This easy coleslaw recipe takes just minutes to make. Dotted with vibrant dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts, it’s a crowd-pleasing side dish!

With a vinegar-based dressing, this  No-Mayo Southern Coleslaw is simple and delicious. Perfect for potlucks, summer picnics or to top a pulled pork sandwich!

Easy coleslaw in a white bowl with walnuts to garnish

Easy Coleslaw Recipe without Mayonnaise

Beef brisket was on the menu, and though the recipe offered a grilled option, it was below zero with the windchill, and only the dog was going outside! I’ve made this easy coleslaw recipe without mayo for years as the proportions are so simple, I never need to look up the recipe. It pairs deliciously as an easy side dish with foods like BBQ beef and Cajun smoked ribs, as well as pulled pork and Texas-style beef brisket.

Overhead view of Easy Coleslaw in a white serving bowl

How to make coleslaw without mayonnaise

Also known as a Southern Coleslaw or Carolina Coleslaw, this vinegar coleslaw recipe without mayonnaise is super simple and perfect for summer entertaining. All you need to remember is that the majority of the coleslaw ingredients are measured with a 1/3 measuring cup! A bag of coleslaw mix, then 1/3 cup of craisins, walnuts, sugar, vinegar, and oil. I like to add 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed, too. Now isn’t that a snap to prepare?

PRO-Tip: Make sure to toast your walnuts either in the oven or in a dry saucepan. The heating process draws out the natural oils, intensifying their flavor.

PRO-Tip: If your craisins look a little dry, put them in a small, heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest for about 5 minutes, drain well, then use them in the recipe.

And without mayo, it’s perfect to take on a picnic as there’s less danger of a foodborne illness. Another reason you need to add this easy coleslaw recipe to your menu soon! I served this as a topper to my Oven Braised Texas Brisket.

What else do you like in your coleslaw??? Do you prefer a mayo base or a vinegar base?

Easy coleslaw recipe in a small white ceramic bowl with a gray napkin and walnut halves

More Summer Salad Recipes:

This Easy Coleslaw Recipe was first shared in March 2016. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Easy coleslaw in a white bowl with walnuts to garnish

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A super easy coleslaw recipe with a vinaigrette dressing


  • 1 package coleslaw mix (16 ounces), or a mixture of shredded cabbage and carrots
  • 1/3 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


  1. Place coleslaw mix in a serving bowl. Mix in craisins and walnuts.
  2. In another bowl whisk together sugar and vinegar. Continue whisking as you drizzle in the oil. Mix in the celery seed.
  3. Toss the coleslaw mix with dressing and serve. If you like a wilted coleslaw, refrigerate for an hour before serving.


Recipe adapted from Marion Cunningham.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 1g


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