Vegan coleslaw is an easy side dish that literally takes only minutes to make. It’s especially fast when using a pre-shredded cabbage mix. Great for potlucks, picnics, and cookouts. Vegan & gluten free.
For whatever reason, there are a lot of people out there who are wary of “vegan food.” (Even though vegan food is just food.)
So when I’m going to a potluck, picnic, or cookout, I often like to bring vegan dishes that don’t require explanation.
If you put vegan coleslaw, mashed potatoes, or potato salad out on a table, no one wonders, “Now what is that? How do I eat it?”
They’re dishes that are familiar, easily recognizable, and let’s face it, totally delicious.
Vegan coleslaw with mayonnaise
Most of the time, coleslaw isn’t vegan. However, the swap to make it vegan really couldn’t be easier.
Simply replace non-vegan mayonnaise, which is made with eggs, for vegan mayonnaise. (My favorite brand is Vegenaise.)
A while back I shared my vegan cabbage slaw recipe as I serve it on a vegan BBQ sandwich. But I’d never shared it as a dish in its own right. And that needed to be remedied!
Sure, vegan coleslaw makes a terrific topper on a saucy sandwich, but it’s also quite tasty on its own as a side dish.
Save time by using pre-shredded cabbage
Coleslaw is a really easy side dish that takes just minutes to make. It’s a good one with which to get the kids involved!
While it’s not hard to shred cabbage by hand, it’s even easier to buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage.
I usually buy the kind from Trader Joe’s that’s made with a mix of purple and green cabbage, as well as carrots. Having the mix of green, purple, and orange makes for an especially eye-catching coleslaw.
Look for bagged cabbage that still looks colorful and crisp, not dried out, and without any extra moisture in the bag.
If you’d prefer to cut cabbage by hand, though, go for it! Just add a few extra minutes to the preparation time in the recipe below.
How to make vegan coleslaw
Start by mixing vegan mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, granulated onion, granulated garlic, and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Add shredded cabbage mix to the bowl. Completely combine until all of the cabbage is equally coated with the mayonnaise dressing.
Serve right away. Or put it into the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld and the cabbage to soften.
When is coleslaw best?
Boy, that’s hard to say!
I tend to like cole slaw best on the first day, when it is at its crunchiest. But the next day, coleslaw has had a little more time to marinate in dressing.
The cabbage also softens over time. So it depends on if you prefer a crisper coleslaw or one that’s a little more marinated.
Keep in mind that the vegan coleslaw recipe below shows the amounts for freshly made coleslaw. As cabbage softens, it kind of folds into itself. (That can look a lot like shrinking.)
Think of it like a big bunch of kale that can be massaged into a much smaller amount in a kale salad recipe, or even spinach wilting in a pan.
So if you’re making coleslaw a day or so ahead of time, you may want to double it for your group size to insure that everyone gets enough.
What should I serve with coleslaw?
Serve vegan coleslaw with main dishes like:
- Vegan chili dog
- Grilled tofu with lemon & rosemary
- Barbecued tofu in a grill pan or outdoor grill
- Picnic sandwich with jalapeño cashew cheese
- Veggie burgers
- Vegan chick’n strips
- Vegan BBQ Soy Curls – in the air fryer or skillet
- Barbecued seitan ribz – from Fatfree Vegan
Coleslaw also goes well with side dishes like:
- Buffalo grilled corn on the cob with vegan blue cheese
- The best vegan potato salad
- Spinach salad with strawberries
- Combine vegan mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and pinch of salt in bowl.
- Add shredded cabbage mix and thoroughly combine. Serve right away or refrigerate until mealtime.