If you are a fan of old fashion coleslaw then this is the dressing for you. This vinegar coleslaw dressing is made without mayo and uses vinegar and sugar for the perfect sweet and tangy side dish.
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You can use this recipe with any bagged coleslaw mix or cut up your favorite veggies. You can even use this dressing recipe on broccoli or cauliflower slaw!
Vinegar-based coleslaw is great as a stand-alone BBQ side dish, but I love it on pulled pork sandwiches. It pairs perfectly with my Tennessee BBQ sauce recipe.
🌟Why This Recipe Works
The flavor is perfectly balanced - not overly sweet or rich, just completely delicious!
The homemade vinegar dressing is warmed and poured over the veggies, resulting in the best texture. Once dressed, the coleslaw is chilled.
It's worth noting that this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free as written.
Vinegar: The star of the show! Distilled white vinegar is what I use, but other types of vinegar like red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used for a sweeter flavor.
Olive Oil: Although I prefer the taste of olive oil in this recipe, avocado oil can be used for a more neutral flavor.
Dijon Mustard: This ingredient adds a subtle hint of spice and complements the tangy vinegar perfectly. Try grainy mustard for a unique twist.
Sugar: A small amount of sugar is necessary to balance out the vinegar's flavor. You can also substitute honey.
Celery Seed- This under-appreciated spice adds a unique but refreshing flavor.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
- Spicy: For those who love a kick of heat, try adding red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce. Alternatively, give our spicy coleslaw with avocado dressing a try.
- Creamy: To create a creamier version, add a spoonful of your favorite mayo to the dressing to make it mayo-based, or try a dollop of Greek yogurt to the cooled dressing.
- Bright: Give the dressing an even tangier flavor by adding a splash of lemon juice or orange juice.
🍲How to Make Vinegar Dressing for Coleslaw
This dressing recipe is enough for approximately 6 to 8 cups of shredded or chopped vegetables.
Make the dressing in a saucepan by whisking together sugar, celery seed, dijon mustard, salt, ground pepper, vinegar, and olive oil.
Bring the mixture to a low simmer, dissolve the sugar, then bring it to a boil and let it cook for one minute.
Pour warm dressing over veggies and toss until coated.
Cover and chill for 2 hours or overnight. The dressing won't wilt veggies, just tenderize them.
When making coleslaw the key is to ensure that the vegetables are thinly sliced and uniformly sized.
The coleslaw should be covered and stored in the fridge for at least two hours. Store any leftover coleslaw in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. I don't recommend freezing.
I do not recommend making this recipe in advance
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional coleslaw uses cabbage (any type of red cabbage, green cabbage, or napa cabbage), carrots, and onions (sweet or red). But you can get creative and add radishes, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or even brussels sprouts.
Vinegar Dressing for Coleslaw
- Small Saucepan
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup distilled vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- In a small saucepan whisk together all the dressing ingredients except the oil. Bring the mixture to a low simmer. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.⅓ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon celery seeds, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ⅓ cup distilled vinegar, ⅓ cup olive oil
- Pour the hot dressing over your preferred slaw mixture (6 to 8 cups). Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
- This recipe is for 6 cups of sliced cabbage or your preferred coleslaw mix.