Seriously Good Homemade Coleslaw Recipe

How to make seriously good homemade coleslaw. With a generous amount of acidity from apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard, our favorite coleslaw is anything but dull. Jump to the Easy Coleslaw Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

How to Make the Best Coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe is packed with fresh, lively flavors that wake up anything you serve with it. 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.

What’s the Best Cabbage for Homemade Coleslaw?

There’s no right or wrong answer, here. Use green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage.

For a multi-colored or multi-textured coleslaw, use a combination of two varieties. Most often, we use a combination of green and red cabbage. (If you have leftover cabbage, try our easy ham and cabbage soup.)

Homemade Coleslaw

If you are looking for a mayo-free coleslaw, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at our Cilantro Lime Coleslaw salad Recipe.

How to Cut the Cabbage

Whatever kind of cabbage you choose, the way to prepare them are generally the same.

How to Prepare Cabbage

Remove any tattered or bruised outer leaves, remove the hardy core and then slice into very thin shreds.

Recipe Shortcut: Use Bagged Mixes

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.

The Dressing

Our favortie coleslaw dressing is quick to make and calls for simple ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise is the base and makes the dressing creamy. When we have a batch in our fridge, we love to use this homemade mayonnaise.
  • Apple cider vinegar adds a 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 really make the dressing and taste like celery. The 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 dressing together.

Side note: 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.

Recipe Tip: Only Add Two-Thirds of the Dressing at First

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.

How to Make Coleslaw Ahead of Time

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.

You may also like: This fresh and Easy Cucumber Salad with a sweet and tangy dressing made with vinegar, a little sugar, and Dijon mustard.

How to Make Coleslaw Ahead of Time

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.

Are you looking for more side dishes?

Check out our Potato Salad Recipe with lots of tips for making it best. Or, for a wintery version of coleslaw take a look at our Warm Cabbage and Apple Salad Recipe. Speaking of apples, our Fresh Apple and Fennel Salad is also a great side.

Seriously Good Coleslaw

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 Recipe

  • 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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52 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jennie Silverstein February 20, 2019, 7:43 pm

    Loved this slaw dressing! I questioned for a second there was no sugar but didn’t miss the sugar One bit! Made with a bag of store bought slaw mix and Served with grilled chicken. Loved this! Will save Forever! Easy and delish!

    Reply
  • Sandy Phelps February 19, 2019, 11:31 am

    Just found your site. I am going to make the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe tomorrow.

    Reply
  • katia fernandez January 7, 2019, 4:51 pm

    Dont have celery seeds. It changes the flavor like too much?

    Reply
    • Joanne March 13, 2019, 1:41 pm

      You can leave them out. They do add a light celery flavor, which we love in this coleslaw, but you can make it without them.

      Reply
  • Carol A Williams January 6, 2019, 8:42 pm

    Do you think it would taste good with tarragon vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?

    Reply
    • Joanne March 13, 2019, 1:40 pm

      Tarragon vinegar will make the coleslaw taste different, but should be delicious!

      Reply
  • Tkailua January 4, 2019, 10:44 pm

    LOVE this recipe! I don’t like sweet. Didn’t put in parsley, not a fan. Added red onion. Delish! Ate with baked beans and grilled chx. Put it in sandwiches. Glad we found this recipe.

    Reply
  • Donna January 4, 2019, 7:13 pm

    Very good. Made it for a large group for Christmas to go with Turkey dinner. Everyone raved. I added a bit more vinegar…and no sugar is needed.

    Reply
  • Manolita Farolan Doise December 8, 2018, 12:45 pm

    Hello from Geneva, Switzerland, I was looking for a coleslaw recipe without sugar and found yours. Perfect for the family get-together today! It was delicious with pulled pork and potato salad. Merci beaucoup! Manolita

    Reply
  • Ann R. December 1, 2018, 6:30 am

    This was a wonderful coleslaw recipe. The dressing was spot on. Not too sweet or tart. Perfect. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Delvia November 12, 2018, 2:00 am

    Love cabbage coleslaw

    Reply
  • dede October 26, 2018, 1:07 pm

    I guess I have a sweet tooth, cause my mom always put sugar in her coleslaw at our fried chicken stand at our local fair and it was a big hit.

    Reply
  • Judy Nelson October 10, 2018, 11:36 pm

    Yes, this is seriously the best coleslaw I have ever made or tasted. I have made it with and without bagged coleslaw mix and the difference is huge, so do yourself a favor and take a little extra time to chop up your own cabbage, etc. I use half each of a green and red. Also, since the recipe makes a lot I store the mix without the dressing; it stays fresh for a long time and I just mix the amount I need without the dressing on the day I serve it. Don’t skip the parsley! It’s essential.

    Reply
  • Janelle Norris September 16, 2018, 7:02 pm

    Hi, I love this and have made it several times! I am starting the Keto diet and would like to enter it into my food tracker, however I don’t see what the serving size is. I am not eating anything I can’t log, and I would be so sad to not have this again!! Appreciate your help!

    Reply
  • Brandy September 2, 2018, 11:24 pm

    Love, love, love this recipe!! Had the best ever slaw at Lucille’s in Roseville, CA (next to the best ever smoked BBQ chicken 💕) and it was dripping in vinegary dressing. When I made this recipe, I held back on the dressing. I’m thinking now that putting the total amount in will not hurt anything. Awesome!!!

    Reply
  • Jill Arruda September 2, 2018, 12:59 pm

    Left out the mustard accidentally, and it was amazing! I got rave reviews!

    Reply
  • hilary August 25, 2018, 3:53 pm

    Love this recipe and especially that it doesn’t have sugar like so many do. Maybe I’m not using as much cabbage as the recipe calls for — I use 2 bags of mix — or just don’t like heavy dressing, but both times I’ve made this I’ve had lots of leftover dressing (I start by putting half in and adding spoonfulls as needed). Next time I’ll cut the dressing in half or by a third to avoid wasting mayo.

    Reply
  • Charley F August 21, 2018, 4:04 pm

    I made this but it was for Mahi Tacos, so I subbed a little extra (2.5 tbs?) fresh lime juice for the vinegar, and added a teaspoon of chili poweder and half a teaspoon of cumin to the sauce. Was worried it would be pink but it was beautiful. Delicious!

    Reply
  • Joe August 17, 2018, 8:43 pm

    This was so good. Made with one whole green cabbage and one whole red cabbage. Used whole head of celery too since we didn’t have seeds etc. Mixed all shredded and it made enough for a feast. Had to quadruple the Mayo/wet recipe part -we like it extra creamy. Turned out so good. Used white vinegar instead and thought in all this was fantastic .

    Reply
  • Sarah August 15, 2018, 8:43 am

    This recipe looks so easy, and yummy! Love your videos. Please keep them up!

    Reply
  • Gail. Flood August 5, 2018, 9:00 am

    I loved everything but your dressing. Make sure if you have never had apple cider vinegar before. I throw mine out and did my own version.

    Reply
  • Jessica July 31, 2018, 9:22 am

    I added some Sriracha to taste! Amazing!!

    Reply

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