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Smoky spicy cole slaw recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Smoky spicy cole slaw, perfect for picnics and barbecues.

Every day, green shoots (chives! daffodils!) appear in the garden where snow and mud used to be, so I'm pushing the season and planning ahead for picnics and porch dinners. You really can't have a party without cole slaw, at least not in New England. There's nothing wrong with the traditional cabbage-and-mayo recipe, but this smoky spicy cole slaw seems tailor-made for barbecue. I love to make it with Rhode Island's own Cowboy Ketchup, a magical blend of ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce flavors; you can swap in your own favorite homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce. To keep this slaw on the lower-fat side, I use two parts nonfat Greek yogurt to one part mayonnaise. Make the slaw a day or two in advance, and serve it cold, atop your favorite ribs, hot dogs or burgers.

Smoky spicy cole slaw, on The Perfect Pantry.

Smoky spicy cole slaw

From the pantry, you'll need: plain nonfat Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce (or Cowboy Ketchup), hot sauce, lime, kosher salt.

Serves 8.


14-oz bag store-bought cole slaw mix, or 14 oz shredded mixed red and green cabbage
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0%)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Cowboy Ketchup (or your favorite barbecue sauce)
1/4 tsp hot sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of kosher salt


Rinse the cole slaw mix under cold water; drain, and dry in a salad spinner. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients, adding more lime, hot sauce and salt to taste. Add the cole slaw mix to the bowl, and toss to coat all of the cabbage with the dressing.

Let the cole slaw sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, or up to two days in the refrigerator. Toss right before serving.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More on The Perfect Pantry:
Quick and easy Asian pickled cole slaw
Quick and easy cole slaw
Red cabbage salad with walnuts, raisins, feta and warm mustard dressing
Curried apple and pecan broccoli slaw
Blue cheese cole slaw

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Warm cole slaw with chili-lime dressing, from Gluten-free Goddess
Kale and purple cabbage salad, from GreenLiteBites
Vietnamese cabbage and herb salad, from Herbivoracious
Sugar-free cole slaw with agave nectar, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted cabbage slaw with hazelnuts and lemon, from The Kitchn

Need more ideas for how to create salads with pizzazz? Get Dress Up Your Salad, my e-book packed with easy mix-and-match recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. Exciting salad recipes from everyday ingredients can be just one click away, on any computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. Click here to learn more.

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I'm intrigued; never heard of coleslaw with barbecue sauce but I can imagine how it would work. And Cowboy Ketchup from Rhode Island. Who knew?

I've been making and eating a lot of Asian chicken salad lately, and the idea of making an Asian cole slaw with the extra dressing really appeals to me these days. But smoky and spicy--Lydia, how inspired!

Kalyn, the barbecue sauce is a surprisingly wonderful addition to traditional cole slaw. And you know me, anything with a few drops of hot sauce (you could use Sriracha, too) makes me happy.

Kirsten, Asian cole slaw is wonderful (I also make it with broccoli slaw; there's a recipe here on the blog). This version is quite different, but also vibrant. Enjoy!

This will be perfect on a spicy cheese burger.

This seems like a perfect opportunity to sneak in some raw cauliflower! Just saying. ;-)

Carol, that's a great idea.

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