Coleslaw is a favorite side for picnics or BBQs and it’s easy to make ahead of time!
In this coleslaw recipe, crisp and colorful shredded cabbage is tossed in a very simple creamy dressing with a hint of sweetness.
With some cabbage (or coleslaw mix) and a few basic ingredients, this will be a go-to side dish for almost any occasion.
A Classic Coleslaw Recipe
This is the best coleslaw recipe, perfect for parties and summer potlucks and it is so simple to make.
- You need just a few ingredients, most of which you likely have on hand.
- Use green and red cabbage or coleslaw mix to make it even easier.
- The creamy coleslaw dressing takes just 2 minutes to make.
- This is great for gatherings since it is best made ahead of time.
BASE: We use a mixture of regular green cabbage, a bit of red (or purple) cabbage, and shredded carrots. You can swap this out for a bag of coleslaw mix but don’t limit it to cabbage try any “slaw” that your store carries.
DRESSING: Homemade coleslaw is so good because of the zesty creamy dressing. If you’re short on time (or ingredients) store-bought dressing can be used, you’ll want something tangy and sweet.
How to Make Coleslaw
Colorful coleslaw can be made so quickly! Just 3 simple steps to the perfect creamy side dish.
- Shred Cabbage: Finely shred cabbage using a mandoline, a food processor, or make thin slices with a knife. For the carrots, I grate them on the larger side of a box grater.
- Prep Dressing: Whisk the dressing ingredients in a large bowl (per the recipe below).
- Combine & Chill: Add the cabbage and carrots to the dressing and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Swap the cabbage for pre-shredded cabbage or slaw mix in the produce section of the grocery store.
- Finley cut an apple (toss it in a bit of lemon juice) to make it into a Creamy Apple Slaw Recipe.
- Use the creamy dressing in the recipe below or the vinaigrette dressing in the notes.
- To make this recipe lighter, use yogurt in place of some or all of the mayonnaise.
How to Make Coleslaw Dressing
The creamy dressing for this easy coleslaw recipe is homemade but ready in about 2 minutes. It’s so good!
What’s in Coleslaw Dressing? This coleslaw recipe uses mayonnaise as a base for a creamy slaw (my favorite kind) but I’ve included a vinaigrette-based dressing in the notes too.
Mayonnaise adds a creamy texture while the vinegar adds a slight tang. The small amount of sugar balances the dressing. Make sure you don’t skip the celery seed, it really adds a lot of flavor to this dish. This dressing is great on coleslaw but it’s also perfect on broccoli salad. Mix the dressing well before adding to the cabbage mixture. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
- Don’t skip the celery seed, it adds flavor to this classic coleslaw recipe.
- Whisk the dressing in a large bowl (instead of a small bowl) and add the cabbage to toss it all together, one less dish to wash!
- Coleslaw is best once it’s chilled for at least a couple of hours.
- If serving at a potluck or summer event, ensure the slaw isn’t left out in the sun. Place the bowl of slaw in a larger bowl filled with ice to keep it chilled.
What to Serve with Coleslaw
We know that KFC coleslaw is great with chicken but we love this fresh crisp version even more. We love it with any kind of bbq dish.
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks and Crispy Air Fryer French Fries.
- BBQ Chicken wouldn’t be the same without coleslaw!
- We also love serving a large scoop of creamy coleslaw with pulled pork sandwiches
- Use it in place of lettuce on burgers and other favorites!
How to Store
Store this coleslaw in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. After a couple of days, it may release a bit of water, drain it away (and add a tiny bit of mayonnaise if needed).
Unfortunately, coleslaw made with a mayonnaise base will not freeze well.
More Easy Sides You’ll Love
- Cucumber Avocado Salad – Fresh and easy
- Brussel Sprout Salad
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw – Garden fresh!
- Old Fashioned Bean Salad – My mother-in-law’s recipe!
- Chickpea Salad Reader favorite!
- Creamy Apple Slaw Recipe
Did you make this Coleslaw recipe? Leave us a rating and a comment below!
The Best Coleslaw Recipe
- 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
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl.
- Toss with cabbage & carrots. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
- salt & pepper to taste
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!
Thank you so much for this recipe, it is perfect and so delicious. This is my first try at homemade, don’t like the deli slaw, and it is a hit and so easy to make. Finally, I can have the coleslaw I love.
I made this for a Mother’s Day gathering. Everyone really liked it, and I will be making it again!
Yes, I made this last summer for the first time and I loved, my family and coworkers. I think it offers a good balance between meat with or without barbecue sauce. it is quick and simple to make. I love the Trader Joes mixed slaw and the dressing is quick and simple vs a store bought. You can tailor the ingredients to your liking.
Good recipe but too sweet for my taste, I knock it down to one teaspoon of sugar.
this is truly the best slaw recipe. I looked for a while and always got over done recipes that don’t even resemble traditional slaw. All I wanted was a recipe to remind me of my childhood summer picnics. and this is it. thanks so much.