Want healthy meals your kids will love?

Sunshine Coleslaw with Lemon Vinaigrette


This delicious coleslaw gets its bright and tangy flavor from a simple, homemade lemon vinaigrette. And with the addition of extra vegetables, it makes the perfect summer side dish!

Homemade coleslaw with lemon vinaigrette in a white serving bowl with a blue linen in the background.

Why We Love This Crisp & Refreshing Coleslaw Recipe

If you are looking for a light and refreshing side dish, you’ve come to the right place. This Sunshine Coleslaw is made with crispy vegetables and coated in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. Instead of vinegar, this recipe calls for lemon juice, which gives it a nice bright flavor. It’s absolutely delicious, and the perfect addition to your summer meals. However, this simple salad is made with pantry staples and fresh ingredients that are readily available all year long.. so it’s one that I turn to all year long!

Coleslaw with cucumbers and garnished with lemon slices in a serving bowl.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make This Coleslaw:

  • Cabbage– I use a mix of green and purple cabbage, but any combination will do.
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Green Onions
  • Lemon– Use fresh lemon juice! You’ll get a much better flavor.
  • Avocado Oil– You can also use olive oil.
  • Honey– You can also use sugar or maple syrup if desired.
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
Ingredients needed to make sunshine coleslaw with lemon vinaigrette.

How to Make Sunshine Coleslaw with Lemon Vinaigrette:

  1. Shred the cabbage. Using a mandolin, slicer attachment on a food processor, or sharp knife- cut the cabbage into thin slices.
  2. Prep the veggies. Shred the carrots, slice the green onion, and quarter and thinly slice the cucumber. Put them in a large bowl with the shredded cabbage.
  3. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the lemon vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  4. Toss the coleslaw. Drizzle over the vegetables and toss to combine.
  5. Chill. Put in the refrigerator to chill for up to 2 hours before serving for the best flavor and texture.
  6. Enjoy!
Process shots showing how to make coleslaw with lemon vinaigrette.

Tips & Suggestions

I prefer shredding my own cabbage when I make coleslaw, but feel free to use a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix.

Allowing the coleslaw to chill for a bit before serving allows the flavors to meld and the cabbage to tenderize a bit. Although it is best eaten the day it is made, leftover coleslaw should last 2-3 days in the fridge.

This recipe is super adaptable! The dressing is also delicious on spinach. You can play around with the veggies too. Try adding radishes, sugar snap or snow peas, thinly sliced apples, or jicama.

Try serving this coleslaw with bbq chicken, turkey burgers, quiche, or homemade fish sticks.

A close up shot of homemade coleslaw topped with lemon slices in a white serving bowl.
Mayo-free coleslaw in a white bowl with a wooden serving spoon.

Looking for More Delicious Salad Recipes?

Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.1 from 8 votes

Sunshine Coleslaw with Lemon Vinaigrette

Sunshine Coleslaw is a bright and tangy slaw with a refreshing citrus twist.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 87kcal


Lemon Vinaigrette


  • Chop both red and green cabbage into thin bite size slices. Add to a large bowl.
  • Shred carrots, chop green onion and quarter and thinly slice the cucumber. Add to the bowl.
  • To make the vinaigrette, in a medium size bowl add lemon juice and zest, oil, honey, grated garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour over the cabbage mixture and stir to combine.
  • For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving for best flavor and texture. The veggies will start to break down and become a bit watery after 2 hours in the fridge.


Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 420mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3982IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword : Coleslaw with Lemon Vinaigrette


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

Leave a Comment:
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


Just made that tonight — I didn’t have papaya so I doubled the mango and added a finely chopped granny smith apple for extra crunch. SO GOOD!! Thanks for the recipe!