No Mayo Coleslaw with Honey Mustard Dressing

Tired of coleslaw slathered in a thick mayonnaise sauce? Change up your coleslaw game by making this sweet and spicy No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw. Instead of a heavy dressing, this coleslaw without mayo is coated in a sweet-spicy mustardy dressing. It’s perfect as a barbecue side dish or on top of a barbecue sandwich.

Love a backyard barbecue? You’ve got to try Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork and Instant Pot BBQ Baked Beans alongside this coleslaw.

No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw is served in a white bowl with other BBQ dishes

The photos and recipe for this No Mayo Coleslaw were originally published on August 15, 2011. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated on June 18, 2018.

Coleslaw. It’s one of my favorite things, especially during the summer, but it’s somewhat divisive in our household.

My husband loathes mayonnaise. Because of this, I can’t make a traditional Memphis-style coleslaw.

After years of tinkering and testing, we’ve found the perfect medium: A Honey Mustard Coleslaw without Mayonnaise. It’s slightly sweet. It has a kick of heat. There’s a little creaminess without mayo! And it’s all kinds of perfect with all kinds of barbecue.

A halved cabbage on a granite countertop

What do I need to make this No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw?

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A bowl of sliced cabbage and veggies

How do you make coleslaw from scratch without mayo?

Break the cabbage down, and chop the carrots and jalapeño. Place all the veggies in a colander in the sink and salt, letting them sit for at least 15 minutes. (The salt will pull the excess water from the vegetables and make it to where you don’t have soggy coleslaw.)

After the veggies have finished their sit, rinse them off, then spin on a salad spinner to release excess water. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve your coleslaw.

Just before you serve the slaw, mix up the dressing in a medium-sized bowl. (If you can’t get it to be smooth, run it through the food processor or the blender.)

When the time is right? Pour the dressing on top of the veggie mix, stir it up and dig in!

Honey Mustard Dressing pours on top of cabbage

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you cut cabbage for coleslaw?

I like to use the food processor* (affiliate link). because it makes the process a lot faster. A mandoline works, too. That said, if you don’t have a food processor or a mandoline, using a sharp knife to slice the cabbage thinly works. So does using a box grater* (affiliate link).

Can I omit the jalapeño?

Absolutely! If you’re not one for spice, you can leave out the pepper altogether.

What does coleslaw mean?

Coleslaw is a cabbage side dish. Normally, it’s tossed in a dressing. Classic coleslaw dressings usually call for mayonnaise, but this Honey Mustard Coleslaw has a creamy, sweet-spicy dressing without mayo.

Why do we call it coleslaw?

According to Merriam-Webster, the name is from Dutch koolsla, which combines the Dutch words for cabbage and salad.

A bowl of No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw

What do you serve with this coleslaw?

No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw on top of a pulled pork barbecue sandwich

Memphis girls like me enjoy our coleslaw on top of a hearty pulled pork sandwich. And yes, I know this sounds weird, but it’s the Memphis way. Just trust me when I say that it’s good because the balance between the meat and the coleslaw is pretty much perfection.

Check out how you can make this goodness at home below…

Pinterest graphic for No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw, featuring an overhead image of the slaw with other barbecue sides.
A bowl of No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw sits on a white background.
Yield: 10 servings

No Mayo Honey Mustard Coleslaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Tired of coleslaw slathered in a thick mayonnaise sauce? Change up your coleslaw game by making this sweet and spicy Honey Mustard Coleslaw. Instead of a heavy dressing, the coleslaw is dressed lightly and perfect as a barbecue side dish or on top of a barbecue sandwich.


  • 1 head green cabbage (around 5-6" in diameter), shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 tablespoons spicy Creole mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed


  1. In the food processor, shred cabbage and carrots. (If you don't have one, you can shred them with a cheese grater or chop them with a knife.)
  2. Dice the jalapeno pepper finely.
  3. Place all vegetables into a colander in the sink.
  4. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes to an hour.
  5. While the vegetables are sitting, mix up the dressing.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, measure out the honey, Greek yogurt, vinegar, mustards and barbecue sauce.
  7. Season with celery seed, and whisk until combined.
  8. Whisk the dressing together until mixed, then set aside until ready to prepare the coleslaw.
  9. Rinse the vegetables to rid them of the salt, and pour into a clean bowl after spinning/drying thoroughly.
  10. Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables.
  11. Mix the veggies with the dressing and enjoy!


This coleslaw can sit in the refrigerator for a few hours. We don't recommend making it the day beforehand, though, as it will become soggy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 619mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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  1. We love coleslaw (and BBQ) in my house. Of course, one of my dad’s “signature” dishes is his coleslaw, so I’ll just have to try it sometime when he’s not around. Also, we totally put coleslaw on pulled pork sandwiches. It’s like heaven!

  2. Your dad just sent me your blog after letting me know about your big weekend. I have to say I am very impressed and will be trying ALL of your recipes. They all look so good.

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