Seriously, this easy coleslaw is the best coleslaw recipe that I’ve tried! It’s a combination of shredded cabbage and carrot mix, tossed in a flavorful, creamy dressing. This simple side dish is super tasty, quick to make, and pairs well with so many different meals! Creamy coleslaw is the perfect topping for pulled pork sandwichesfish tacos, or as a side for barbecue days full of burgers, grilled chicken, and other favorites!

a white bowl filled with the best coleslaw recipe

Absolutely the best coleslaw recipe I have found. Love that there is no sugar added (doing low carb). Thank You!

— Cathleen

Coleslaw is a classic recipe and a delicious homemade coleslaw recipe is a must have in every kitchen! It’s really underrated, if you ask me. It goes well with so many different foods and can really jazz up your meal! It can be found at almost every party or gathering, especially in the spring and summertime. A great dish for a barbecue or picnic! This creamy side salad will definitely win over your friends and family.

Ingredients

Here’s the lineup of fresh ingredients you’ll need to create a crunchy, bright salad without any added sugar:

  • Mayonnaise. Is the creamy, rich base of the dressing. You can use your favorite brand and choose regular or low fat.
  • Dijon mustard. Adds extra flavor and a bit of spice.
  • Apple cider vinegar. The slight acidity and tartness balances out the creamy mayo. In a pinch, sub with white wine vinegar.
  • Onion powder & salt. For flavor. Add a dash of black pepper too, if you’d like.
  • Cabbage. I love using both red cabbage and green cabbage for extra crunch and a variety of flavors. You can shred your own or keep things super easy and buy a bag of coleslaw mixture.
  • Carrots. Add 1 cup of carrots for extra crunch and color.

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

How to make this recipe

Classic coleslaw is one of the easiest and quickest side dishes that you can make. Just a few minutes of work and you’ve got a unique and delicious side dish that pairs well with grilled chicken, steak or fish and is perfect for a potluck or BBQ. Here’s the simple method:

Full, printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, mustard, apple cider vinegar, onion powder and sea salt. Set aside.
  2. Shred the cabbage and carrots. You’ll need about 8 cups of shredded cabbage & carrots for this recipe, give or take a cup. You can shred your own cabbage using a mandoline or a very sharp knife. Alternatively, to save time, purchase a pre-shredded coleslaw mix.
  3. Combine the veggie ingredients. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots and the green and purple cabbage until combined.
  4. Add the dressing. Pour the coleslaw dressing over the cabbage mixture and gently stir until well combined. See tip, below, about adding a small amount at a time.
  5. Refrigerate the coleslaw. If you have the time, place the coleslaw in the fridge for a good 30 minutes before serving. It’s delicious immediately but the flavors are best if it can chill for a bit. Enjoy!
ingredients for creamy coleslaw recipe

Tips for recipe success

A few tips for making this easy coleslaw recipe:

  • Shredding cabbage. To make the slaw, I like to use a mandoline to thinly shred the cabbage and make this homemade coleslaw a breeze. This is the mandoline that I own and it is wonderful and can be used for so many other things in the kitchen. You can also shred cabbage by using a very sharp knife, box cheese grater or even a food processor.
  • Pre-shredded cabbage. If you’re pressed for time, feel free to buy a bag of ready-to-go coleslaw mix. This will work just fine and makes this coleslaw recipe super easy and quick. However, I do find that making my own slaw gives the coleslaw an overall better texture.
  • Adding the dressing. Avoid dumping in the whole bowl of dressing all at once. Instead, start with about two-thirds, give everything a stir and then see just how much more dressing you feel your coleslaw needs. If you decide it’s perfect the way it is, keep the leftover coleslaw dressing in the fridge (it will last for days, if not weeks). Use it as a spread for sandwiches, a dip for vegetables or sauce for meats and roasted or grilled vegetables.
  • Make ahead. Preparing the cole slaw in advance allows the flavors to develop and lets the cabbage and carrots soften just slightly. I like to chill for a good hour or up to 1 day in advance of serving.

Variations

  • There are two main types of coleslaw, one made creamy with mayonnaise and one with a vinaigrette based dressing. For a dressing that is not creamy, leave the mayo out of the dressing and use 2 teaspoons of olive oil instead.
  • There are a lot of great additions or substitutions for this side dish so feel free to customize it to your preferences.

Great add-ins for this salad include:

  • Slivered almonds
  • Dried cranberries or golden raisins
  • Chopped apple
  • Shredded chicken
  • Diced onions
  • Chopped mango or pineapple
  • For freshness, try adding in some freshly squeezed lemon juice

Storing leftovers

Store any leftover coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it will keep well for about 3 days. At about day 4, the texture starts to break down and it’s not near as fresh and crisp. It’s a great dish to make in advance. Prepare it up to a day ahead of serving, for optimal texture.

pulled pork sandwich topped with creamy coleslaw

FAQs

Is coleslaw healthy?

Homemade coleslaw is made with simple, real food ingredients and can actually be quite healthy. If you use a compliant mayo brand, coleslaw can even be considered Paleo and Whole30 approved. Because of the mayo, coleslaw does contain quite a bit of fat. If you’re worried about the fat content, you can easily sub low-fat mayo or plain Greek yogurt for some or all of the mayo.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Cabbage?

Cabbage is a super healthy food to include in your diet! There’s tons of nutrition in cabbage. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Red/purple cabbage contains anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that has a multitude of health benefits. It’s amazing that one little side dish filled with cabbage can provide so many nutrients for your body.

hands holding pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw

More Easy Sides You’ll Love:

Looking for more delicious side dishes? Give these favs a try:

If you try this creamy coleslaw recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

a white bowl filled with the best coleslaw recipe
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3.76 from 77 votes
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Best Coleslaw Recipe

This easy coleslaw is the best recipe that I've tried! It's a combination of shredded cabbage and carrot mix, tossed in a flavorful, creamy dressing. It's super tasty, quick to make, and it pairs well with so many different meals! A great side dish for a barbecue or picnic!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash black pepper, optional

For the slaw:

  • 5 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups finely shredded red/purple cabbage
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  • To prepare cabbage, cut the head of cabbage in half and cut off the center core. To shred the cabbage and carrots you can thinly slice them with a knife or better use a cheese grater, mandoline or food processor.
  • Combine the veggies in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the slaw a little at a time and toss to fully combine. You don't have to use all of the dressing.
  • Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours to let the flavors meld together, before serving.

Notes

*You will need to purchase 1 head each of red and green cabbage and 3 large carrots for this recipe.
OPTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
  • Use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots as a time saver. Just be sure, you’re using about 7-8 cups of slaw total.
  • To lower the calories, use plain Greek yogurt in place of all or part of the mayonnaise. You can also use a low calorie mayo.
  • If you don’t want a creamy coleslaw, try leaving out the mayonnaise and replacing it with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil for a vinaigrette coleslaw.
MIX IN IDEAS: slivered almonds, dried cranberries or golden raisins, shredded chicken, chopped apples, diced onions, diced mango or pineapple.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 122kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 281mg, Potassium: 180mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2973IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?

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