Does Cole Slaw Have to Be Made With Cabbage?

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Although the official definition of Cole slaw is cabbage salad, and it is traditionally made with mayonnaise, vinegar and seasonings, there are many ways to enjoy fresh vegetables as a “Cole slaw”!  Venture out and shred up a different healthy green to create your own Cole slaw style!  Tyr these recipes using apples, broccoli and a whole lot more.

Spicy Cilantro Slaw

3 cups shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped habanero or Serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper.


Combine ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well to coat.  Great served with grilled fish.

Snap Pea Slaw

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

1/2 cup grated radishes

1/4 cup very thinly vertically sliced shallots

2 teaspoons rice vinegar or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


Combine peas, radishes, and shallots. Combine vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, stirring well; drizzle over pea mixture. Sprinkle with salt; toss. Serve with salmon.

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

1/2 small head green cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) blue cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cut the cabbages in half and then in quarters and cut out the cores. Set up the food processor with the slicing blade (according to manufacturer’s instructions) and place the pieces of cabbage, one at a time, lying horizontally in the feed tube. (If they don’t fit, cut them to fit lying down.) Place the feed tube pusher on top and turn on the processor. Don’t push on the feed tube pusher or the slices will turn out too thick! Continue with the remaining red and green cabbage quarters. Transfer into a large bowl, discarding any very large pieces. Before you pour the dressing on the salad, save a handful of the grated vegetables to decorate for serving. Change the slicing blade for the large shredding blade and cut the carrots so they also lie down in the feed tube. Since the carrots are hard, replace the feed tube pusher and press firmly with the food processor on. Transfer to bowl with the cabbages. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, both mustards, vinegar, celery salt, kosher salt, and pepper. Pour enough mayonnaise dressing over the grated vegetables and toss to moisten well. Add crumbled blue cheese and parsley and toss together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Thinly Sliced Fennel Slaw

1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small)

1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion

2 teaspoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice  

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon sugar


Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill up to 2 hours.


Diced Apple Slaw

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix
3 cups of shredded cabbage
3 green apples, cored and diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper

Whisk sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and ranch seasoning in large bowl to blend.

Add cabbage mixture, apples, green onions and celery. Toss to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and chill for 20 minutes or up to 4 hours. Serve cold.

Carrot Slaw

2 pounds carrots, approximately 12 to 15 medium
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Pinch kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned, crushed pineapple, drained thoroughly of all liquid
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch celery seed and/or caraway seed, optional

Wash the carrots and peel, if necessary. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into wide noodle-shaped strips.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, sugar, pineapple, raisins, curry powder, garlic, and celery seed and/or caraway seed, if using. Add the carrots and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 1 hour to serve cold.


Broccoli Slaw with Turkey Bacon

4 slices turkey bacon (I prefer to use Turkey Bacon pieces)

1 large bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 cup low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 8-ounce can low-sodium sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup finely diced red onion, (1/2 medium)


Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, microwave on High for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.) Drain bacon on paper towels. Chop coarsely.


If using whole broccoli, trim about 3 inches off the stems. Chop the rest into 1/4-inch pieces.  Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add water chestnuts, onion, bacon and broccoli; toss to coat. Chill until serving time


Bell Pepper Slaw

3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
Freshly ground pepper
6 bell peppers (red, orange and yellow), cut into thin strips
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Whisk the sugar and 2 teaspoons salt with the vinegar in a large bowl until dissolved. Add the celery seeds, mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the bell peppers, celery, scallions and cabbage, and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.

Add the mustard and mayonnaise to the slaw and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 (Office) tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Posted on May 7, 2013
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