My favorite super easy Coleslaw Recipe with homemade creamy coleslaw dressing. Crisp and refreshing, this amazing recipe takes just 10 minutes to make and tastes fantastic with all of your favorite potluck, bbq, and summer recipes.
Summertime isn’t really summer without coleslaw. Truth be told, it took me a while to get on board with coleslaw. I blame it on the many soggy, store-bought, mayo-drowned coleslaw experiences from my childhood that (apparently) followed me all the way to adulthood.
Fortunately, since I started making my own coleslaw recipe, I’ve learned the true wonder of this creamy, crunchy side dish.
What is coleslaw?
Coleslaw (also called cole slaw or simply, slaw) is a popular summer side dish made from finely shredded cabbage that’s been tossed in either a creamy dressing or vinaigrette. Coleslaw variations are considerable, with cabbage being the only truly consistent ingredient.
Coleslaw Dressing Recipe
There are countless ways to prepare coleslaw dressing. Some are vinegar-based while others a mayonnaise-based. This creamy coleslaw dressing is mayo-based. You’ll need the following ingredients,
- Mayonnaise (full-fat recommended)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh lemon juice
- White sugar
- Black pepper
When making the dressing, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and black pepper in a medium mixing bowl, before adding the mayonnaise and salt. It comes together better.
The consistency should be somewhere between buttermilk and ranch dressing – easily pourable, but not too watery.
You can make this creamy dressing up to 3 days ahead of time as long as you don’t mix it with any shredded cabbage. However, once you combine the dressing with the cabbage and carrots, it is best enjoyed within 2 days. As with all things mayo-based, keep any leftovers stored in the refrigerator.
How to Make Coleslaw
- Prepare and shred the cabbage. Feel free to use green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage – or a combination of all four.
- Prepare the coleslaw dressing. Dressing may be prepared up to 3 days in advance.
- Combine and refrigerate. Pour half of the dressing over the shredded cabbage. Mix well and add additional dressing as needed. Transfer the coleslaw to the refrigerator and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to set (time allowing).
How to cut cabbage for coleslaw
- Remove the thick, fibrous, outer leaves.
- Cut in half through the stem to make two halves. Cut each half in half through the stem to create quarters.
- Cut the core from each quarter.
- Thinly slice each quarter, one at a time, with a mandoline slicer (recommended for even slices), or chef’s knife.
Can you use pre-cut coleslaw mix? Sure. The cabbage will not be nearly as fresh and the slices won’t be as thin (or uniformly sliced), but it will work if you’re in a hurry or simply hate shredding cabbage.
This is a pretty basic slaw recipe. I like it this way. If you want to jazz up your bowl of coleslaw, try adding any of the following:
- Chopped parsley
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped green onions
- Red onion (or quick pickled red onions)
- Bell pepper
- Celery seed or dijon mustard (to the dressing)
Serving and Storing
This coleslaw is a great side dish to share at your next summer bbq, potluck, or picnic. Pair it with slow cooker pulled pork, shredded salsa chicken tacos, all your favorite BBQ recipes, corn on the cob, and potato salad!
Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing coleslaw. Raw cabbage does not freeze and thaw well.
Have you tried making this Homemade Coleslaw Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
- Prepare and shred your cabbage. Quarter your cabbage through the core. Cut out the core and remove the outer leaves. Cut each quarter in half crosswise and use a large chef's knife to finely shred. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the shredded purple cabbage and shredded carrots to the same bowl and toss to mix.
- Prepare the coleslaw dressing. Add the apple cider vinegar, lemon, granulated sugar, and black pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine. Add the mayonnaise and mix to combine. Season with salt, and taste for acidity. Add additional salt or apple cider vinegar, if needed.
- Combine and refrigerate. Start by pouring HALF of the dressing over the shredded cabbage, mixing well to combine. Add remaining dressing and mix again. Transfer coleslaw to the refrigerator and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes to allow flavors to set (time allowing).
- Feel free to use green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage – or a combination of all four! Altogether, you’ll need approximately 8-10 cups of shredded cabbage and carrots.
- Make-ahead: Prepare the coleslaw dressing up to 3 days ahead of time.
- Leftover coleslaw: Keep stored in the refrigerator. Best enjoyed within 2 days.
- Can you freeze coleslaw? No, it’s not recommended to freeze coleslaw.
- To make this recipe vegan: replace the egg-based mayonnaise with an olive oil or avocado vegan mayo.
- Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)