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.

looking down on a bowl of vegan coleslaw in white bowls, red and white striped towel

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.

Ingredients needed

  • 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!
  • Salt
close up bowl of coleslaw with towel red and white

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.

glass bowl with mayo and other ingredients before being mixed

Whisk until smooth and well combined.

dressing for coleslaw in glass bowl with whisk

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!

cabbage and carrots shredded in glass bowl

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”.
glass bowl with wooden spoon mixing up dressing and cabbage

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.

two bowls resting inside each other, top one filled with purple, orange and green cabbage

More picnic-perfect vegan sides

square image of a bowl of vegan coleslaw
4.95 stars (39 ratings)

Classic Vegan Coleslaw

Classic vegan coleslaw made with the perfect dressing and ready in 10 minutes! Perfect for picnics, potlucks and any other occasion.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings



  • 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.


  1. 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.
  2. Instead of sugar, you can substitute coconut sugar, agave or pure maple syrup.
  3. 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 306mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This recipe was originally published in June 2018 and has been republished with new photos and helpful information. The recipe is unchanged.

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  1. I made this tonight. I made a half recipe because we usually throw away a lot of leftover coleslaw. This turned out to be a mistake. My family loved it so much they asked me to make more after the wiped out the entire bowl. When that bowl came to the table, it was gone in 30 seconds. A bit hit!!!

    1. Hi Kristin! I’m glad the coleslaw was a hit! Thank you for taking your time to share your great review!

  2. This recipe is perfect! I am on a new vegan, grain free and processed sugar free diet but had a craving for coleslaw. I made this recipe substituting only the granulated sugar with light agave  and it came out wonderfully! Thank you so much for this recipe! 

  3. Ok, I’ve had a lot of coleslaw in my 63 years and this one is my new, all time favourite. Just had it on my BBQ Seitan bun. I had to stop myself from eating all  the coleslaw before it made it to the bun. I used cabbage fresh picked from the garden and added just the tiniest bit of thinly sliced onion. So good! Thank you  

  4. Fantastic recipe! Cole Slaw is “my thing” and I’ve missed a really good version since becoming vegan. This is totally delicious – even addicting! Love it as I have all of your recipes!

  5. Total hit with whole family, including our 1-year-old and 3-year-old kids. I whipped up a double batch of the dressing and froze half. Combined with a Trader Joe’s bag of sliced cabbage and it wasn’t the easiest vegetable side dish. Thank you for all of the great recipes.

  6. Girl, when are you opening a restaurant?! Your recipes always turn out amazingly delicious. I basically do all my meal planning from your website.

    Thank you for sharing your awesome recipes with the world!

    -A fellow vegan Portlander

  7. I’m new to a plant-based diet, and I can’t believe how easy and delicious it is! I made my first batch of vegan mayo (your recipe) this morning along with this cole slaw for dinner tonight. HOLY SMOKES!! It’s absolutely AMAZING! My husband said nobody would ever know it was vegan. Thank you so much for all of your outstanding recipes and tips. You’ve definitely made this transition much easier and tastier for us! Thanks!

  8. I’ve been craving coleslaw for weeks and finally made this recipe. It was super easy to follow. Most difficult part of the recipe is waiting two hours to dig in!

  9. This is fabulous! I wanted something that was easy and tasty and it fit the bill nicely. I used Hellmann’s vegan mayo, btw and mixed it with broccoli slaw, cause that’s what I had on hand. I love the celery seed and the cider vinegar. It’s the perfect tangy, slightly sweet and old fashioned flavor. My boyfriend, who is neither vegetarian nor vegan,loved it! Thanks for posting!

  10. Just made and it’s perfect. Wanted a “traditional” coleslaw for some vegan barbecue burgers and this is great. I have tried some of your other recipes that were great, too. Thank you.

  11. Best coleslaw I ever had, hands down. My entire family loved it. We had vegan sausage and peppers and this slaw for Christmas. I will say, bagged slaw is not as good in recipes as fresh, crispy cabbage. I used organic red and white cabbage and added grated carrots too. I’ve made it again since Christmas! Fabulous

  12. Best slaw ever!! I added julienned red and orange bell peppers and sprouted sunflower seeds. Made her vegan mayo recipe. Fantastic!

  13. I make this at least twice a week. We use it to top our pulled ‘pork’ tacos on taco night, and we use it in lieu of lettuce and tomato on chicken wraps. It’s perfect!

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