Make this creamy no mayo coleslaw for your next barbecue to wow your friends and family! It tastes so delicious, nobody will ever guess this is a healthy side.
I used to avoid creamy coleslaw like the plague.
A tangy, vibrant, crunchy cabbage salad? I was in for that – but the creamy, decadent kind of slaw seemed like nothing more than a sad excuse for a salad to me.
Then I had kids. And said kids didn’t want pungent coleslaw they had to chew – they wanted the creamy deal instead. And what else should I, Martyr Mother of the Year, have done but make it for them?
I kid, of course. I’m neither a martyr mother nor did I drown a bag of coleslaw mix in mayo for them.
Instead, I revamped the classic (one of my favorite things to do!) and went back to my good old friend Greek yogurt.
And thus my new favorite barbecue side dish was born!
How to make creamy no-mayo coleslaw:
Can you really use Greek yogurt to make coleslaw?
Where mayo-based dressings tend to make coleslaw feel heavy and a tad too rich, the Greek yogurt lends it a wonderful lightness with just the right tang.
And even though I used full-fat Greek yogurt (which you are free to substitute with low fat, of course), it was a pleasant and refreshing side to go with our Sloppy Joes.
No matter what fat content of yogurt you prefer, the important thing is to use a thick-style variety – otherwise you’re already asking for a watery slaw.
Why is my coleslaw watery?
Watery coleslaw is never pleasant to eat.
But apart from making the dressing nice and thick, the only way to avoid a limp and soggy salad is to make it no more than a few hours ahead of serving.
True, you could also salt, massage and drain the cabbage… But I’m usually too impatient for it.
Do you use bagged coleslaw mix or shred your own?
Another thing I’m entirely too impatient for at my current point in life (read: hugely pregnant while two little girls are trying to climb on my back while I prep dinner)?
Shredding my own cabbage.
I’m usually 100% against bagged salads. So if you want to shred your own cabbage and carrots, please go for it!
You’ll need about 1 pound of fresh cabbage (preferably some white and some purple), plus a very large carrot.
You’ll want to remove the outermost leaves from the cabbage, then cut it in half and remove the core. Then simply slice it into thin slivers in a food processor or with the help of a large kitchen knife.
But again… No judgement happening around here if you do reach for the bagged mix. It works just fine.
How do you make coleslaw taste good?
I like to round out this salad with a hearty helping of freshly chopped herbs.
We have a huge herb garden and I usually just let everything blossom for the bees – we can never use as many herbs as we’re growing.
But whenever I feel bad for only ever using a twig of thyme here and a nibble of parsley there – I make this slaw so I can throw in a huge handful of whatever soft herb is currently overgrowing the raised beds.
I also use a spoonful of Dijon mustard and some apple cider vinegar in the dressing to add some interest to it.
Can you make this slaw ahead of time?
You can absolutely make this slaw up to 24 hours ahead and keep it in the fridge if you prefer the cabbage to soften and the flavors to mingle.
However, I’m slightly unconventional (as if the mayo subbing wasn’t enough!) and like to serve the salad on the spot while it’s still crunchy for the ultimate exiting summer side.
Creamy No Mayo Coleslaw
For the dressing:
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or use more yogurt
- 1.5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional for a sweeter slaw
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ¼ teaspoon seasoning salt
- ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 14-oz bag coleslaw mix
- 1 large handful fresh herbs chopped (parsley, chives, cilantro or dill are all tasty)
- Mix all dressing ingredients in a medium-large salad bowl.
- Add the coleslaw mix and herbs and toss well. Serve immediately OR chill up to overnight for a softer slaw.