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No-mayo Carolina coleslaw recipe (super yummy!)

No-mayo Carolina coleslaw recipe (super yummy!)

When it comes to a summer party, this Carolina coleslaw is one of the best side dishes that comes to my mind. It’s a SUPER easy recipe that perfectly goes along with your main dish. It is wonderful with your favorite sirloin steak or any of your BBQ favorites.

If you are on a quest for finding a perfect side dish for your next summer get-together or simply wanting to spice up your picnic favorites, adding this amazing version of Carolina Coleslaw to your arsenal is the solution!

What I like about this coleslaw recipe is that it’s very different from classic slaw with a homestyle mayonnaise dressing. It has an extra flavor punch of celery seeds that perfectly mixes with cabbage, kale leaves, carrots, onions, cider vinegar, and mustard. It’s sweet, tangy, and of course, yummy!

Are you ready to make your own Carolina coleslaw? Take that paper and pen on your desk. Read this article carefully and let’s get started! 

No-mayo Carolina coleslaw recipe (super yummy!)

No-mayo Carolina coleslaw recipe (super yummy!)

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Carolina Coleslaw recipe. This version of coleslaw is sweet, tangy, and vinegar-based which is perfect to serve as your side dish or paired with your other barbeque dishes.


  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 small or ½ medium red onion
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 large kale leaves, stalk
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ c apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c white sugar
  • ½ c vegetable oil
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 t celery seeds


  1. Wash and dry the vegetables. 
  2. Prepare the cabbage. Slice the cabbage into quarters, slicing from top to bottom. Then cut the core out of each quarter. Slice each cabbage wedge crosswise or lengthwise into thin strips. 
  3. Prepare the onions. To thinly slice the red and white onions, cut along the lines of longitude from to bottom. 
  4. Prepare the carrots. Cut off the top and bottom tip and remove the skins of the carrots using a vegetable peeler. If you don't have a vegetable peeler, you can use a knife instead. Use it with caution. 
  5. Prepare the kale. Fold the leaves of the kale together and hold them. Then use a knife to cut off the stalk. After that, roll up the kale leaves and cut the kale into slices. 
  6. Now, your veggies are ready. It's time to mix them up. Add the cabbage, red onion, white onion, carrots, and kale leaves to a large glass bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  7. Then add the vinegar and sugar to a small saucepan set to medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar thoroughly dissolves. Remove from heat and whisk in the vegetable oil, mustard, and celery seeds to create the dressing. While still warm, pour over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine thoroughly. 
  8. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. You can season with additional salt and pepper before serving too.


  1. To tame the strong flavor and reduce the odor of red onions, it's best to soak it in a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar for 10 to 15 minutes before use. 
  2. You can tenderize tough kale leaves by rubbing some olive oil on it for a few minutes. 
  3. 3. If you don't have enough apple cider in the kitchen, substitute it with white vinegar. Don’t limit your creativity. A coleslaw with white vinegar is pretty badass too!

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Q&A section

How long does coleslaw last in the Fridge

If it’s properly sealed in a container, it will be good for 3 to 5 days. However, your Carolina coleslaw will become soggier the longer it sits. So it’s better to eat it right away and don’t let it stay in the fridge for a long time. 

Can you make Carolina coleslaw in advance?

Absolutely yes. You can make this side in advance. We recommend that you make it and put it in the fridge first for a couple of hours before serving it. You can also make it the day before and allow it to chill in the fridge for 24 hours. If you like your slaw to be crunchy, eat it right away.

How bad is coleslaw for you?

In general, coleslaw is known for its amount of calories and fat. However, in this recipe, we used vinegar rather than mayonnaise, so it is way healthier than those creamy coleslaws. Not only that, the shredded vegetables in this version such as cabbage, onions, carrots, and kale leaves offer vitamins and minerals that are vital to a healthy diet.

How do you eat coleslaw?

This no-mayo Carolina coleslaw with vinegar dressing is perfect for your favorite Carolina-style BBQ. You can also turn your dull grilled burgers, chicken wings, and other picnic favorites into something extraordinary by making it as your toppings.

The Conclusion

With mayo or without mayonnaise, coleslaw is indeed a versatile dish that is surprisingly delicious. You couldn’t ask for more! Plus, it can be whipped up with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. 

Whether serving this as your side dish or using it as toppings on your favorite sandwiches, trust us, this amazing recipe will make everyone enthusiastic every time you serve it at your dinner table or your next picnic get-together.

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