Seriously Good Homemade Coleslaw

My favorite homemade coleslaw recipe with the most delicious creamy dressing. This coleslaw is quick and easy to make. It is even easy to make in advance. Jump to the Easy Coleslaw Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

Watch how we the recipe

How to make the best coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe is packed with fresh, lively flavors that wake up anything you serve it with. Try this as a topping to sandwiches, served next to ultra-savory meats, like braised beef or pulled pork. Or mound some on top of your next hot dog or hamburger.

You won’t believe how easy coleslaw is to make at home. Here are my best tips for making it.

What is the best cabbage to use?

I love using a combination of red and green cabbage when I make coleslaw. It makes the dish really pretty. You can use just one variety, though. Try green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage.

Homemade coleslaw with red and green cabbage

How to cut cabbage for coleslaw

Whatever type of cabbage you choose, the way to prepare them are generally the same. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove any tattered or bruised outer leaves.
  2. Cut the cabbage into quarters, and then cut out the core.
  3. Slice the cabbage quarters into thin shreds. You can hand shred with a knife (like in the photos below), use a mandoline or use your food processor shredding attachment.
Cutting cabbage for coleslaw
Quartering the cabbage makes removing the core easier.
Shredding cabbage
For the best coleslaw, slice the cabbage into very thin shreds.

Recipe shortcut: use bagged coleslaw mix

As an alternative, you can buy bags of pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix. They usually range between 10 and 16 ounces, so you may need a couple of bags for our recipe.

Replace the cabbage and carrot called for in our recipe with your favorite store-bought bag. We have even seen bagged coleslaw mixes that include shredded broccoli stems (delicious) and other vegetables if you’re in the mood to try something a little bit different.

My favorite coleslaw dressing

Our favorite coleslaw dressing is quick to make and calls for simple ingredients. It’s creamy, flavorful, and fresh.

Mayonnaise is the base and makes the dressing creamy. When we have a batch in our fridge, we love to use homemade mayonnaise.

Apple cider vinegar adds a fresh and zesty note to the dressing. You can substitute other kinds of vinegar like red wine vinegar or champagne vinegar.

Dijon mustard adds extra flavor and a bit of spice.

Celery seeds taste like mild celery and really do add that “something-something” to the dressing. Their flavor is mild, so if you aren’t a celery fan, I’d still recommend using at least some of the celery seeds called for in the recipe.

Salt and pepper are a must and bring the flavors in the dressing together.

We don’t add any sugar. Some coleslaw recipes call for sugar. For our tastes, the cabbage and carrots are sweet enough. If you disagree, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the dressing before mixing with the cabbage and carrot.

Adding the dressing

When you’re ready to mix up your coleslaw, don’t just dump in the whole bowl of dressing. Instead, start with about two-thirds, give everything a stir and then see just how much more dressing you feel your coleslaw needs.

If you decide it’s perfect the way it is, don’t throw away that leftover coleslaw dressing! Keep it in the fridge (it will last for days, if not weeks). Use it as a spread for sandwiches, a dip for vegetables or sauce for meats and roasted or grilled vegetables.

Adding the dressing to coleslaw ingredients
We add about two-thirds of the dressing at first, and then add more dressing if we think it needs it.

Make ahead tips

Coleslaw is easy to make in advance. The vegetables can be shredded a day or two in advance and kept in a resealable bag in the refrigerator.

As for the dressing, mix it up and store covered in the refrigerator for weeks. Combine the cabbage, carrots and dressing the night before or day of serving — we like the crunch of the vegetables to still be present. The longer the cabbage sits in the coleslaw dressing, the softer and less crunchy it will become.

Seriously Good Coleslaw

What our readers are saying

If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you achieve the best coleslaw from scratch, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.

“This is seriously the best coleslaw I have ever made or tasted.” – Judy

“Wow, fantastic slaw!” – Bryant

“Amazing! I wanted to eat the whole bowl!” – Caitlin

More cabbage recipes

Recipe updated, originally posted January 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Seriously Good Homemade Coleslaw

  • PREP
  • TOTAL

With a generous amount of acidity from apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, our coleslaw recipe is anything but dull. Instead, it is packed with fresh, lively flavors that wake up anything you serve with it. Unlike some of the more traditional or popular recipes for coleslaw, we skip the addition of sugar to our coleslaw dressing. For our tastes, the cabbage and carrots are sweet enough. If you disagree, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the dressing before mixing with the cabbage and carrot. Try this as a topping to sandwiches, served next to ultra-savory meats, like braised beef or pork. Or, mound some on top of your next hot dog or hamburger.

Makes approximately 10 servings

You Will Need

1 medium cabbage (about 2 pounds), outer leaves removed

3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

1 cup (170 grams) mayonnaise, try our homemade mayonnaise recipe

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or more to taste

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or coarse ground mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or more to taste

Directions

    Quarter the cabbage through the core, and then cut out the core. Cut each quarter crosswise in half and finely shred. Place the shredded cabbage in a very large bowl (you will have 6 to 8 cups).

    Add the shredded carrot and parsley to the cabbage and toss to mix.

    In a separate bowl, stir the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, celery seeds, salt, and pepper together. Taste for acidity and seasoning then adjust as desired. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the cabbage and carrot then mix well. (Clean hands are the quickest tool).

    If the coleslaw seems dry, add a little more of the dressing. Eat right away or let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors mingle and the cabbage to soften.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Cabbage: Use green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage. For a multi-colored or multi-textured coleslaw, use a combination of two varieties.
  • Store-bought bagged coleslaw mix: You can buy bags of pre-shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix. They usually range between 10 and 16 ounces. Simply replace the cabbage and carrot called for in our recipe above with your favorite store-bought bag.
  • Make ahead: The vegetables can be shredded a day or two in advance and kept in a resealable bag in the refrigerator. As for the dressing, mix it up and store covered in the refrigerator for weeks. Combine the cabbage, carrots and dressing the night before or day of serving — we like the crunch of the vegetables to still be present. The longer the cabbage sits in the coleslaw dressing, the softer it will become.
  • Leftover dressing: This can be used as a spread for sandwiches, dip for vegetables, served alongside the coleslaw or with grilled or roasted vegetables, chicken or meats.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We have omitted salt since you will need to add to your tastes.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 183 / Protein 2 g / Carbohydrate 7 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 4 g / Total Fat 17 g / Saturated Fat 3 g / Cholesterol 9 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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94 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Michele Hood May 24, 2020, 3:53 pm

    Fabulous! I hadn’t made any in a while and my portions had been off with the cider vinegar and Dijon when I’m just went from memory. This was perfect! Thanks for correcting me! Is it possible to slip some Plain Greek Yogurt in the dressing to you think to cut back some cholesterol? Although some times bad for you stuff is a requirement!

    Reply
  • Kathleen Blevins May 20, 2020, 8:06 pm

    Love the slaw!!!! You guys are great. Thanks for the vids.

    Reply
  • Greg May 20, 2020, 2:14 pm

    The slaw I grew up with. The only addition is three slices smoked bacon, cubed and fried. Save a teaspoon of grease and add the rest of ingredients. 😋

    Reply
  • David May 18, 2020, 4:52 pm

    Delicious! I had red cabbage and carrots I needed to use, and this was the perfect recipe. Didn’t have celery seed but just added two tsp of celery salt instead and it turned out great.

    Reply
  • Jami May 14, 2020, 6:32 pm

    This is a great recipe! My husband really loved it and so did I. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Allie April 27, 2020, 4:26 pm

    This recipe has quickly become a family favorite. I like to add a little honey but it definitely doesn’t need it. It’s an excellent accompaniment to any meal, especially fish tacos and burger night.

    Reply
  • Graham April 24, 2020, 2:00 pm

    Made it tonight. Very good. Nice ideas for a cold slaw. Will make it again.

    Reply
  • Sally April 20, 2020, 9:27 pm

    Great recipe! Loved the flavor. Perfect b/c I don’t like sweet coleslaw. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Dianne Lloyd April 8, 2020, 5:10 pm

    Tried this recipe today. It was wonderful! I will definitely make it again. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Mike April 4, 2020, 5:47 pm

    My wife and I really enjoy this slaw. I have made it twice now and it is one of the very best I have come across. I use your mayo recipe for this, which is also one of the best recipes for mayo that I have found. The only thing that I do differently with the mayo is add a teaspoon of paprika to it. But I do make a doubled size batch, as I don’t have a small bowl for my processor.

    Reply
  • Sandra March 7, 2020, 2:37 pm

    Absolutely the best coleslaw recipe I have found. Love that there is no sugar added( doing low carb ). Thank You 😊

    Reply
  • Dale Ruthenberg January 20, 2020, 8:50 am

    I made this. yesterday and took to work for a birthday and everyone loved it. Now there asking for the recipe. I love coleslaw and this is now my favorite. Cant get enough of it.

    Reply
  • Laura January 14, 2020, 6:36 am

    We didn’t have celery seed, so I tried substituting 1 teaspoon of fennel seed – we LOVED it! Also didn’t have fresh parsley, so used a little dried. Worked well. Great recipe, a keeper.

    Reply

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