Our Greatest Homecrafted Coleslaw Recipe

Our homemade coleslaw recipe made with crunchy cabbage and a delicious creamy dressing is one of our most popular side dish recipes. This coleslaw is quick, easy to make, and can be made in advance.

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My favorite coleslaw recipe has crispy, crunchy cabbage, and a simple homemade coleslaw dressing. I love this easy slaw with pulled pork, burgers, veggie burgers, and as a side to BBQ meats like ribs or grilled chicken.

See how we make coleslaw below, including how to cut the cabbage. As a shortcut, you can use store-bought bagged coleslaw. While cabbage is the classic ingredient for coleslaw, we have also used a similar coleslaw dressing for this broccoli slaw.

Homemade coleslaw with red and green cabbage

How to make the best coleslaw

The veggies for our coleslaw are cabbage, carrots, and fresh parsley. I love using a combination of red and green cabbage when I make coleslaw. It makes the dish really pretty. You can use just one variety. Try green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage.

To cut cabbage for coleslaw, remove any tattered or bruised outer leaves, and then cut the head of cabbage into quarters.

Cutting cabbage for coleslaw

Quartering the cabbage makes removing the core easier. I slice my knife down the cabbage quarter at an angle to remove it. Then, for the best coleslaw, slice the cabbage into very thin shreds.

Shredding cabbage

Recipe shortcut: Use bagged coleslaw mix

You can buy bags of pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix. They usually range between 10 and 16 ounces, so you will need 1 to 2 packs for our recipe. We have even seen bagged coleslaw mixes that include shredded broccoli stems (delicious) and other vegetables if you want to try something different.

My favorite coleslaw dressing

Our favorite coleslaw dressing is quick to make and calls for simple ingredients. It’s creamy, flavorful, and fresh.

  • Mayonnaise is the base and makes the dressing creamy. When we have a batch in our fridge, we love to use homemade mayonnaise.
  • Apple cider vinegar adds a fresh and zesty note to the dressing. You can substitute other kinds of vinegar like red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.
  • Dijon mustard adds extra flavor and a bit of spice.
  • Celery seeds taste like mild celery and add that “something-something” to the dressing. Their flavor is mild, so if you aren’t a celery fan, I’d still recommend using at least some of the celery seeds called for in the recipe.
  • Salt and pepper are a must and bring the flavors in the dressing together.

We don’t add any sugar. Other coleslaw recipes call for sugar. For our tastes, the cabbage and carrots are sweet enough. If you disagree, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the dressing before mixing with the cabbage and carrot. We don’t add sugar when making pasta salad or potato salad, either.

Preventing soggy coleslaw

When you are ready to mix up your coleslaw, don’t just dump in the whole batch of dressing. Instead, start with about two-thirds, toss, and then see how much more dressing you feel your coleslaw needs.

If you decide it’s perfect the way it is, don’t throw away that leftover coleslaw dressing! Keep it in the fridge (it will last for days if not weeks). Use it as a spread for sandwiches, a dip for vegetables, a sauce for meats, and roasted or grilled vegetables.

Adding the dressing to coleslaw ingredients

Make ahead tips

  • The vegetables can be shredded a day or two in advance and kept in a resealable bag in the fridge.
  • Store coleslaw dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 weeks.
  • Combine the cabbage, carrots, and dressing the night before or the day of serving — the longer the cabbage sits in the coleslaw dressing, the softer and less crunchy they become.

Coleslaw is easy to make in advance. It keeps well for a day or two in the fridge — remember that the cabbage will soften in the dressing over time. So, for the crunchiest slaw, enjoy it within a day.

More cabbage recipes

Seriously Good Coleslaw

Our Best Homemade Coleslaw

Our coleslaw recipe has fresh, lively flavors that wake up anything you serve it with. Unlike some of the more traditional recipes for coleslaw, we skip the sugar in our coleslaw dressing. Try this as a topping to sandwiches, served next to ultra-savory meats, like braised beef or pork. Or, mound some on top of your next hot dog or hamburger.

Sugar: We find that the cabbage and carrots are sweet enough. If you disagree, add a teaspoon or two of sugar (or honey) to the dressing before mixing with the cabbage and carrot.

Makes approximately 10 servings

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You Will Need

1 medium cabbage, about 2 pounds, outer leaves removed

3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1 cup (225g) mayonnaise, try homemade mayonnaise

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or coarse ground mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or honey, optional, add for a sweeter coleslaw


    1Quarter the cabbage through the core, and then cut out the core. Cut each quarter crosswise in half and finely shred. Place the shredded cabbage in a very large bowl (you will have 6 to 8 cups).

    2Add the shredded carrot and parsley to the cabbage and toss to mix.

    3In a separate bowl, stir the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, salt, and pepper together. Taste for acidity and seasoning, then adjust as desired. If the dressing tastes too tart and you prefer a sweeter coleslaw, stir in the optional sugar.

    4Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the cabbage and carrot, then mix well. (Clean hands are the quickest tool).

    5If the coleslaw seems dry, add a little more of the dressing. Eat immediately or let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors mingle and the cabbage softens.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • Cabbage: Use green, red, savoy, or Napa cabbage. For a multi-colored or multi-textured coleslaw, use a combination of two varieties.
    Store-bought bagged coleslaw mix: You can buy pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix.
  • Make ahead: Shred veggies a day or two in advance and keep them in a resealable bag in the fridge. Make the dressing up to 2 weeks in advance. Combine the cabbage, carrots, and dressing the night before or the day of serving.
  • Leftover dressing: This can be used as a spread for sandwiches, dip for vegetables, served alongside the coleslaw, or with grilled or roasted vegetables, chicken, or meats.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We have omitted salt and sugar.

Nutrition Per Serving
2 g
7 g
Dietary Fiber
3 g
Total Sugars
4 g
Total Fat
17 g
Saturated Fat
3 g
9 mg


Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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