Healthier Homemade Coleslaw Dressing


Back in the early days of this blog I published a recipe for “Make Your Own KFC Coleslaw” that was an easy DIY copycat of that fast food favorite. We enjoyed that recipe at our house, and it was something I usually made every summer. But as the years have gone on, I find myself not really wanting to copy the fast food stuff anymore, and instead wanting to make healthier and improved versions of those favorites.

So it was time to give my favorite coleslaw dressing recipe a second look and a bit of makeover. Still homemade – but healthier!

Coleslaw Dressing Recipe - this updated coleslaw dressing is super easy and vegan friendly too!

How To Make Coleslaw Dressing: The Updates

For the most part all of the same type of ingredients are still in this updated recipe, just in slightly revised and smaller amounts.

Because I’m trying to eat more plant-based, one of the first changes I made was to switch out the regular mayo and milk for Helmann’s vegan mayo and almond milk in this recipe. (If you prefer you can still use regular mayo and milk.) I also switched from using white sugar to using just a touch of agave nectar. I also added in just a bit of dijon mustard. The other components are still there in revised amounts: vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and celery seed.  All these dressing ingredients just get mixed together in a bowl so that they can be added to the coleslaw.

How to make healthier homemade coleslaw dressing

My first version of this dressing was also intended to use with a 16 oz bag of coleslaw mix.  Over the years those bags have been downsized and it’s usually a 14 oz bag that you’ll now find in the stores.  This new healthier homemade version has also been adjusted to work better with these slightly smaller bags. Of course, you can grate your own cabbage and carrots but I like to use the shortcut of the pre-made stuff to keep our summertime living a little simpler. 🙂

Simply empty the bag of coleslaw into a big bowl, pour your homemade dressing over the top, and mix everything together well.  I always finish with an extra sprinkling of celery seed for garnish and extra flavor.

Bonus Idea – Cauliflower and Coleslaw Tacos!

One of the ways I use coleslaw is to top cauliflower tacos.  Yes, cauliflower actually works quite well for tacos!  I moisten some cut pieces of cauliflower with water, sprinkle them with some taco seasoning, and then roast them in the oven on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Then I put some of the seasoned and roasted cauliflower in a soft taco shell and add lots of coleslaw on top for a plant based alternative to fish tacos.  (Normally I have a lot more coleslaw than this on my taco – I wanted you to be able to see the cauliflower too!)

Making tacos from seasoned cauliflower and coleslaw

If coleslaw is a summertime favorite at your house too, you might want to give this lighter version of coleslaw dressing a try. It still mixes up fast with familiar flavors but fits in better with vegan and plant-based eating for those who prefer that option.

How to make healthier homemade coleslaw dressing

Here’s how to do it:

Healthier Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

An updated and lighter version of a familiar favorite with vegan friendly ingredients, this homemade healthier coleslaw dressing is the perfect way to jazz up a bag of coleslaw mix.


  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's Vegan Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbl Almond Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Agave Nectar
  • 1-1/2 tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • A few Grinds (or sprinklings) of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Celery Seed (plus extra for garnish)


  • Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Your homemade coleslaw dressing is now ready to go!
  • For ease and convenience, this dressing works well with a 14 oz bag of pre-shredded coleslaw.  Simply empty the bag into a bowl and pour your coleslaw dressing over the top and mix together well.  Finish with a final sprinkling of celery seed for extra flavor and garnish.


Note:  If you prefer a non-vegan option, regular mayo and milk may be used.



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