Let’s talk about this healthy slaw recipe. It’s proof that sometimes, the most humble of ingredients can make for the best recipes.
Take cheap cabbage, with all of its potent antioxidants, and toss it with carrots, the humble root vegetable that is packed with beta carotene. Drizzle in a simple, garlicky lemon dressing (no mayonnaise or vinegar here). For extra texture and savory flavor, add some freshly toasted seeds to the mix. Toasting them makes all the difference.
Ta da! You have a colorful coleslaw that’s bursting with fresh flavor and amazing health benefits.
This slaw is one of my favorite simple side dishes, so I’m sharing it today with updated photos in the hopes that it captures your attention. It keeps well in the fridge for up to four days, so it’s a very easy way to add a burst of color and fresh flavor to your meals.
Of course, this slaw goes great with veggie burgers and grilled mains in the summertime. It would also be fantastic with my vegetarian chili, sandwiches of any kind, and rich meals that need something light for balance (even mac and cheese).
Healthy Coleslaw Preparation Tips
It is easier to slice cabbage on a mandoline (affiliate link) than with a sharp knife, but it certainly can be done. Be careful either way. If you’re in a hurry, buy a 12-ounce bag of pre-shredded slaw mix at the store.
For the prettiest shredded carrots, use a julienne peeler or spiralizer. If you don’t have one of those, a plain old box grater or the grating attachment on your food processor should work pretty well. Or, grab a bag of shredded carrots at the store!
Last but not least, I used three-fourths of a cup of mixed seeds here, but you could definitely get by with less. Whichever seeds you use, and however much you use, don’t skip the toasting step! Just keep an eye on those little seeds because they can turn too toasty in a blink.
Watch How to Make Healthy Coleslaw
More Vibrant & Healthy Recipes to Try
- Peanut Slaw with Soba Noodles
- Extra Vegetable Fried Rice
- Versatile Buddha Bowl
- Mega Crunchy Romaine Salad
Please let me know how this slaw recipe turns out for you in the comments! I’m always so eager to hear how you like my recipes.
Simple Healthy Slaw
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 side servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: By hand
- Cuisine: American
This healthy coleslaw recipe tastes amazing! It’s made with a simple lemon dressing and features toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It’s gluten free and vegan, which means it’s a perfect potluck dish (you might want to double the ingredients if you’re serving a crowd). Recipe yields 4 to 6 side servings.
- 2 cups finely sliced purple cabbage (one small cabbage will be more than plenty)
- 2 cups finely sliced green cabbage (one small cabbage will be more than plenty)
- 2 cups shredded carrots (I used store-bought shredded organic carrots, but you could also grate them on a box grater, in a food processor, or julienne the carrots with a sharp knife)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Up to ¾ cup mixed seeds (I used mostly pepitas—AKA green pumpkin seeds—and sunflower seeds, with some sesame seeds and poppy seeds)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- In a medium serving bowl, combine the prepared purple and green cabbage, carrots and parsley. Set aside.
- Measure out your seeds into a small skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the seeds are fragrant and the pepitas are starting to make little popping noises. Pour the toasted seeds into the mixing bowl and toss to combine.
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil with 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Add the garlic, cumin and salt and whisk until thoroughly blended.
- Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and toss until all of the ingredients are lightly coated in dressing. Taste and add an additional tablespoon of lemon juice if the slaw needs a little more zip. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to marinate for up to several hours.
Recipe adapted from The Adventurous Vegetarian Cookbook by Jane Hughes.
Storage suggestions: I like this slaw best the day it’s made, but it keeps well for several days, covered, in the refrigerator.
I made your coleslaw tonight and it was so tasty. I added peanuts and it was super.
Like many other recipes I have tried from this website, this too was a great recipe! The ratio of dressing to veggies was perfect, and the taste was great.
Love to hear that, Sarah! I appreciate your review.
Catering for a vegan who is allergic to nuts and eggs – this is amazing! I serve this along a vegan parma. The nuts and dressing make an amazing flavour and gives it texture. Super important to toast the nuts! It takes a while to chop all the cabbage but absolutely worth it.
Sounds fabulous. I have everything on hand except lemons. Strange for me. Can I substitute a vinegar such as rice wine, apple cider or red wine ?
You can try it. Let me know what you think!
I’ve made this slaw three times in the past two months, including Thanksgiving, because it’s been an absolute hit with guests. The only slight thing I adjusted was to toast each type of seed separately because they seem to brown at different rates (the first time around the pumpkin seeds did not toast enough because I didn’t want to overdo the sesame and sunflower seeds. This is my new favorite salad—and—Cookie and Kate has become my go-to recipe site!!
I love to hear that, Susan! Thank you for sharing.
This was a big hit, everyone loved it. My husband said it was the best coleslaw he ever had.
That’s great to hear, Janis! Thank you for your review.
Hi there! I was thinking of making this to go with your veggie enchiladas. Do you think it would be good to replace the lemon juice with lime juice and replace the parsley with cilantro to give it more of a Mexican flair? Thank you!
Sure! You could try that. Let me know what you think, Megan!
So good! I used a bag of Trader Joe’s “cruciferous crunch” mix (Kale. Brussels sprouts. Broccoli. Green and red cabbage, in a bag) with your dressing and the seed mix and it was so delish and easy! I also threw an avocado on top – yum. Makes a great lunch. Thank you!!
You’re welcome, Michelle!
I have made this twice now and it is the only way we want slaw now. I’m in California and most of us sub limes for lemons which I did. I also subbed fresh dill for parsley as it has so much more flavor.
What do you do with the rest of the cabbage? I’d be tempted To just use one sort cause it’s practical to use it all up. Maybe you have a good idea?
You could increase the recipe size. Or it tends to keep well and use for your next recipe!