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Vinegar Coleslaw

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This vinegar coleslaw is inspired by the red slaw served with North Carolina BBQ. It has no mayonnaise and is the perfect tangy coleslaw to go along with your bbq.

Red cabbage vinegar coleslaw served in a white bowl.

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A good slaw is one of my must-haves at any BBQ or picnic, and this vinegar coleslaw ticks all the right boxes! It’s the kind of slaw that goes along perfectly with this North Carolina BBQ pulled pork.

The vinegar slaw you find in North Carolina is usually red, hence the popular name called red slaw. Mine is purple..or greeinish brown depending on the kind of cabbage I use.

This slaw is made without mayo so it’s a healthier option compared to a creamy slaw. Low in fat and calories, it’s one tasty side you can feel good about enjoying!

This is great to serve on top of my air fryer hot dogs or turkey burgers, or as a side for your favorite BBQ meats.

How to make vinegar slaw

  • Gather your ingredients. Chop your cabbage and green onion.
Ingredients for the vinegar coleslaw on a marble work surface.
  • Add your chopped cabbage, chopped green onion, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to a large bowl.
The ingredients for the slaw in a white bowl.
  • Stir until thoroughly combined.
A wooden spoon mixing the ingredients together.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy.

How long does it keep?

Once you have made your slaw, keep it covered in the fridge and it will keep well for around 3 to 4 days. After a day, the cabbage will start to release some liquid into the bowl, so you may want to strain this additional water before serving.

If you can, let the slaw sit for at least one hour before serving to let the flavors develop, and overnight is preferable.

Can you use green or red cabbage?

You can use either in this vinegar coleslaw recipe. I love the vibrancy of the red, and I think it works so well with BBQ meats like brisket and ribs, but green will work just as well.

I find the flavor of green cabbage to be slightly more peppery and red to be a little sweeter, so go with whatever you love!

What’s the best way to shred cabbage?

For this slaw, I wanted to really finely shred the cabbage, so the best way to do this is in a food processor.

  1. Remove the core of the cabbage.
  2. Cut into large pieces and place in the food processor.
  3. Shred.
  4. Remove and process the green onions.
Four step by step photos to show how to shred the cabbage.

If you prefer a chunkier slaw, you can of course cut the cabbage by hand into strips. You can also use a vegetable peeler to shred it quickly; cut the cabbage into quarters and run the peeler down the cut side.

I prefer this vinegar slaw to be super fine, but either way works well.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • For best flavor, chilling overnight is recommended. This allows for the flavors to develop and meld together.
  • Eat as a side or top on your favorite BBQ, hot dogs, or hamburgers.
  • You can use green or red cabbage for this recipe.
  • If you do prefer a creamier slaw, you can mix in a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Close up of a wooden spoon in the vinegar coleslaw.

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Red cabbage vinegar coleslaw served in a white bowl.
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5 from 2 votes

Vinegar Coleslaw

This vinegar coleslaw is inspired by the red slaw served with North Carolina BBQ. It has no mayonnaise and is the perfect tangy coleslaw to go along with your bbq.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq coleslaw recipe, no mayo coleslaw, simple coleslaw recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 101kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • ½ of a medium cabbage about 4 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 ½ Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 dashes of hot sauce

Instructions

  • Add your chopped cabbage, chopped green onion, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, white sugar, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce to a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • For best flavor, chilling overnight is recommended. This allows for the flavors to develop and meld together.
  • Eat as a side or top on your favorite BBQ, hot dogs, or hamburgers.
  • You can use green or red cabbage for this recipe.
  • If you do prefer a creamier slaw, you can mix in a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise.

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 885mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating




Suzanne Howell

Sunday 11th of April 2021

I loved it, my husband thought it was a bit too spicy but he is not a lover of flaming yummy. He loved the fine shred! A very nice change to mayo based coleslaw! We are from WA State...had opportunity for extended visit last year to Virginia and realized how much we westies are missing out on some seriously good cooking!! Your recipes are a hit in this house! Thank you Tanya!!

Tanya

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Thanks so much! These are some of my favorite recipes to share :)

Georgia

Thursday 11th of March 2021

Thank you so much for this! My father was from Tennessee, but we lived in Chicago. He made this sometimes, but I never got the recipe, and this is it! I'll be making it the next time I have some people around.