If you can't imagine a summer cookout without a creamy coleslaw recipe but don't want all the traditional calories, our easy Skinny Coleslaw has your back. This healthy coleslaw recipe has all the classic flavors with far less calories, fat and sugar! Perfect for any summer picnic.
Cole slaw is a classic summer salad but often off limits when trying to keep calories slim. It can be loaded with fat and sugar....but it doesn't have to be!
We've taken all the traditional ingredients and flavors and slimmed them down into a great dish perfect for a side dish or to add on top of fish tacos, a pulled pork sandwich or even hot dogs.
The recipe makes a large salad perfect for potlucks or gatherings! The bright color WW PersonalPoints link in recipe card below.
What makes this skinny?
The biggest calorie contributor in coleslaw ingredients is mayonnaise followed by sugar. You don't think about sugar in tangy coleslaw but that lightly sweet flavor in the dressing is often from a lot of sugar.
We swapped in light mayonnaise and nonfat plain Greek yogurt instead of full fat mayonnaise. The sugar amount is reduced to 1 tablespoons in this skinny version too.
The rest of the ingredients are low calorie seasonings and there is 9 cups of fresh vegetables in this easy skinny coleslaw too.
Deli-style coleslaws can have 170 calories per half cup with 12 grams of fat. Ours has 33 calories for per half cup and 1.5 grams of fat.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Shredded purple cabbage (red cabbage) and shredded green cabbage. You'll need 4 cups of each type (8 cups total). You can shred your own cabbage using the grating disk on a food processor or a box grater. Or you can purchase it already shredded at the grocery store.
Shredded carrots. You'll need 1 cup of shredded carrots. Though you can buy these already shredded we recommend shredding them yourself. They tend to be hard and dry when purchased and shredded, as well as have a distinct flavor that isn't present in freshly shredded carrots.
Light mayonnaise. Choose a brand that has 35 calories per tablespoon. There are multiple brands that have that calorie value; some are more so check the nutrition label.
Non-fat plain Greek yogurt. This is thick, creamy and takes out calories from traditional full fat mayonnaise. We use and recommend Chobani brand which has a great flavor and texture.
Granulated sugar. You'll only need 1 tablespoon.
Apple cider vinegar. One and a half tablespoons cider vinegar gives a tangy flavors without being overly tangy.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice. Be sure to use freshly squeezed juice. This also adds some tang and fresh flavor.
Seasonings. Onion powder, dry mustard, celery salt, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper all make the classic flavors in coleslaw dreeing.
How to make Skinny Cole Slaw
Fill details in printable recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Make the dressing
In a small bowl combine the light mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sugar, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, onion powder, dry mustard, celery salt, kosher salt and black pepper.
Whisk to blend into a creamy coleslaw dressing.
STEP 2. Make the slaw
In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded cabbage and carrots. Toss to mix together.
Add the the dressing and toss to fully coat the coleslaw mix.
STEP 3. Chill
Cover and chill at least 20 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend. During this time the vegetables will soften and the slaw will become more creamy.
Add some green onion. If you like some onion flavor add ⅓-1/2 cup of sliced green onions to the easy coleslaw.
To take out some more calories: you can reduce the light mayonnaise amount and add more nonfat plain yogurt to make the ratio one-to-one. You'd use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of EACH light mayonnaise and non-fat Greek yogurt.
We don't recommend using more yogurt than light mayo because the yogurt will soak into the cabbage instead of coating it.
Slaw mix shortcut. If you don't want to shred your own vegetables to save some prep time substitute a bag of coleslaw mix. You'll need a total of 9 cups so may need mre than one bag coleslaw mix (check the serving size label to ensure you have enough).
Try broccoli slaw. The cole slaw dressing can be used on different slaw types too. Try it on broccoli slaw (you can buy it packaged at the grocery store).
Add some apple. If you like more sweetness add some chopped or grated red apple.
For a nutty flavor add some slivered almonds.
How to Store
Store in an airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator. The slaw will continue to soften and not be as crunchy as it's stored.
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Skinny Classic Coleslaw
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- ¼ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt we recommend Chobani brand
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon celery salt
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- In a small bowl combine the light mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, sugar, apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, dry mustard, kosher salt and black pepper, onion powder and celery salt.Whisk to blend into a creamy coleslaw dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded cabbage and carrots. Toss to mix together.
- Add the the dressing and toss to fully coat the coleslaw mix.
- Cover and chill at least 20 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend. During this time the vegetables will soften and the slaw will become more creamy.
- Use a light mayonnaise that is 35 calories per tablespoon.
- To lighten the calories more the light mayo and non-fat Greek yogurt can be 50/50. Use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of each.
- Add some green onion
- Try the dressing on broccoli slaw.
- For a prep shortcut use premade coleslaw mix. Substitute 9 cups for the shredded cabbage and carrots.
This coleslaw is so good! Definitely keeping this recipe handy for summer barbecues!
Never liked how heavy coleslaw is, so this lighter version is perfect!
Sara Welch says
This was such a quick and easy recipe that does not disappoint! Turned out perfectly creamy and crunchy; loved every bite!
Thanks for sharing a healthier version of this classic! Perfect side dish for our cookouts this summer.
This was such a hit! Took this to a picnic this weekend and no one knew it was lower calorie from the flavor.
I like coleslaw as a summer side but I agree it’s usually not that healthy. Love this lightened up version.
Homemade cole slaw is the best cole slaw and being a skinny recipe is a bonus! So delicious!
Claudia Lamascolo says
Oh This is such a great recipe so flavorful and everyone raved about plus so much healthier and easy!
Gina Abernathy says
Perfect summer side dish. Fresh cabbage slaw is always welcomed for dinner.
Coleslaw is a must at a bbq and this light version looks delicious.
katerina @ diethood.com says
This was amazing!! So fresh and delicious!!
Caroline Y says
Super delicious and easy to make. Perfect for the summer!
This is the way coleslaw needs to be made. I mean, not only it looks amazing but I bet it tastes like it is nobody's business! Love it!
Karen L says
Coleslaw is my all-time favorite. This is delicious! Thanks for sharing.
Sarah Kilmel says
Delicious! This homemade coleslaw really is 100x better than store bought. Perfect for summer bbq's!
This coleslaw is fantastic. Bonus that it's a lighter version. Will be having this a lot this summer.
Ana F says
I loved this Skinny Coleslaw!!! It tastes much better than the full fat version. Everyone devoured it yesterday! Can't wait to make it again.
This is great! I love the combination of red and green cabbage.