Sometimes we just need something to be easy amiright?! How about a super simple vinegar based coleslaw recipe? Red Cabbage Vinegar Slaw is that! Only 10 minutes from start to finish, delicious, versatile, and look how gorgeous! Mayo free, too, with a quick vinegar and oil coleslaw dressing. A few simple ingredients and you have a perfect side for burgers, sandwiches, ribs, or anything else you’re having at your picnic. It’s even amazing piled high on salad greens!
Coleslaw Benefits for Your Heart
Coleslaw isn’t terribly unhealthy, but that mayo dressing isn’t doing your heart – or your waistline – any favors. That’s why this healthy red cabbage slaw features a delicious vinegar and oil dressing that’s really simple to throw together. But coleslaw’s health benefits don’t stop with the dressing. Let’s start with that cabbage.
It’s just so pretty! Sometimes called red cabbage and sometimes called purple cabbage, there’s no denying its beauty. I’m definitely having a moment with this veggie.
Purple cabbage contains anthocyanins, like blueberries. They’re also cruciferous vegetables, so provide all the same health benefits of broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. This group of food is known to have anti-cancer properties, as well as overall strong antioxidant activity. (If you like purple cabbage, also check out my “Eat the Rainbow” Spinach Salad!)
And the carrots!
Besides being low in calories, and high in fiber, carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A, with a bit of Vitamin K and potassium, to boot. Also, contrary to popular opinion, carrots are not high in sugar. Enjoy your carrots!
For the dressing, we keep it simple with vinegar, oil, and some herbs.
My go-to oil is olive oil. High in monounsaturated fats, it’s one of the heart healthiest oils you can get. Extra virgin olive oil is considered the best, but it’s not great for cooking. It is, however, perfect for making this vinegar and oil coleslaw dressing! If you want a great all purpose oil, regular olive oil is good. You can also use grapeseed oil or avocado oil. A neutrally flavored oil is what you want.
The herbs are also high in nutrition. Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants. So feel free to use herbs and spices liberally!
FAQs and Substitutions
You will get about 3-5 days out of your coleslaw. That’s because the dressing starts to soak into the veggies, and will make them soggy. If you aren’t going to eat the coleslaw within a few days, keep the dressing separate from the vegetables until you’re ready. You’ll get about 7 days, or even more, out of it then!
No. I do not recommend trying to freeze coleslaw. Fresh vegetables in general don’t freeze well unless you’re going to cook them after they thaw. Freezing breaks down some of the molecular structure of the food, and you’ll get really mushy coleslaw when you thaw it. Unfortunately, what you don’t eat within about 5 days should be thrown out.
You can shred cabbage in 2 basic ways; with a mandolin slicer or by hand with a good old cutting board and knife.
To shred with a mandolin
Cut your head of cabbage into quarters, through the core. Adjust your mandolin to the thickness you want, and simply slice each cabbage quarter, holding the core with your hand. You’ll probably want to discard the core instead of slicing it.
To shred by hand
Cut your head of cabbage into quarters, through the core. Cut on a diagonal to remove the core from each quarter. Now use your knife to slice the cabbage as thin as you like. When you’re done you may want to cut the slices in half lengthwise so they’ll be easier to eat later, but that’s your call.
Yes. If you want to make this ultra quick, but still healthy homemade coleslaw, use one whole 16 oz bag of plain coleslaw veggies, and continue making the dressing as per the recipe.
Such an easy healthy coleslaw recipe calls for a picnic right? Here are some perfect recipes to go with your Red Cabbage Vinegar Slaw:
- Mediterranean Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
- Baked Beans – using lentils to make it quicker!
- Crispy Oven Fries
- Marinated Vegetable Skewers on the Grill
- Blackberry Iced Tea
If you make Red Cabbage Vinegar Slaw, tell me in the comments!
Red Cabbage Vinegar Slaw
This coleslaw is super simple, delicious, healthy, and a show stopper! Great by itself or on a burger, salad, or sandwich.
- ½ head of Red Cabbage, shredded
- 2 large Carrots, julienne or shredded
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- (optional) 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey
- ½ tsp Celery Seed
- ½ tsp Dried Dill
- ½ tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
- Salt to taste, if needed
In a large bowl, mix cabbage and carrots.
In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except salt.
Toss the vegetables with the dressing.
Taste, and salt, if needed. I find mine does not need either the salt or the sweetener.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.