Coleslaw Recipe

This Coleslaw Recipe marries crunchy cabbage and carrots with a creamy coleslaw dressing. This easy homemade coleslaw is the best topping for pulled pork or a BBQ chicken sandwich. Or serve it as an easy side dish at your next BBQ!

Coleslaw in a serving bowl

Coleslaw is a crunchy salad made with cabbage and shredded carrots tossed in either a creamy dressing or a vinegar-based dressing. This coleslaw recipe features my creamy homemade Coleslaw Dressing, which is quick to mix up with just five ingredients.

You can make the coleslaw dressing with either mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt. I usually use yogurt because it makes this salad extra light and fresh, perfect for summer!

Fresh cabbage and carrots are easy to shred and make an especially delicious and crunchy coleslaw from scratch. If you prefer, you can substitute a package of store-bought coleslaw mix in this recipe. It’s a shortcut I like to take when I want to get dinner on the table fast.

cabbage and carrot coleslaw in a bowl with a serving spoon

Coleslaw is perfect for serving as a summer side dish or for topping Pulled Pork or a BBQ Chicken Sandwich, served on a toasted Brioche Bun. We also like to serve a Broccoli Salad, Pasta Salad and Fruit Salad as part of our summer BBQ spread. Be sure to try my Apple Slaw next!

Coleslaw Recipe Ingredients

Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.

ingredients for coleslaw recipe

  • Shredded Cabbage: I used green cabbage here but you can also use a mixture of red and green cabbage.
  • Grated Carrot: I use a box grater to shred the carrot. You can also use the shredding or julienne disk attachment on a food processor. I prefer to use fresh shredded carrot rather than pre-shredded bagged carrots because they are fresher and more flavorful.
  • Coleslaw Dressing: My homemade Coleslaw Dressing is made with mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt), honey, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper.

Coleslaw Dressing

You can mix up the dressing in just minutes and it’s so much better than store bought dressing! I recommend making the dressing at least a few hours ahead of time and chilling it in the refrigerator before tossing with the cabbage and carrots. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Dressing Ingredient Notes:

  • You can substitute pure maple syrup or granulated sugar for the honey. 
  • The Dijon mustard adds depth of flavor to the dressing. You can leave it out if you don’t care for the flavor.
  • Celery seed adds a slight earthy flavor. You can omit the celery seed if you don’t have it on hand in your kitchen. The dressing will still be delicious without it.

How to Shred Cabbage

Shredding cabbage for this homemade coleslaw is easy and only takes a few minutes. 

how to shred cabbage step by step photos

  1. Cut the cabbage in half.
  2. Then cut into quarters.
  3. Slice out the core.
  4. Use a sharp knife to thinly cut the cabbage into shreds.

How to Make Coleslaw

Once your dressing is mixed up and the cabbage and carrots are shredded, it’s time to mix everything together.

coleslaw dressing poured onto shredded cabbage and carrot

using tongs to mix dressing into coleslaw

Tips for the Best Coleslaw:

  • Taste the dressing before mixing it with the cabbage and adjust the seasonings. Add more salt and pepper as needed. If you want it a little sweeter, add a bit more honey. If you want it tangier, add a little more apple cider vinegar.
  • Don’t mix in all of the dressing at once. Start by adding about 3/4 of the dressing to the coleslaw. Stir until everything is well combined. Then, if you want the coleslaw creamier, you can add more dressing. If you add too much dressing from the start, your coleslaw may end up dressed more heavily than you like.
  • Finally, taste the coleslaw and once again add more salt and pepper if needed. 
  • Mix up the flavors and textures using one or more of the recipe variations below!

Recipe Variations

  • To make a healthier coleslaw, use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo in the dressing.
  • If you’re short on time, substitute one 14 ounce bag of store bought tri color coleslaw mix for the fresh cabbage and carrots. If you add all of the dressing to 14 ounces of coleslaw mix, the coleslaw will be very generously dressed, so I recommend adding only part of the dressing to start. You can always add more, to taste.
  • Brighten the flavor of the coleslaw by adding chopped fresh herbs. Fresh parsley or cilantro would be delicious.
  • Add more crunch and flavor with nuts or seeds. Try sliced almonds, pepitas or sunflower seeds.
  • Mix in sliced green onions for a pop of mild onion flavor. 
  • Add chopped or sliced apple and/or raisins, for extra sweetness. I recommend first tossing the apple with a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Use a combination of green and red cabbage for more color.

grabbing coleslaw with tongs held over bowl

How Long Does Coleslaw Last?

If you would like to make coleslaw ahead, I recommend storing the dressing and shredded vegetables in separate containers in the refrigerator. For best results, mix the dressing with the cabbage and carrot no more than an hour or two before serving. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Once mixed with the dressing, coleslaw can be stored for about 2 days in the refrigerator. It may become a bit watery and less crunchy over time, but if you drain off some of the excess liquid and give it a stir it will be tasty. 

Serving Suggestions

Coleslaw is a classic topping for a pulled pork or chicken sandwich. Try it with my Instant Pot Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Instant Pot BBQ Chicken or Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken.

It’s also a delicious side dish! Serve this coleslaw recipe with Slow Cooker Ribs, Instant Pot Ribs, Baked Pork Chops, Grilled Chicken or Grilled Pork Chops

More Easy Summer Salads

Coleslaw Recipe

Easy homemade Coleslaw Recipe, with crunchy cabbage and carrots in a creamy coleslaw dressing. This delicious coleslaw is the best topping for a pulled pork or BBQ chicken sandwich. Or serve it as an easy side dish at your next BBQ!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cole slaw, coleslaw, coleslaw recipe, creamy coleslaw
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Servings 8 servings
Calories 225kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 cups finely shredded green cabbage (1 medium cabbage)
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots (grated)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • Combine cabbage and carrot in a large bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), honey, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper until well combined. Taste and adjust the flavors if needed. If you want it sweeter, add a little more honey. For a tangier dressing, add a little more vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour about ¾ of the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and mix until the vegetables are evenly coated. Add more dressing as needed until the coleslaw is as creamy as you like it.
  • Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate. Coleslaw is best the first and second day.

Notes

  • You can use one 14 ounce bag of store bought coleslaw mix in place of the cabbage and carrot.
  • Coleslaw is best the day it is made, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also make the dressing ahead and refrigerate, and then mix dressing with coleslaw right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 3/4 cup | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1345IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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