Mayo-free Coleslaw! Warning: Seriously Addictive

I grew up hating coleslaw.

I was born hating it, and I carried a passionate desire within my child-self to destroy all that was coleslaw. This was a big deal because I’m from Memphis, TN (the BBQ capital of the universe). I hated coleslaw so much that I refused to eat BBQ for the first 15 years of my life because it was guilty by association. That cabbage-sprinkled cup of mayo looked disgusting, and I wrote it off forever until I found out there was a better way… the non-mayonaise way.

In the south, pasta salad is drenched in mayonnaise. Potato salad consists of potatoes swimming in mayo. Egg salad is mayonnaise with a side of egg. Cole slaw is not excluded from the mayo-party. It’s the host.

When I moved up to NY for college, I was ASTONISHED to find out my best friend Ray’s pasta salad recipe called for Italian dressing rather than mayonnaise. It was sacrilegious! And I liked it. Three years ago, my boyfriend informed me that we would be making coleslaw, and it didn’t include traditional mayo. With great trepidation and tremendous courage, I tried the stuff. Now, I’m addicted to it.


I love this recipe because it’s super easy, super fast, and it keeps the veggies you use raw. Raw means nutrients. Delicious and healthy: Boom!

And now without any further ado, I present to you Chef B’friend’s Mayoless Coleslaw Recipe. (I’m going to share with you the completely white-stuff free version as well as the mayo-substitute version. Both are fantastic.)



  1. Red cabbage
  2. Green cabbage
  3. Grated carrot (Don’t be lazy. Grate it yourself. It tastes completely different than that store-bought pre-grated crap.)
  4. Capers
  5. Dijon mustard (Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?)
  6. Sea salt
  7. lemon (Not lemon juice from a bottle. Any citrus that hits oxygen will turn more acidic over time, so fresh squeezed is the way to go.)
  8. EVOO
  9. White wine vinegar
  10. Optional: Whatever other veggies you might dig. Chef B’friend sometimes adds grated zucchini, beets, or kale. I love adding savoy cabbage to all mine because it’s got an amazing crinkly texture.
  11. Optional: Vegenaise (It’s an eggless version of Mayo that has 20% less fat and TASTES SO MUCH BETTER.)


  1. Chop up the cabbages and grate the carrot into a very large bowl. IMG_0305IMG_0306
  2. Pour in a healthy amount of EVOO. Start out sensibly because you can always add more. Don’t pour too much; it wants to lightly coat the veggies.
  3. Add a splash of white wine vinegar.
  4. Add one squirt of dijon mustard. Only do a small amount. Trust me.
  5. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl (Use one hand to squeeze it with your other hand acting as the seed strainer. The juice will go through the space in-between your fingers while the seeds remain in your palm.)
  6. Sprinkle in a dash of sea salt.
  7. Add a tablespoon of capers.
  8. Optional, add two tablespoons (or less) of Vegenaise.
  9. Mix everything up with a wooden spoon in the bowl. IMG_0308
  10. Serve on or with something fantastic! I’ll often just eat a small bowl of it by itself. (By small bowl I mean large, large, very big bowl.)

I’ll usually make this coleslaw in conjunction with vegan BBQ shreds. Here’s the box, and it is SUPER TASTY. IMG_0310

Serve on a spelt grain bun or be decadent and serve on a french baguette. I’ve voted for decadence this morning 🙂IMG_0312 IMG_0314

What do YOU think about this recipe? Leave a comment! 

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One thought on “Mayo-free Coleslaw! Warning: Seriously Addictive

  1. Maritucker says:

    This looks great, and I too grew up in the South hating even the sight of mayo. But I love cold salads with lots of different veggies, so I’m going to try this. Also may look up the vegan shreds too.

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