An easy, from-scratch Greek yogurt coleslaw recipe made with healthy ingredients that taste even better than classic coleslaw. The best part about this easy recipe is the healthier dressing made with Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and pure maple syrup or honey. With a delicious crunch, this nutritional powerhouse slaw is perfect for a summer cookout or family dinner. Serve it as a side salad or top on pulled chicken sandwiches, tacos, or burgers.

Greek yogurt coleslaw in a green ceramic bowl.

I usually avoid coleslaw at cookouts and restaurants. I can’t handle soggy and watery coleslaw. Yuck! And the idea of using mayo that can quickly go bad feels very concerning when it’s 100 degrees outside at a cookout.

But traditional coleslaw is a must-have during the summer.

A few years ago, I decided to make my own healthier version coleslaw recipe. One that is crunchy with fresh flavors and without mayo (which is many times made with unhealthy fats, like canola oil and soybean oil).

This homemade coleslaw recipe has become a summer favorite and one that family and friends ask me to bring to cookouts.

Add this recipe to the list for your next cookout or future barbecues–everyone will love it!

Coleslaw topped on a barbecue chicken sandwich.
This coleslaw is light, refreshing, crunchy, creamy, and healthy!

What Makes This Recipe so Good?

This healthier coleslaw recipe is everything coleslaw should be for two reasons: salting the cabbage and a homemade greek yogurt dressing. That’s what makes this creamy coleslaw crunchy, with a tangy flavor (in the very best way).

1. Salt = Crunchy Cabbage

Salting the fresh cabbage before making the slaw is the secret to making good coleslaw with a crunch. Salting veggies with a high water content, like red cabbage or green cabbage, draws out the water in the shredded cabbage. Extra water can result in soggy coleslaw (yuck!).

2. Greek Yogurt Dressing

Coleslaw dressing is usually made with mayonnaise, along with a few other ingredients (sugar, white vinegar, mustard, seasonings). Instead, I use a healthy coleslaw dressing made with Greek yogurt. Not only is it a deliciously creamy dressing, it’s also high in protein.

What kind of yogurt should you use? Use either non-fat plain greek yogurt or full-fat greek yogurt. Another option is Icleandic Skyr, which is strained so it’s thick like Greek yogurt, super creamy, and lower in fat. I don’t recommend using whole milk plain yogurt as it’s too runny.

The yogurt dressing is thick (due to the Greek yogurt) and light (the yogurt is thinned out a bit with vinegar, maple syrup or honey, and mustard). I think you’ll be a big fan of this combo after making coleslaw with Greek yogurt and tasting the incredible flavor!

Greek Yogurt: Protein-rich Greek yogurt is one of my favorite healthy pantry ingredients. It has a high protein content (16 grams of protein per serving) and is easy to find at any grocery store. If you have leftover Greek yogurt, make healthy yogurt bowls for breakfast or yogurt fruit dip for a fun summer snack.

Mixing coleslaw ingredients in a glass bowl at a butcher block countertop.
To make this recipe, you’ll need a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

What you’ll need to make this healthy coleslaw recipe…

  • ½ large green cabbage finely shredded (about 5 packed cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ small sweet yellow onion chopped (½ cup once chopped), alternatively, use a red onion or green onions
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice or white vinegar)
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon celery seed

Time-Saving Tip: If you want to save time, buy a bag of coleslaw mix from the store. This mix should include green cabbage, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots. Add the onion to the mix or skip the onion. You’ll need 6 cups of pre-shredded coleslaw mix. Trader Joe’s and other stores have great pre-shredded coleslaw mix options, both with and without dressing. If the mix includes dressing, toss it and make your own.

How to Make, Step-by-Step

Shredding green cabbage with a mandoline slicer into a glass bowl.
Step 1: Shred the cabbage and salt it in a large mixing bowl.

Step 1: Shred and Salt the Cabbage

Use a mandoline slicer or a food processor to easily shred the head of cabbage.

Add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the cabbage and work the salt into the cabbage with your hands. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes.

This will remove water from the cabbage and keep the coleslaw from getting soggy. If you’re using a coleslaw mix (containing carrots and cabbage), you’ll also want to do this with the mix (including the carrots).

Making Greek yogurt dressing in a glass mixing bowl with yogurt, maple syrup, mustard.
Step 2: Make the greek yogurt dressing by combining: yogurt, vinegar, maple syrup or honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Step 2: Make the Greek Yogurt Coleslaw Dressing

While the cabbage rests, make the greek yogurt dressing. In a medium-size bowl, combine Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup (or honey), dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust salt or sweetener to taste.

Removing water from the salted cabbage by pressing it in a blue dish towel.
Step 3: Remove water from the cabbage by pressing it dish towel, allowing water to escape through the towel.

Step 3: Remove Water From Cabbage

Pour the salted cabbage into a colander and rinse with fresh water to remove the salt.

Place the cabbage on one half of an absorbent dish towel (you may want to layer two dish towels), layering a portion of the dish towel over the cabbage. Press on the top of the towel to remove water from the cabbage. I prefer to squeeze the dish towel, with the cabbage inside, over the sink, allowing the water to exit through the towel.

Mixing the shredded green cabbage, carrots, and onions in a large glass bowl.
Step 4: Mix the cabbage, carrots, and onions.

Step 4: Mix the Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions

Rinse out the large bowl so you can use it to make the slaw.

Return the cabbage to the bowl. Add the shredded carrots and onions to the cabbage. If you’re using a coleslaw mix, you’re welcome to add the onion now or skip it.

Adding the greek yogurt dressing to a large bowl of cabbage, onions, and carrots.
Step 5: Combine the dressing with the cabbage mix.

Step 5: Combine Greek Yogurt Dressing With Cabbage Mix

Pour the yogurt dressing over the vegetables (cabbage, carrots, and onions) and stir to combine. Serve the coleslaw immediately, or for best flavor allow the coleslaw to sit in the fridge for a few hours (covered).

Homemade coleslaw in a green ceramic bowl.
Make this recipe up to 2 days in advance.

Make-Ahead Instructions

A cruciferous vegetable, like cabbage, is super hearty. You can meal prep a recipe with cabbage, like this coleslaw or this cilantro-lime slaw for tacos, without worrying about the cabbage breaking down quickly.

And thanks to the salting technique (which removed much of the water from the cabbage), the slaw keeps in the fridge for 2 days without getting soggy, watery, or gross.

I also find that the flavor of this Greek yogurt coleslaw improves after it rests in the fridge overnight, so it’s a great recipe to make the day before a party or cookout.

Make the coleslaw at least 30 minutes before serving or up to 2 days in advance, mixing both the dressing and vegetables together, store covered and sealed in a bowl or airtight container.

How to Store

Store coleslaw in an airtight container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap (or beeswax wrap for a non-plastic option).

How Long Does it Last?

It’s best to enjoy this cabbage slaw within 2-3 days of combining the ingredients, when stored in an airtight container. So don’t toss any leftovers as they’ll make a great side dish for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner!

Homemade coleslaw on a picnic table with pulled chicken.
Serve homemade coleslaw on top of your favorite summer sandwich or as a side dish.

How to Serve

Serve this coleslaw just as you would a mayo coleslaw recipe. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy this Greek yogurt coleslaw…

Greek yogurt coleslaw in a green ceramic bowl.
5 from 3 votes

Homemade Coleslaw with Greek Yogurt Dressing

An easy, from-scratch Greek yogurt coleslaw recipe made with healthy ingredients that taste even better than classic coleslaw.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time15 mins
Resting Time for Cabbage and Salt30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 64 kcal
Cost: $5

Equipment

Ingredients

Coleslaw Mix:

  • ½ large green cabbage finely shredded (about 5 packed cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ small sweet yellow onion chopped (½ cup once chopped)

Greek Yogurt Dressing:

Instructions

  • Add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage, and work the salt into the cabbage with your hands. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. This will remove water from the cabbage, which can make for a soggy coleslaw. 
    Shredding green cabbage with a mandoline slicer into a glass bowl.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk to combine all the dressing ingredients in a medium-size bowl. 
  • Pour the salted cabbage into a colander and rinse with fresh water to remove the salt.
  • Place the cabbage on one half of an absorbent dish towel (you may want to layer two dish towels), layering a portion of the dish towel over the cabbage. Press on the top of the towel to remove water from the cabbage. I prefer to squeeze the dish towel, with the cabbage inside, over the sink, allowing the water to exit through the towel.
    Removing water from the salted cabbage by pressing it in a blue dish towel.
  • Rinse out the large bowl, and return the cabbage to the bowl, along with the remaining coleslaw ingredients: carrots and onions.
  • Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and stir to combine.
    Adding the greek yogurt dressing to a large bowl of cabbage, onions, and carrots.
  • Serve the coleslaw immediately, or for best flavor allow the coleslaw to sit in the fridge for a few hours (covered). Enjoy within 2-3 days.

Notes

Use green cabbage, red cabbage, or a mix of green and red cabbage.
Time-Saving Cabbage Tip: If you want to save time, buy a bag of coleslaw mix from the store. This mix should include green cabbage, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots. Add the onion to the mix or skip the onion. You’ll need 6 cups of pre-shredded coleslaw mix. Trader Joe’s and other stores have great pre-shredded coleslaw mix options, both with and without dressing. If the mix includes dressing, toss it and make your own.
Add Fresh Herbs: Add a flavorful variation to this recipe with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs, like cilantro, dill, chives, or parsley. Add the herbs to the cabbage mix.

Nutrition

Calories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 250mgPotassium: 313mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 3668IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
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