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Put a sweet and savory tropical twist on the classic picnic side dish with this Hawaiian Pineapple Coleslaw. Lightened up with Greek yogurt, this easy summer salad has no mayo. It’s definitely not the same old cole slaw recipe!
Creamy Pineapple Coleslaw – No Mayo!
I love adding a little tropical flavor to my dinner menu, and any combination of sweet and savory makes me happy. That’s why I love this twist on a classic coleslaw recipe. The addition of pineapple for brightness and macadamia nuts with some crunch gives it a little Hawaiian-inspired flair.
This pineapple coleslaw recipe is also lighter than the traditional side dish, which means you can enjoy it is perfect for a gluten free barbecue with your favorite grilled dishes and summer meals without all the heaviness from mayo. It’ll definitely be part of your repertoire of salad recipes that end up on repeat on your menu!
How do you make coleslaw with no mayo?
The name coleslaw actually comes from a Dutch word that means “cabbage salad”. So it is literally a salad made with shredded cabbage usually tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing, or occasionally a vinaigrette. However, this recipe eschews the usual mayo-based dressing.
Just like my twist on Classic Coleslaw or even my Maple Dijon Coleslaw, the dressing starts with a base of Greek yogurt. So you get the same creaminess you come to expect from the classic side dish, but in an updated version that is healthier.
Is coleslaw healthy?
Compared to the classic coleslaw recipe, this Hawaiian coleslaw with no mayo is actually quite healthy.
There are only about 160 calories per serving, compared to over 250 calories in many other recipes and store-bought versions of this salad. And it even has 4 grams of protein, plus the probiotic benefits of Greek yogurt.
It has 18 grams of carbs per serving, but most of these are from the pineapple, and not from added sugars or other carbohydrates. In fact, it is naturally grain free and gluten fr gluten free and grain free.
The combination of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors tossed with the crunch of cabbage and juicy pineapple make Hawaiian coleslaw totally crave-worthy. Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need. The full amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
For the coleslaw dressing:
- Plain Greek yogurt – regular or nonfat, just make sure it isn’t flavored.
- Dijon mustard – yellow or brown mustard will work too.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Pineapple juice – reserved from draining the can of pineapple tidbits.
- Salt and pepper
For the pineapple slaw:
- Coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage – I like to use a slaw mix with white and red cabbage and carrots for color. You can use a bag with just white cabbage or shred the cabbage yourself. You’ll need 4-5 cups in total.
- Pineapple tidbits
- Chopped macadamia nuts – roasted and salted give a nice flavor, but you can use raw ones too, though I recommend toasting them slightly.
How to Make Hawaiian Coleslaw
It truly could not be any easier than this. Let’s toss this summery salad together.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, vinegar, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together until it is smooth and creamy.
Pour on the dressing. Add the coleslaw mix, pineapple, and macadamia nuts to a large mixing bowl and pour the dressing over the top.
Toss it together. Using tongs or a spatula, toss everything together until it is combined and throughly coated. Enjoy right away or store it in the refrigerator.
Tips for Success
- No need to buy separate pineapple juice. Just pick up a can of pineapple tidbits and reserve the liquid when you drain it. Use this in the coleslaw dressing.
- Serve or store. You can serve the pineapple coleslaw right away, or keep it in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors really develop. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but the slaw will get softer and lose some of its crispness. Some people prefer this, so it’s up to you.
- Prep ahead of time. If you need to prepare it in advance, you can stir together the dressing, then quickly mix with the slaw right before serving.
Make it a Meal
Wondering what to serve with this Hawaiian coleslaw? I’ve got you covered.
- BBQ Sammies. Whether you pile it on a bun with Instant Pot Pulled Pork or Crockpot BBQ Beef, it’s a perfect complement to the smoky sauces.
- Burgers and Dogs. You gotta love slaw with everything from Gluten Free Korean Corn Dogs or Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers.
- Chicken Dinners. It’s such a great pairing with ultra-popular Barbecue Chicken Tostadas or with juicy Grilled Asian Chicken.
- More Grilled Meals. Whether you make easy-to-assemble Barbecue Sausage Foil Packets or flavor-packed Teriyaki Steak Skewers, you can’t go wrong.
More pineapple recipes
- Hawaiian Pineapple Chicken Salad adds the tropical flavors you love to your favorite sandwich filling.
- Pineapple Ham Cheese Ball is a surprisingly delicious new way to devour this party staple.
- Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs are moist, tender meatballs swimming in a sweet and savory sauce, with meal prep options and ways to make them gluten free and even paleo.
- Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs are light and fluffy with bursts of cheese, pineapple, tomato, and ham.
- Tropical Broccoli Salad adds new flavors to an old favorite with cheddar cheese, pineapple, and macadamia nuts.
Hawaiian Pineapple Coleslaw
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons pineapple juice (reserved from draining the can of pineapple tidbits)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- one 10-15 oz. bag coleslaw mix or about 4-5 cups shredded cabbage (just green or a mix of red and green cabbage)
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits from a can, drained
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
- In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper, and stir until smooth and combined.
- In a large bowl, toss together the coleslaw mix or cabbage, pineapple, and macadamia nuts.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and stir to distribute evenly.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Will keep for a couple days, but it will get softer and less crunchy.