This creamy coleslaw is mayo-free and 100% vegan-friendly!
This creamy vegan coleslaw is a quick and delicious side dish for any summer gathering. Using avocado as the base instead of mayonnaise is brilliant, making this an egg-free, dairy-free, plant-based coleslaw that tastes just as good as the original. In fact, you may even find yourself reaching for avocado the next time mayonnaise or sour cream are called for in a recipe. Since this cabbage based slaw can go sugar-free and low-carb, keto and paleo dieters alike will love it!
An Easy Vegan Side Dish
Coleslaw seems to be the most underrated dish on the picnic table. I mean, does anyone ever rave about coleslaw? Yet, if you pay attention, coleslaw is usually the one dish that gets consumed entirely at gatherings, and here’s why.
Meats that are high in protein and fat need a salad to counteract their rich flavor. The same can be said for bread, pasta, and potato salads. When done right, the acid in coleslaw combined with sweet crunch equalizes the other offerings on the table. This sleeper hit is exactly what your digestive system needs! It’s kind of like cranberries at Thanksgiving: Coleslaw’s acid helps to break down all the starch and protein preceding it.
Where other vegan dishes rely on creative ingredients and substitutes, the only creative use here lies in the avocado. As one of nature’s finest whole foods, avocado acts as the perfect neutral-flavored dressing base. It’s high in beneficial fats, which means it’s also low in guilt.
Our Creamy vegan coleslaw recipe is easy to make with a bag of coleslaw mix, but it also calls for a thinly sliced onion. We don’t recommend omitting it because onions punch up the other flavors. All in all, the most difficult component of making this vegan side dish is slicing the onion. Insider’s tip: freshly squeezed lemons remove onion aroma from your fingers and cutting board.
Switch Up Your Coleslaw Ingredients
When it comes to vegan coleslaw, there’s no hard and fast rules or rigidity. Any veggie (or fruit) with crunch will work. Try broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, or jicama. Switch out the bags of pre-cut cabbage for kale, napa, savoy, brussels sprouts, or even bok choy. Personally, I love adding apples and seeds like chia, poppy, or sesame for even more crunch.
Instead of mayonnaise or avocado, try Greek yogurt or buttermilk. To make a vegan version of buttermilk, treat soymilk with a tablespoon with vinegar. Let it sit for a bit, and the mix will behave in the exact same way as buttermilk.
Homemade coleslaw is, by far, the absolute best dish to bring to a barbecue! Because you control the dressing, your vegan side dish won’t lack flavor or become soggy in an hour’s time. If you get into adding your own fermented goodies, like watermelon radish or pickles, well then, you just upped the game. Next time you’re tempted to order fries with that grilled veggie sandwich, go with the slaw. It’s the better choice!
Creamy Vegan Coleslaw
- 2 cups green cabbage shredded
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 2 carrots medium, shredded
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. The result should resemble thick mayonnaise. Adding water results in a soggy product the next day and won’t keep well.
- In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, carrots, and red onion with the dressing.
- Let chill for at least 10 minutes.
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