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Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw (without mayo)

If you are a fan of coleslaw but want to skip the mayo, this Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw made without mayonnaise is perfect for you! It’s the perfect coleslaw recipe for pulled pork!

Coleslaw is one of my favorite summer recipes for barbecues and family parties. While the classic version that I love is made with a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, there is also a time and place for this Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw that is made without mayo. This coleslaw piled on top of pulled pork is perfection and I hope you love it as much as I do!

apple cider vinegar coleslaw

How to Make Coleslaw Without Mayo

When it comes to coleslaw, not everyone likes mayonnaise. While creamy coleslaw is absolutely delicious, if you are looking for a lighter, tangier option, you need to try this apple cider vinegar coleslaw. It’s all about the dressing which you will make on the stovetop.

For the dressing, you will need:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • white vinegar
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • sugar
  • celery seed
  • dijon mustard
  • salt
  • black pepper

For the vegetables, you will need:

Any combination of green and purple cabbage, along with carrots. I like to use more green cabbage than purple cabbage. Feel free to use whatever cabbage you enjoy the most in coleslaw. Feel free to add onion as well — either green onion or thinly sliced yellow onion are common additions to coleslaw.

To make the coleslaw dressing without mayo:

  1. Add all dressing ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and chill overnight.

Coleslaw gets better and better the longer chills and has time for all of the flavors to meld together. If you haven’t made coleslaw recipe with celery seed, you must. It is my favorite ingredient for coleslaw whether I’m making a traditional creamy coleslaw or this vinegar-based coleslaw.

Coleslaw for Pulled Pork

As I mentioned earlier, a vinegar-based coleslaw is the perfect topping for a pulled pork sandwich. The combination of the crunch and the tanginess compliments the tender pulled pork perfectly!

I have two different pulled pork recipes for you to try:

  1. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  2. Instant Pot Pulled Pork

How long does coleslaw last in the fridge?

Store coleslaw in an airtight container. It will last in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Why make a coleslaw recipe without mayo?

Variety is the spice of life and while I love a creamy coleslaw, the taste and texture of a coleslaw made without mayo is refreshing and delicious!

What to Serve with Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a versatile side dish that pairs with a variety of meals, especially some of our summer favorites:

  1. Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  2. Burgers
  3. Ribs
  4. Grilled Chicken
  5. Deli Meat Sandwiches

Chill Coleslaw Before Serving

Chilling coleslaw before serving it is essential for all of the flavors to come together. While you can eat it right away, it is not going to be nearly as flavorful and delicious.

  • Minimum – at minimum, this coleslaw needs to chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Optimum – optimally, chill coleslaw for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Overnight Chilling: coleslaw is the perfect recipe for preparing ahead of time because chilling it overnight is ideal. The extended time in the refrigerator really helps all of the flavors to come together and marinate the cabbage. Be sure to stir well before serving!

Whether you’re serving this for a barbecue, a potluck, or with a weeknight dinner, Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw is always a favorite side dish.

Not only is this coleslaw recipe delicious, it’s pretty easy to make as well. If you try this recipe, please leave a comment or tag me on social media. I love to hear from you. Enjoy!

apple cider vinegar coleslaw recipe


Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw (without mayonnaise)

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If you are a fan of coleslaw but want to skip the mayo, this Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw (without mayonnaise) is perfect for you! It's the perfect coleslaw recipe for pulled pork!

Course Side Dish

Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes Chill Time 3 hours

Servings 6


  • 6 cups green cabbage
  • 4 cups purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • cup white vinegar
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Shred or thinly slice cabbage and carrots. I like to use a food processor for this. You can also use a knife. Place the shredded vegetables in a large bowl.
  • In a saucepan, combine apple cider vinegar white vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, celery seed, dijon mustard, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots. Stir well to combine.
  • Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but ideally for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
  • Stir well and adjust seasonings before serving.

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