The absolute Best Creamy Coleslaw Recipe! Crisp, refreshing, and filled with simple ingredients, this delicious coleslaw recipe comes together in just 10 minutes and tastes fantastic with all your favorite dishes bbq and potluck dishes.
The Best Coleslaw Recipe
Coleslaw is actually quite delicious, you guys. It took me a while to get on board with this creamy, crunchy, tangy quintessential summer side dish, but now that I am on board, I am on board for life!
What took me so long?
Too many soggy, mayo-drowned coleslaw experiences in my childhood that (apparently) followed me all the way to adulthood. You guys, it’s time to replace those unfortunate experiences with happy ones filled with delicious and refreshing homemade coleslaw.
Let’s get to it, yes?
How to Make Coleslaw
For the full list and amounts of ingredients, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
First and foremost, let’s talk about cabbage. Feel free to use green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, or Napa cabbage – or a combination of all four. It’s entirely up to you. What’s most important is how your cabbage is cut.
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 shredded cabbage.
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
To make the dressing, I recommend whisking 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 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.
This is a pretty basic recipe. I like it this way. If you want to jazz up your bowl of coleslaw, try adding 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)
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!
Finally, I do not recommend freezing coleslaw. Raw cabbage does not freeze and thaw well.
More side dishes,
If you try making this Creamy Coleslaw Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Coleslaw Recipe - The Best Classic Coleslaw
- 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! All together, 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.
- To make this recipe vegan: replace the egg-based mayonnaise with an olive oil or avocado vegan mayo.
- Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes.