No Mayo Coleslaw

photo credit: PBS.org

Coleslaw is a summer classic for picnics and family reunions, but most of them are mayonnaise based and not always a good idea for sitting outside for very long.  Our newspaper printed a mayonnaise free coleslaw but it had quite a bit of vinegar and refined sugar  in it which just isn't my thing, so on with my quest. I came across this wonderfully light coleslaw with no mayo or refined sugar from Marc Matsumoto on PBS.org .  You really should check out the recipes over there!I realize that  for many people it doesn't feel like coleslaw without the mayonnaise, and sugar, if you are looking for a healthier alternative this is a light and refreshing one to try.

The author of the recipe suggests making it the day before and store in fridge till serving to give it a chance to "pickle" into a slaw, but serving it fresh will be more like a fresh salad taste.

Jan's tips:  You can substitute vinegar or lime juice for the lemon juice and can grab a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix from the produce section to make this an even quicker recipe! Want to play around even more?  Sprinkle in some celery or caraway seed, or even a squirt of mustard for a bit more tart. 

PBS' Mayo Free Coleslaw
1/4 small red cabbage
1/2 small green cabbage
1/2 carrot shredded
zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Directions:
  • Remove outer leaves from cabbage. and thinly slice cabbage, trimming away the inner core.
Add cabbage to a bowl with the shredded carrots.  In separate bowl, gently stir together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.  Drizzle dressing over coleslaw and toss gently to mix.   
Yield: 6-8 servings


  1. This sounds delicious! I am pinning it to try :)

  2. I tried this tonight. We didn't have the red cabbage but had the rest. I really liked it. I am not a fan of mayo for coleslaw. My DH isn't the biggest fan of lemon. I think I will try it again and use orange or maybe grapefruit juice. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Judi, I'd love to hear how the orange or grapefruit turns out! I think the tartness of the grapefruit would be fantastic! Thanks for the suggestions!


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