Picnic-ready, classic slaw gets a healthful upgrade – and a flavour boost

Ellie Krieger

THE WASHINGTON POST – Cole slaw is a good friend to me all summer long.

This is the version that’s on my table so often that making it feels breezily familiar – thinly slice the cabbage and onion, grate the carrot, then toss it with the creamy-tangy dressing.

It is cool company for other summer fare, from whatever’s on the grill to picnic sandwiches and salad spreads, and it holds up well in the refrigerator for days, so you can pull it out as needed to fuel the summer fun without missing a beat.

It’s flexible, accommodating whatever ingredients are on hand – any type of cabbage will do, plus any other sturdy vegetable, such as fennel, jicama, bell pepper or radish; and something onion-y, such as scallion or sweet white onion. Sometimes I gussy it up with a sprinkle of caraway, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, and/or add a fistful of dried fruit, such as golden raisins, chopped apricots or cherries.

But this classic slaw doesn’t need embellishment; it is delightful in its simplest form, as written here. Its flavours are comfortingly traditional, but it has an updated, fresh twist that makes it more healthful. Rather than the heaps of mayonnaise of an old-fashioned slaw, the dressing gets much of its creaminess from Greek yogurt with just a little mayo added for optimal richness.


Like a trusted friend, this slaw is a dish that makes life more pleasurable and a little easier. I’m happy to introduce you to it here.


Active: 15 minutes | Total: 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes to eight hours chilling time

Six to eight servings

This slaw has all the familiar flavours of a classic cole slaw – cool, crisp cabbage, sweet shreds of carrot and a kick of sliced red onion in a lusciously creamy dressing.

But this version is much more healthful, because rather than the typical heaps of mayonnaise, it has just a touch, and it gets much of its creaminess from Greek yogurt.

Storage Notes: The slaw can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.


Half cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

Quarter cup mayonnaise

Three tablespoons apple cider vinegar

One tablespoon honey

One teaspoon kosher salt

Quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Eight cups very thinly sliced green cabbage (from one medium cabbage)

Half cup coarsely grated carrot (one medium carrot)

Quarter cup thinly sliced red onion


In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the cabbage, carrot, onion and toss well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight, so the cabbage softens a bit. Toss well before serving.

Nutrition (based on eight servings) | Calories: 86; Total Fat: 6g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 8mg; Sodium: 226mg; Carbohydrates: 7g; Dietary Fibre: 2g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 1g.