Damn Delicious

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw

Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Summer has officially hit, actually it hit like 3 weeks ago, with its scorching hot 90+ degree F weather so for this week’s installment of #SundaySupper, we are beating the summer heat by bringing you recipes that can be prepared quickly and without the use of an oven. That being said, I bring you a quick and easy coleslaw with a secret ingredient: granny smith apples. I was definitely a bit skeptical about the apples but it actually brought such a nice, refreshing tartness to the slaw that was very well balanced with the lemony-poppy-seed dressing. Plus, it’s such a nice twist on boring old, traditional coleslaw. Best of all, it serves as the perfect side dish to almost anything!

So here’s how you make this:

You’ll need some green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and apple. You could alternatively use a store-bought coleslaw mixture and add in the apples.

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Next we’ll make the dressing with some mayo, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper.

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Then we’ll dump the dressing into the cabbage mixture and give it a good stir.

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Be sure to let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavors really meld.

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw - Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw

Wonderfully tangy and refreshing, and the perfect side dish to any meal!

1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and apple.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Pour mixture over cabbage mixture and stir using a rubber spatula until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  4. Serve cold.

Adapted from Bitchin’ Camero.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 137.6 Calories from Fat 100.8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11.2g 17%
Saturated Fat 1.6g 8%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 1.7mg 1%
Sodium 43.2mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 9.8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2.1g 8%
Sugars 5.9g
Protein 1.1g 2%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Skipped the Mayo! I skipped the Mayo and added a tbs of maple syrup. Bomb! Excellent slaw that’s in the fridge right now chilling. Will add sunflower seeds before serving. 

  2. Rated 4 out of 5

    Just made this and used the best of all of the reviews. Added the red cabbage right before eating for extra crunch and no pink salad. Added 1 TBSP of sugar to even out the flavours and sunflower seeds right before serving for added texture (so you don’t need salt in the recipe). Delicious slaw – I’ll be making all summer long. Thank you!

  3. Rated 3 out of 5

    I made this yesterday, but wasn’t happy with how it turned out after following what was written, so I ended up tweaking it to my preferences.

    I used a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil in this, and found the olive-y flavor to be intrusive and awkward with the other ingredients. If I ever make this again, I will use a neutral-flavored oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower.

    The recipe was unclear on whether the intended lemon was small or large – the internet recommends anywhere from 2 to 5 Tablespoons of juice depending on what size lemon. I decided to go with 3 Tbsp, and the sauce came out very watery and acidic. After adding salt and pepper to taste, the taste was still sparse, almost bland.

    I ended up adding several more Tablespoons of mayo for creaminess, a few drizzles of honey to cut the acidity, and a few shakes of onion powder to round out the flavor profile a bit.

    Recipe as written, I’d give 2 to 2 1/2 stars. Recipe potential (as I adjusted it), maybe 3 1/2 to 4 stars. Averages out to 3 stars for me.

    For those asking about making it ahead, the flavors do meld more by the next day, but if you mind the texture softening and the sauce turning pink, you will probably want to make this fresh. I personally like it better left over, but my 5 kids don’t like it any better today than they did yesterday.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    We had the best version I could come up with of this coleslaw this evening with a grilled and basted ham steak. It was the perfect compliment as a side. Unfortunately, I did not have almonds or cranberries and used a Granny Smith apple (that’s what I had), but otherwise basically followed the recipe and adjusted sweetness and pepper just before serving. It was very good and the family really liked this ‘slaw version. I did kosher the cabbage this time, but I may not do that next time. Overall, it was a nice change and very flavorful.

  5. Rated 5 out of 5

    Went very well with pulled pork sandwiches. I did add sugar to the recipe but we like sweet slaw

  6. This is my new favorite salad, i enjoyed so much!
    Thanks for sharing awesome recipes!

  7. I am trying to vary my salad dishes for the summer and this coleslaw is very impressive. I have saved it to my favorites and I think it will be delicious. Thank you so much for this attractive and healthy salad.

  8. Huh. I don’t know what went wrong here. This just wasn’t really good. :/ Maybe my Granny Smith apple was flavorless…or there wasn’t enough salt? Just really bland. 🙁

    • I’m sorry that this recipe did not turn out the way you had imagined. I only post recipes that have been successfully tested in my own kitchen, and as you can see from the comments here, many of these readers have had great outcomes in the final dish as well.

      So I must ask – did you follow the recipe exactly as written without any substitutions?

  9. Great recipe. I add sunflower seeds for texture. It worked!

  10. Hey I have a question.  This looks fabulous but I dont have apple cider vinegar on had do you think substituting it for something else would work and still taste yummy?

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment.

  11. How many calories is in this?

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, I recommend using free online resources at your discretion (you can Google “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

  12. How far in advance can this be made? Will the apples discolor? Looks deelish!!

    • Lori, unfortunately, I cannot really say with certainty as I have never tried making this ahead of time. Please use your best judgment.

    • I made mine ahead of time, but didn’t mix the dressing with the slaw until an hour before. 

  13. Would it be weird to substitute chia for the poppy seeds?

  14. This was SOOO good! Thank you!

  15. Do you have any nutritional data on this? How many calories?

    • Nutritional information is provided only for select and new recipes at this time. However, if it is not available for a specific recipe, it is best that you use free online resources at your discretion (you can gooogle “nutritional calculator”) to obtain such information.

  16. What should I do if I do not have any poppy seeds? 🙁

  17. I’ll bet this would make an excellent topping for chicken burgers!

  18. This coleslaw was great! I added a teaspoon full of raw honey and some yellow raisins to sweeten it up just a touch. I served it with some grilled mango habenero chicken breast and it was fantastic!

  19. This coleslaw was out of this world! I used Greek Yogurt instead of mayo to make it a little healthier, and people who swear they hate coleslaw loved this! Your recipes are wonderful, thank you for sharing them with us!

  20. I made this but added pecans and red seedless grapes. Yummy!!

  21. is there anything non dairy to substitute for the mayo. Someone would be eating this that hates anything white/creamy

    • Unfortunately, without further recipe testing, I cannot advise an appropriate substitute that will not alter the overall taste/texture of the dish. Using a substitution may also result in a mediocre outcome.

    • Try Veganaise. It’s a perfect substitute for mayo.

    • I know this is an old question but for anybody else who might come across this… There is no dairy in mayonnaise. It’s an egg/oil emulsion with vinegar or lemon juice plus salt.

  22. I’m a personal trainer and always looking for new light and fresh sides. This looks so refreshing!


  23. Yummy, excellent recipe. Super cheap for me, too. This will be a regular for us from now on

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  25. Yummy was a hit!!! Also added a teaspoon of sugar to cut tartness. …

  26. Yum. Just made this. YUM! I forgot to get carrots at the store, so I subbed zucchini and its still delicious. I found it a tad tangy and added a little Agave, which worked perfectly for my palette. As always thanks. Love the photos! Now I’m going to make your avocado egg rolls.

  27. Damn delicious, indeed! I just made this to have with pork this week–it’s amazing! Perfectly tangy, sweet, and super crunchy. I don’t know if I can leave it alone or if it will last the week.
    As always–love your recipes. They definitely make me the envy of the staff lounge at lunches.

  28. My coleslaw turned pink! Any tips on preventing this? I had to add a tablespoon of honey as I found it too tangy without anything to balance the lemon juice and vinegar.

    • Unfortunately, I’m not too sure what caused the coleslaw to turn pink as the lemon juice should have prevented any discoloration.

      • I think if you soak the red cabbage in cold water for a 10-15 minutes it will help, but the longer you keep it, the more color will leach into the sauce.

      • Mine turned pink immediately after mixing. It’s the red cabbage leeching 

    • It was most likely the color coming from the red cabbage. I’ve had it happen too. Not sure how to stop it.

      • Hi
        I saw on a  it’s episode of America’s test kitchen.  That when they make Cole slaw they put salt on the cabbage and let it leach out the water ( set cabbage in strainer) for I think a couple of hours.  I was surprised at how much water came out of the cabbage.  Then they rinced the salt off under running water then run through a salad spinners I get rid if that water.  I can’t remember the salt to cabbage ratio to do this though.  The result was better  consistency in the coating of the slaw with the dressing.
         I have a feeling that this would help you for preventing the colors from Leaching out also.
         I am sure it is out there somewhere on the Internet.  

  29. Any advice for someone who thinks this looks delicious but really hates the taste and idea of mayo? 🙂

  30. Very tasty apple/poppyseed/coleslaw

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