This Easy Pineapple Coleslaw Recipe is the perfect condiment or side dish for all your favorite meals! Sweet, creamy, and made with the perfect amount of crunch it’s a summer dish that’s so tasty you’ll find yourself making it all year long.
When warm weather rolls around, we jump at the chance to take advantage of the fresh produce. With recipes like our Summer Strawberry Salad, Pineapple Watermelon Salsa, and our Chile Ginger Marinated Shrimp, there are so many options to choose from. It’s the perfect excuse to host backyard BBQs and partake in summer cookouts! Especially when BBQ graze boards are involved, and this Easy Pineapple Coleslaw recipe makes for the perfect addition to all your summer meals.
Sweet, creamy, crunchy, and made with a perfect hint of tang, it’s made with fresh produce and simple ingredients for a quick appetizer, side dish, or condiment you can whip up in minutes.
Recipe Characteristics: Pineapple Coleslaw
There are endless reasons to love this homemade pineapple coleslaw recipe, but we’ll keep things brief with just a few. It’s:
- Full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
- Gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free-friendly.
- Ready in under 30 minutes.
- Great to prepare in advance and tastes even better the next day.
- A great side dish for all your summertime meals!
What’s the Difference Between Slaw and Coleslaw?
Although their names are often used interchangeably, slaw and coleslaw aren’t exactly the same things. We’ll explain:
Coleslaw comes from the Dutch word koolsla and was invented by the Dutch immigrants that founded New York. The combination of cabbage and other vegetables can be traced all the way back to Roman times.
However, mayonnaise, a crucial component in coleslaw, wasn’t invented until the 18th century. As a result, coleslaw, as we know it today, is roughly 250 years old.
In addition, slaw (without the cole prefix) is a mixture of chopped raw vegetables tossed with a vinegar dressing. Furthermore, the vegetables used in coleslaw are primarily cabbage whereas slaw can contain any variety of crunchy veggies.
Simple, Fresh Ingredients You’ll Need
For this easy pineapple coleslaw recipe, we took inspiration from the classic side dish and spruced it up with healthier ingredients and a tropical twist. The end result is the perfect balance of smooth and crunchy textures with sweet and tangy flavors. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Slaw
- Pineapple – Fresh pineapple will have the best flavor and texture. However, canned pineapple tidbits or chunks can be used, too. Just look for varieties without any added sugar. NOTE – Reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice for the slaw. If using canned pineapple, drain the can first. Then, reserve 2 tablespoons from the drained portion.
Pro Tip: For extra crunch, toss in ½ to 1 c chopped jicama!
- Cabbage – We use bagged shredded green cabbage, but you could easily shred it yourself. Then, add about a cup of shredded red cabbage, too.
- Broccoli Slaw Mix or Shredded Carrots – Use one or both for extra color, texture, and nutrients.
Note: If using a store-bought coleslaw mix and broccoli slaw, ensure you have 20 ounces in total.
- Red Onion or Shallot – This adds a hint of tang that balances out the sweet flavor of the pineapple.
- Scallions (Green Onions) – Use the top white portion for a stronger onion flavor.
- Cilantro – Fresh cilantro leaves add a sharp, peppery taste. If you’re one of the unlucky people with the OR6A2 gene, feel free to omit it completely.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper – Use as little or as much as you’d like.
- Jalapeño – An optional addition, if you like a bit of heat, chopped and seeded jalapeño adds the perfect amount of kick.
Nutrition Note: As mentioned, you can’t have coleslaw without cabbage! In addition to its satisfying crunch, this often overlooked vegetable also packs an impressive punch of nutrients and health benefits. For example, it’s rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, manganese, and fiber.
As a result, consuming cabbage as part of a well-balanced diet may help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Boost immunity
- Regulate digestion
- Improve heart health
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol levels
For the Dressing
- Pineapple Juice – Reserved from the chopped pineapple, this helps marry the dressing and the slaw, infusing the entire dish with a hint of sweetness.
- Paleo friendly Mayo – This creates the classic creamy coleslaw base we know and love. If preferred, plain sour cream or Greek yogurt can be used in its place.
Vegan Ingredient Swap: To make this pineapple coleslaw recipe dairy-free, replace the mayo with ½ cup vegan buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of plain hummus!
- Lime Juice – Adds a sweet, sour flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The acid contributes to the tangy flavor coleslaw is known for. If needed, rice vinegar can be used in its place.
- Hot Sauce – Technically optional but highly recommended, we love a dash of hot sauce for extra depth.
- Light Olive Oil – Add just a tablespoon before serving as needed to freshen the dressing back up.
How to Make Healthy Pineapple Coleslaw
For the best results, we recommend preparing this recipe in advance so the ingredients have plenty of time to marinate. Luckily, it comes together in minutes!
Prepare the Slaw Base. In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients for the slaw until they’re well combined.
- Make the Dressing. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together until they’re smooth and creamy.
Combine. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, and toss to coat the veggies completely.
- Chill. Place the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to cool and enhance the flavor.
- Serve. Add extra shredded red cabbage for a boost of crunch and light olive oil to freshen the dressing back up. Then, toss one more time, and enjoy!
Pro-Tip: Make this pineapple coleslaw a one-bowl recipe. To do so, whisk the dressing ingredients together in the bottom. Then, add the remaining ingredients, toss to combine, and chill it in the fridge. Easy peasy!
How to Store Easy Pineapple Coleslaw
Once it has marinated in the fridge, leftover pineapple coleslaw can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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Homemade Condiment Recipes
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