Vegan Coleslaw Two Ways

Summer treats us to bright colors, abundant gardens, and simple  pleasures – like coleslaw. For most of my life I believed coleslaw to be the shredded cabbage with a mayo based dressing and slaw to the the familiar diced into fine confetti cabbage with an orange and pink vinegar based dressing.  Coleslaw was a side a cookouts and potlucks, whereas slaw was found next to the fried okra on your barbecue plate, on top of your barbecue sandwich and a top a hotdog.  I also nearly an adult when I realized barbecue wasn’t the monolith of Lexington-style barbecue – smoked, chopped pork that I believed it to be.  Debating the merits of vinegar based against tomato or mustard based barbecue sauce is a conversation we Southerner’s will gladly take up, even vegan ones!

Traditional vinegar based slaw is vegan and deserves to share the spotlight with the more famous picnic style coleslaw. This recipe is Piedmont-style slaw I so fondly remember, especially from Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro, NC. Stamey’s published the recipe many years ago, and it’s enough to share with your neighbors. A reduced everything by half for a family cookout – reduction is noted in parenthesis.


  • 6 (3) medium heads cabbage (about 12 1/2 pounds), finely chopped/diced — truly think of confetti!
  • 2 3/4 ( 1 1/3) cup granulated sugar 
  • 3 1/2 (1 3/4) tablespoon salt 
  • 4 (2)teaspoons ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 (1/4)teaspoon ground red pepper 
  • 1 quart (2 cups) ketchup, such as Heinz 
  • 1 cup (1/2 cup) apple cider vinegar 


  1. Mix together the cabbage, sugar, salt, black pepper and red pepper.
  2. Add the ketchup and vinegar and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

If you’re not feeling spicy, the shredded mayo can be ready to go in no time. Always short on time, I reach for the organic slaw mix at the grocery store with purple and green cabbage and carrots.

Super easy and kid approved!


  • 1, 14 ounce package of organic coleslaw mix (purple and green cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer to start with 1/4 of a cup, and see how I feel about it before going all in with the entire half cup)
  • 1 tablespoons sugar (you can go to 2 tablespoons if you prefer!)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


  1. Thoroughly mix cabbage and carrot mix with all ingredients
  2. Chill for at least two hours (and up to overnight) before serving

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