Zucchini Slaw Two Ways

Zucchini Slaw

Anyone who’s ever planted a summer vegetable garden has faced the problem of too much zucchini. It just grows like crazy. This slaw is a great way to use up extra squash in an unusual way: raw. I give two different dressings here because I find that some people like a vinegar-based dressing, others like mayonnaise.–Sara Foster

LC Recognize This Slaw? Note

In this inspired riff on coleslaw, eerily prolific zucchini stands in for cabbage. That’s already been decided for you. What remains to be seen is whether you make it with a rich and creamy dressing containing mayo and mustard or a sweetly tart vinaigrette enhanced with sugar. There’s another decision you have another decision you get to make and that’s how to slice your squash. The perfectionist in us prefers the pleasing precise appearance of zucchini julienned with a chef’s knife or one of those handy julienne peelers, although you could instead save a little time and trouble if you toss the vegetables in the food processor. Though you may not initially recognize this new-fangled zucchini slaw, we suspect that you’ll detect hints of grandma’s recipe for cabbage slaw. (Were we right?!)

Zucchini Slaw Two Ways Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • For the zucchini slaw
  • 2 medium zucchini, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch julienne
  • 2 yellow summer squash, unpeeled, cut into 2-inch julienne
  • 2 carrots, cut into 2-inch julienne
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), cut into 2-inch julienne
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), cored, seeded, and cut into 2-inch julienne (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Creamy Slaw Dressing or Sweet and Tart Dressing
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the creamy slaw dressing
  • 1/2 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sweet and tart dressing
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Large pinch of poppy seeds (optional)


  • Make the slaw
  • 1. Combine the zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, scallions, bell pepper, if using, and parsley in a large bowl or, if you want to try both dressings, divvy it up between two bowls. Drizzle the slaw with the creamy slaw dressing or the sweet and tart slaw dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste,and toss to coat. You can refrigerate the slaw for a little while to chill it, although it’s best to serve it shortly after dressing so it doesn’t become soggy or weepy.
  • Make the creamy slaw dressing
  • 2. Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Make the sweet and tart slaw dressing
  • 3. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and poppy seeds, if using, in a jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake the jar until the sugar dissolves. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Using extra zucchini instead of cabbage in slaw is brilliant, not to mention a very sneaky way to get choosy eaters to gobble up zucchini and squash. Both dressings are delicious. The creamy dressing’s hint of Dijon packs an elegant punch, and the vinegar-based dressing is light and fresh (and fat-free!). The zucchini slaw comes together in the time it takes to grill a few steaks or chicken breasts, thanks to a trip through the food processor. I noticed that both versions of this slaw do not keep well, but maybe that’s due to the oppressive heat and humidity we’re experiencing right now. Dress the zucchini right before serving and stir it occasionally. I can’t wait to try this slaw on a pulled-pork sandwich.

I’m not a huge fan of raw veggies, so you’ll never find me using raw zucchini in place of pasta or anything like that. But this coleslaw was really good. I used the julienne blade on my mandoline for the squash and carrots, but I think a shredding blade on a food processor would do the same thing, only faster. It took some work to julienne the bell pepper to a similar size, and I think a small dice would provide the same crunch with easier knife skills. You do need the carrot and bell pepper to give the coleslaw a little crunch and texture. My zucchini and summer squash ended up pretty soft in the final dish. I made the creamy dressing— though I didn’t actually like it upon first taste because I thought it was too tangy from the mustard and vinegar. But after mixing it into the coleslaw and letting it sit for a few minutes, it all melded together just fine. I did need another sprinkle of salt on the coleslaw to fine-tune the flavor. The recipe says the creamy dressing will hold the coleslaw for up to three hours, but I found a lot of liquid drained out within a half-hour. But you can mix it right before serving and it won’t seep all over the plate—just be aware that the bottom of the bowl will collect a lot of liquid. Because it uses up so much squash (yes, I planted some in the garden), I can definitely see this standing in for more traditional cabbage coleslaw this summer.

I made both versions of this slaw, and they were both fantastic. Normally, I’m not a big fan of mayonnaise-based slaws, but this dressing was exceptional, with a robust dose of Dijon mustard. The vinegar dressing also was excellent, perfectly balanced, and really let the flavor of the vegetables—especially the parsley—shine through. This is one of those recipes that immediately get me thinking about all sorts of variations I could make. I’m sure that it and its offspring will make repeat appearances in my kitchen.

Summer is a season for salads and fresh vegetables, and I’m always looking for new ways to combine those things. Enter zucchini slaw. I made the vinegar-based version of this and, contrary to what the recipe said, I found that it held up quite well for a few days in the refrigerator. I’m usually not too fond of raw squash, but it worked pretty well in this recipe. As the slaw sat in the dressing, in fact, the raw vegetables softened some, along with my feelings about raw squash. The dressing offered a nice balance of sweet and tart tastes. Since I forgot to add poppy seeds the first time around, I added some to the leftovers, and I liked it better with them. The only difficult part of the prep was julienning the vegetables, which took quite a while by hand. I also thought that the recipe yielded a bit too much dressing, but that might be dependent upon the sizes of vegetables used and the degree of precision in the julienne.

This is a great way to use up that plethora of zucchini that will soon arrive. I made the slaw with the tart and sweet dressing and put it on barbecued pulled-pork sandwiches. Excellent! I also liked the creamy dressing, but I think just a hint of sugar or honey would have made it better.

I had never thought about using zucchini as the base of a slaw, but the result is worth repeating. I tried the recipe using both dressings, and I must admit that I like the creamy dressing much better. The sugar/vinegar mixture is a little too sweet for me and quickly draws moisture out of the zucchini. The creamy dressing still draws a lot of moisture out of the zucchini, but I think I actually liked the dressing better once it was a little more diluted. The carrots add a nice crunch that holds up to sitting in the dressing for a while. Anyone would be happy to eat this for a summer get-together instead of the more traditional cabbage slaw.

The dressings were delicious, satisfying summer cravings of cold, pickle-y things and creamy salads. I sliced the squash and carrots into ribbons on a mandoline, which made for a very pretty presentation.

Both of the dressings worked very well. In the creamy slaw dressing, the white wine vinegar and mustard balanced well with the mayonnaise and kept the dressing from being too creamy. I also like that there isn’t any of the sweetness that many creamy slaw dressings seem to have. The sweet and tart dressing is wonderful just the way it is, but it’s also the one I’d play around with by slightly lowering the amount of sugar and trying some different vinegars (like sherry or malt). The recipes are a quick way to get two great slaws for a summer picnic or barbecue. I can see either of these slaws on grilled meat sandwiches or pulled-pork sandwiches.

I was full of the good intentions to make this slaw with the healthier sweet and tart dressing, but the mayonnaise and mustard combination proved to be irresistible. I couldn’t get yellow squash locally, so I substituted about half a small butternut squash, using equal amounts of squash to zucchini, which I peeled before I julienned the flesh. Made with the creamy dressing, this recipe produced a delicious mix of flavours and textures. The dressing has a nice balance of sweet, sharp, and creamy notes, and coats the slaw well without being too heavy. The mix of vegetables is even-handed, too, with the strong flavour of the scallions met by the sweetness of the other ingredients. It’s a great way to use up courgettes and squash, and it’s safe to say that I’m now a convert to using these vegetables raw for extra crunch.


  1. Yes! Thank you. I have two large zuchs on my counter right now, waiting for the right recipe to come along. And now I have it.

  2. I used this recipe with the creamy slaw dressing. I added some large boiled shrimp and put over a bed of lettuce. Best shrimp salad I ever had. Served at a picnic and got nothing but raves!

  3. At first I thought this said, “Zucchini Straw,” and I thought, “how clever!” ;)

    Well, heck. Whatever you call it, I love this take on slaw. My mom was the queen of creative zucchini use, and I bet she’d have loved this, too.

  4. Made the creamy version add added a good handful of pumpkin seeds for a little more crunch as I had no bell pepper. Lovely, not too smothered in dressing but with just enough for binding and flavor. Lovely flavor to the dressing. Good alterative to regular slaw (in fact, for me, preferable to cabbage). Thanks.

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