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This 3-ingredient, easy no mayo coleslaw is great on pulled pork or BBQ chicken sandwiches, in tacos or as a side dish when grilling out! It hits the spot for a healthier, lightened up coleslaw!
Anyone else not a fan of the overly creamy, mayo-drenched coleslaws you sometimes get at cookouts? The kind where you can’t taste – or hardly even see – the actual cabbage mix?
Sorry, but no thanks.
Today I’m sharing my favorite easy, no mayo coleslaw, which is the perfect addition to any summer cookout.
I always use this coleslaw with my 3-ingredient slow cooker pulled pork (served on sandwiches or sliders) and it’s great with BBQ chicken burgers or sandwiches too. I even love it with tacos, especially fish tacos. 🌮
It’s also just a great side dish to anything from the grill in the summer. 👌
It may be because it’s healthier, but I think the real reason I’m so drawn to this type of no mayo coleslaw is because it’s the Eastern North Carolina style. A.k.a., where my people are from.
My mom grew up in Eastern N.C., and I still have lots of family in that part of the state. (I live in Charlotte.) And we visited my grandmother there often growing up. BBQ and slaw from one of the local joints was among my mom’s must-haves during a visit home.
This recipe is adapted from Southern Living and I’ve been using it for years now. I’m lazy and buy the coleslaw mix in the bag, but if you want to chop your own, go for it!
This makes a great picnic, potluck and BBQ side because it’s easy to double or triple the recipe and it’s OK to let it sit out, since there’s no mayonnaise to go bad. 👍
Notes on making no mayo coleslaw:
– I like to shake up the vinegar mixture in a jar – it’s so easy! You could also whisk it together in a bowl. Just make sure you get the sugar all the way dissolved.
– I use regular white distilled vinegar for this but you could try swapping in some or all of it for apple cider vinegar for a slightly different flavor.
– Feel free to use your favorite bagged mix of coleslaw here (that’s what I do) or you can shred your own cabbage, and carrots if you want to add those.
– This is best made at least 30 minutes ahead, so the coleslaw can soften a bit and all the flavors can meld together.
If you’ve never had this kind of vinegar-based slaw, you gotta give it a try. And if it’s what you remember growing up with, too, then welcome to a taste of home! ❤️
- 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 head green cabbage (or about 1 pound bag of coleslaw mix), shredded or finely chopped
- Stir together vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until well-combined and sugar is dissolved. I put everything in a jar and shake it really, really well.
- Place cabbage in a large bowl and pour vinegar mixture over it. Stir to combine.
- Let coleslaw sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, to let the flavors meld. You can also make it ahead and store it, covered, in the fridge for up to a day. Stir occasionally.
- Serve with pulled pork, BBQ chicken, fish tacos or as a grilling side.
This coleslaw makes enough for 4-6 servings as a side dish. If you are using it for burgers, sandwiches or tacos, it's probably enough for 8-10 servings.
Adapted from Southern Living.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 402mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 13g Protein: 2g