Classic Coleslaw Recipe

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This Coleslaw recipe is one I’ve been making pretty much forever. It’s quick, easy and my whole family loves it with just about everything! 

We love serving creamy coleslaw with pulled pork sandwiches, or as a side dish for barbecue days full of burgers, pork chops, and other favorites!

Closeup of coleslaw in a white bowl

A Classic Side

A good homemade coleslaw recipe is essential in every kitchen! It’s the perfect side dish to pile on your plate if you’re making ribs, or fish and chips, and it’s amazing stacked on top of our favorite Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches! Don’t stop at pulled pork, sub out lettuce on your favorite hamburger or even in a club sandwich!

While I sometimes throw in extras to create new dishes like Creamy Apple Slaw, I also love a totally basic coleslaw recipe too. Nothing fancy, just the traditional coleslaw flavors we know and love!

How to Make Coleslaw

Coleslaw ingredients simply consist of cabbage and carrots.  I use both purple/red cabbage and green cabbage in this recipe because it really makes it pretty.  If you only have one type of cabbage or the other, that will work just fine too! I use a mandolin to thinly shred the cabbage and make this homemade coleslaw a breeze (not to mention I use my mandolin for a million other things in the kitchen).

If you’d prefer, you can buy pre-shredded cabbage, it makes this coleslaw recipe easy and quick.  I do find chopping my own cabbage gives the slaw a better texture!

Overhead shot of Coleslaw with sauce on top, before mixing together

What is in Coleslaw Dressing?

There are two types of dressing, this coleslaw recipe uses mayonnaise as a base for a great creamy slaw (my favorite kind). You can also have a vinaigrette based dressing.

For a vinaigrette dressing, you’ll need no mayo but you’ll add in vinegar!  Either one is delicious and you’ll want to make sure you don’t skip the celery seed, it really adds a lot of flavor to this dish.

How to make Coleslaw Dressing

My creamy coleslaw dressing recipe is below (in the printable recipe). To swap the dressing out for a vinaigrette combine the following:

Vinaigrette Coleslaw Dressing

(creamy dressing is below)

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • salt & pepper to taste

Bowl of Coleslaw in a bowl with two wooden serving spoons

How Long Will It Last?

The dressing for this homemade coleslaw can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and tossed with the slaw the day of serving.  I find that leaving it to refrigerate about an hour before serving allows the flavors to blend and gives the best results!

If you have any leftovers, they can be refrigerated for up to two days. Any longer, and the coleslaw may become soggy.

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4.99 from 204 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Coleslaw Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
This creamy coleslaw is an easy classic.  It can be made well ahead of time making it the perfect side for any bbq!


  • 3 cups green cabbage finely shredded
  • 2 cups purple cabbage finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrot finely shredded
  • ½ cup mayonnaise/dressing
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • salt & pepper to taste

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  • Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl.
  • Toss with cabbage & carrots. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 160, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 147mg, Potassium: 199mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 3940IU, Vitamin C: 30.9mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 0.6mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword cole slaw, coleslaw, creamy coleslaw, vinaigrette
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Coleslaw with a title
Coleslaw in a white bowl with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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