This mayo-free cabbage coleslaw with sesame miso dressing is definitely not your everyday basic coleslaw! Fresh crunchy cabbage is tossed with a tasty vinaigrette flavoured with miso and sesame. Make this easy coleslaw recipe to serve with salmon, tacos, sandwiches or burgers.
If the only coleslaw you've eaten is the kind that's smothered in mayonnaise, you're in for a treat when you make this Crunchy Cabbage Coleslaw with Sesame Miso Dressing.
The last time I made Citrus Glazed Baked Salmon with Sake, I was in the mood for fish 'n chips. And what's usually served with fish 'n chips in restaurants? Coleslaw!
I prepped the veggies I had in the fridge, made this easy coleslaw recipe and whisked together the ingredients for one of my favourite dressings: Sesame Miso Vinaigrette.
And once I had this Asian-inspired coleslaw ready, I chopped up a large sweet potato to make these Sweet Potato Wedges to roast in the oven along with the salmon. Fish 'n Chips, Elaine-style!
This combination has become a favourite easy dinner ever since!
❤️ Why you'll love this easy coleslaw recipe
So many reasons! Cabbage is a green vegetable I often pass by when I'm shopping for lettuce, spinach or other salad greens. And yet, it's something I should eat more often.
It's a healthy choice
Like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, cabbage is a member of the Brassica family, those veggies that may help prevent cancer. Cabbage is packed full of antioxidants and it's an excellent source of Vitamins C and K. It's also an important source of fiber. One cup of cabbage contains only 5 grams of net carbs.
Cabbage is cheap! Pound for pound (or gram for gram) it's far less expensive than lettuce.
It lasts a long time in the fridge
It stays fresh for much longer than lettuce. The leaves in a head of cabbage are tightly packed. Less exposure to air means less chance of spoilage. Less food waste is always a good thing!
For the coleslaw
- cabbage: green, Napa, or Savoy cabbage
- carrots: thinly sliced into matchsticks, or cut with a julienne cutter
- bell peppers: any colour
- green onions: also called scallions
For the sesame miso dressing
- sesame seeds
- white miso: Sometimes called miso paste or soybean paste. You can find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, sometimes near the tofu.
- toasted sesame oil or regular sesame oil
- rice vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- honey, or rice syrup for a vegan diet
- sea salt
- Thinly slice or shred the cabbage. Use a julienne cutter or grate the carrots, thinly slice the peppers and green onions and combine all the vegetables in a large bowl.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. When they begin to darken and become fragrant, remove them from heat immediately and transfer them to a small plate to cool.
- In a small jar, whisk the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the toasted sesame seeds and toss with the coleslaw.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Green, red, Napa or Savoy: they will all make good coleslaw. Red cabbage (which is actually purple) will bleed and colour other vegetables so if that concerns you, stick with the other types. A combination of colours makes a beautiful coleslaw.
Napa cabbage is the most tender, but Savoy is the prettiest. I usually use part of a head of Savoy cabbage because I like the crinkly texture and the darker green colour. Like Napa cabbage, Savoy cabbage is often more tender than either green or red cabbage.
Yes! You can toss it with the dressing and refrigerate it up to a day ahead.
👍🏼 Tips for making the best cabbage coleslaw
- Buy a head of cabbage. It will be much fresher than buying a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw and therefore will be more nutritious.
- I use a mandoline slicer to slice the cabbage, but a sharp knife will also work well. You could also shred it with a box grater or with a grating disc in your food processor.
- I use a julienne tool to cut the carrots into long thin strips, but grating them will work fine, too. Red bell peppers and green onions are easy to slice thinly with a sharp knife.
- If you have toasted sesame oil on hand, it will add incredible flavour to the sesame miso dressing, but regular sesame oil will also be good.
🍽 What to serve with cabbage coleslaw
Coleslaw is a perfect dish to make when you're having friends for dinner, as it can be made well in advance. Serve it with burgers, seafood, chicken or any barbecued meal. It goes well with Baked Salmon Patties or Air Fryer Salmon Patties, too.
The sesame miso vinaigrette recipe below will make more dressing than you will need for this amount of coleslaw. Save the remainder for another salad or for drizzling on grilled meats or roasted vegetables.
Or use it with this healthy Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing or this Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon and Sesame Miso Vinaigrette.
🔁 Possible substitutions
This mayo-free cabbage coleslaw tossed with sesame miso vinaigrette is a healthy choice to enhance your dinner. For a change, toss it with this popular Hollyhock Nutritional Yeast Dressing.
And if you love Asian and Thai flavours, you'll love my healthy recipes for Asian Pear Slaw with Ginger and Lime or Thai-Style Coleslaw with Kohlrabi .
When you make this no-mayo coleslaw recipe, please leave a comment and a star rating below. Thanks in advance! Subscribe to my newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
Crunchy Cabbage Coleslaw with Sesame Miso Dressing
- 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced, or shredded
- 1 cup carrots, julienne cut, or shredded
- 1 cup red peppers, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
Sesame Miso Dressing
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon honey or rice syrup for vegan diet
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Thinly slice or shred cabbage. Use a julienne cutter or grate carrots, thinly slice peppers and green onions and combine all vegetables in a large bowl.
- Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. When they begin to darken and become fragrant, remove from heat immediately and transfer to a small plate to cool.
- In a small jar, whisk the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the toasted sesame seeds and toss with coleslaw.
I really enjoy this coleslaw. I only gave it a 4 instead of a 5 because I only rarely use oil. I did add the sesame oil but omitted the other oil called for. I added some water instead. I will add some raw nuts to it for healthy oil. Thank you for this recipe.
Thanks for sharing your adaptations with us, Margaret! Happy to hear you like this coleslaw recipe, too. Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Can the cabbage coleslaw be made ahead of time? Or should the dressing be added right before serving?
Flavour & Savour
Hi Morgan, It's fine to add the dressing ahead of time if it's going to be served on the same day, or even the following day. Enjoy!
Tonight's fare for family will include one of your sheet pan dinners (not sure which one yet!) and this mayo free coleslaw. Can't wait! Thanks, Elaine.
Flavour & Savour
That sounds like a healthy dinner after a busy day of grandparenting! Enjoy!
The thing about sheet pan dinners is that they seem disappear in one sitting, no matter how large the pan and how many items on it. There is something about the presentation that just grabs hungry people. The coleslaw was a hit and I have some dressing left to use for the next couple of days. So easy to put together! I used the Savoy cabbage, but want to try it with regular and Napa in the future, although not sure they will be able to compete with the intense colours of the Savoy.