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Homemade Coleslaw { Non Sweet } Recipe

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Delicious Non-Sweet Creamy Homemade Coleslaw

homemade coleslaw
Non Sweet Homemade Coleslaw

I’m going to probably surprise a lot of people here.

I don’t really like coleslaw.

At least I didn’t before this particular non sweet homemade coleslaw happened in my kitchen.

You see, I’m really not a huge fan of super sweet coleslaw. In fact, for the longest time I thought I hated all of it, even homemade coleslaw.

Except that wasn’t it – the biggest problem was, I was eating versions of it with so much sugar in it, it was just too sweet for me.

I wanted to like it. I really, really did. I just… didn’t.

When I ate it, I could tell it was the sweetness I didn’t like – not the rest of the combination of flavors.

Yes, I know – I’m weird. I can’t really explain why I don’t like super sweet coleslaw  but I don’t.  

Mildly sweet coleslaw is okay sometimes but the stuff you get at restaurants or in the deli department is usually much too sweet for my taste.

When I started to ask others how they felt about coleslaw, I was surprised by how many other people didn’t like coleslaw and said it was too sweet for them.

Some mentioned the fact that those veggies shouldn’t really be that sweet together.  I certainly agreed.

I knew it was time to do something about that though.

So I set out to create a Non Sweet Creamy Coleslaw that I could enjoy.

I think I did pretty good if I do say so myself.

This recipe tastes great with a side of baked beans, with some burgers or even pulled pork sandwiches.

On Sunday I will be posting a fantastic recipe we made to serve this with. I am excited to share it.

So do you like your coleslaw sweet or non sweet?

Recipe for Homemade Coleslaw

Homemade Coleslaw { Non Sweet } Recipe
A less traditional, more savory Homemade Coleslaw. No sugar added.
4.44 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Refrigerate 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 2 -3 cups


  • ½ a head of green cabbage shredded
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • ½ onion chopped or shredded
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • 1 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons celery salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper


  • Mix the shredded green cabbage, the shredded carrot and the shredded onion in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk the mayo, white vinegar, celery salt and ground pepper.
  • Blend the dressing with the veggies.
  • Taste the coleslaw to see if you need to add anything – more celery salt, reg. salt or pepper (I even use garlic salt sometimes).If you want the dressing a little thinner, add just a half tablespoon more of white vinegar and then adjust your flavors after that.
  • Cover and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with anything you’d serve regular coleslaw with. Enjoy!
Keyword easy side dishes
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Sunday 5th of December 2021

so so glad to see i’m not the only one who thinks this way!!! i also do not like baked beans because i just can’t get with them being sweet. it makes me so mad because they look so good and i’m from the south so they are served with like every meal!

Nicole Cook

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Madelyn, I am not a fan of sweet baked beans either... ha! I would prefer them spicy and savory. I love beans, just not when they are sweet!


Wednesday 8th of September 2021

My mom used to make a non-sweet coleslaw. I've been trying to get the recipe from her for years and she just gets sidetracked telling me all her complaints in life and never gets around to giving me the recipe. grr! I'm going to give this one a try. I'll eat the sweet stuff but I prefer my mom's. Hopefully, this is it or close enough. :D thanks for sharing


Wednesday 1st of September 2021

Good Morning! I too loathe sweet slaw. I live in Texas, and too much sugar on anything is just too much of a good thing. (For me) Savory is always the way to go. I’m excited about this recipe and had all of the ingredients on hand so I’ll be making it for dinner. I may add a jalapeño for a bit of kick but otherwise I’ll follow the recipe to the letter. I’ll update this evening. Thank you!!

Tiffany H Coggins

Monday 25th of May 2020

Instead of white vinegar, I like apple cider vinegar.

Nicole Cook

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Yes, Apple Cider Vinegar is good too, but has the sweetness I am trying to avoid. :) Good tip though, because you can totally use either.

Karen A Hanzel

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Great observations! However, you are not weird--savory coleslaw was the norm back in the day. My mom, grandmothers, and aunts made savory coleslaw when I was a kid in the 60's, and when I was a teen in the 70's I still had the pleasure of eating savory coleslaws most everywhere in South Dakota. It seemed like I could get it most anywhere. I don't know when this wonderful coleslaw changed into a sweet mess; it crept up on me when I discovered I no longer had a taste for it which is strange because I think this is actually a taste that kids grow into, not out of. It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I started to realize coleslaw had become sweet--EVERYWHERE! Restaurants, cafes, pubs, church basement potlucks, and delis. Moreover the dressings you could buy in the store were super-sweet along with those chopped coleslaw kits. Coleslaw had morphed into sweet yuk-i-ness. Now I make my own ever since I had a tutorial from Mom and make it as often as I can. I also prefer the cabbage to be shredded fine like Mom made it--more potential for the lovely dressing to soak in.

Nicole Cook

Saturday 16th of May 2020

This is very nice to hear. I have spent a lot of time hearing that I was weird for not liking it sweet. lol Thank you for the history, because honestly I did not know it basically started savory. Definitely how I prefer it. :)

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