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Vinegar Coleslaw

Ditch the creamy dressings for this Carolina-style vinegar coleslaw, a perfect complement to roasted or barbecue main dishes, like BBQ-baked chicken legs or beef ribs. The tangy homemade coleslaw comes together quickly with just a bit of chopping.

Vinegar coleslaw in a serving bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You either love vinegar-based coleslaw or hate it. I can’t get enough of it! It is a delicious combination of sweet and zesty. 
  • Eat the tangy vinegar coleslaw as is, pair it with a sandwich, or serve it with slow-cooked barbecued pork or brisket.
  • The coleslaw is a perfect side dish for the summer months, get-togethers, and barbecues. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cabbage: Shred a combination of red cabbage and green cabbage to make the cabbage mixture. You can use one or the other, but the colors bring me joy. If you’re in a bind or want to cut back on the work, purchase a store-bought coleslaw mix. However, using fresh vegetables produces the best results. 
  • Carrots: Buy the carrots shredded or shred your own.
  • Dressing: The homemade coleslaw dressing incorporates apple cider vinegar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, celery seeds, salt, and black pepper. It’s simple, but trust me – it’s packed with balanced flavor!

Additions and Substitutions

  • Use rice wine vinegar or white vinegar if apple cider vinegar is too strong for you. 
  • Replace the honey in the recipe with maple syrup or monk fruit if you want a sugar-free alternative. 
  • Including thinly sliced green onion, red onions, green bell pepper, toasted pumpkin, or sunflower seeds are a great way to add texture and crunch! 
  • Increase the heat with jalapeño or serrano chiles. 

How to Make Vinegar Coleslaw

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Slice the cabbage and carrots into thin strips using a sharp knife or mandolin. Set it aside.

Coleslaw ingredients in the bowl.

Step 2: Add the ingredients for the vinegar dressing to a small bowl, and give it a quick stir.

Coleslaw dressing in the bowl.

Step 3: Pour the vinegar dressing over the shredded coleslaw mix to serve.

Coleslaw ingredients in a mixing bowl.

If you love this side dish, pair it with one of these dinner recipes!  

Serving Suggestions

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: If you keep the coleslaw dressing and vegetables separate, they will keep for five days in an airtight container. Once you add the dressing to the thinly sliced vegetables, they start wilting. So it’s best to mix the dressing with the slaw just before you’re ready to serve so it’s nice and crunchy. 
  • Repurpose: The leftover coleslaw becomes tender the next day, making it a tasty filling for a taco, or use it to garnish a sandwich. You can also serve it as a condiment for burgers, bratwurst, or hotdogs.

More BBQ Side Dishes:

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Vinegar coleslaw in a serving bowl.

Vinegar Coleslaw

Tressa Jamil
Tangy homemade vinegar coleslaw perfectly complements your favorite BBQ dishes, adding a refreshing zing and a satisfying crunch to every bite.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 118 kcal
For the Coleslaw Mix:
  • ½ green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, julienne
For the Vinegar Dressing:
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • Slice the cabbage and carrots into thin strips using a sharp knife, mandolin, or food processor. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set it aside. 
  • Add the ingredients for the vinegar dressing to a small bowl and stir.
  • Pour the vinegar dressing over the shredded coleslaw mix to serve.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Serving: 1 Cup | Calories: 118 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Sodium: 214 mg | Potassium: 298 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 9 g | Vitamin A: 3651 IU | Vitamin C: 52 mg | Calcium: 58 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating