I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I bulk up burgers with chopped mushrooms, add beets to my morning smoothie and sneak shredded zucchini into casseroles. Coleslaw recipes are already packed with crunchy cabbage, so why not add extra raw vegetables to make a fresh veggie slaw? Brassicas like cauliflower and broccoli make the dish hearty and filling, while chopped tomatoes introduce a juicy flavor and lightly acidic taste. Put it all together with a creamy dressing, and you have a healthy side dish that tastes just like comfort food.
It’s easy enough to transform vegetable slaw into a quick salad, too. If you chop the broccoli and cauliflower into larger pieces (like we do in our broccoli slaw recipe), the slaw gets some serious salad vibes. From there, top the dish with grilled meat or vegetables, and dinner is served!
Ingredients for Fresh Veggie Slaw
- Shredded cabbage: You can absolutely use bagged coleslaw mix from the grocery store, but learning how to shred cabbage is an easy way to save money. Use a knife, a box grater, a mandoline or a food processor to transform cabbage heads into usable shreds.
- Broccoli and cauliflower: These brassica vegetables contribute color and crunch to this vegetable slaw recipe. Use Ina Garten’s advice for how to cut cauliflower without making a mess on the counter.
- Plum tomatoes: You’ll probably find this type of tomato labeled as Roma tomatoes at the grocery store. Feel free to swap in heirloom or cherry tomatoes if you like. Those varieties have a higher moisture content than plum tomatoes, so you may need to drain excess moisture from the slaw before serving.
- Creamy dressing: The combination of sour cream, mayonnaise and cider vinegar creates the perfect coating for hearty vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
Step 1: Make the dressing
In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Editor’s Tip: Make the dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, covered, where it should be good for up to two weeks.
Step 2: Combine the vegetable slaw
In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes, broccoli florets, cauliflowerets and red onion. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about one hour.
Fresh Veggie Slaw Variations
- Use low-fat ingredients: Turn fresh veggie slaw into a low-calorie recipe by by substituting low-fat sour cream or light mayonnaise. Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for less fat and more protein.
- Add a little tang: If you like your coleslaw dressing on the tart side, add extra vinegar or a splash of lemon juice. Adding julienned Granny Smith apples, like in our apple coleslaw is a great way to incorporate tangy flavor, too.
- Make cabbage-free slaw: Looking for a substitute for cabbage in coleslaw? Try using broccoli stems, Brussels sprouts, beets, fennel or kale. Shave or finely chop the vegetables so they have a similar texture to shredded cabbage.
- Include some cheese: Incorporate salty feta, tangy goat cheese or funky blue cheese to the coleslaw mix. Or, try topping fresh veggie slaw with burrata to make it extra decadent.
How to Store Fresh Veggie Slaw
Store vegetable slaw in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. Coleslaw evolves as it rests, so the texture will soften over time. Cabbage also releases liquid after it is salted or dressed, so drain the vegetable slaw just before serving to prevent watery coleslaw.
Fresh Veggies Slaw Tips
What do you serve with fresh veggie slaw?
What vegetable is used to make coleslaw?
Coleslaw generally includes a mix of vegetables like green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots. You can add almost any vegetables to coleslaw. We love including kohlrabi, jicama, sweet bell peppers or radishes.
What’s the difference between cabbage slaw and coleslaw?
The terms coleslaw and cabbage slaw are used interchangeably to describe the same dish. The word coleslaw is thought to have originated from the Dutch phrase “koolsla,” which means cabbage salad. So, technically, coleslaw should contain cabbage, while slaw can be made with any vegetable.