This Healthy Recipe for Coleslaw is the lightened up version of the mandatory BBQ side dish everyone knows and loves! It’s creamy, crunchy and made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. But shhhh, if you don’t tell, no one will ever know!
Love coleslaw? Yeah, me too. Whether it’s smooth and creamy like this one or tangy and zesty like my Coleslaw with Oil and Vinegar, it’s always a winner in my books. It just pairs SO perfectly well for things like tacos and burgers to classic BBQ dinners like this fall apart tender Slow Cooker Beef Brisket or this spicy authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken. It’s refreshing, adds the perfect crunch to any meal and is so easy to make. And the best part? You can easily make a lightened up and healthy version without compromising on flavour or taste. This Healthy Recipe for Coleslaw proves that it doesn’t have to be loaded with sugar, sour cream or mayo to be deliciously creamy. I got you, boo.
Can we just talk about Greek yogurt for a quick minute? It’s such a great substitute for so many things! It can replace sour cream in traditional recipes (see: No Mayo Potato Salad or Greek Yogurt Tartar Sauce), it makes a great lightened up salad dressing (hellllllo, Greek yogurt Ranch) and it’s known to keep baked goods moist and delicious (I mean, have you tried my Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins yet?!) It’s even one of the two star ingredients in my simple homemade Naan Bread recipe. I know! Is there anything it can’t do?!
I’ve really come to love it so much over the years that when I think of making something, ANYTHING, creamy, I turn to it first! So when I wanted to make a healthier recipe for creamy coleslaw, I knew that Greek yogurt just had to be involved. And as you can see, it DELIVERED!
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE HEALTHY GREEK YOGURT COLESLAW
It doesn’t take very many ingredients to make this quick and easy no cook side dish. Let’s discuss what you’ll need, for both the dressing and the slaw, in a little bit more detail down below:
- Coleslaw Mix: There’s nothing more convenient than pre-cut or pre-mixed veggies that you can just grab and go. Am I right? Coleslaw is the best for that as you’ll always find the pre-mixed bags in the produce section of any grocery store. And hey, at the time of this post in 2023, inflation hasn’t gotten to them yet as they’re normally still pretty cheap. However, if you can’t find the pre-bagged stuff, feel free to make your own mixture with shredded green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots.
- Red Cabbage and Carrots: Yes, I know they’re already in the prepackaged coleslaw and yes this is in addition to. Although the already mixed bags are great, I always find them green cabbage heavy. To balance out this homemade coleslaw, I like adding an extra cup of both carrots and red cabbage to the mix.
- Green Onion: Adds the perfect bite to the slaw and brings it altogether as it pairs perfectly with the carrots and cabbage.
- Greek Yogurt: The star of the dressing and makes this healthy recipe for coleslaw smooth, creamy and delicious. Full fat and plain works best in this recipe.
- Lemon: Adds a little bit of zest and nice zing to the dressing for this healthy coleslaw recipe.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds acidity and tang to the dressing. You can use white vinegar instead, if that’s all you have on hand.
- Dijon Mustard: Adds flavour and balance to the dressing for this healthy coleslaw recipe. I don’t recommend using a different kind of mustard for this recipe.
- Salt/Pepper: Adds flavour and makes this coleslaw pop!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY COLESLAW (KEY TIPS)
You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for coleslaw in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for this recipe:
- Use fresh ingredients. There aren’t many so freshness matters! Good coleslaw is crunchy coleslaw! EXTRA TIP: If you’re doing all the shredding yourself be sure to keep things on the thinner side. You can use a mandolin, food processor, grater or good ol’ sharp kitchen knife to help you.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl first before adding it to the slaw to ensure all the flavours get evenly distributed throughout.
- Ensure the slaw and all ingredients are well combined and coated in the dressing before serving. The best bite is a bite of it all at once! EXTRA TIP: Serve this healthy recipe for coleslaw cold for best results!
- If you’re making this coleslaw ahead of time, refrain from adding the dressing too soon or the ingredients will lose their crunch. It’s best to wait until the day of serving to mix the two together.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
YES! You know I got you. Now, when we just look at coleslaw on it’s own, of course it’s healthy! It’s made of up veggies and veggies only. Red and green cabbage, carrots and sometimes, some type of onion or some fresh herbs. All packed with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. However, just like any salad, it’s what’s in the dressing that makes it go from healthy to unhealthy.
Typically a creamy coleslaw is loaded up with mayo or sour cream which works nicely for a Keto diet. However, this could pose some health risks for a regular diet as they’re high in fat. Traditional coleslaw also tends to contain some sort of sugar in some way which we certainly don’t need in this healthy recipe for coleslaw. To keep this coleslaw on the healthy side, I used Greek yogurt for the base of the dressing. It packs the same punch, is full of flavour and there is no compromise on the level of creaminess! WIN-WIN.
You can keep this creamy coleslaw in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Unlike most salads, coleslaw is one we don’t have to really worry about becoming soggy right away. It actually gets better over time as the cabbage and carrots “marinate” in the dressing and soak up all the flavours! However after 3-4 days, the slaw will begin to lose it’s crunch, firmness and some colour. It’ll also become soggy and watery.
If you know you’re not going to be eating it right away, wait to mix the dressing in until just before serving to extend its shelf life.
Coleslaw is a nice, light and refreshing treat all on it’s own. It makes a great snack or side dish on hot Summer days and is the perfect thing to serve up at any BBQ or cookout. It goes great with any meat and is a no brainer for things like Brisket or Jerk Chicken.
In addition, I love using it as a topping for things like tacos, nachos, poutines, burgers, sandwiches, bowls and more. It just adds the perfect crunch, boost of flavour and bite of freshness to any meal!
FOR THE COLESLAW
- 1 14 oz Bag Coleslaw* (~8 cups)
- 1 cup Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Carrots, shredded
- 1 bunch Green Onions
FOR THE CREAMY DRESSING
- 2/3 cup Full Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until well combined.
- In a large bowl, add your coleslaw ingredients. Top with the creamy dressing then stir until everything is combined and the veggies are nicely coated in the dressing. Serve chilled.
There is 10 cups of coleslaw mix for this healthy recipe for coleslaw. If you're shredding your own veggies instead of using the pre-bagged mix, use 3.5 cups of green cabbage, 3.5 cups of red cabbage and 3 cups of carrots.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 164mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
MORE SUMMER SALAD IDEAS