The Easiest-Ever Mayo-Free Coleslaw For Your Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pulled pork is truly one of the best inventions to come out of the south. Cheap cuts of pork like the shoulder are rubbed with spices and slowly smoked or broiled until it falls apart with a single poke of the fork. The end result is a pile of luscious, mouth-meltingly soft pork that can be tossed with your favorite barbecue sauce and piled high on a bun.
Even when you are planning on feeding a crowd, it is always possible to end up with leftover pulled pork. This is actually a great thing, since leftover pork is even more flavorful after marinating overnight! When looking for a leftover pulled pork recipe, you can't go wrong with a good sandwich. There are all sorts of sauces and toppings you can include, but almost everyone agrees that coleslaw is a must.
Unfortunately, a lot of people miss out on this essential part of a good pulled pork sandwich because they are not a fan of mayo. Whether you gag at the taste of mayo or just want to cut back on the calories a bit, it is helpful to know how to make a tasty coleslaw without mayo for pulled pork. The right recipe can be perfect for sandwiches, and it is also a tasty side at any cookout or dinner party.
The Ultimate Guide to Making Mayo-Free Coleslaw
The key to making a good mayo-free coleslaw is all about the wait time. Without mayonnaise to coat each leaf with the spices and dressing, you need to give your cabbage a little time to soak up all the flavors you use. Another method I used to make sure the coleslaw got as much flavor as possible is using a higher vinegar to oil ratio than you get in a usual coleslaw. Mustard has a naturally emulsifying property, so it helps to keep the oil and vinegar from separating while the slaw sits. To get an absolutely delicious coleslaw that does not need mayo to be packed with flavor, follow this guide.
Mayo-Free Coleslaw Ingredients
- ½ head green cabbage
- ¼ head red cabbage
- 2 carrots
- 3 green onions
- ¼ olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard or 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Finely chop the cabbage and carrots into thin, julienned strips. Chop the green onions into small pieces.
2. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss to combine.
3. Put the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, sugar, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Stir vigorously until the dressing is thoroughly combined.
4. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss them until each piece is coated in dressing.
5. Taste the slaw and see if it needs more salt and pepper.
6. Place the slaw in the fridge until chilled, for at least two hours. It can be left in the fridge for up to 24 hours before eating. Stir before serving.7. Enjoy your mayonnaise-free coleslaw with your tasty pulled pork sandwich!
Mayo-Free Coleslaw Recipe
Head green cabbage
Head red cabbage
Apple cider vinegar
Mustard or 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the cabbage and carrots into thin, julienned strips.
- Chop the green onions into small pieces.
- Place all the vegetables in a large bowl and toss to combine.
- Put the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seed, sugar, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.
- Stir vigorously until the dressing is thoroughly combined.
- Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss them until each piece is coated in dressing.
- Taste the slaw and see if it needs more salt and pepper.
- Place the slaw in the fridge until chilled, for at least two hours.
- It can be left in the fridge for up to 24 hours before eating. Stir before serving.
- If you have a food processor, use the slicer attachment to quickly shred your vegetables into thin strips.
- Those who aren't a fan of cabbage can just swap out the cabbage for an equal amount of broccoli in this recipe to get a good mayo-free broccoli slaw.
- Taste the slaw and see if it needs more seasoning after it is chilled. Taste buds register flavor less at lower temperatures, so you may need more salt and sugar to get the perfect taste.
- To get each shred of veggie perfectly coated, try pouring the slaw and the dressing in a big ziploc bag and tossing it around
Tips for Serving the Perfect Pulled Pork and Mayo-Free Coleslaw Sandwich
Now that you know how to make a delicious mayo-free coleslaw, it is time to assemble your pulled pork sandwich and use up all that leftover pulled pork! The truth is that you only really need three things: the bun, the pork, and the coleslaw. If you want the most basic version of a pulled pork sandwich, all you have to do is split your bun in two and load it up with coleslaw and pulled pork. Keep in mind that it works best when you put your coleslaw on top, because otherwise the sandwich can get a little top heavy.
To spice things up a little, be sure to add in a barbecue sauce. With the tanginess of the coleslaw, my favorite choice is the classic Kansas City barbecue style. This type of tomato based sauce is sweet, tangy, and just a little spicy thanks to the blend of ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, and cayenne. However, depending on your tastes, you might like a spicy mustard-based South Carolina sauce or a thin, vinegar-based Western Carolina sauce.
After you sort out your sauce, it is time to consider more toppings. Pickles are another foolproof choice that adds a little tanginess and crunch to your sandwich. Buttering the bun before you assemble everything is another way to add flavor to the sandwich, and those who love cheese might enjoy a good slice of melty pepper jack or cheddar on their sandwich. Of course, the sky's the limit when it comes to pulled pork sandwiches. I've had sandwiches with everything from avocado to mac and cheese on them, and it turns out that just about anything tastes delicious when combined with some truly excellent pulled pork.
Ultimately, a pulled pork sandwich and mayo-free coleslaw can be anything you want it to be. Following this guide will give you a truly delicious, no-fail meal, but if you want, you can always throw in your favorite crunchy veggie or family barbecue sauce recipe for a personal spin. Leave me a comment below with tips on how you personalize your coleslaw and pulled pork sandwiches!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is coleslaw dressing made of?
Most coleslaw dressing contains mayonnaise, but it is not a required ingredient for making coleslaw. You can make coleslaw with sour cream, buttermilk, or Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, or you can skip the creamy element altogether. Our coleslaw recipe pairs perfectly with pulled pork and it only requires apple cider vinegar, mustard, vegetables, and spices.
How bad is coleslaw for you?
When coleslaw is made with mayonnaise, it can contain a lot of calories. Mayonnaise is a fat-filled ingredient, so adding it to your coleslaw dressing makes the coleslaw unhealthy. If you skip the mayonnaise, coleslaw is actually really good for you! It’s a great way to get a serving of healthy vegetables.
How do you fix watery coleslaw?
Cabbage is a vegetable that contains a high water content, so letting coleslaw sit overnight can create a watery product. For best results, toss the cabbage with the salt and dressing right before serving. If you have leftover coleslaw, you can place it on a strainer before serving it to remove the excess water.
How long before coleslaw goes bad?
When properly stored in the refrigerator, coleslaw is good for 3 to 5 days. You may want to strain out the excess water, though, if you have stored dressed coleslaw in the refrigerator overnight. If the coleslaw is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, it’s best to throw it away as bacteria can grow rapidly at these temperatures.
Can I cut cabbage for coleslaw ahead of time?
Yes, you can absolutely slice the cabbage for your coleslaw in advance. You can also shred the carrots, cut the green onions, and prepare any other vegetables before you combine your coleslaw. We recommend waiting to toss the veggies with dressing until an hour before serving, though, to prevent the coleslaw from getting soggy.