What makes this coleslaw “loaded” you might ask?
Well, this keto coleslaw recipe combines all the flavors of a loaded baked potato — minus the potato, of course — with the delicious tang and crunch of traditional coleslaw.
Chances are if you’re on the keto diet, you think about potatoes from time to time and wonder if you’ll ever get to eat one again. But there’s a good chance it’s not the spud you’re missing — it’s the tasty fixings you’re craving. That’s why this keto coleslaw is a winner.
Far from the boring side dish that you push around your plate at a backyard cookout or picnic in the park, this coleslaw puts a crave-worthy ketogenic twist on the humble classic.
Bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy cabbage, and a little bite from the green onions perfectly balance the rich flavors of the bacon with a punch of acidity from the apple cider vinegar. Even better, this recipe not only tastes great, but it’s also great for you thanks to its healthy ingredients.
Is Coleslaw Keto-Friendly?
The short answer is yes. (Depending on what you put it in.) The main component of coleslaw is cabbage, which is an excellent keto-friendly vegetable. This cruciferous veggie is low in carbohydrates, but also high in nutrients. If you mix a bit of purple cabbage in with white and green cabbage, you’ll add even more nutrients into the mix.
Cabbage is an extremely underrated vegetable. Since it’s not a green vegetable like its highly-touted cousins kale and broccoli, it’s often overlooked as a nutritious option and lumped into the same category as iceberg lettuce.
But, nutritionally speaking, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just half a cup of cooked cabbage gives you 81.5mg of vitamin K, an essential nutrient that aids in blood clotting and bone development[*]. In this context, the term “essential” means that your body can’t produce it on its own. You have to get vitamin K from food, so why not package it with flavor and enjoy every bite?
Cruciferous vegetables (also known as brassicas) — which include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts — boast a host of health benefits. In fact, they’re among the most nutrient-dense vegetables you’ll come across.
It’s a little-known fact that these veggies are all different variations on the same plant. They aren’t genetically identical, but they all offer the same health benefits to varying degrees.
Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer
A meta-analysis of studies done by the American Association of Cancer Research found that, out of 87 case-controlled studies, 67% showed a strong association between brassica consumption and a reduction in cancer risk[*]. In other words, the more cruciferous veggies you eat, the lower your cancer risk could be.
The studies analyzed for this meta-analysis looked at lung, stomach, colon, rectal, prostatic, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. And in all cases, the association was consistent.
Interestingly, for cancer that requires radiation therapy, cabbage can still offer some protective benefits. One rat study showed that a compound found in cabbage and other veggies known as DIM (3,3’-diindolylmethane) protected rats from lethal doses of radiation[*]. This chemical protects healthy tissue while still allowing radiation to attack cancer cells.
Brassicas Boost Immunity and Reduce Inflammation
Because cabbage and all of its relatives are high in fiber and low in net carbs, they’re perfect for the keto diet. But that’s not all fiber is good for.
Fiber on its own plays a key role in promoting healthy digestive function and regulating inflammation in the body. That’s because the healthy bacteria living in your gut feeds on fiber. In fact, you can’t digest fiber without those microorganisms. And healthy bacteria (aka probiotics) are critical to immune function[*].
Red cabbage is also chock full of vitamin C, an important nutrient for a strong immune system[*].
Brassicas Balance Blood Sugar and Support Heart Health
The fiber in cabbage plays another key role: It helps balance blood sugar. One of the main goals of the ketogenic diet is to prevent dramatic glucose and insulin spikes and drops.
Eating a very low-carb diet on its own contributes to accomplishing this goal, but it’s important to fill your plate with healthy, fiber-rich foods (rather than just bacon and cream cheese) to keep your blood sugar in check.
The antioxidants found in cabbage also helps keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy by protecting against oxidative stress[*]. The antioxidant compounds, called polyphenols and flavonoids, are found in a number of vegetables, not just brassicas, so it’s important to eat a rainbow of vegetables to ensure that you’re getting everything you need.
Cooking With Apple Cider Vinegar
Beyond the cabbage, another important component of this keto coleslaw recipe is apple cider vinegar (ACV). This is a specific type of vinegar with a long history of health benefits. It’s been used for everything from sore throats to treating skin conditions like eczema and varicose veins.
In recent years, some studies suggest that it can aid in weight loss and even help lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels[*][*][*]. Apple cider vinegar is a great addition to a wide variety of dishes, sauces, and homemade salad dressings. If you’re in a pinch and need an alternative to ACV, lemon juice works great for a low-carb or keto diet.
The Perfect Party Food
This easy low-carb, keto coleslaw recipe will fit right in with all the backyard barbecue foods you’re used to. Use it as a side dish for your favorite pulled pork recipe and toss in an avocado to add more healthy fat to the mix.
Keto diet or not, you’ll be making this dish year-round whenever the craving strikes for something savory and crunchy.
For more helpful tips, be sure to check out the Ultimate Ketogenic Diet Guide to help you on your ketogenic journey.Print
Loaded Keto Coleslaw
Dress up any sandwich or side dish with this boldly flavored keto coleslaw that will sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: N/A
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- Category: Sides
- Cuisine: Italian
- 4 pieces bacon (reserve bacon grease)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- 16 oz coleslaw mix
- 3 heaped tablespoons green onions (chopped)
- Add bacon to a pan and cook until browned and crispy. Remove from pan and let cool. Reserve bacon grease.
- Add mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl. Stir. Pour in reserved bacon grease and mix well until smooth.
- Add cabbage slaw mix, cheddar cheese, and green onion. Toss until well coated.
- Sprinkle with extra cheddar cheese, bacon, and green onion if desired.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 152
- Fat: 12g
- Carbohydrates: Net Carbs: 1g
- Protein: 9g
Keywords: Loaded Keto Coleslaw