This Paleo Classic Creamy Coleslaw is light, fresh and perfect for a summer barbecue. It takes just 20 minutes to make and can easily be adapted to be Whole30 or Vegan.Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Creamy coleslaw is my go to salad at a summer barbecue. You don’t have to worry about it getting mushy in the summer heat like a lot of lettuce based salads and it’s always a hit with everyone. Unlike some creamy coleslaw recipes that are quite greasy and weighed down with a heavy dressing, this one is light and fresh. This is a slightly jazzed up version of creamy coleslaw thanks to the addition of apple slices for sweetness and sunflower seeds which add a nice crunch. 




Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Why you are going to love this Classic Creamy Coleslaw:

  • It’s quick to make: It’s a quick and easy coleslaw to prepare and comes together in less than 15 minutes. 
  • It’s so tasty: It’s creamy, crunchy, slightly sweet and so good! 
  • You can prepare it in advance: You can make it a few hours in advance, or alternatively prepare the salad mix and dressing a few days in advance and store separately in the fridge. 
  • It’s a crowd pleaser: This paleo coleslaw is always the first thing to disappear at a barbecue. I always get compliments on how flavourful it is. 
  • It’s adaptable depending on your diet: Make it vegan with vegan mayonnaise, or Whole30 by skipping the honey in the dressing

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

What you will need to make this Paleo Coleslaw:

  • Cabbage: I like using a combination of shredded purple and white cabbage which I shred myself but to save time you can use store bought coleslaw mix. If you are shredding the cabbage yourself, you can use a mandoline, shred it with a knife, or I actually prefer to use a vegetable peeler which sounds odd but results in really fine shreds. 
  • Carrots: Many store bought coleslaw mixes include carrot so there is no need to add more. I like using a julienne peeler to cut the carrot into matchstick sized pieces that are larger and more firm then shredded carrot which can be made using a box grater. 
  • Apple: While not a normal addition to traditional coleslaw recipes, I love the sweetness that it adds. I usually use something on the sweeter side like Fuji or Gala but any variety of apple would work. I cut the apple into matchsticks with a knife but you could also use a mandolin or julienne peeler.
  • Sunflower Seeds: I like adding sunflower seeds to the salad for a bit of crunch but pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts would also work well.
  • Parsley
  • Red Onion: this adds a nice sharpness of flavour to the salad. You could alternatively use sliced shallots in place of the red onion. 

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Tips for making this Classic Creamy Coleslaw:

  • Make it ahead: The flavours and textures of this coleslaw improve after sitting for 30+ minutes. I recommend making it an hour in advance and leaving it to rest before serving. If making the salad any more than 4 hours in advance, leave the apples out and wait to add them in until right before serving, this will prevent them from browning. 
  • Make it Vegan: Use vegan mayonnaise to make the coleslaw vegan. 
  • Save time: Buy a pre shredded coleslaw mix to save time

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Here are a few cabbage recipes you will enjoy:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Every Last Bite
This Paleo Classic Creamy Coleslaw is light, fresh and perfect for a summer barbecue. It takes just 20 minutes to make and can easily be adapted to be Whole30 or Vegan. Leftovers will last for up to 3 days in the fridge.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Diets Gluten Free, Grain Free, Keto, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, Whole30
Servings 4
Calories 197 kcal


  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage*
  • 4 cups shredded white cabbage*
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional, omit for Whole30)


  • Place the shredded red and green cabbage, carrots and sliced red onion in a bowl.
  • To julienne the apple, cut it into quarters and remove the core. Cut each quarter into slices 1/8th inch thick. Stack the slices on top of each other and cut them into matchstick sized pieces. You could also achieve this size of apple slice by using a mandolin. Place the julienned apple slices in the bowl with the other ingredients.
  • In a small bowl whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust the flavours as desired by adding more vinegar, mustard etc.
  • Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss to ensure everything is well coated. Add in the chopped parsley and sunflower seeds and toss one more time before serving.


*or alternatively you can use 20 oz of premade coleslaw mix in place of the shredded cabbage
Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 5gFat: 12gSodium: 589mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9g
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