Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw

I’ve talked at great length this summer about my aversion to mayonnaise-based salads and side dishes. I have even recreated some of those – egg salad, potato salad and macaroni salad – with lighter amounts of mayonnaise to suit my picky tastes. I have always been a huge fan of coleslaw, but like many of those other classic dishes, some coleslaw just swims in a mayonnaise dressing, which gives me a case of the gags. While I do like mayonnaise versions that use a modest amount, I also love a good oil and vinegar coleslaw. It’s flavors are bright and fresh, and a huge bonus is that you don’t have to worry about spoilage occurring at outdoor picnics on hot summer days.

This recipe is really quite quick and easy. You take a head of cabbage…

Halve it, and then thinly slice it or shred it (if you want to use your food processor).

All that’s left to do is throw it into a bowl, add the seasonings and toss well to combine. If you refrigerate before serving the flavors will be given a chance to meld together. I highly recommend it!

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow to see how I use both my homemade French fries and this coleslaw in one meal. If you’re from Pittsburgh you may have a pretty good idea of what I’m making 😉

One year ago: Quiche Lorraine Pizza
Two years ago: Anise-Almond Biscotti
Three years ago: Beef Wellington

Oil & Vinegar Coleslaw

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of granulated sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Toss the sliced/shredded cabbage with the vinegar and oil, tossing to coat evenly. Add the sugar, salt and pepper and toss again to evenly distribute. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


38 Responses to “Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw”

  1. Jen of My Tiny Oven on July 27, 2011 at 12:39 am

    What a nice alternative to the usual creamy coleslaw! I can’t wait to see how you are going to put the fries and coleslaw together in one dish… HMMM??


  2. Katrina on July 27, 2011 at 1:40 am

    This is a great summer bbq recipe. Yum!


  3. jaclyn@todayslady on July 27, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Oh I love a good coleslaw! Especially one with sunflower seeds and raisins 🙂


  4. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance on July 27, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Love that this recipe is already healthified for me 😉


  5. Amanda on July 27, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I love mine with capicola and cheese! I’m heading into town for the weekend, and I think it’s on the menu!!!


  6. Jen on July 27, 2011 at 6:59 am

    ooooh I recognize THESE INGREDIENTS!!! 🙂 🙂


  7. Heidi on July 27, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I think it’s sammich time, sammich time. I have a feeling Primanti Bros. won’t have a thing on yours. Yay!!! I miss them sooooo much.


  8. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on July 27, 2011 at 8:07 am

    mmm… coleslaw is the perfect condiment for hot dogs! Perfect for summer!


  9. Rodzilla on July 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Well since Heidi spoiled the surprise for all the non-burghers 😛

    Still curious to see which one you choose to create.


  10. Lesli M on July 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

    You would probably like the slaw at Smoque in Chicago (http://www.smoquebbq.com/). They use pickle juice in their recipe. Pickle juice, poppy seeds, some vinegar, red onion…I can’t remember what else might be in there. It’s been a long while since I’ve had the slaw there. Sadly.


  11. Karpoozi on July 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I make a similar coleslaw with some toasted slivered almonds tossed in for crunch.



  12. CouponClippingCook on July 27, 2011 at 11:31 am

    This sounds delicious, light and simple!


  13. Amanda on July 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I make the same coleslaw without sugar for a falafel condiment. The tang goes oh so well with the nutty goodness that is falafel! 🙂


  14. Maria on July 27, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Looks nice and light!


  15. Joyce @ Jranola Joyce on July 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Okay, WHAT that looks SO AMAZING!
    I just made some honey chocolate avocado pudding but this…now this, is awesome!


  16. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness on July 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I love the simplicity!


  17. Lynnie on July 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    The first time I made this was 28 years ago for my wedding so I didnt kill people with mayo haha This is fantastic how you have changed it up a bit YUMMERS ♥


  18. Peggy on July 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    The simpler the coleslaw, the better – so I’m absolutely loving this!


  19. Rinku on July 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Sounds lovely, looks great!


  20. Ana Helena Campbell on July 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    What a great simple idea! I have a party to prepare this weekend and this will be a great option! Thanks for sharing.


  21. Tracy on July 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve never seen coleslaw made this way, what a great change-up from the creamy kind! And, I’ll be looking forward to what you’ll be using this in with french fries.. 🙂


  22. Diane on July 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    French fries, cole slaw………I know where this is going!! You’re making me ‘Burgh sick!


  23. Anna on July 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I keep reading about how you dislike mayonnaise and I can totally relate. It completely grosses me out especially the commercial types. Try this one from Spectrum. This is the only one that does not gross me out. It’s canola mayonnaise http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=57
    Or you can always try making your own. It’s eggs and oil I think. I never tried it but you seem to like oil judging from the above post and I think you may like this idea. I’ve been contemplating it myself. Especially when I just saw all the flavored mayonnaise(s) spectrum has.


  24. Jill on July 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    hmmm…. all that is missing is the cap, cheese and mancini bread! how does this compare to the real thing? i found a copycat recipe online awhile ago, but was afraid of being disappointed…..


  25. Ann on July 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    It’s amazing how the simple dishes are always the tastiest…this looks delicious! I love vinaigrette coleslaws.


  26. Cookin' Canuck on July 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    This is my kind of coleslaw. I used to like mayo-based dressings, but have turned away from them more and more over the years.


  27. Anamika on July 28, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Though I like mayo dressing, I’m trying to stay away from it to make it lighter & healthier. And this looks just the kind – crisp & fresh!!



  28. Becki's Whole Life on July 28, 2011 at 7:12 am

    This is a great alternative to the creamy coleslaw that we usually see! Sounds like a great simple recipe – thanks so much:-)


  29. Jennifer Eloff on July 28, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Just had to check it out! Sounds good!


  30. Heidi @ Food Doodles on July 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I love this! So simple but it sounds like the perfect base to add different flavors to. Can’t wait till my cabbages are ready to try this out 🙂


  31. The Cute Cook on July 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I TOO have an unhealthy aversion to mayo based salads. My mother, a true Southern Belle and avid practitioner of Duke’s Mayo, would believe that I’d been switched at birth were it not for the fact that I look exactly like her. I’ve been experimenting with using other bases for the salads and have had some AMAZING results. I’ve often wanted to try coleslaw, but the mayo has ALWAYS deterred me. I’ll definitely try this one out. Thanks!


  32. Paula on August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Looks and sounds refreshing and delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe, a nice change for the regular slaw for sure.


  33. Katarina on December 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    This is a staple salad that I’ve been eating my whole life! Usually, any kind of greens and salads, we just use oil and vinegar instead of salad dressing! It took me a long time to get used to using salad dressings on salad instead of my plain oil and vinegar!


  34. Christine on February 1, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Lived in da ‘burgh many years ago; I know exactly what you’re making and I miss them sooo much.


  35. Sarah on August 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for this! I needed a coleslaw that would work with a green apple. This was great! I didn’t have white vinegar, so I used apple cider vinegar. I added a drizzle of honey instead of sugar. Congrats on your wedding! I hope everything was just as you wanted it to be!


  36. Megan on May 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    This is tasty! I would recommend letting the dressing cool prior to pouring it on the veggies.


  37. Audrey blonsky on January 9, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I have been making this slaw for quite sometime now,but I do not use vegetable oil,instead I use a light olive oil…..I also put in thinly sliced,then chopped onion….delish!!!!


  38. Tom Genovese on May 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I grew up on this simple slaw. When my parents took me to a restaurant the first time and I ordered cole slaw, I thought this is what I was going to get. I was shocked that they ruined good slaw with a mayo-based dressing. Now I can make a proper slaw the way my mom used to make it.


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