Sweet and Sour Coleslaw that’s Mayo-Free, Oil-Free & Fat-Free


There’s no need for oil or mayonnaise in this flavorful sweet and sour coleslaw recipe. It’s a German-style side that pairs well with everything from vegan burgers to bratwurst. Enjoy it as a refreshing dish for barbecues and picnics, or serve it as a heartier salad with warm meals in winter. It’s very versatile!

This recipe has ample dressing, so there’s no need to be too exact on your measurements. You can add a little more cabbage, celery, carrots, bell pepper, or other veggies that you have on hand.

Sweet and Sour Coleslaw Recipe - Plant-Based, Mayo-Free, Oil-Free, and Fat-FreeThis photo was shared with us by the National Honey Board.

Special Diet Notes: Sweet and Sour Coleslaw

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

Sweet and Sour Coleslaw (plant-based & fat-free)
Prep time
Total time
Please note that the Prep time is hands-on time only. If you have time to let the dressing refrigerate for a few hours before serving, it will help the flavors meld.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: German
Serves: 6 servings
  • ½ cup white sugar or honey
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed or 1 teaspoon fresh dill
  • 8 cups shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup shredded or julienned carrots
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper
  1. Add the sugar or honey, vinegar, water, salt, mustard seed, and celery seed or dill to a jar with a lid. Cover tightly and shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. You can alternately blend the dressing in your blender.
  2. Refrigerate the dressing for several hours or overnight.
  3. Place the cabbage, celery, carrots, and bell pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Shake the dressing again, and pour it over the salad. Toss to evenly coat the vegetables.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until serving. If you let it refrigerate for a few hours, it will soften the cabbage slightly.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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