Tangy Apple Coleslaw

by Shawnda on March 31, 2011

in Sides,Veggies & Starches

The Foodie Groom and I sometimes have very different ideas about a specific dish. Like coleslaw. If you ask me, coleslaw ain’t coleslaw without mayo. The Foodie Groom? He despises coleslaw with mayo. Actually, he despises all coleslaw.

So when he pointed to the TV and said, “Ooh!” I was a little surprised. (That’s how we communicate, a finger point and a few caveman-like grunts.) I think he would eat most vegetables if I threw in some Granny Smith apples :)

The idea behind the method for this coleslaw, besides not using mayo, is to first remove water from the cabbage so you don’t end up with a bowl of coleslaw swimming in watered down dressing. Heating the dressing wilts the cabbage just a little and encourages the cabbage to take on the flavors.

I resisted many, many urges to drop a dollup of homemade mayo into the bowl as I was dressing the coleslaw. The coleslaw and apples stayed tender-crips for the entire 3 days it stuck around. It was good on burgers, sandwiches, and as a side to barbecue chicken. It might have even been good cold, eaten straight from the bowl in front of an open fridge.

So I stand corrected. Coleslaw can be very good coleslaw, even when it doesn’t contain mayo.

Tangy Apple Coleslaw

Crisp, tangy coleslaw perfect for topping burgers or sandwiches.


  • 1 medium head green cabbage , cored and finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into thin matchsticks (I used a Granny Smith and a Gala)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Toss cabbage and salt in colander set in the sink. Let stand until wilted, about 1 hour.
  2. Rinse cabbage under cold water, drain, dry well with paper towels, and transfer to large bowl.
  3. Add apples and green onions, tossing to combine.
  4. Heat oils, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and red pepper until hot in saucepan over medium heat. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold. Store leftovers in the fridge (the coleslaw stays crisp ~3 days).


Yields: 6-8 servings

Adapted from Cook’s Country

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josie March 31, 2011 at 6:56 am

I’m also not a huge coleslaw fan, mostly because of the mayo. But this looks like something I’d really like!


2 Katrina March 31, 2011 at 7:50 am

Umm! Looks good. I LOVE Cole Slaw. My husband made it with fresh pineapple the other week as a substitute to sugar altogether and it was AMAZING! (but we had a dollop of Mayo, how can you not:)


3 Stephanie March 31, 2011 at 8:21 am

I’m a mayo in coleslaw kinda girl, too. BUT, this does look really delicious!


4 Joanne March 31, 2011 at 11:26 am

You’re probably going to disown me for saying this, but I absolutely HATE mayo! Which means…I absolutely love this coleslaw and want to eat it every day for the rest of my life. Possibly. So please don’t disown me.


5 spaz February 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Disown. Come on, who dosen’t like Mayo!


6 Happy When Not Hungry March 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I hate mayo, so I definitely have to try this coleslaw! It looks so fresh and delicious!


7 branny April 1, 2011 at 5:14 am

This looks really delicious


8 Trevor April 1, 2011 at 6:34 am

I would agree and say at first I would not have tried making a coleslaw without mayo! But, this looks really good. I enjoy that sweet crunch in recipes like this. When I make this I might throw some chicken chunks in with it. M-mm. Thanks for the post and if you have time check out my blog sometime :)


9 Meghna April 1, 2011 at 9:14 am

Great post! I am not a huge fan of mayo… so I definetly want to try this recipe out…


10 Sarah @ The Pajama Chef April 2, 2011 at 6:26 pm

what a fun take on coleslaw!


11 Diane July 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm

This was delicious. I made this for a party and it was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing this!


12 Mandy April 11, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Made this tonight and we liked it. I’ll make it again. I halved the sugar and thought it was just fine like that.


13 Amanda July 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

Very good! I just had to add some toasted sesame seeds (which toasted perfectly in the pan that was still coated with oil just after heating and adding to the veggies) and a squeeze of lemon!


14 Chloe February 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Made this with some Lobster I bought for supper and some home made fries, it was really good gave a nice sweetness to the salty meal we were having!


15 Jacquie Marie May 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm

MMM!. I’ m making this to take as a side to a low country boil my friends are throwing on Sunday!


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