Classic vegan coleslaw made with the perfect dressing and ready in 10 minutes! Perfect for picnics, potlucks and any other occasion.
It goes well with Vegan Baked Beans, Southern-Style Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits, BBQ Tofu, Sticky BBQ Tempeh Ribs or BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork.
Creamy and so refreshing, this EASY vegan coleslaw recipe uses pre-shredded cabbage and a super simple dressing that comes together in 5 minutes or less.
This is one of those recipes you’ll want to keep on hand for summer cookouts, barbecues and potlucks. The dressing is mayonnaise based, and luckily it’s not difficult to find vegan mayo these days. But if you want to make your own, go ahead of make this vegan mayo with cashews or tofu vegan mayonnaise.
- Shredded cabbage and carrots mix – Just pick up a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots. It’s inexpensive and the work is already done for you! If you want, shred your own cabbage, a mix of green and red and add some shredded carrots as well.
- Vegan mayo – I use a variety of brands but I probably use Vegenaise the most. An oldie but goodie!
- Sugar – Just a few tablespoons for that slightly sweet coleslaw dressing. Substitute agave, coconut sugar or pure maple syrup if desired.
- Apple cider vinegar – For that signature tangy flavor. If you can’t have vinegar, you can try using lemon juice instead.
- Celery seed – A tiny bit goes a long way!
How to make vegan coleslaw
In a large bowl (large enough to hold all the cabbage), add the vegan mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, celery seed and salt.
Whisk until smooth and well combined.
Now add the cabbage/carrot mix to the bowl with the dressing.
Alternatively, you can make the dressing in a smaller bowl, add the cabbage to a large bowl and pour the dressing over it. I like keeping things to one bowl whenever possible!
Mix well so the cabbage is coated in the dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for the best vegan coleslaw
- Cut the cabbage mix smaller – Instead of large pieces of cabbage that can be difficult to chew, I prefer smaller pieces. Simple chop it up a bit smaller before adding to the bowl.
- Use good vegan mayo – Make sure you like the flavor of whatever vegan mayo you use. I personally enjoy Vegenaise and other brands.
- Try to let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours if possible before serving. This lets the flavors mingle and the cabbage will soften a bit but still have that “crunch”.
Can I make coleslaw ahead of time?
While this vegan coleslaw lasts for up to 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator, it’s best to serve the same day you make it. Otherwise it gets limp and not so crunchy.
If you have a get-together, try to prepare it 3-6 hours before you plan on serving it for optimal crunch and flavor.
You can enjoy the leftovers for a few days though.
More picnic-perfect vegan sides
Classic Vegan Coleslaw
- 5 cups coleslaw mix with red cabbage and carrots
- 1/2 cup Vegan Mayo
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add the vegan mayo, granulated sugar, apple cider vinegar, celery seed and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
- Add in the coleslaw mix and stir well. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving, if possible. It's also fine served immediately. Enjoy!
- Coleslaw will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 4 days, but it will get rather limp and less crunchy with time.
- I used a bag of coleslaw mix to make this really easy, but you can of course chop up your own mixture of green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots if you’d prefer. Make sure you have about 5 cups total.
- Instead of sugar, you can substitute coconut sugar, agave or pure maple syrup.
- If desired, chop your cabbage mix smaller before adding to the bowl with the dressing. I prefer smaller pieces so I often do this, but it’s not necessary.
*This recipe was originally published in June 2018 and has been republished with new photos and helpful information. The recipe is unchanged.
This is an amazing recipe! Leaves tons of room for creativity too! I added a chopped purple onion, fresh grated garlic-but I’m nuts like that lol.. I served it in/on a Chipotle black bean burger. It was way more fun that plain lettuce. It got 5 stars from all my friends (none of whom noticed the whole meal was vegan)
I love your fun details about your coleslaw! Sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing your fabulous ideas, feedback and review! Wishing you happy cooking!
My go-to slaw recipe. I missed cole slaw so much when I became vegan and I searched for the perfect recipe. IMO, this is it. The celery seed totally makes it, DO NOT leave it out! Thanks so much for publishing this, Nora!
You are welcome! How fantastic you are able to enjoy Cole slaw again! Thanks for sharing your fabulous feedback!
This is my absolute go to for coleslaw. It’s reminiscent of a fried chicken place from my youth, we always ordered extra coleslaw. I’ve gotten great compliments on this slaw. No one has ever even questioned it being vegan 🌱. Nora Cooks is my go to for amazing vegan recipes! Thank you!!
This is exactly what I was hoping for! Last time I made coleslaw, I just followed the instructions on the back of a pre-chopped bag of cabbage/carrots and it was awful. So glad I found your easy recipe! I also used vegenaise, but used 1/4 tsp of celery salt (omitting the regular salt) since that’s what I had (instead of celery seed). Tasted exactly like a traditional coleslaw. Thank you!!
Hi Stephanie. I’m glad you found my recipe as well! Thank you for taking time to share you wonderful feedback!
I am sitting here craving something bbq like. Ran across the recipe for the bbq TVP sandwiches and saw the coleslaw recipe linked to that …totally sounds like dinner to me tonight! Thanks for the recipe Nora, just signed up to get your emails too!
You can always trust Nora to have our back❤️ Healthy nutritious and tasty recipes ? Thanks ?
Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
We really enjoyed this! I appreciated that the recipe didn’t call for lots of oil and sugar like other coleslaw recipes. Definitely would make again!
Glad to hear that you enjoyed the coleslaw! Thank you for your great feedback!
Amazing! I have never liked coleslaw before but decided to try this recipe and I LOVE it! Substituted maple syrup for the sugar as I try to not eat white sugar. Could not stop eating it right then out of the bowl :). Thank you! I will be making this often!
Isn’t it so delicious!? I’m so glad you loved the coleslaw! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and review!
I made this the other day and I practically ate the entire bowl myself! It was so delicious!!! I love when we can take classic recipes and make it vegan! Thank you so much!!!
That’s so great to hear, Logan! I’m so glad you loved the coleslaw!
The apple cider vinegar taste is absolutely repulsive in my opinion and completely ruined the slaw. To each their own. I’m gonna try again with white vinegar, the ratios in the recipe seem on point, hence the 4 stars. Try try again!
Sorry you weren’t a fan of the ACV! Let me know how the white vinegar works for you.
amazing coleslaw recipe, thanks nora! ❤
Made it! Just like 100% of your recipes, it was quick and delicious!
Thank you! I’m glad you loved the coleslaw! Thank you for using my recipes, and sharing your review!
Super easy and tasty. Tastes just like Mom’s cole slaw!
Thanks for sharing your review! I’m glad you love the coleslaw!
Just made this for the second time. Absolutely love it.
Thanks for sharing Kaitlin! Glad you loved it!
Made this recipe tonight for my family to go along with some veggie burgers- it was AMAZING!!! I now have a go to dish to bring to barbecues in the future 🙂
Thanks for sharing your comments, Madi. I agree that coleslaw is so delicious at barbecues! I’m glad you love my recipe!
I have made this several times and enjoy every time! This is a delicious recipe. If you have an apple throw it in there as well it has nice texture and flavor.
Thanks for sharing your review, Scarlet! I’m glad you like the Coleslaw!
Love adding apples to anything mayo topped 🥰
It was very easy but so delicious! I love it:)
Thank you for wonderful recipe♪
Thank you for sharing your great review! I’m glad you loved the coleslaw!