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Easy Healthy Coleslaw Recipe


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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a closeup of the coleslaw with some celery hearts on the table surface

With thousands of shares, dozens of reviews and five-star ratings, you can be assured this creamy yet healthy coleslaw recipe will be the star of your summer cookouts, barbecues and picnics. Just chop, stir and serve! Only 70 calories per serving!

a closeup of the coleslaw with some celery hearts on the table surface

I originally shared this Healthy Coleslaw on May 13th, 2016. I have updated the text, added a video and some new photos today.

Table of contents​

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Why We Love This Healthy Coleslaw Recipe​

This healthy coleslaw recipe really is super easy peasy to make, and it is completely classic tasting. I love a twist on coleslaw, but sometimes you just want good old-fashioned creamy coleslaw with your burger!

  • I healthified this “skinny” coleslaw by cutting way back on the mayonnaise. I used plain Greek yogurt instead.
  • And then I turned up the volume on the other flavors to compensate for the reduced fat and calories.
  • One trick I used is that I shredded a bit of sweet onion right into the dressing.
  • The result is tons of delicious flavor, but it’s only 70 calories per cup!
  • I also made sure to use as many colorful vegetables as I could to really make it pop! We eat with our eyes first, right?

Key Ingredients For This Recipe​

Ingredients for coleslaw with labels

  • Finely shredded green and purple cabbage: Chop the fresh cabbage finely by hand or use the slicer attachment in your food processor or mandoline. To cut back on prep time, you can definitely use a pre-shredded bag of coleslaw mix. You will want to use 9 cups total.
  • Plain Greek yogurt: I used two parts non-fat Greek Yogurt to one part mayonnaise to drastically cut the calories for the dressing in this recipe. As I said a couple of weeks ago when I shared my Healthy Broccoli Salad, using a half cup of Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo, saves 700 calories per batch! Isn’t that incredible?! Look for plain non-fat for the lowest calorie option, or full fat for a creamier dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: To give the dressing a classic taste of a traditional coleslaw recipe, we used a little mayonnaise. Just enough for the right flavor, but not too much to make it high in fat and calories.
  • Seasonings for the coleslaw dressing: You’ll need vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, celery seed and black pepper. The celery seed adds a classic coleslaw taste to the recipe. It can be omitted. Do not use celery salt in place of it or the dressing will be too salty. I also add a little sugar to balance the tangy yogurt and vinegar.
  • Onion: I like to use a box grater to grate the onion. It blends into the dressing beautifully. If you are in a rush you can use a little (1/2 teaspoon) onion powder instead. I have also made this with chopped green onion instead of adding the onion to the dressing so if you have them on hand, you can try that swap too.
  • Shredded carrots: To give the coleslaw bright color and added nutrition, I added freshly grated carrots. Feel free to use bagged shredded carrots instead.
  • Minced celery hearts: I like using celery hearts, the pale light green parts of the head of celery with the leaves still attached. I use them in summer side dishes like Vegan Potato Salad, and my German Potato Salad. Celery pairs well with the creamy dressing and cabbage. Chop them finely and they add a bright chartreuse color to the slaw.
  • Parsley: I also like to add in parsely for freshness and for bright green color. It really makes this coleslaw look so much more cheerful and healthy, not pale and soggy.

How To Make Healthy Coleslaw​

the dressing in the mixing bowl

Step 1: Make Coleslaw Dressing with Greek Yogurt​

Grate onion with a box grater. Scrape grated onion into a large bowl. Add greek yogurt and mayonnaise and whisk to combineAdd vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, celery seed and pepper and whisk to combine.

the coleslaw after it is mixed into the dressing

Step 2: Mix Coleslaw with Dressing​

Add cabbage, carrots, celery hearts and parsley (if using) and toss to coat.

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two wooden bowls with slaw in them

Variations To Try​

To Make Healthy Coleslaw Vegan​

You can sub vegan mayonnaise and vegan yogurt to keep this dressing creamy, or make this more of a vinegar coleslaw by dressing it with olive oil and vinegar or using one of our vinaigrettes from our salad dressing recipes. Our Lemon Juice Salad Dressing, Red Wine Vinaigrette or Tarragon Vinaigrette would be great options.

Vegetables To Add To This Healthy Coleslaw Recipe​

We love adding crunchy vegetables that we happen to have on for more color and texture. Try adding strips of red bell peppers. But really any bell pepper would be tasty and pretty. We even like to add strips of thinly sliced lacinato kale or shredded Brussels slaw from Trader Joes.

Broccoli Slaw​

Buy broccoli slaw, sold in bags in the produce department of large grocery stores, instead of the cabbages. You’ll need 9 cups total.

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FAQs For This Healthy Coleslaw​

Can Coleslaw Be Made Ahead?
This recipe can be made up to 12 hours in advance. In fact, I recommend making it a little ahead of time so that the cabbage softens a little bit. Toss the veggies, shredded cabbage and carrots with the dressing in a big bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Remember to stir before serving.

How to store
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container for up to three days. Serve with a slotted spoon if it becomes watery.

Can I use another type of cabbage?
Yes! You can use Savoy cabbage instead of green and red cabbage. I do not recommend Napa Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage for this recipe as they are not sturdy enough and will become limp.

Can I Use My Food Processor To Make This?
We love our food processor! To make this with the food processor, use the flat slicer blade for the cabbages and the grater attachment for the carrots. To make the dressing you can even blend it with the steel blade attachment.

Is coleslaw healthy?
Yes, but the dressing makes all the difference! Depending on the recipe coleslaw can be either a healthy veggie-packed side dish or it can be a high-calorie addition to the plate. Cabbage is high in fiber and very low in calories. It is also rich in Vitamin C. If the dressing is made with mostly mayonnaise sweetened with sugar it can make the slaw high in calories. Instead opt for a creamy dressing made with Greek yogurt instead to make it lighter.

Serving Suggestions​

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More Healthy Classic Barbecue Side Dishes​

classic potato salad in a white bowl with backlight

Healthy Classic Potato Salad (with Hard Boiled Eggs)​

Healthy greek yogurt garden macaroni salad with cheddar. This healthy take on macaroni pasta salad with cheese has loads of garden fresh vegetables in it and Vermont sharp cheddar. Bring it to your next potluck and watch it disappear in a flash plus you'll save more than 100 calories per serving!

Healthy Macaroni Pasta Salad​

the pasta salad in a white bowl from overhead with a stainless steel serving spoon in it

Healthy Italian Pasta Salad Recipe​

No-Mayo Potato Salad with Herbs​

Browse Our Summer Salad Recipes

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

a closeup overhead view into a bowl of coleslaw

Easy Healthy Coleslaw Recipe

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This creamy, healthy coleslaw is super easy to stir together. It’s the perfect skinny coleslaw recipe for your summer cookouts, barbecues and picnics!


Units USM
  • 1/4 small sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, fat free if desired
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups finely shredded green and purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup minced celery hearts
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, optional
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  1. Grate onion with a box grater. Scrape grated onion into a large bowl. Add greek yogurt and mayonnaise and whisk to combine.
  2. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, celery seed and pepper and whisk to combine.
  3. Add cabbage, carrots, celery hearts and parsley (if using) and toss to coat.


Can be made 12 hours in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator.

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    Prep Time: 15 minutes
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    Cook Time: 0 minutes
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    Category: Side Dish
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    Method: Mixed
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    Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 71
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 77 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 6 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g

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More Coleslaw and Cabbage Recipes​

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