Tricolor Coleslaw

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Tri-Color Coleslaw is a delicious and healthier take on classic coleslaw. Made with Greek yogurt, reduced-fat mayonnaise, and honey, this crunchy and flavorful coleslaw is bound to become your new favorite summer salad.

121 CAL 14g CARBS 5g FAT 3g PROTEIN 3

During the summertime, there’s nothing I love more than classic picnic and grilling fare. I’m talking about burgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, and of course—coleslaw.

This cabbage-based salad is an icon in its own right and has been a classic barbecue staple for as long as I can remember. I love coleslaw as much as the next person, but it’s not exactly the healthiest “salad” out there.

My take on the classic tri-color coleslaw is healthier than the one you grew up with, yet still just as delicious as you remember. By making easy swaps like cutting out most of the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt and swapping white sugar for honey, you can make this coleslaw recipe much healthier without sacrificing flavor in the process.

This quick and easy coleslaw is vibrant, tangy, sweet, savory, refreshing, and super flavorful. You can serve it as a side salad with just about any of your favorite summer meals.

I also love serving it as a topping on fish tacos and pulled pork sandwiches. Basically, this healthy coleslaw recipe can do it all. Did I mention it only takes a few minutes to make?

Creamy coleslaw with green cabbage, red cabbage, and shredded carrots in a bowl with a spoon.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a quick breakdown of the tri-color coleslaw ingredients needed to bring this dish to life.

  • Coleslaw Mix: I love using the pre-shredded tricolor coleslaw mix at the grocery store for the sake of convenience and the fun pop of color. This is where the tri-color comes in with red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots.
  • Green Onions: This adds a ton of fresh, earthy flavor.
  • Greek Yogurt: To lighten up this healthy coleslaw recipe, I substitute some of the mayo traditionally used for protein-packed Greek yogurt. You really can’t even tell the difference when it’s all mixed up!
  • Mayonnaise: I use reduced-fat mayonnaise to maintain the classic coleslaw flavor while still keeping this dish on the lighter side.
  • Dijon Mustard: Not only does this help to make the dressing extra creamy, but it also adds some tangy flavor that works great with the other ingredients.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: This gives our coleslaw that tangy flavor we know and love! It adds a ton of flavor and brightens up the dish.
  • Honey: Instead of the granulated sugar that classic coleslaw uses, we use honey which has a lower glycemic index.

Recipe Tips for the Best Coleslaw

Here are some of my top tips to help you make the best coleslaw you’ve ever tried:

  • Feel free to swap out the shredded cabbage coleslaw for broccoli slaw instead if desired.
  • For nutty flavor and an added crunch, toss in some roasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
  • You can turn this into no-mayo coleslaw by simply swapping out the mayonnaise for extra Greek yogurt.
  • While I recommend using pre-shredded coleslaw mix for ease, you can also shred your own cabbages and carrots by hand with a mandoline or sharp knife.
  • If you want to jazz up this dish with some extra flavor, throw in some of your favorite fresh herbs. Parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, and chives would all work great.
  • For a little kick, mix a few shakes of hot sauce into the coleslaw dressing before you dress the salad. The heat balances wonderfully with the sweet and refreshing coleslaw flavors!
  • Don’t have apple cider vinegar? Use fresh lemon juice instead.

What to Serve with Tri-Color Coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe with Greek yogurt tastes amazing with all sorts of tasty summer dishes. If you’re hosting a barbecue or picnic, you’re going to want to add this dish to the menu. Not sure what else to serve?

Here are some of my favorite ideas for what to serve with tri-color coleslaw this summer:

Three color coleslaw with shredded carrots and cabbage in a white bowl topped with green onions.

How to Store Leftover Coleslaw

If you have leftover coleslaw, you can seal it up in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep in mind that coleslaw will have the crunchiest texture in the first 48 hours, but it will still taste fresh and delicious when eaten within 4 days.

Can you freeze coleslaw? No, I would strongly advise against it. Freezing salads is never a great idea because raw veggies contain high concentrations of water and tend not to freeze well. Not only that, but dairy products like mayonnaise and Greek yogurt also tend to separate when frozen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most popular questions about this tri-color coleslaw recipe:

Coleslaw dressing is traditionally made with mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. However, this coleslaw recipe takes some liberties with the ingredients to lighten it up and add extra flavor. For this version, you will need reduced-fat mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar to make the coleslaw dressing.

One of the best tricks to avoid soggy coleslaw is to salt the shredded cabbage before tossing it with the coleslaw dressing. By tossing the coleslaw mix with salt and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes, you will draw out a ton of excess moisture. Simply pat your cabbage dry with a paper towel afterward to remove the liquid, then proceed with the recipe as instructed.

I like to let coleslaw sit for 30-60 minutes prior to serving it. You want the cabbage to soften up a bit to make for easier eating, but you still want it to retain a decent amount of crunch. I’ve found that about an hour of refrigeration time is the perfect amount of time to achieve that ideal texture.

Bowl of coleslaw with a creamy yogurt dressing, green onions, and a black spoon.
The Recipe
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Tricolor Coleslaw

121 CAL 14g CARBS 5g FAT 3g PROTEIN 3
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  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or full fat)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey (more to taste for a more traditional sweet slaw)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 16 oz. tri-color coleslaw mix (about 6 cups shredded purple cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped

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Mix together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper to make the coleslaw dressing.

Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt in a bowl.

Stir in the shredded coleslaw mix. For best results, refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Stir in green onions and season as needed.

Coleslaw dressing being poured over shredded cabbage and carrots.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 43
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 795mg
Total Carbohydrate 14g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 10g
Protein 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Tricolor Coleslaw
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Patricia Morton
April 19, 2022 - 07:46
How much cabbage do you use?
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May 10, 2022 - 17:13
One pound of shredded coleslaw mix!
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