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This crisp and creamy apple slaw is a Healthy Coleslaw recipe we can all love because it is sweet and savory and made without mayo! It is lightened up with Greek yogurt, plus the juicy apples, dried cranberries, and maple Dijon dressing give it a delicious flavor. Enjoy this quick and easy side dish any time of the year because when the kiddos gobble it up, you know it has to be the best cole slaw recipe ever.
Healthy Coleslaw Recipe with Apples
My husband has been on a quest to perfect his barbecue technique with his smoker. I figured, if he was going to be making all kinds of brisket and pulled pork and ribs, then then I needed to master a coleslaw recipe that we could all love.
That’s why I made this Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw! We think it is the best way to make cole slaw with its combination of sweet and savory flavors, plus crisp and creamy textures. And you don’t sacrifice any of the creaminess when you use Greek yogurt instead mayonnaise to make a healthy side dish without mayo.
Now this apple slaw is part of our regular menu, whether we share with friends summer barbecues or potlucks or enjoy on a busy weeknight with crockpot apple cider chicken or grilled cheese and butternut squash soup.
Can coleslaw be healthy?
Typically coleslaw can be a bit of a calorie bomb when made with gobs of mayonnaise. But this is a healthy coleslaw recipe.
What’s the trick to coleslaw without mayo? Greek yogurt. When you toss your slaw mix in this lightened-up dressing, you get a healthy veggie side dish perfect for any meal.
It’s tasty and so easy with only seven ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
What is in the coleslaw dressing?
- Plain Greek yogurt: nonfat, whole, or anything in between, just not flavored.
- Dijon mustard: I almost always use Grey Poupon. It adds a nice tangy zing to the dressing.
- Maple syrup: definitely use real maple syrup, not just pancake syrup. It truly adds subtle but flavorful sweetness.
- Apple cider vinegar: a basic cider vinegar will do, or you can use a raw apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s.
- Salt and pepper: You always need some basic seasoning.
What else do you need?
- Coleslaw mix: I switch between the one that is all cabbage and the one that includes red cabbage and carrots. Both are equally tasty. You can also use shredded cabbage, or a mixture of cabbage and finely julienned carrots.
- Apples: I typically peel my apples, but that is up to you. Then you can either cut it into matchsticks with a knife, shred it, or spiralize it. They add a bit of sweet, fresh flavor.
- Dried cranberries – raisins or golden raisins are great alternatives too. The sweet-tart chewy little bits add a different texture.
How to Make Healthy Coleslaw
This healthy coleslaw dressing is super easy to make. You’ll find yourself bringing it to barbecues and whipping it up as a quick side dish for a weeknight meal.
Make the dressing. Stir the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
Mix the coleslaw: Add the slaw mix or shredded cabbage, apples, and dried cranberries. Toss everything together with tongs until it is well coated. Serve immediately if you like a crisp slaw, or cover and store in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if you prefer a softer texture.
Alternatively, you can mix the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or liquid measuring cup with a pour spout and pour it over the slaw mix. But the method above means one less dish to wash.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you shred cabbage for coleslaw?
Personally, I like to save time and grab a bag of coleslaw mix, since it is fairly inexpensive. But to save even more money, you can shred a head of cabbage.
- Rinse the head of cabbage and remove the outermost leaves. Slice off the bottom of the stem if needed so it can stand flat on the cutting board.
- Cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom, then into quarters.
- Make a diagonal cut in each quarter to cut out the thick stem.
- Lay one wedge flat side down on the cutting board and cut into thin slices.
- Cut those slices in half horizontally and run your knife through horizontally a few more times to get the size of shreds you prefer.
- Repeat with the remaining wedges.
How do you shred apples?
- I usually grate my apples with a box grater or paddle grater because it is quicker.
- For a bit more of a crunchy texture, you can use a knife to cut the apple into matchsticks. Cat the apple from the core and cut very thin slices, then cut each slice into thin matchsticks.
- You can also use a spiralizer, then cut the apple spirals into smaller pieces. The kids love this.
Will the apples turn brown?
The acid in the vinegar and Greek yogurt will keep the apples from browning.
How long can you keep homemade coleslaw?
It will keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
Can you freeze coleslaw?
I do not recommend freezing. Neither the Greek yogurt in this healthy coleslaw recipe nor cabbage freeze and thaw well. Both tend to release moisture and you will end up with a watery slaw.
What food goes with coleslaw?
This healthy coleslaw recipe is a great side for so many grilled dishes or barbecue favorites.
- Honey Balsamic Grilled Flat Iron Steak is so tender and juicy, and complemented nicely with a fresh salad.
- Apple Cider Dijon Marinated Tip Roast is an easy, lean beef roast that has some of the same flavors as this cole slaw recipe.
- Slow Cooker Root Beer Pulled Pork is a simple way to make flavorful pulled pork to enjoy that classic summer barbecue and slaw combo.
- BBQ Rubbed Crockpot Turkey Breast doesn’t take much effort to make a moist and flavorful turkey to pair with it.
- Or put it on top of these Pulled Pork Loaded Sweet Potato Fries.
Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- one 10-15 oz. bag cole slaw mix or about 4-5 cups shredded cabbage (just green or a mix of red and green cabbage)
- 1 medium apple, shredded, julienned, or spiralized
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- In a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir until smooth and combined.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cole slaw mix or cabbage, apples, and dried cranberries.
- Pour the dressing over the slaw and stir to distribute evenly.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Will keep for a couple days, but it will get softer and less crunchy.