No-Mayo Coleslaw with Dijon Mustard

If you’ve never had coleslaw made without mayonnaise, I hope you’ll try this! I was kind of a weird kid in the fact that I didn’t really like coleslaw growing up. The cabbage always seemed to be drowning in watered-down mayo and it was never very appetizing to me. Fast forward to the present and I’m married to a man who is not a fan of mayonnaise on anything. Funny how these things work out.

oil and vinegar no mayo coleslaw recipe

The first time I read a no-mayo coleslaw recipe, I thought it was worth a shot. I mean, I love cabbage and carrots and onions…it was the mayo I wasn’t fond of. Sure enough, I was an instant fan and now, 30+ years since trying that first recipe, I make a number of variations of oil and vinegar coleslaw. There’s the basic one I make, which is just shredded cabbage, onions and carrots tossed with a bit of canola or grapeseed oil and then dressed with white or cider vinegar. Add a little salt and black pepper and that’s all there is to it. There’s also one I make (which I’ve posted here) with fresh ginger, garlic, scallions, sesame oil and sesame seeds – toss it with a little grapeseed oil and seasoned rice vinegar and you’ve got a delicious, healthy side dish. Slivered or sliced almonds are great in this also, or even peanuts, if you’re partial.

This version is just as simple, it just has the added tang of Dijon mustard. The basic gist of any of these is this: you don’t need a lot of oil – start with just a tablespoon or two. Drowning your coleslaw in a lot of oil is not going to look or taste good. I don’t add any oil to this recipe because the Dijon serves as an alternative.

You may need to play around with this a bit, to suit your tastes. My “1/2 head of large cabbage” isn’t exactly a specific amount and can vary, obviously,

I shred my cabbage a number of different ways, depending on the quantity of slaw I’m making and (believe it or not) the mood I’m in at the time. I have a Cuisinart food processor similar to this one that makes quick work of cabbage shredding. I also have a sturdy mandolin that I didn’t pay a fortune for and works like a charm. Don’t be sucked into expensive models, especially if you’re not sure you’ll use the darned thing.

oil and vinegar no mayo coleslaw recipe

No-Mayo Coleslaw with Dijon Mustard Dressing Recipe

  • 2 healthy tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 head large green cabbage, shredded (I mix it up with red cabbage too, if I have it on hand)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly and cut into 1-inch pieces

Whisk the mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seed together in a large bowl. Add the shredded cabbage, carrots and onions. Toss together until the cabbage mixture is coated. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, so the flavors have time to marry. Personally, I think this is best if you can let it sit overnight and really let the flavors come together.

At first, it may seem like you don’t have enough dressing but be sure to stir the whole mix together for a few minutes. You may be surprised at how little dressing you really need for this. Also, taste test it as you go – you may find you want to add a bit more Dijon as the flavors develop.

Some other additions that I’ve added, due to what I’ve had on hand, that works beautifully in this: thinly sliced baby bok choy, sliced scallions and/or napa cabbage. Don’t be afraid to play with your food.

Bye, bye mayonnaise!

26 thoughts on “No-Mayo Coleslaw with Dijon Mustard

  1. I’ve always liked mayo, but recently I’ve been having a food aversion towards it. But, I love coleslaw so I’m definitely going to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This looks like a winner! I’ll have to try it out the next time I have some cabbage. I’ve been suspicious of mayo since I was a kid though I would eat it mixed *very very lightly* in things like tuna or coleslaw. As an adult I still avoid it and have found alternate ways (like you) to substitute other ingredients. My mom, other the other hand, eats it on crackers for a snack. I can’t even…

    • There are definitely some mayo-obsessed people out there; we all know that person whose makes potato or macaroni salad simply swimming in it. Oh and tuna salad? I’m with you – if it has mayo it has to be just a touch. Maybe some people don’t actually like tuna? lol!

  3. Coleslaw without mayo is my cup of tea. My husband would love this because he is the type of guy who would take the mayo off his sandwiches. Such a wonderful recipe.

  4. That’s a great recipe. My wife is not all that keen on mayo based salads of any kind. I bet she’ll like this. BTW… I love your blog name 🙂

    • Thanks John – I’ve learned since posting this recipe here and on Facebook that there are a lot of mayo-haters out there! Not everyone gets my blog name, though some like you get it right away. Others have to read the “About” section! I’m glad you stopped by again – I thought I followed your site last time but now I see I’m doing it again. Best to you!

  5. Mayo haters unite! Thank you, I am not a fan of mayo either and this is the first time I have seen this recipe. I’m going to have fun browsing your blog:)

  6. ttorch172 says:

    I just found this recipe and wanted to let you know it is a keep and so AWESOME! I hate, I mean hate mayo and don’t eat anything with it in the recipe. I love salads and always wanted to have coleslaw and have been looking for a good recipe without mayo. I made it earlier and it is in the fridge as we speak. I had to make myself stop tasting 🙂 as it was so good to have some late with dinner. It is tart and tangy just the way I like it. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you like this! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t want mayo glopped into every coleslaw recipe. 🙂

  7. Not only is this mayo-less, but it’s also not swimming in sugar. (I cut out all added sugars this winter). Strangely, a really hard combo to find. I’m a new CSA convert and am sitting on 2 weeks worth of cabbage already. I’m going to make this up for dinner tomorrow, and your Asian slaw recipe early next week.

    • I’m fascinated by how many recipes call for sugar lately – it seems to be a national obsession. I hope you try this and like it! You’ll have to let me know your thoughts on both slaws. I make batches and batches of them every summer – we tend to eat a lot of them!

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