Low Calorie Coleslaw Recipe

coleslaw recipe

What is Coleslaw?

Coleslaw is a side dish that seems to work with such a huge range of dishes from all over the world. Typically coleslaw is made with high fat cream or crème fraiche style sauces but I wanted to make a lower calorie alternative. Whether you have it as a side for a BBQ, on a salad or inside a pitta bread with hummus and falafel there’s a place for this low calorie coleslaw on every plate. It’s so easy and quick to make and there’s not even any cooking involved.

Do you have a diet restriction?

This low calorie coleslaw is:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan (when made with vegan mayo)
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Low Fat
  • Low GI
  • 0.5 syns

All slimming world related info is gathered from various internet sources. Syn values may be incorrect or outdated. If you see one is wrong, please let me know so I can update the information!

Step 1: Prepare the vegetables

To start with to make low calorie coleslaw, we need to prepare the vegetables we are going to use. The most typical vegetables used are carrot, white cabbage and red cabbage although I have seen many alternatives with beetroot, bean shoots and even cheese. What veg will you pick? First, using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin, slice your carrot lengthways and then using a knife to cut your strips of carrot into thin noodles and cut in half to make shorter. Alternatively if you find this a bit fiddly you can use pre-prepared “grated” carrot found in most supermarkets. Do not prepare the carrot using a traditional grater. This grates the carrot too thin and too short and results in carrot mush instead! Add roughly one carrots worth to a large bowl.

Now we need to make similar shapes from our cabbage. The cabbages I bought were both rather small with both the white cabbage and the red cabbage weighing only 650g each. I used just under ⅓ of each cabbage, cutting very thin rounds, discarding the stalk area and then I cut each round in half to shorten the strands before separating the layers. Don’t red cabbages look so stunning when they are cut open? Place these in a bowl along with the carrot. My bowl was not big enough so I had to separate it into two bowls to give me enough room to mix in the other low calorie coleslaw ingredients.

low calorie coleslaw ingredients

Step 2: Mixing the marinade

Now to make the sauce, or is it more of a marinade? Depending on the type of coleslaw you are used to you may have seen it drowning in a creamy liquid or with just a light coating. I find, unless it’s a specific shop bought brand I prefer my cabbage to have less of a sauce and just a light dressing for flavour. To keep this recipe low fat and low calorie I have created a mayonnaise based dressing that gives the creaminess without the calories. To your vegetables, add 3 tablespoons of light mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Mix the mayonnaise and seasoning into the vegetables. The ACV should thin out the mayonnaise and make it thin enough to coat the coleslaw vegetables well.

low calorie coleslaw recipe

How to store low calorie coleslaw?

This low calorie coleslaw needs to be kept in the fridge and should last 3-4 days in the fridge if kept in an airtight container.

Can I freeze low calorie coleslaw?

NO! Its not often I say recipes can’t be frozen but this is one of those times. The coleslaw would become soggy and limp as it defrosts. Only freeze fruit and vegetables if you intent on cooking or pureeing them.

What should I serve with coleslaw?

Why not try one of my super yummy recipes that are perfect for BBQ’s and garden parties:

Traditional Falafel Recipe
Falafels are a middle Eastern dish made from blended chickpeas bound together with flour and seasonings and then fried. They make a great fridge fillers because they work well with a variety of meals or even just a snack. I personally love them in a pitta bread with hummus and salad. This healthy falafel recipe makes roughly 15 falafels at 65kcal each.
Check out this recipe
falafel recipes
Vegetable Quiche Recipe With A Tortilla Crust
This low calorie vegetable quiche recipe is a healthy recipe for weight loss. Quiche is an egg based dish including a huge range of flavoursome ingredients. Quiches are typically surrounded in a shortcrust pastry. To help keep this dish low calorie I have swapped out the pastry for layered tortilla wraps which when baked create a nice crispy finish. In my opinion this is far nicer than any shortcrust pastry option. I have filled this quiche with sweetcorn, green beans, carrot and broccoli for a nice colourful finish. This quiche serves 6 large slices and contains 210kcal per serving.
Check out this recipe
vegetable quiche
Savoury Pancakes Recipe With Sweetcorn And Spring Onion
This savoury pancake recipe with sweetcorn and spring onion is a healthy recipe for weight loss and a great finger food for babies and toddlers.
Check out this recipe
sweetcorn savoury pancakes

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coleslaw recipe

Low Calorie Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw is a side dish that seems to work with such a huge range of dishes from all over the world. Whether you have it as a side for a BBQ, on a salad or inside a pitta bread with hummus and falafel there's a place for it on every plate. It's so easy and quick to make and there's not even any cooking involved.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, British
Servings 4
Calories 70 kcal


  • 1/3 red cabbage approx.
  • 1/3 white cabbage approx.
  • 1 carrot approx.
  • 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper


  • Slice your carrot and cabbage into small, thin strips and place in a large bowl.
  • Mix together the rest of the ingredients to make a dressing and mix this into the vegetables well to make your coleslaw.
  • Serve as part of a larger meal. Great with BBQ's and salads!


All vegetable quantities are suggestions, add as much or as little as you like just make sure you change the dressing quantity to suit.
Please see the full blog post above for more detailed instruction and photos.
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