Recipes | Salads: Main Dish & Sides

Vegan & Low FODMAP Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw


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Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw – No Mayo!

Sometimes you might like a vinegary, light slaw with no mayonnaise or creamy based dressing. This Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw is just that.

It is super crunchy and as colorful as a rainbow featuring both green and red cabbages, carrots, green, yellow and red bell peppers with a light dressing of vegetable oil, vinegar, celery seed and a little tarragon, as well as sugar.

Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw in a white bowl with serving spoon alongside

Sweet & Tangy

Sugar might seem like an odd addition but it is actually found in many coleslaw dressing recipes, including the traditional mayonnaise based kind. It offers a balance to the hefty amount of vinegar.

You could try reducing the amount, but in my opinion it throws off the balance of flavor.

I love to make this Carolina Coleslaw when I am preparing several recipes for a cookout because so many of them end up being heavier or creamy and this vinegary salad offers a counterpoint.

closeup of Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw in a white bowl

It also goes really well with fried chicken and Carolina-style BBQ.

This recipe makes a heap of slaw, so you will be able to feed a crowd! Any FODMAPers will appreciate it – and no one else in the family will know this is a “diet” food.

For a classic slaw with a twist, try our Creamy Coleslaw with Raisins. And for a slaw that you can enjoy year round featuring kale, checkout our Rainbow Winter Slaw.

Note that yellow bell peppers have not been lab tested for FODMAPs. If you are wondering about your tolerance, you can certainly try some. Read our article What If A Food Has Not Been Tested For FODMAPs? for strategy. To keep the recipe strictly low FODMAP, use extra red pepper.

Try our Citrus Slaw, too. Tangy and a little creamy.

Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw in a white bowl with serving spoon alongside
5 from 5 votes

Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw

This low FODMAP Light & Crunchy Carolina Coleslaw is the perfect slaw when you don't want another heavy, creamy, mayo based option on the buffet.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 14 cups (1.4 kg); serving size ½ cup (50 g)

Makes: 28 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 1 pound (455 g) green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 pound (455 g) red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 medium carrots, ends trimmed, shredded
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cored, julienned
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored, julienned
  • 1 cup (240 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss the two cabbages, the carrot and all of the bell peppers together in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, celery seed, mustard and tarragon. Taste and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the veggies, tossing as you go. Coat evenly but do not over-dress. You might not use all of the dressing. Your Carolina Coleslaw is ready to serve but improves upon sitting for about 30 minutes to an hour. Slaw can also be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight. Serve at a cool temperature but not cold.



Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Calories: 82kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 9mg | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.

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