Amish Vinegar Slaw (Old Fashioned Coleslaw)

8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 7 minutes

Amish Vinegar Slaw or Old Fashioned Coleslaw is lighter and tangier than a classic mayo based slaw. Made with shredded cabbage, onion, apple cider vinegar, and dry mustard.

This is the perfect quick Side Dish that you can bring along to BBQs, potlucks, and family gatherings. Unlike Creamy Coleslaws, the cabbage mixture is tossed with a simple, tangy vinegar-based salad dressing instead of classic creamy coleslaw dressing.

Amish Vinegar Slaw in a jar on cutting board
This Old Fashioned Coleslaw is fantastic on it’s own or pairs well with dishes like chicken salad!


Old Fashioned Amish Vinegar Slaw just might become your favorite coleslaw recipe ever. Its light, tart flavor from the vinegar cider dressing makes it the most refreshing side to enjoy on a hot day. Making it without the mayonnaise gives the homemade coleslaw a lighter taste and more crispy texture that’s sure to make it a favorite dish!

Ingredients for Amish Vinegar Slaw in prep bowls

This is also the perfect recipe to make in advance and store in the fridge. Since there’s no creamy dressing, the Old Fashioned Amish Slaw keeps its fresh texture longer. You can start the prep time a couple of days in advance. After slicing the vegetables, and a brief cooking time for the dressing, all you have to do is mix it all together and cover the dish. Let the coleslaw chill until you’re ready to serve for the perfect make-ahead dish.

Ingredients for Amish Vinegar Slaw dressing in sauce pan

You can put out Amish Vinegar Slaw in a serving bowl at your next BBQ or big dinner. It would taste amazing served over Pulled Pork Sandwiches, or Fish Tacos. You can also serve it along with other fresh side dishes like Creamy Macaroni Salad and Milk Boiled Corn for an amazing and refreshing summer meal.



  • Grated cabbage: The base of this recipe is made with shredded green cabbage. You can buy pre-packaged coleslaw mix, so that you don’t have to shred cabbage yourself. However, a lot of coleslaw mixes have a vegetable mixture of carrots, red cabbage, and green cabbage. For this version, you just want a of head green cabbage. If you can’t find a package of simple green cabbage, you can shred a head of cabbage yourself. Use a sharp knife or food processor to slice the fresh cabbage into small pieces.
  • Onion: Along with the green cabbage, the other vegetable in the recipe is yellow onion. Slice a medium onion into small pieces just like the cabbage, and toss the grated onion and cabbage together.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar is used in most classic coleslaw ingredients. It has a sharp, strong taste, that is balanced out in this recipe by the tart and tangy apple cider vinegar. Together, the two kinds of vinegar make the perfect base for the slaw dressing.
  • Spices: Celery seed, salt, and dry yellow mustard are mixed with vinegar and cooked into a strongly flavored and delicious dressing.
  • Granulated sugar: Between the bold, savory, and tart flavors of cabbage, onion, and vinegar, you need the sugar to balance it all out with some sweetness. Whisking in ½ cup white sugar is the perfect way to cut the more bitter flavors.

Amish Vinegar Slaw dressing in pot


An easy trick to keep your Vinegar Coleslaw nice and crisp is to toss the shredded cabbage in salt. Then let the cabbage sit for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out excess moisture so that the vegetables can stay more crispy. Before tossing together the recipe, rinse the cabbage in cold water, then dry it with paper towels.

Ingredients for Amish Vinegar Slaw in mixing bowl


  • Lemon vinegar coleslaw: For some citrusy flavor in the Amish Slaw, whisk a couple of tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with the dressing. You could also use lime juice if you prefer.
  • Vegetable mixture: Instead of just sticking to the classic green cabbage, you can try tossing some more variety in the vegetable mixture. Green onions, grated carrots, garlic, cucumber, or broccoli would go great. You could also make a pepper cabbage mix with yellow, red, or green bell peppers. (Optional tip: Add honey for a sweet and tangy mix of flavors!)



  • Serve: You don’t want to leave this delicious slaw at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: If you have leftovers, you can cover the quick side dish in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Freeze: This vinegar-based slaw stores a lot better than classic creamy slaw. Carefully seal the recipe and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw in the fridge to enjoy this delicious freezer slaw recipe.

Amish Vinegar Slaw in mixing bowl with serving spoons

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Old Fashioned Amish Vinegar Coleslaw

Amish Vinegar Slaw is lighter and tangier than a classic mayo-based slaw. Made with shredded cabbage, onion, apple cider vinegar, and dry mustard.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 7 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 32 ounces finely shredded cabbage , no carrots or red cabbage
  • 1 yellow onion , finely diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • In a large bowl add the shredded cabbage, onion, and sugar.
    32 ounces finely shredded cabbage, 1 yellow onion, ½ cup sugar
  • Toss well until coated.
  • In a saucepan add the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, celery seed, kosher salt, dry mustard, and vegetable oil.
    ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons celery seed, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • Bring to a boil on medium heat and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature then pour over the cabbage, stirring well to coat.
  • Refrigerate at least for 4 hours if not overnight.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Amish Vinegar Slaw, Old Fashioned Coleslaw

Amish Vinegar Slaw collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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