Classic Coleslaw Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Classic Coleslaw Recipe

Classic Coleslaw|Pamela Salzman

Can we talk about mayonnaise for a minute?  Are you ok with it or does it repulse you?  Because from my experience, there’s no in between.  I have no issue with mayo, but so many people have textural issues with creamy food.  I have many students who won’t eat bananas, avocado or mayo. Some people won’t eat mayonnaise because there’s a stigma attached to it and they think they’re supposed to avoid it.

Classic Coleslaw|Pamela Salzman

Here’s the deal with traditional mayo:  it’s just oil, an egg yolk and a little vinegar.  So if it were made out of good oil, mayo isn’t a big deal, right?  The problem is that unless you’re making it from scratch which is a little bit of a pain, the mayonnaises that are available for purchase are made from really bad, refined, possibly GMO oils, like canola and soybean.  Please avoid them at all costs.  They are not your friends.

Classic Coleslaw|Pamela Salzman

I hardly use mayonnaise at all, maybe once or twice a month in tuna salad, or a dressing or cole slaw, so it’s not worth it to me to make my own.  There is no perfect mayo out there.  I tried one made from coconut oil – did not pass the taste test in my house.  Same went for an avocado oil-based mayonnaise.  So I have settled on Soy-free Vegenaise, which is actually not mayonnaise at all because of the absence of egg yolk.  But it is the cleanest one I can find (that we actually like,) the main ingredient being expeller-pressed high-oleic safflower oil.  High-oleic safflower oil is produced from hybrid plants, which is not at all the same thing as a GMO.  But it still is possibly radiated to speed up the process.  So, not perfect.  High-oleic oils contain high amounts of oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid — this is good) and only small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which makes them have a composition similar to olive oil, and therefore are more stable than traditional non-high-oleic varieties. At the end of the day, I do not strive to eat perfectly all the time.  It’s too stressful and I do the best I can.  I am grateful that I feel very good every day and although I know that Vegenaise isn’t health food, I’m ok with that once in a while.

Classic Coleslaw|Pamela Salzman

What this post is really about is coleslaw!  I’ve been asked for the recipe many times and I am happy to share it with you today.  It’s my favorite basic coleslaw recipe with just the right amount of mayo (not too much) and a yummy tang.  I use raw apple cider vinegar here which contains wonderful live enzymes which aid in digestion.  Because I use Vegenaise which does not contain eggs, feel free to bring this coleslaw to your next potluck and don’t stress about it spoiling if left out for a reasonable amount of time.  Coleslaw is the perfect side dish to burgers, sandwiches, barbecue and sloppy joe’s and I will argue that all that incredibly healthful cabbage will outweigh any negatives from a little Vegenaise.  Hope you love it!

Classic Coleslaw Recipe
Serves: 6
  • ⅔ cup Vegenaise (I like soy-free) or good mayonnaise
  • 3-4 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1-3 teaspoons neutral-flavored raw honey or Grade A maple syrup (I prefer 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 8 cups thinly sliced or shredded cabbage (green or a mix of green and red)
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  1. Combine everything except cabbage and carrots in a large serving bowl.
  2. Add the cabbage and toss well to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one day.
you can also add a little celery seed or chopped chives to the slaw
I slice the cabbage either with a knife or in my food processor with the slicing disc.


Related Recipes



  1. Just checked and in our fridge the pesto and chipotle vegenaise are made with canola oil.

    • Yep. The soy-free one might be the only one that is not made with canola oil. For an occasional treat, I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I wouldn’t eat those regularly.

  2. Hi Pamela,
    Have you tried Primal Kitchen mayo with avocado oil? Its the best I’ve found. Ingredients are avocado oil, organic cage-free eggs, organic egg yolks, organic vinegar, sea salt, and rosemary extract. Theres a chipotle lime one that I hear is pretty good too.

    • I have tried it and I kind of alluded to it in my post. I am wondering if I got a bad batch, because we did not love it. And it separated after a short time….

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

Signup to receive updates about new recipes and more

I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon