This paleo coleslaw recipe is a healthier version of your classic favorite. Vinegar based and tangy, its the perfect side dish for summer barbecues and cookouts!
You probably think I'm being dramatic, calling this "the best paleo coleslaw recipe ever," which is fine. Once you make it, you'll realize I'm right.
We had a little get together at our house this past Saturday. I made a bunch of pulled pork and my dad made a bunch of ribs.
I didn't want to make the sides for 30+ people, so I told everyone to just bring something. Turns out when you tell people you're making bbq, and to bring a side, they all bring potato salad.
Srsly. We had 5 different containers of potato salad at one point. One coleslaw (not this one), one pasta salad, and a number of bags of tortilla chips.
I managed to send some of the potato salads home with people, but we still have quite a bit left over. Learn from my mistake - when you ask people to bring sides, specify what you want them to bring.
Or at least give them a category to choose from. It might result in more cookies and less potato salad. And who doesn't want more cookies?!
Mayo based slaw versus vinegar based slaw
This paleo coleslaw recipe is my paleo take on this coleslaw recipe. I have never really liked mayo based coleslaw. It's always been boring and nondescript to me, and there's invariably something else I'd rather be eating.
Mayo coleslaw always seems to be watery, over sauced, and bland in flavor. They always seem to taste the same and not a lot stands out about any of them.
Vinegar slaw, though. I came across Angie's Dad's Best Coleslaw Recipe a few years ago, and it turns out I love coleslaw. Just when it's made with vinegar.
Let's talk about my love of vinegar. Can I just tell you? I LOVE vinegar. Anything pickled (except for pickles - don't ask, I'm weird) I am all about.
Like these pickled red onions. I keep them in the fridge and add them to anything I can.
Vinegar is pungent, but in a good way. It's tangy, and the sauce in this paleo coleslaw is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.
I don't know who Angie is, or who her dad is, but if I met them I would hug them for coming up with this coleslaw recipe. (Then I would share my paleo coleslaw version with them to help them eat less sugar and vegetable oil, but that's beside the point.)
I've played with this recipe a lot. I tried a few times to make it with varying amounts of honey, different types of oil, but never got it right. You could always taste the honey and it just...wasn't the right mix. But after a few more tries, I think I've finally got it down.
Paleo coleslaw dressing
This dressing is made with coconut sugar. Keep in mind, coconut sugar is brown. Refined sugar is white.
When you make the original version, the dressing is mostly clear. In this paleo version, the dressing is going to be brown, and it's going to tint the coleslaw a bit, but don't let it deter you.
It's a healthier version of the coleslaw recipe, and tastes just as delicious, but better for you.
Last but not least, the flavors in this coleslaw are better on the second day. If you can make it the day before and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight, you'll enjoy it that much more, I promise!
The Best Paleo Coleslaw Recipe Ever
A tangy, vinegar based paleo coleslaw that makes the perfect side dish for a cookout!
- 15 oz shredded cabbage (about 1 head)
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 large red onion, diced
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup avocado oil
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons dry mustard powder
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut sugar, vinegar, and oil and whisk to mix.
- Add the salt and mustard powder and whisk to combine.
- Heat for 3-5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
- While dressing is cooking, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and diced red onion in a large bowl.
- Remove dressing from heat and pour over vegetables. Toss with tongs to coat, making sure to mix thoroughly.
- Place in fridge to cool. Serve chilled, giving it a good toss before serving.
This recipe is good immediately, but is better if it has a day or two to sit and let the flavors meld!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 457mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 1g
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Kathy Van Pelt
I liked the flavor for the homemade slaw, however, the dressing ingredients were way too much for the amount of cabbage and other ingredients. Next time I'll cut the dressing ingredients in half or double the amount of cabbage, etc.
I'm glad you liked the slaw! There's definitely a personal preference involved with the amount of dressing used on anything. I hope when you modify next time the amount of dressing is more to your liking!
PS. Since I did not use sugar, I just whisked the dressing ingredients in a bowl and did not heat. 🙂
This recipe is truly fantastic, thank you! I used White Modena Vinegar (Trader Joe’s), which has a touch of sweetness, and omitted the sugar. This slaw was perfectly sweet and a wonderful accompaniment to this week’s batch of Kalua Pig (nomnompaleo.com)!
Hi Kari, I'm so glad you liked it! I haven't tried that vinegar yet, but I am going to now! I do think heating the dressing a little bit helps blend the flavors, but not completely necessary. And I love Nom Nom's Kalua Pig recipe - great pairing!
What are your thoughts on using apple cider vinegar instead of white?
Hi Janice! I think it would work just fine. It may change the flavor slightly, but I think it would still keep the same vinegar tang. If you try it, come back and let me know how it worked out!