Creamy Coleslaw

There are countless variations of this popular side dish; my recipe is inspired by my mom’s, which includes apples and raisins. I use a cashew-based dressing instead of oily vegan mayo, but you can easily forego the cashews for a lighter dressing.


Dressing Ingredients
½ cup water
⅓ cup raw, unsalted cashews (about 2 ounces)
2 tablespoons Dijon or stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced

Salad Ingredients
3 cups chopped green cabbage (like cabbage confetti)
1 cup chopped red cabbage (like cabbage confetti)
1¾ cups grated carrots
1½ cups diced apple (skin on; about 1 to 2 apples)
½ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped red onion

1. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender and set aside (so that the cashews can soften).

2. Chop and prepare the salad ingredients (cabbage, carrots, apple, raisins, and onion). Toss these salad ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth, and pour into the bowl of vegetables and fruit, mixing thoroughly with a spoon. While you can serve the Coleslaw immediately, the flavors will have a chance to blend more thoroughly if chilled for at least one hour (stir again before serving).

Preparation: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 as a side dish (makes 7½ cups)


Salad variations: Also try adding some chopped radish, bell pepper, raw broccoli or cauliflower, celery, fresh/raw fennel, green onions, tomatoes, or pineapple.

Dressing variations: Add a little horseradish, ground celery seed, or lemon or lime juice.

Serving suggestions: Serve as a side dish to soup, stew or chili, as well as on burgers or sandwiches/wraps.


Above: Creamy Coleslaw.


Above: Without the cashews in the dressing. You can’t see the dressing really, but the flavor is nicely tart and zingy due to the garlic, vinegar, and mustard.


Above: With ground black pepper on top, with a side of apples and grapes.

The term “coleslaw” arose in the eighteenth century as an Anglicization of the Dutch term “koolsla,” a shortening of “koolsalade,” which means “cabbage salad.”

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  1. James Welch says

    Just made this and it is FANTASTIC! I think my fiancee may eat the whole batch before we make it to dinner time and he’s not even vegan…and he doesn’t like traditional cole slaw. Added celery seed and squeezed some lemon juice into the dressing as suggested in the notes. Also used currents instead of raisins, which I do quite often anyway. Super, super GOOD STUFF! Thank you so much for the recipe.

  2. Heidi says

    Love that you offered a suggestion with the cashews! I don’t use many nuts in my cooking. So having the option already spelled out was super helpful. :-) I made a batch this afternoon to have tonight. Cheers!!

  3. says

    This is amazing. I’ve been salivating since I first read it, but tonite it was my main dinner…let’s see 3 bowls? That dressing is to die for, as the saying goes. Great job, Cathy, and thanks so much for sharing. It’s my next potluck meal.

  4. Lynn says

    This is really delicious, and a great food bargain!

    I bought all of the ingredients on my way home from work (except for the cashews, which I already had), and spent less than $5.00. For that I ended up with a large amount of really great tasting, healthy food. This is so amazing and good! Thank you for this recipe.

  5. Kathy G says

    Cathy, this is fabulous! I made this for a plant-strong potluck that I am going to tonight. I couldn’t stop taste testing! I hope I have leftovers to bring home. If not, I will have to make again tomorrow!

  6. Frances Martinez says

    It is delicious! Question: About how many calories in a cup? I’m entering my daily meals on MyFitnessPal.

  7. says

    Your cashew dressing is just FANTASTIC!!! However I want to share a tip for people who are rushed and forgetful like me..I don’t put all the ingredients in the blender with the cashews..I make the cashews soften in just enough water to cover them..then I start the blender and only once they are creamy do I add the rest of the ingredients..I did this the first time ‘cos I was late for dinner and had forgotten to set the cashews aside..and it worked!!

  8. Hope Green says

    Bless you!! We did the 10 day McDougall program in June and have missed our old favorite cole slaw recipe that Himself would make 2x a week- with Miracle Whip of course… Yea Team!!! Cathy to the rescue… I can’t wait to make this up with celery seed and from the reviews I know it will be pure bliss!!!

  9. says

    I am taking the Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell and while I have been plant based for some time, cooking without oil is fairly new to me. So I was glad when I stumbled onto your site with recipes that don’t use WHEAT or other concentrated sugars like a lot of the WFPB recipe books do! I’m just curious, do you avoid wheat because of intolerance to it or for other health reasons (effects of gluten, gliadin protein)? Looking forward to trying out the recipes.

    • says

      Hi Debbie, thanks for your comment. I avoid wheat because I work at TrueNorth Health Center (this is where I mostly teach my classes) and so wanted to keep my recipes along their guidelines, including no wheat. They don’t use it because so many people are sensitive to it. I don’t seem to have a sensitivity to it, but I don’t miss it at all in my recipes or in my diet. Cathy :)

  10. Julie says

    Oh thank you so much for this one! I made it yesterday and it was so delightful, everyone gobbled it up like dessert. It was such a hit I’m making it for an Easter potluck at work in a couple of weeks.. Creamy coleslaw for everyone!

  11. April says

    I made it this past weekend, and my husband and I couldn’t get enough. As noted, it was even better the next day. We will be having this on a weekly basis. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  12. Heather Pacheco says

    Cathy – I have a son with nut allergies. Have you ever tried this with a seed (or other non-nut) substitute?

  13. Pam says

    Thank you so much for this and all the other great recipes on this site! My husband gave this one 4 stars when we had it at lunch yesterday. I’ve shared this site with other WFPB friends and they love it too! One even said “I spent a long time looking at that new website last night. She is really good!” I agree!

  14. says

    We have an over abundance of chayote squash growing right now, so tried this recipe and replaced the cabbage with chayote and it was great!! thanks!!

  15. Lynn M says

    My husband has nut allergies, but can eat almonds so I blanched some and used them instead of the cashews (I have used seeds in other recipes calling for cashews, but not this tone – yet). He claims to not like coleslaw (well actually he claim not to like any vegetables), but ate a fairly substantial portion of this coleslaw an said it was pretty good! I loved it – thank you.

  16. says

    I just made this tonight. I decided to taste a small bowl, just to see how I’d like it. It is now half gone. Thank you so much for sharing! This one is a keeper.

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