This easy apple coleslaw recipe is one of my all-time favourite side dishes. It's tangy, crispy, and much lighter than shop-bought coleslaw.
The mustard dressing elevates it to the next level, and it pairs so well with so many different dishes.
In summer I serve this crispy apple slaw at BBQs and picnics (usually alongside my halloumi couscous salad), and in winter, with comforting cheesy air fryer baked potatoes and homemade cornflake chicken nuggets.
It's also great for sandwiches and wraps too, not to mention pulled pork!
✔️ Why should you try it?
- It's easy and quick to make.
- Lighter than shop-bought coleslaw.
- Pairs well with so many different dishes including pulled pork.
- Great for feeding a crowd.
What apples should I use?
The tangier and crispier the better, so I like to use tart granny smith apples for this coleslaw. Sweeter dessert apples could be used if you prefer, but you would need to omit the brown sugar from the dressing.
- Apples - Ue tart granny smith apples in this coleslaw recipe, to give it a nice tang.
- Cabbage - Red and white cabbage, shredded finely.
- Carrots - Grate the carrots using a large hand grater.
- Red Onion - Shredded finely to add sweetness.
- Walnuts - Added for added crunch and texture. If you don't like nuts, just leave them out.
- Mustard Dressing - The mustard dressing is out of this world delicious! I mix mayonnaise with Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and lemon juice.
- Parsley - If I'm serving this for guests I like to sprinkle a small handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley over the coleslaw just before serving.
A sharp knife and hand grater are all you need to make this delicious apple slaw. If you prefer, you can shred and grate the ingredients using the grating attachment in your food processor.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post
One: Wash the apples, carrots, and cabbage and mix together the dressing ingredients.
Two: Finely shred the cabbage, carrots (remove excess water if necessary - see tip below), and slice the red onion. Chop the apples, but leave the skin on.
Three: Pour over your dressing quickly, to prevent the apples from going brown and mix thoroughly. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Four: Sprinkle over chopped parsley just before serving.
💭 Top tips
- Prevent your coleslaw from becoming watery by placing your shredded cabbage and carrot over a colander and sprinkling with a little sea salt. Leave for 10 minutes before squeezing out the excess water.
- When shredding your cabbage, first remove the outer leaves and cut it into quarters. Remove the tough inner core before shredding with a sharp knife or food processor attachment.
🍴 Serving suggestions
There are so many ways to enjoy this tangy crispy apple coleslaw.
My kids love it with Cornflake chicken nuggets and crispy polenta roast potatoes, for a filling and healthy dinner.
It's also great with pulled beef or pulled pork. Just spoon the coleslaw into a roll and top with the pulled beef and pork.
I often enjoy the slaw for lunch, in wraps or sandwiches. Cooked turkey or chicken slices go particularly well with it as does this flavourful halloumi couscous salad.
- Make the dressing lighter by using low-fat mayonnaise.
- Swap the finely sliced red onion for chopped spring onions.
- Add in finely shredded fennel.
- Use kale instead of cabbage.
- Swap the walnuts for pecan nuts.
- Add a handful of grated extra mature cheddar cheese for apple and cheese coleslaw.
Make the homemade coleslaw up to one day before and store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
It's best eaten within a couple of days of making it. You'll find it will gradually start to lose its crispness over time.
More savoury recipes where apple is the star of the show!
More delicious sides from the Effortless Foodie kitchen.
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Easy Apple Coleslaw
- ½ White Cabbage shredded
- ½ Red Cabbage shredded
- 1 Carrot grated
- 1 Red Onion finely sliced
- 2 Apples skin on and chopped (squeeze over a little lemon juice to prevent browning)
- 50 g Walnuts
- 1 tablespoon Flat Leaf Parsley chopped
For the dressing
- 75 g Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
- ½ Lemon juice only
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, dark brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside75 g Mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar, ½ Lemon, ½ teaspoon Salt, ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Place the shredded cabbage and carrot in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 10 minutes before squeezing out any excess water.½ White Cabbage, ½ Red Cabbage, 1 Carrot
- Place the cabbage, carrot, red onion, apples (chop these last to prevent them from browning) and walnuts in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix to combine.1 Red Onion, 2 Apples, 50 g Walnuts
- Serve with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. Season with salt and pepper.1 tablespoon Flat Leaf Parsley
Lauren Vavala | DeliciousLittleBites
I just love the idea of adding apples and walnuts to coleslaw! The added sweetness and texture is perfection.
Love that this is such a lighter option as a side dish! Pairs perfectly with any BBQ!
I am just loving the addition of the sweet apples to this! The perfect side dish for a summertime BBQ. 🙂
Coleslaw is one of my faaaavorite summer side dishes. I honestly had never thought about using apples, but it obviously makes sense. It adds a nice extra bit of crunch and sourness from the Granny Smith. Your photos are gorgeous!
Delicious, fresh flavours - this apple coleslaw makes for a fabulous side dish, and is simple to prepare!
Patricia @ Grab a Plate
Coleslaw is a favorite of mine all summer long! Love the added apple in this one, and the dressing is divine!
I love coleslaw anytime and the apples add so much nutrition and flavor. This is the perfect recipe and totally hassle-free. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Love all the textures and different bites in this coleslaw salad. Apples and red onions - love that flavor combo. Can't wait to make it soon. Thanks for sharing.
Ilove apples and red onion together too
I adore apple slaw. So much flavour and lovely and sweet too.
I love the differentness of this recipe. It is definitely going to be one of my favorites in the future.
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
A beautiful coleslaw, Beth! I know it's most popular in summer, but I don't think I'll wait for summer to make a big batch of this!