I’m a texture girl, and I am obsessed with slaws. The crunch, the tang, the infinite variations and pairings… I just can’t get enough. At some point in my slaw eating career, I started to notice that all my favorite slaws followed a similar formula. Veggies, fat, tang, sweet, and crunch. Sure enough, there’s a simple, flexible way to think about tasty veggie slaw that is great for using whatever you have on hand. So without further ado, here is a general template for slawin’ it up all year long.
Formula for a Great Veggie Slaw:
Veggies + Creamy Ingredient + Tangy Ingredient + Crunch + Sweetness + Seasonings
Tips for a Great Slaw:
- With the shredded veggies, the thinner sliced the better, to soak up all that yummy dressing and also because nobody likes a giant piece of raw cabbage in their mouth. You can slice your veggies thinly with a knife, or you can use a mandolin or slicing attachment of a food processor. Or, just buy pre-shredded cabbage or bagged coleslaw mix!
- Don’t skip the aromatics. Fresh herbs make allllll the difference in a slaw. My go-to’s are cilantro and parsley.
- For an extra delicious crunch, toast the nuts or seeds before adding them by tossing them in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes. This makes them super fragrant, delicious, and extra crunchy!
What to Eat With Your Slaw
My favorite slaw pairing is anything with barbecue sauce. I just LOVE the combination of bright and crunchy with sweet and smoky. YUM. It’s like a summer picnic in your mouth. I recommend my Vegan Baked Beans, Easy BBQ Tempeh, or just some chickpeas or white beans simmered for a few minutes in BBQ sauce. If you really want to go all out, pair your slaw with a delicious potato salad. Veggie slaw also makes a wonderful side dish for a heavier meal that is lacking in veggies, such as Easy Cheesy Vegan Noodles.
Fun Dressing Ideas:
Try these dressings out for a slightly different flavor direction:
Want a recipe to follow instead of a formula?
Sometimes you just don’t want to have to make decisions. Here are my go-to slaw recipes:
- Sweet & Spicy Mango Slaw
- Crunchy Cabbage Slaw w/ Peanut Dressing
- Simple 5-Minute Slaw
- Rainbow Crunch Strawberry Kale Salad
I love seeing what you do with these recipe templates! If you make a version of this veggie slaw formula, tag me in your meal pics on Instagram @katiesconsciouskitchen, or join my free private facebook group to inspire others!
Veggie Slaw Formula
- 2 cups shredded veggies, cabbage, kale, coleslaw mix, carrots, grated broccoli stems
- 1 tbsp creamy ingredient, mayo, olive oil, tahini, yogurt, or pre-made dressing of choice
- 2 tbsp acidic ingredient, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp nuts or seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, crushed peanuts, cashew pieces, sesame seeds
Sweet Ingredient (Choose One)
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped fruit, apples, mango, peach, berries
- 1/4 cup dried fruit, cranberries, raisins
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice, honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
Aromatic Fresh Herbs
- 1 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
Seasonings (Choose a Few, To Taste)
- pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- dab of Dijon mustard, to taste
- pinch of celery seeds, to taste
- pinch of cumin, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced finely or pressed
- First mix together the creamy ingredient and tangy ingredient in a cup with a fork to make a dressing (e.g. mayo and vinegar or oil and lemon juice). Stir in your seasonings of choice, and liquid sweetener if using.
- Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well with your hands or tongs. Gently toss in the chopped herbs, nuts or seeds, and the fruit (if using).
- Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients to taste. Add vinegar or lemon juice for more brightness and tang, and salt to enhance flavor.
- Keeps well in the fridge for a day or two. Be creative! There are no slaw rules!