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Carrot Coleslaw

Carrot Coleslaw with apples, cabbage, sliced almonds, dried cranberries and a creamy coleslaw dressing comes together in a fresh, crunchy side dish. Whip it up to serve with any main dish, or even as a condiment for sandwiches, burgers, tacos, and more.

Big wooden bowl with carrot coleslaw inside and a spoon, ready to serve.

I mentioned in my Healthy Creamy Coleslaw post that I sometimes have an assertive craving for crunchy coleslaw. 

It’s an odd craving, even to me, but there’s something about that crunch wrapped in a creamy dressing with fresh flavors.

The majority of the time, I employ slaw as a side dish or add it to my summer salads for a burst of variety, but it can also be used to top burgers, sandwiches and tacos. You can even turn this situation into a cabbage salad and eat it as a light meal. No one’s judging 😉

While I’m all about traditional coleslaw recipes with cabbage, I recently began making coleslaw carrot-forward. Still with plenty of fresh green and purple cabbage, but using a generous amount of carrots to bump up the natural sweetness and nutrient profile.

I love that there’s a wide array of flavors and textures and lots of colors in this easy carrot slaw recipe. We’re getting the classic creamy dressing, tangy sweet dried cranberries, nutty crunchy almonds, as well as the crunchy fresh veggies and zingy green onion.

All flavors combined leaves us with a feel-good side or condiment!

Big wooden bowl full of carrot slaw with a spoon to the side, ready to serve.

Let’s discuss the fresh ingredients for carrot apple slaw.

Ingredients for Carrot Coleslaw:

Vegetables: Carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, green onions are the veggies in this easy carrot coleslaw recipe.

Many grocery stores carry pre-grated carrots and pre-shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix). Feel free to go this route to minimize the prep. I often do this!

Apple, Sliced Almonds, and Dried Cranberries: These goodies add sweetness, tanginess, and nutty crunch to the coleslaw.

Coleslaw Dressing: Mayonnaise, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, and sea salt. Together, these ingredients make a creamy, citrusy, slightly sweet dressing. You can add black pepper to taste.

I prefer using avocado oil mayonnaise, but stick with any creamy mayonnaise you like.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • For sweeter coleslaw dressing, use 1 tablespoon of honey or substitute the honey for regular cane sugar.
  • If you know you love very saucy coleslaws, double the dressing ingredients.
  • Swap sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped pecans, or chopped walnuts for the sliced almonds.
  • Use raisins instead of dried cranberries.
  • Substitute julienned broccoli for the cabbage for broccoli slaw.
  • Use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • Red onion is a lovely addition! Just be sure to cut the onion very finely and use no more than a few tablespoons, as it can become overpowering rather quickly.
  • If the people you’re serving don’t like mayonnaise, you can substitute it for plain Greek yogurt or use 1/4 cup of olive oil or avocado oil.

Now that we’ve covered the main ingredients, let’s make this healthy carrot slaw!

Wooden bowl of carrot apple slaw with cabbage, dried cranberries and green onion.

Note that you will need a very large mixing bowl to make this recipe, because the vegetables take up a great deal of space.

How to Make Carrot Coleslaw:

Combine the ingredients for the coleslaw dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup and mix until creamy. Either refrigerate (for up to 4 days) until ready to use or set aside while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe.

Note: if you prefer your coleslaw saturated in dressing, double the recipe for more dressing.

Measuring cup full of coleslaw dressing.

Use a box grater to grate the carrots and thinly slice the cabbage with a sharp knife. Chop the green onions (using only the green parts of the onions and discarding the white parts). Peel and cut the apple into thin matchsticks.

Note: if you have a food processor with the grating attachment, you can use it to grate all of the vegetables super quickly! This will minimize the prep work.

Transfer the carrots, cabbage, green onions, and apple to a very large bowl, along with the sliced almonds and dried cranberries.

Bowl full of carrot slaw ingredients.

Pour all of the creamy coleslaw dressing into the mixing bowl and mix well until everything is coated in a light coat of dressing. 

Mixing bowl with veggies and ingredients for coleslaw with dressing being poured in.

Serve with your main dish and any additional side dishes. Use this delicious coleslaw as a side dish or a condiment. It’s delicious on fish tacos, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, or add it to salads. It pairs marvelously with pulled pork sandwiches or pork roast, so file this recipe away for your next BBQ.

Store coleslaw in the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (don’t worry, the apple stays fresh!).

Coleslaw tastes even better the next day, or the 2-3 days following prep. For this reason, coleslaw is a great recipe to make ahead of time. 

And that’s it! An easy side dish to serve at any gathering no matter the time of year.

Make homemade coleslaw for all your gatherings as a healthier option for side dishes.

You can use this easy slaw for meal prep if you’re like me and you love making huge salad recipes during the warm summer months. It saves very well, so you can use it for up to 5 days following prep for the best results.

Carrot coleslaw in a large bowl ready to serve.

If you’re looking for more healthy side dishes, check out these reader favorites.

More Healthy Side Dishes:

May all your meals include slaw!

Carrot coleslaw in a large bowl ready to serve.
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4.43 from 7 votes

Carrot Coleslaw

A crunchy, delicious healthy side dish or condiment that is full of color and texture! Make this easy carrot coleslaw recipe any time you're serving guests or having a BBQ for a light and refreshing vegetable side dish.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Side Dishes & Snacks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 Servings
Calories: 138kcal
Author: Julia

Ingredients

Carrot Slaw:

  • 1 pound carrots grated
  • 2 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 cups green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 gala apple julienned
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

For the Dressing

  • cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients for the coleslaw dressing in a small bowl or measuring cup and mix until creamy. Either refrigerate (for up to 4 days) until ready to use or set aside while you’re preparing the rest of the recipe. Note: if you prefer your coleslaw saturated in dressing, double the recipe for more dressing.
    Measuring cup full of coleslaw dressing.
  • Use a box grater to grate the carrots and thinly slice the cabbage with a sharp knife. Chop the green onions (using only the green parts of the onions and discarding the white parts). Peel and cut the apple into thin matchsticks. Transfer the carrots, cabbage, green onions, and apple to a very large bowl, along with the sliced almonds and dried cranberries.
    Bowl full of carrot slaw ingredients.
  • Pour all of the creamy coleslaw dressing into the mixing bowl and mix well until everything is coated in a light coat of dressing. Taste the carrot apple slaw for flavor and add more sea salt, dried cranberries, or lemon juice to your personal taste.
    Mixing bowl with veggies and ingredients for coleslaw with dressing being poured in.
  • Serve with your main dish and any additional side dishes. Use this delicious coleslaw as a side dish or a condiment. It’s delicious on fish tacos, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, or add it to salads.
    Wooden bowl of carrot apple slaw with cabbage, dried cranberries and green onion.

Notes

If you have a food processor with the grating attachment, you can use it to grate all of the vegetables super quickly! This will minimize the time and prep work.
Store coleslaw in the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (don’t worry, the apple stays fresh!).
Coleslaw tastes even better the next day, or the 2-3 days following prep. For this reason, coleslaw is a great recipe to make ahead of time.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 12) | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 114mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 11g

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Recipe Rating




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Sylvia W

Monday 3rd of July 2023

Wow! Talk about eating a rainbow! This has me drooling just looking at the pictures! Definitely making this asap!

Julia

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Aww happy to hear it! I love how it turns out! We can't get enough :)

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