Easy Pineapple Coleslaw (No Mayo)

Pineapple coleslaw is the perfect side dish or even topping for tacos! This simple pineapple slaw is made without mayo and is slightly sweet, tangy, smoky and just a little spicy . This slaw with pineapple comes together in just minutes and goes perfectly with tacos but could also serve as a super simple side dish for any meal!

Large silver bowl filled with pineapple slaw with tongs.
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Why you will love this recipe

  • Budget friendly – this pineapple slaw uses budget friendly ingredients like canned pineapple and cabbage to make a delicious side dish. What’s even better is that it makes a ton of slaw, so you are bound to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow too!
  • Easy to make – the hardest part about making homemade coleslaw is shredding the cabbage. The rest is just measuring out ingredients and stirring everything together.
  • Simple ingredients – made with just 9 ingredients, most of which are pantry staples. You can find everything you need to make this pineapple coleslaw at your local grocery store.
  • Healthy – this cabbage slaw with pineapple is made without any added sugar or mayo, so it’s very good for you. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo and Whole30 friendly.
  • No mayo – Great for cookouts, potlucks or summer meals outside! You don’t have to worry about the mayo in this easy pineapple slaw out in the sun.
  • Versatile – This pineapple slaw is great served with fish tacos, shrimp tacos or with any of your favorite Mexican dishes! You can even increase the spice by adding a few pickled jalapenos!
Ingredients to make pineapple coleslaw

Ingredients to make pineapple coleslaw

  • Cabbage – I default to green cabbage here because it’s budget friendly and I always have some on  hand. You could also use red cabbage, napa cabbage or even broccoli slaw.
  • Red onion – I’m not sure why but the red onion elevates the flavors of this entire dish. The acid helps to cut through the harsh onion flavor and mellow out the onion. I highly recommend red onion unless you cannot tolerate it.
  • Cilantro – the cilantro really balances out the flavors of this slaw well. Unless you think cilantro tastes like soap, don’t skip this ingredient!
  • Canned or fresh pineapple chunks – Be sure to drain the canned pineapple well. I like to break down the pineapple chunks with my knife, as I find that crushed pineapples are a bit too mangled, but the big chunks of pineapple do not allow the flavor to be distributed well.
  • Apple cider vinegar – the vinegar gives the slaw a bit of a tang and is perfectly balanced against the sweetness from the pineapple.
  • Olive oil – olive oil provides some fat which also helps to reduce the acidity from the apple cider vinegar. I have omitted the oil in the past and think it’s necessary for balance in the dish.
  • Salt – salt helps to elevate all the flavors, making the pineapple even sweeter and the other flavors pop more.
  • Cumin – this adds a smoky flavor to the slaw without overpowering the pineapple.
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper – adding some heat is optional but if you can tolerate a bit of heat, I highly recommend adding it.

How to make pineapple slaw

Start by thinly shredding the cabbage. Start by removing the core then thinly slice the cabbage using a sharp knife. Add the cabbage to a large bowl.

Pour the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and cumin and red pepper flakes to the cabbage and stir well 2-3 minutes to fully incorporate.

Chop the rest of the veggies:

  • Thinly slice the red onion and chop into bite size pieces.
  • Finely chop the cilantro – I use both the stems and leaves as the stems are full of flavor as well. Add the cilantro to the bowl.
  • Roughly chop the pineapple chunks – run your knife over them to break them up from the larger chunks. Add chopped pineapple to the bowl with the rest of the veggies.

Add the red onion, chopped cilantro and pineapple to the cabbage mixture in the bowl.

Pineapple, cilantro and red onion added to slaw in stainless steel bowl.

Enjoy immediately or allow to sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.

Top tips

  • Time saving tip: If you want to save time, you could also buy coleslaw mix at the store. It’s typically very inexpensive and an easy time saver! This may have sliced carrots or red cabbage in it as well, which is totally fine for this dish!
  • Toss the slaw before serving: No matter when you make this, the dressing tends to sink to the bottom of the bowl pretty quickly. Because of this, I recommend that you stir the slaw well (I use tongs) to make sure all the veggies are well coated before serving.
  • Great for meal prep! This recipe holds up well in the fridge for 2-3 days, making it perfect for meal prep! You can easily double or triple this recipe and use is as salad for lunch and serve with your favorite protein!
Serving of pineapple slaw being scooped from a bowl.

Other add-in’s

I love the simplicity of this dish. However, you can easily change up the ingredients based on what you have on hand. Some other great additions include:

  • Sliced jalapenos or pickled jalapenos
  • Thinly sliced radish (or chopped into thin matchsticks)
  • Shredded carrots
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Red cabbage
  • Shredded kale
  • Shredded brussel sprouts
  • Chopped mango slices
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sliced almonds for crunch

How to serve coleslaw with pineapples

Pineapple slaw in a bowl with tongs in the bowl.


How much pineapple do you need to make hawaiian pineapple slaw

This recipe uses about 2/3 cup of pineapple chunks. I always buy canned pineapple in juice (not in syrup). You can save the juice for other recipes like this sweet and sour chicken.

How to prep this slaw ahead of time

  • If you need to prep more than 24 hours in advance:
    • Shred the cabbage, slice the onion and chop the cilantro ahead of time. Roughly chop the pineapple and add it to the top of the cabbage mixture. Store this in the serving bowl (covered).
    • In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and cumin.
    • Right before serving (up to an hour before) pour the dressing over the slaw and stir well (1-2 minutes to really incorporate the dressing over the slaw).
  • If you need to prep within 24 hours of serving, you can simply make this pineapple cabbage slaw as written, making sure to stir the slaw well before serving.

How to store pineapple coleslaw (no mayo)

Fridge: Store leftover cabbage pineapple salad in the fridge for up to 4 days. The slaw will start to wilt, so if you are serving this to a crowd, you likely want to make it the day of.


  • Green cabbage: I love green cabbage because it’s inexpensive and easy to find. You can also use napa cabbage, red cabbage or even broccoli slaw in place of the green cabbage.
  • Red onion: Red onion adds a bright, almost sweet flavor (the acid from the vinegar helps to remove the “bite” from the onion). You could also use green onion in place of red onion. If needed, you can omit the onion.
  • Cilantro: Cilantro adds so much flavor to this slaw. If you don’t love cilantro or don’t have it on hand, you could also use fresh mint or omit it completely.
  • Canned or fresh pineapple: The pineapple adds sweetness to the slaw so additional sugar is not needed. You could also use fresh or frozen mango in place of the pineapple.
  • Apple cider vinegar: You could also use the juice of 1-2 limes in place of the vinegar.
  • Olive oil: This helps to offset the acidic bite from the vinegar. You could also use avocado oil in place of olive oil.
  • Ground cumin: This adds a smoky flavor. You could also use smoked paprika (1/2 tsp) in place of cumin.
  • Salt: Salt helps to elevate all the flavors. I would not recommend omitting the salt but you could reduce it if needed.
  • Red pepper flakes (or Cayenne pepper): If you wanted to add heat without the red pepper flakes, you could add jalapeno slices (fresh or pickled).
Tongs getting a serving of pineapple coleslaw (no mayo).
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Pineapple coleslaw in a large bowl with tongs.

Pineapple Coleslaw (No Mayo)

$3.90 Recipe/$0.65 Serving
Pineapple coleslaw (no mayo) is the perfect balance of sweet, smoky, tangy and a bit spicy. It's a simple weeknight side dish or would be great served in fish tacos or with any Mexican style dish! Great for summer cookouts too!
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: pineapple coleslaw, pineapple slaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6



  • Thinly slice the cabbage and add it to a large bowl.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and cumin to the cabbage and stir well.
  • Thinly slice the onions and add them to the cabbage.
  • Drain the liquid from the pineapples. Roughly chop the pineapple so they are in small chunks. Add to the bowl with the cabbage and onions.
  • Finely chop the cilantro (stems and leaves) and add the cilantro to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir everything together well, the cabbage will start to wilt.
  • Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional) – if you don't love heat start with a very small pinch of cayenne.


An 8oz container of pineapple chunks is about 2/3 cups of pineapple in cubes. 
Store leftover slaw in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
You can also add:
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika for a bold smoky flavor
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sliced almonds for crunch

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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  1. Pinned & sharing. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for joining in the party!

  2. I love the addition of pineapple to the ingredients. I can’t wait to try this sometime. Pinned & shared. Thanks for joining in the party. Hope to see you again soon.

  3. I love a great Cole slaw! I’ve never had one with pineapple though. I’ve bought a lot of pineapple on sale lately. I’ll have to try this. Thanks for she on smallvictorysundaylinkup!

  4. I love the idea of using pineapple in this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  5. This dish looks so delish! I’ve got a few pineapples in my garden, and I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at Funtastic Friday. I hope you can make it again this week.

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