Mom’s Classic Coleslaw


Though this may seem like summer fare, naturally dairy-free coleslaw carries over into the cooler months, as cruciferous vegetables like cabbage come into season. The key to my mom’s classic coleslaw is its simple, traditional dressing and finely shredding the cabbage with a knife.

Mom's Classic Coleslaw Recipe

For a cabbage-free, but still great fall and winter salad recipe, try my family’s favorite Honey Mustard Broccoli Slaw.

Special Diet Notes & Options: Mom’s Classic Coleslaw

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.

For soy-free classic coleslaw, choose your mayonnaise wisely. There are olive oil and grapeseed oil options for both regular and vegan mayonnaises.

Mayo note: Since the dressing is mayonnaise-based, this is the time to use store-bought mayo to reduce the risk of food spoilage. Store-bought mayonnaise is high in acid and the eggs are pasteurized, making it a safe choice. Or you can avoid eggs all together and use a vegan mayonnaise, such as Vegenaise.

Classic Coleslaw
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8 servings
  • half a head of cabbage, finely shredded (about 4 cups)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise (for an egg-free / vegan option)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Poppy seeds or celery seeds, to taste
  1. At least one hour before serving the coleslaw, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl.
  2. Toss the cabbage in the dressing.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or celery seeds, if desired.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.

About Author

Sarah is the Associate Editor for Go Dairy Free. She also shares food and daily dilemmas as a milk allergy mom via her blog, No Whey, Mama. Sarah’s previous experience includes work as a copy editor at Thoroughbred Times magazine, a content writer at, and an intern at Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

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