Healthy Coleslaw with Apples

5 from 2 votes
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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.

a bowl of Maple Dijon Apple Cole Slaw

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.

bowl of healthy coleslaw with a spoon next to it

Ingredients

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.
bag of coleslaw mix, an apple, dried cranberries, with bowls of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar plus salt and pepper on a marble tapletop

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.

apple coleslaw in a white serving bowl with a blue decorative edge

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom, then into quarters.
  3. Make a diagonal cut in each quarter to cut out the thick stem.
  4. Lay one wedge flat side down on the cutting board and cut into thin slices.
  5. Cut those slices in half horizontally and run your knife through horizontally a few more times to get the size of shreds you prefer.
  6. 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.

Maple Dijon Apple Cole Slaw - the classic salad recipe with a healthy fall twist

What food goes with coleslaw?

This healthy coleslaw recipe is a great side for so many grilled dishes or barbecue favorites.

Dinner Ideas
healthy coleslaw in a bowl
5 from 2 votes

Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw

A healthy, sweet and savory twist on the classic picnic salad made with Greek yogurt and fall flavors.
Prep: 10 mins
Servings: 5

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Maple Dijon Apple Coleslaw
Amount Per Serving
Calories 110 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 214mg9%
Potassium 200mg6%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 115IU2%
Vitamin C 30.7mg37%
Calcium 86mg9%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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11 Comments
  1. char

    5 stars
    i love this but i had to change the dressing because i can not have dairy. so i split it two and made one way using miracle whip with mustard, honey and the other one used blueberry vinegrette dressing. both are so good and will make again and again

  2. Your hubby sounds like mine….lol. He hasn’t banned anything from the house yet, but he hates when I make anything that doesn’t include a huge slab of meat. I think he would love his slaw in a meaty burger.

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