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Tangy Coleslaw Recipe with Sunflower Seeds (optional)

If you’re searching for an easy, refreshing coleslaw recipe with abundant flavor and the perfect punch of tang, you’ve come to the right spot! Yet I must give credit where credit is due… Aaron is the coleslaw-master and maker in this household, and this is the recipe he’s been treating me with for years! With optional sunflower seeds (or beans), you can even work a little protein into your coleslaw- something us vegetarians always appreciate. It’s a cinch to make it totally vegan too. I hope you enjoy this delicious, tangy coleslaw recipe as much as we do!


Find the printable recipe at the end of this post.



What type of cabbage should I use to make coleslaw?


You can use a variety of cabbage to make coleslaw: green, red (or purple), Napa, or savoy. We usually keep it simple with classic green cabbage, though I do like to add some red cabbage for a fun pop of color, extra crunch and antioxidants sometimes too! Use a combination of two different types of cabbage to create more variation in color and texture. You can also use a bag of store-bought shredded coleslaw mix for this recipe. Simply add the dressing to it.


A few notes:


  • Size: This recipe makes a fairly hefty bowl of coleslaw – perfect for a small gathering, an average to large-size family, or like us – enough leftovers for two to enjoy for several days! So, feel free to scale up or down as needed.
  • Make ahead: For the best results, mix the dressing with the shredded cabbage and carrots a couple hours before serving, or even the night before.
  • Leftovers: We typically add all of the coleslaw dressing to the shredded veggies right from the start. Once dressed, cabbage has enough crunch to maintain a great texture – even after several days in the refrigerator! However, if you like your coleslaw extra-crunchy, or if you want to split it into a couple smaller batches, feel free to store extra dressing separately to add later, closer to the time of serving. The dressing is good for up to two weeks in the fridge on its own. 


A close up image of a white ceramic bowl that is filled with coleslaw that contains a creamy dressing amongst shredded cabbage, shredded, carrots, and sunflower kernels, all garnished with a sprig of dill. Sunflower kernels gives a nutty crunch to any coleslaw recipe.


COLESLAW INGREDIENTS


Vegetables

  • ½ medium head of cabbage (approximately 1.5 lbs) – finely sliced/shredded
  • 3 large carrots, grated. Check out our tips to successfully grow your own carrots here!
  • Optional: grated broccoli stalks. Coleslaw is the perfect opportunity to make good use of any broccoli stalks you happen to have around. Peel or cut away any tough outer skin, and then grate them the same way you would carrots. 


Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo substitute
  • 2 Tbsp of mustard (dijon, German, or stone ground preferred)
  • 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cane sugar or 1 Tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste (a few shakes of each)


Optional add-ins

  • ¼ cup fresh chopped dill
  • unsalted sunflower seeds (shelled kernels, roasted or raw)
  • chickpeas or black beans


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. First prepare your veggies: Wash the cabbage and remove any damaged outer leaves. Using about half an average cabbage, finely slice it into “shredded” pieces. Next, wash and grate the carrots (plus optional broccoli stems, if you’re using any). A regular old box grater works perfectly for both the carrots and broccoli stalks! Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large mixing bowl.

  2. In a separate small bowl, combine all of the called-for coleslaw dressing ingredients. Add the optional dill at this time too, finely chopped. Give it a taste test and tweak things as needed, but keep in mind that it should taste quite strong and concentrated at this point. It is going to get distributed over a large volume of veggies, after all!

  3. Now, pour the tangy coleslaw dressing over the shredded veggies. Toss as you go until everything is coated and thoroughly combined. (If you think you’re a little shy on the veggies, only add half the dressing at first, mix, and then add more as needed.)

  4. Next, let the coleslaw sit for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight) in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld. Toss again before serving, especially when enjoying leftovers! The dressing has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bowl.

  5. Last but not least, give your tangy coleslaw some flair! This is optional, but I highly recommend adding a handful of unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds on top of your coleslaw at the time of serving. Seriously. They offer a fantastic addition of flavor, texture, and protein. You can also turn your coleslaw into a protein-rich bean salad with the addition of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or black beans.

  6. Store leftover coleslaw in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use an air-tight container for maximum freshness. Dressing stored by itself is good for up two weeks in the fridge.


Two white ceramic bowls sit side by side although one dwarfs the other in size and is in a rounded square shape. This larger bowl contains undressed shredded cabbage and shredded carrots. The smaller bowl next to it contains a dressing mix of mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and sugar. Above the bowls lies a wood cutting board  with some veggie scraps scattered about of cabbage and carrot.
Creamy coleslaw with shredded green cabbage and carrots is being mixed and tossed with stainless steel tongs. This coleslaw recipe is both creamy and tangy.
A white ceramic bowl is full of creamy coleslaw that has been garnish with sunflower kernels and a sprig of dill. Surrounding the bowl is a sprig of dill, two carrots, half a cabbage heat, sunflower seeds, as well as a cutting board with veggie scraps atop it.



That’s all there is to it!


Well friends, I hope you love our spin on an easy, classic coleslaw recipe – and give it a try with sunflower seeds! This healthy, flavorful dish should be a welcome addition to any gathering or meal. Please consider coming back to leave a review once you’ve tried it! I’m sure Aaron would love to hear your feedback too. Also feel free to spread the love by pinning or sharing this post, and explore our other vegan-friendly recipes below. Thank you for tuning in! Now get to slicing, dicing, and dressing…


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5 from 8 votes

Tangy Coleslaw Recipe with Sunflower Seeds (optional)

If you’re searching for an easy coleslaw recipe with abundant flavor and the perfect punch of tang, you’ve come to the right spot. With optional sunflower seeds (or beans), you can even work a little protein into your coleslaw too! I hope you enjoy this delicious, tangy coleslaw as much as we do.
Prep Time20 mins
Resting time30 mins
Course: Party Food, Salad, Salad Dressing, Side Dish
Keyword: coleslaw, coleslaw with sunflower seeds, tangy coleslaw, vegan coleslaw

Ingredients

Vegetables

  • 1/2 medium head of cabbage (approximately 1.5 pounds) – finely sliced/shredded
  • 3 large carrots, grated
  • optional: 1-3 peeled and grated broccoli stalks

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayo substitute
  • 2 Tbsp mustard (dijon, German, or stone ground preferred)
  • 1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp tsp sugar (or 1 Tbsp honey)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (a few shakes of each)

Optional toppings or add-ins

  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped (added to dressing)
  • 1 handful unsalted roasted or raw sunflower seeds (shelled kernels), as a topping at the time of serving
  • 1 can chickpeas or black beans

Instructions

  • Combine washed and prepared veggies in a large mixing bowl (finely sliced cabbage, grated carrots, optional broccoli stems)
  • In a separate bowl, combine all called-for dressing ingredients. Mix well. Taste-test and adjust salt, pepper, or acidity as needed.
  • Pour dressing over shredded veggies. Gently toss and mix until everything is thoroughly coated and combined.
  • Allow the coleslaw to sit (refrigerated) for 30 minutes or up to overnight before serving. Mix again before serving.
  • Add a sprinkle of sunflower seeds on top at the time of serving.
  • Store leftover coleslaw in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use an air-tight container for maximum freshness. Dressing stored by itself is good for up two weeks in the fridge.


DeannaCat signature, keep on growing

6 Comments

  • Gina Andersen

    5 stars
    Our family loved this recipe! We used 2 of our homegrown cabbages from our front yard. The recipe was simple, delicious and refreshing.

  • Jim Sutton

    5 stars
    So glad I tried this! It is now my favorite slaw. I like the little kick of the spicy brown mustard and the fact that it doesn’t get watery. Thank you Deanna, and thank you Aaron!

  • Christina Looney

    Perfect coleslaw! It’s really similar to the coleslaw recipe I regularly make, but the addition of lemon juice and mustard gives it just a little more flavor with a brighter taste. So good!

  • Marty

    5 stars
    This recipe is SO yummy! Super easy to gather ingredients & whip this up. I added sunflower seeds & black beans as suggested, which gave it a hearty texture and taste. Thanks to Aaron for sharing!

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