Fennel, Carrot, and Apple Slaw

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Most everyone has a traditional slaw recipe. It usually contains cabbage and mayo and that’s great—I have one too. But one summer night we had some friends over for a cookout, and I wanted something lighter. This slaw has an incredibly fresh, slightly sweet flavor that’s a great complement to grilled meats.

Yield:8 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 minutes, plus 30 minutes inactive time



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursevegetable

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, healthy, lactose-free, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecrisp, crunchy, hot & spicy, sweet

Type of Dishsalad


  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, with fronds
  • 3–4 carrots, coarsely shredded
  • 1 red delicious apple
  • 1 Granny Smith apple


Whisk the lemon juice, honey, sugar, salt, and hot sauce together in a small bowl until the honey dissolves. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking as you go. Set the dressing aside.

Remove 4 fronds from the fennel, chop them coarsely, and put them in a large bowl. Trim the fennel bulb, quarter it, slice it thinly, and add it to the bowl.

Stir the dressing a couple of times to recombine and pour half of it onto the fennel. Toss well.

Core and cut each apple into 1-inch dice. Add the apples and carrots to the fennel and toss.

Stir the dressing again to recombine, then pour it into the slaw and toss well. Refrigerate the slaw for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld before serving.



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I'm not a fan of traditional mayo-based slaws, but this one was a knockout. I reduced the amount of oil in the dressing for a more traditional 1:2 ratio of acid to oil, but otherwise followed the recipe. The lightness of the dressing really allows the produce to shine through, and the sweetness from the honey and sugar balances some of the bitterness of the fennel. My new go-to summer slaw recipe!

I made this tonight with pork chops. It was amazing. I seasoned my pork chops with salt and pepper and cooked them in a cast iron skillet and let the slaw do the rest. Did I already say amazing? I did. The flavor was so fresh and sweet, and the hot sauce added a really nice (but not overpowering) heat on the back end. My husband and I both loved it.


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