Wednesday, July 3

Recipe: Confetti Crunch Coleslaw with Creamy Lemon Caper Dressing

A healthy, crunchy slaw that's made with green and purple cabbage, green onions, carrots, and sweet peppers and tossed with a tangy lemon caper dressing.

Love coleslaw but tired of the same old mayo-heavy recipes? Liven—and lighten—things up with this colorful, flavor-packed version of an all-American classic.

This tasty, low fat slaw is made with yogurt and a lot less mayonnaise than many traditional coleslaw recipes. It goes well with all sorts of summer meals and is perfect for bringing to potlucks, picnics, backyard barbecues, and buffet parties. I love having a bowl in the fridge for a healthy snack or the fastest dinner salad ever.

Recipe below. . .

Confetti Crunch Coleslaw with Lemon Caper Dressing
Makes about 8 cups — Adapted from Memorable Meals to Share with Family and Friends and this dressing
The coleslaw can be fully assembled a day in advance and refrigerated, or you can keep the dressing and prepared vegetables separate, then toss everything together before serving. It's not quite as pretty when mixed up ahead of time, but the flavors are more developed. I think it even tastes good (and still looks fine) after sitting for three days in the fridge.

The optional fresh basil adds an unexpected taste of summer, and the optional Sriracha sauce (I love that stuff) gives it a nice kick. Try one or both, but keep in mind that the flavor of the basil and the heat from the Sriracha will become stronger if the coleslaw sits overnight.

The tangy lemon caper dressing, which is made with mayonnaise and yogurt and lots of Dijon mustard, can be mixed up a day or two in advance; it also makes a great dip. You can use a food processor to chop your cabbage, but I just thinly slice it with a big serrated knife and then roughly chop it.

As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients; they really do make a difference. Hit the farmer's market for homegrown vegetables and this recipe will really shine. You won't believe how much flavor plain old raw cabbage can have.


Lemon Caper Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I like Hellman's/Best Foods)
1/2 cup organic plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or Tabasco sauce (optional)

5 cups finely shredded cabbage
1½ cups finely shredded purple cabbage
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
1 cup finely chopped bell or other sweet pepper (red, orange, yellow, or a combination)
1 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts), plus more for garnish
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)


1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, capers, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and Sriracha sauce (if desired). Let the dressing sit while you prepare the vegetables, or refrigerate until ready to use.

2. In a large bowl, combine the green and purple cabbages, carrots, sweet peppers, green onions, and basil (if using) and toss to mix.

3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to evenly coat. Set the coleslaw aside for at least 15 minutes before serving, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Adjust seasonings to taste and stir in a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice just before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.

More Farmgirl Fare cabbage salad and slaw recipes:
Fiesta Cottage Cheese Veggie Dip Coleslaw (and going on factory tours)

Still hungry? You'll find links to all my sweet and savory Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

©, the seriously slawed foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.


  1. This looks good! I've lost count of how many of your recipes I've kept over the years! I've never been disappointed!

  2. Lemon caper dressing- I am so having this!!! Sounds devine!

  3. Oh Susan this is sooooo good! I just wolfed down half of the bowl :) Thanks for a great recipe for the 4th!
    xo, Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Yeah, that may have happened to me the first time I made this. ;) So glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for the feedback.!

  4. how is this 'light' and/or 'low-fat'?

    1. Many traditional coleslaw recipes call for a lot more mayonnaise and/or sour cream. I've seen coleslaw recipes that call for as much as two cups (!) of mayonnaise.

      My version has a little over 1 cup of dressing that is made with yogurt and just 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and is tossed with over 10 cups of vegetables, so it's definitely lighter and lower in fat than many coleslaws. :)

  5. oooh! You had me at crunch! I love cole slaw and this looks like nice fancy cole slaw


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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