly fresh flavor to this coleslaw.
  • Carrots – We’ll shred these up and add them for flavor, plus they add a nice pop of orange.
  • Sunflower seeds – For saltiness, flavor, and crunch.
  • Sesame seeds – For even more crunch and texture (never enough!).
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Our favorite salad dressing staple.
  • Rice vinegar – We love rice vinegar because it’s mild and mellow.
  • Agave – Or maple syrup or honey (agave and maple syrup keep this coleslaw vegan).
  • Salt – A simple but important ingredient that makes flavors pop.


First, vigorously shake together the extra virgin olive oil, rice vinegar, agave syrup, and salt in a tightly sealed mason jar. Then, pour it into a large bowl and add the green onions. Allow the onions to macerate in the vinaigrette for a few minutes (macerating means soaking in vinegar or acid to help soften and mellow the flavor).

Coleslaw vinaigrette in mason jar on light gray surfaceGreen onions macerating in coleslaw vinaigrette in clear glass bowl on light gray surface

Next, starting adding in the carrots and cabbage, tossing gently to make sure all veggies are coated in the vinaigrette.

Green onions, carrots, and parsley in coleslaw vinaigrette, in clear glass bowlGreen and red cabbage, carrots, green onions, and parsley tossed together in healthy coleslaw vinaigrette, in clear glass bowl with wooden spoon

Finally, add in the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, and gently use two spoons to toss or one spoon to stir, so that all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds poured into healthy coleslaw in clear glass bowl with wooden spoon, on light gray surface

And that’s it! You’ve got yourself an incredible-tasting, simple, and healthy coleslaw recipe.

Substitutions & Variations

The following substitutions & variations can be made to adjust this recipe to your preferences or pantry inventory!

  • Vinegar – I love rice vinegar in this recipe, but you can easily substitute other vinegars! I recommend a vinegar that’s light in color such as sherry vinegar (aged for sweeter flavor), apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar. Right now, I can’t get enough of O Olive Oil vinegars!
  • Spicy – For a spicier version of this coleslaw, sprinkle a touch of red pepper flakes, cayenne, or red chili paste into the vinaigrette before shaking everything together.
  • Sesame vinaigrette – You can also take a number from this Asian slaw with ramen and make a vinaigrette with ¼ cup toasted sesame oil + ¼ cup tamari + ¼ cup rice vinegar + 2 tablespoons maple syrup + juice of a fresh orange.

Favorite healthy coleslaw in clear glass bowl with wooden spoon, on light gray surfaceStorage

You can store this healthy coleslaw in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. We don’t recommend freezing, as these fresh ingredients won’t maintain their texture once frozen.

Healthy Coleslaw FAQs

What’s the best vinegar to use for coleslaw?

We a variety of vinegars for our salads and slaws, but our favorite for this coleslaw recipe is rice vinegar because it’s smooth and mellow.

Is coleslaw vegan?

Not all slaw is vegan (many are dairy-based), but this one is! To keep it vegan, avoid substituting honey is as a sweetener.

What are the best ways to serve coleslaw?

This healthy coleslaw is all-purpose, which makes it perfect for putting on literally anything. Top your favorite tacos, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, or serve with brisket. Or, use as a base for salad and add your favorite proteins.


Favorite Healthy Coleslaw

Favorite healthy coleslaw in clear glass bowl with wooden spoon, on light gray surface
Print Recipe

This vinegar-based, healthy coleslaw recipe is our absolute favorite! It’s all-purpose, so it can be used as a stand-alone side or salad, or as a crunchy topping for tacos, BBQ pulled pork, brisket, or any sandwich/wrap.

  • Author: Tera
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ~6 heaping cups
  • Category: Sides, lunch
  • Method: Combine
  • Cuisine: Dutch
Units USM

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (or other light vinegar)
  • ¼ cup agave (or maple syrup, or honey)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 cups green cabbage, sliced thin
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 6 green onions with tops, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. Make the slaw vinaigrette. In a mason jar, vigorously shake together the extra virgin olive oil, rice vinegar, agave syrup, and salt.
  2. Macerate the onions. Place the onions in a large bowl and add the vinaigrette. Allow the onions to sit in the vinaigrette for a few minutes to soften them and mellow out their flavor.
  3. Combine other ingredients. Add the parsley, carrots, cabbage, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds to the bowl, and stir until everything is combined and evenly coated in vinaigrette. Serve it up or store for later!
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Mixing Bowls

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Wide Mouth Mason Jars

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  1. Storage Instructions: You can store healthy coleslaw in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. I do not recommend freezing coleslaw.

Keywords: healthy coleslaw, healthy coleslaw with vinegar

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