A classic coleslaw is one of those salads that always appears at BBQs and picnics. And it’s especially welcome on a hot summer’s day when all you want is food that doesn’t need cooking. Crunchy, creamy and lots of flavour – what’s not to like. And with a few small tweaks, you can easily make your coleslaw low FODMAP.

Classic Coleslaw {low FODMAP} | A Less Irritable Life

Let’s talk FODMAPs

But is cabbage really low FODMAP? I know some of you are asking this question because cabbage is a brassica and has potential to be a bit gassy. But the fact is that a serving of 1 cup of white cabbage (94g) is low FODMAP. And a serving of 1 cup (89g) of red cabbage is also low FODMAP, in case wanted to change up the recipe. So yes, you can eat cabbage on a low FODMAP diet. But larger servings do become high FODMAP, so portion size matters.

Onion. A classic coleslaw often has spring onions in it for a little bit of extra zest. But this is easy to adjust… use only the green tops of the spring onions and you’re good to go. Although if you think that coleslaw shouldn’t have onion, leave it out altogether.

Dressing. A standard coleslaw dressing is really easy to make low FODMAP. If you start with low FODMAP versions of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, that is. So you’ll need to check the ingredient labels for high FODMAP ingredients such as garlic and onion. But there are options available.


A quick note about fats

Coleslaw starts out as a healthy salad – cabbage, carrot, onion. But it becomes less healthy when you add the mayonnaise-based dressing. Now this isn’t a discussion about calories and weight management, instead it’s about fats. That’s because fats are potential gut irritants that can trigger IBS symptoms.

The way around this is to use less dressing so that it only just coats the coleslaw, with a little bit to spare. So I’ve designed this recipe so that there will be less dressing than standard recipes. But if your gut doesn’t respond well to fats, it will thank you for going easy on the dressing. Although if you can tolerate fats okay, you can make a larger amount of dressing if you prefer.


Why you need low FODMAP coleslaw in your life

It tastes just the same as regular coleslaw, which is awesome

Everyone loves coleslaw, so I’ve kept the ingredients as close as possible to the classic version. I mean why mess with a good thing? Especially when it wasn’t hard to do at all. That’s why this coleslaw tastes the same as the regular version. The only difference is that I use less dressing than normal (see the point about fats above), but you can add more if you want to.

It’s super easy to make

All you need to do here is slice the cabbage and green onions, grate the carrot, then mix in the dressing. And if you have a food processor, it’s even easier to do. My processor slices the cabbage, then grates the carrot, in less time than it takes to mix the dressing. But even by hand, the prep on this is fast, especially considering how much it makes.

Classic Coleslaw {low FODMAP} | A Less Irritable Life

You can prep the components and store it ready for quick assembly – a time saver

This low FODMAP coleslaw is best assembled shortly before eating so it stays crunchy. But you can store the cabbage, carrot and onion mixture in the fridge and add the dressing just before serving. You can even make the dressing too and store that in its own container.

That said, coleslaw that’s fully mixed will keep in the fridge for several days. So you can decide whether to store it pre-mixed or not.

It has cabbage, which is a prebiotic and good for the gut

Cabbage is a fantastic low FODMAP veggie to eat because it is high in fibre and has natural prebiotics. This makes it excellent for gut health because the prebiotic fibre is used as an energy source by gut bacteria, helping them to thrive. So eating cabbage on a regular basis is really good for you, and this coleslaw is a great way to do it.


Classic Coleslaw {low FODMAP} | A Less Irritable Life

Low FODMAP Coleslaw

  • Author: Glenda Bishop
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 serves
  • Category: Salads; Side Dishes


With a creamy and tangy dressing that lightly coats the coleslaw, you’ll love this low FODMAP version of the classic recipe. Also gluten-free + dairy-free.


  • 500g white cabbage
  • 2 large (400g) carrots, peeled
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), tops only (optional – although I quite like the slight onion flavour)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (see notes)
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard (see notes)
  • 3 tsp lemon juice


  1. Put the shredding disc in the food processor, set to a fairly thin slice. Push the cabbage through the processor so that it’s shredded thinly. Then change the disc in the food processor to the coarse grater. Push the carrots through the processor until they’re all grated. Put the cabbage and carrot in a very large bowl. Note, if you don’t have a food processor, you can thinly shred the cabbage with a knife and grate the carrot with a grater.
  2. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the green parts of the green onions. Add to the cabbage and carrot, then mix well.
  3. Make the dressing by combining the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Then pour the dressing over the coleslaw and mix well. This is best done shortly before serving.

Ingredient Notes

  • This recipe is suitable for a low FODMAP diet, provided that the recommended serving size for this recipe is not exceeded.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. However, if you have an allergy to any of these items, or have coeliac disease, please check the labels on any purchased ingredients to ensure they are safe for your requirements.
  • Make sure that you only use the green tops of the spring onions (scallions), since the white bits are high in fructans.
  • Some mayonnaise brands contain garlic (spices), so be careful of which one you choose. I like to use Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, which doesn’t contain garlic.
  • I use the Maille brand of Dijon mustard, which doesn’t contain added ‘spices’ (i.e. garlic).
  • You can change up the recipe and make it more colourful by using red/purple cabbage.
  • The amount of dressing is quite light, but if you prefer more dressing, you can make more. And this won’t change the FODMAP content of the recipe because the dressing ingredients are very low FODMAP.

Low FODMAP Portion

  • Serving Size: About 1 cup

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