If there’s one thing we’ve learned from season after season of summer grilling, it’s that you should never underestimate the power of a good slaw to transform your meal. Crisp and cool, with a subtle vinegar kick, a fresh slaw can add great texture and flavor depth to almost any summer dish — tacos, burgers, and, most of all, pulled pork. On the other hand, if your slaw isn’t up to par, it can really drag a dish down. Pre-packaged coleslaw from the deli counter at your local grocery store may be convenient, but more often than not, you’re getting some wilted green cabbage swimming in a tub of watered-down mayonnaise and sugar. Next time you’re planning a picnic or cookout, try one of these healthy homemade slaws. We guarantee you’ll never go back to store-bought.
Fennel and Cabbage Slaw
Melissa d’Arabian combines purple cabbage with sweet, aromatic fennel and chopped bacon to create a crunchy and colorful summer slaw with just 1 gram of sugar per serving.
Gingered Coleslaw with Golden Raisins
If you prefer a sweeter slaw, take a leaf out of Geoffrey Zakarian’s book and try adding minced ginger and sweet golden raisins. That way, you’ll find yourself using far less table sugar.
Asian Red Cabbage Slaw with Peanuts
Play up red cabbage’s greatest asset — its crunch — by tossing a few crushed peanuts into your slaw for even more great texture. Spicy mustard, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger combine to create a robust dressing that’s low in sugar and fat. Pair it with chicken dishes and the ginger and mustard flavors will shine.
Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
The spicy, nutty flavor of cumin complements a zesty lime juice dressing in Bobby Flay’s quick, mayonnaise-free coleslaw recipe. If you really like it hot, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce and give it a stir before serving.
Healthy Chopped Slaw
This hearty slaw includes two kinds of cabbage — purple and green — plus a touch of carrots. But the secret is in the dressing: a sweet and savory mix that includes buttermilk, whole-grain mustard, pineapple juice and an array of spices.
Lime juice, ancho powder and honey add tangy, spicy, sweet flavors to a crunchy jicama base. This slaw would be perfect with shrimp skewers or another sweet or spicy kebab.
Red Cabbage Slaw
In Bobby’s recipe, earthy-tasting red cabbage is imbued with floral, citrusy flavor from orange and lime juices plus basil and cilantro leaves.
For more homemade slaws, check out these recipes from our friends:
Creative Culinary: Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw
The Mediterranean Dish: Mediterranean Coleslaw and Salmon Bowl
The Mom 100: Spicy Coleslaw
Devour: 5 Ways to Make Your Picnic Slawsome
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Vegan Mango – Melon Slaw with Ginger and Lime
The Heritage Cook: Variations on Coleslaw – How To Make It Your Own (Gluten-Free)
Taste with the Eyes: Ode to the Fish Taco – Fancy Halibut with Cabbage Slaw
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Raw Papaya and Green Mango Slaw
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Fennel & Mint Slaw
FN Dish: 8 Ways to Be in Awe of Slaw