Go Back Email Link
+ servings
a bowl of German coleslaw
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Traditional German Coleslaw (Krautsalat)

Try this German coleslaw- a light cabbage salad made without mayonnaise.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 128kcal
Author Marita


  • 800 g cabbage (1 ¾ lb) white or green cabbage
  • 200 g onions (7 oz) white
  • 50 ml white vinegar (1.6 fl oz) use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 50 ml vegetable oil (1.6 fl oz) use a neutral oil such as sunflower oil or rapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds (optional) you can also use whole caraway seeds. Or omit them if you do not like the taste


  • Wash the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Quarter through the stem and remove the dense core with a sharp knife and discard.
  • Finely slice the cabbage into thin shreds. Alternatively you can use a mandolin or a food processor to shred the cabbage. Place into a large bowl.
  • Now sprinkle the salt over the cabbage. With your hands kneed the salt into the cabbage for approximately 5 minutes. Then leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. (This process is necessary to draw out the excess water from the cabbage. Otherwise, your coleslaw might end up soggy).
  • In the meantime, finely cube the onions.
  • Heat up 2 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until they begin to brown. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Mix together the vinegar, oil, pepper, carraway seeds and sugar in a jug. Mix well. Then add the cooled down onions.
  • Strain the cabbage in a colander to remove any excess water. Place in a salad bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well and then leave to rest for approximately 2 hours.
  • Before serving adjust the seasoning to taste. You can always add more salt or pepper. Serve at room temperature.


I recommend checking the step by step instruction pictures in the main post. 

Storage Instructions

German-style coleslaw contains no mayo. This does not only have the advantage that it is healthier but also keeps for longer. The salad should be kept in the fridge and will keep for up to 5 days.
You will recognize gone off Krautsalad at the smell, and bitter taste.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg