Whether you prefer creamy or bright slaw, we can all agree that the best takes on this cookout classic are crunchy, light and refreshing. Here are seven recipes that fit the bill, making good use of cabbage, fennel, snow peas and more.
1. Crunch is crucial.
Vibrant, crunchy vegetables and a flavorsome dressing are telltale signs of a great slaw, and Melissa d’Arabian’s Fennel and Cabbage Slaw (pictured at top) covers all the bases. The combination of hearty fennel, sliced purple cabbage and chopped scallions dressed in a tangy vinaigrette yields a lower-calorie option — yes, even with the bacon.
2. Let cultures collide.
Jump aboard one of the latest culinary trends by serving classic American cookout fare with an Asian-inspired twist. Think savory chicken burgers or tender beef franks topped with this Asian Red Cabbage Slaw with Peanuts. Colorful and crisp, the nutty slaw can be used to dress up a number of dishes, adding a spicy note with the ginger and mustard.
3. Use more spice and less (or no) mayo.
Not everyone is a fan of creamy slaw, and if that’s true for the majority of your guests, then forgo the mayo and offer a spicier option. Bobby Flay’s mayo-free Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette combines the usual players — carrots, green cabbage, bell pepper and red onion — with lime juice, cumin, hot sauce and olive oil for a flavorful slaw with just the right amount of zing.
4. Avocado is nature’s mayonnaise.
If your guests are in the mood for something creamy but still want to avoid mayo, consider this Snow Pea and Avocado Slaw. Thanks to its heart-healthy, monosaturated fat content, avocado is an excellent way to work in smooth, creamy texture — here, for under 200 calories per serving. You still get plenty of crunch from the snap peas and walnuts.
5. Experiment with new mix-ins.
Even if you’ve never been a huge raisin fan, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Gingered Coleslaw with Golden Raisins will make you a convert. By sauteing plump golden raisins in a little bit of butter, you’ll bring out their natural sweetness, which creates less need for added sugar. But before you even reach for the sugar bowl, taste the dish. With the sweet raisins and the perfume-y ginger, your taste buds might want you to stop there.
6. Adorn your tacos.
If tacos are on the menu, then it goes without saying that slaw should be too. This crunchy medley of cabbage, bell pepper, red onion and cilantro is one way to prepare an invigorating slaw, ideal for balancing these meaty Grilled Chipotle Pork Tacos with Red Slaw without taking over. Dressed in nothing more than oil and vinegar, this recipe is remarkably low in sugar, with just 2 grams per serving.
7. Dare to go sweet, naturally.
Despite what you may have been told, you don’t need cabbage to make slaw. This Beef Kefta with Melon Slaw features a mix of sweet cantaloupe, red onion and dill tossed in a refreshing lemon-paprika dressing. Cut the firm ripe cantaloupe into matchsticks and serve it alongside juicy grilled meat for that essential combination of sweet and savory flavor.
Get more chicken recipes from our friends:
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Virtually Homemade: Easy Asian Slaw with Roasted Chicken
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Taste with the Eyes: Fancy Fennel and Cabbage Slaw with Bacon, Egg, Peas
The Cultural Dish: Mac Nut Slaw (Hawaiian Cole Slaw)
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