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 make 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. For a different spin, try using broccoli! Here’s our easy recipe for broccoli slaw that uses the same dressing as this recipe.

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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118 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Ralph Stanfield October 8, 2020, 3:28 pm

    Thanks but way too acidic for me! Maybe was the unfiltered Apple vinegar

    Reply
  • Amy Bantly September 28, 2020, 7:11 pm

    Awesome! I served this as a side to beer battered Cod. I used the extra dressing instead of tarter sauce for the fish and it was fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
  • Karen September 9, 2020, 6:07 pm

    This is my second comment, and wanted to add that putting this coleslaw on your hamburger sandwich is absolutely delicious!!! Try it and I think you’ll be pleasingly surprised!

    Reply
  • Heather August 6, 2020, 1:25 pm

    Hey guys! First and foremost, I would love to congratulate for your lovely website and the amazing recipes you share with us. The hummus and falafel recipes are our favorite. On following the recipe to the T, it really turns out very well. My whole family has become a fan of my Mediterranean cooking. Thank you very much. I had a question for this coleslaw recipe. I want to make this slaw tonight as a spread for sandwich, and I don’t have celery seeds. Any recommendations for substitution! Keep posting these great recipes. We love them❤️

    Reply
  • Rochelle July 19, 2020, 7:04 pm

    Was not a hit. Took to a family gathering and many left it on their plate 🙁 The vinegar flavor was overpowering.

    Reply
  • Joe Bannon July 16, 2020, 7:28 pm

    This was a nice recipe for Lockdown-20, and fortunately we had all the ingredients at hand. My immediate supervisor (you know) found the dressing a bit flat and the salad’s texture a bit monotonous. So we added 1/4 c wildflower honey for flavor contrast and a 1/2 c California raisins for textural interest. Those minor modifications resulted in a true winning recipe which we’ll make again with certainty. Served to accompany a grilled Alaskan Salmon sandwich on toasted focaccia roll. Come to think of it, the slaw would be good as a sandwich topping, too. Great with Prosecco.

    Reply
  • tracy July 11, 2020, 5:21 pm

    Wow! I also made this recipe with vegannaise and just a bag of prechopped coleslaw mix and it was absolutely delicious.

    Reply
  • Karen July 4, 2020, 6:09 pm

    This coleslaw recipe is amazingly delicious. I made it today and I couldn’t stop eating it. I used Hellman’s mayonnaise, but would like to try the homemade mayonnaise recipe another time. The only thing I added that was not in the recipe was a little shredded onion, maybe 1 tablespoon. After making this recipe, I’ll have no reason to buy store bought coleslaw or get take-out coleslaw. The other thing I like is that you know what’s in the coleslaw without any Thank You Inspired Taste for posting this recipe.

    Reply
  • Lee Kub July 3, 2020, 5:58 pm

    Delicious and easy recipe , tasty as it is , even without the salt and pepper! Healthier that there’s no sugar added.

    Reply
  • Emily June 21, 2020, 7:28 pm

    I made this recipe tonight with a few changes. I used Vegannaise instead of mayonnaise, I used half a head of red cabbage (it’s what I had), I left out the green cabbage and the carrots (because I didn’t have any), and I added about 2 T. of fresh chives. It was SO good!! My teens don’t particularly love coleslaw, but they raved about this one. It was amazing!! It was so pretty, and the addition of the chives really kicked it up a notch!

    Reply
    • Beth Hooker July 14, 2020, 11:16 pm

      I made mine exactly as you did except I added shredded carrots. I also use Lowrey’s Lemon Pepper. We prefer red cabbage..added some chives. It was lovely!

      Reply
  • Gerry - BK June 21, 2020, 9:18 am

    What a lovely coleslaw your recipe makes. I had to omit the celery seed and parsley as I was out. I can’t wait to make this again with all the ingredients, because it was so good, even missing a few things. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
    • Sherry July 16, 2020, 1:49 pm

      I didn’t have celery seed either, so I used celery salt and cut the salt by half of what it calls for. Delish!!!

      Reply
  • Brooke June 20, 2020, 2:25 pm

    Love this recipe! Didn’t have dijon so i subbed honey mustard and used red wine vinegar instead and also added a little sour cream.

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Cochran June 16, 2020, 12:14 pm

    Wow. So delicious! I love the addition of celery seed. I cannot believe you don’t need sugar to make coleslaw taste good. I used Best Foods (Hellman’s) but definitely want to try your homemade mayo next time. Finally, a reason to use my food processor! Haha! Thank you.

    Reply
  • Giovanna Slon June 16, 2020, 8:20 am

    Great recipe! Didn’t have celery seeds, but added some Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt and it was delicious. Also threw in a few slices of red onion.

    Reply
  • Jex June 15, 2020, 9:08 pm

    Really delish! I didn’t have parsley, which I’ll include next time, but it was outstanding as it was. Thanks for sharing it!

    Reply

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