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Simple Coleslaw Recipe

Closer view of the prepared simple coleslaw recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill Time Before Serving 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Whether atop pulled pork or alongside fried chicken, everyone needs an easy and Simple Coleslaw Recipe and this one uses less mayonnaise too!

In a matter of minutes, a few (and mostly on-hand) ingredients become a homemade favorite summer side dish. You’ll find a classic coleslaw at every picnic, backyard BBQ, and potluck party. Our bacon baked beans are also perfect for these summertime events.

Branded image of this simple coleslaw recipe in a black bowl.

What is coleslaw

Coleslaw, cole slaw, or simply slaw is shredded cabbage in either a creamy dressing or vinaigrette. Green cabbage is the most commonly used in coleslaw recipes. Purple cabbage can also be used to make slaw. Shredded carrots and red cabbage often are tossed with the green cabbage to add both color and texture.

Making homemade coleslaw is generally a cost-effective recipe to bring to parties and such. However, buying a bag of coleslaw mix is a great way to save time.

Closer view of the prepared coleslaw.

What is coleslaw mix made of

Most grocery stores carry two basic coleslaw bag mixes. One is just shredded green cabbage. The other is a mostly green cabbage with matchstick carrots and shredded red cabbage tossed in for color and contrast. These two generally don’t come with dressing.

However, many markets sell coleslaw kits, which are the dry vegetables along with a packet of sauce to add before serving. There are some super fancy ones with additional items like sunflower seeds, raisins, and other vegetables like onion and bell pepper.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Shredded cabbage — a 3:1 cup blend of green and purple cabbage.
  • Carrots — 2 grated on the largest shred on a box grater.
  • OR Coleslaw mix — we used the blend with both cabbages and carrots.
  • Apple cider vinegar — this gives the salad it’s tang and zing.
  • Extra virgin olive oil — use a high quality or premium olive oil for this recipe. You can taste the difference with a lesser quality oil.
  • Mayonnaise — this provides the creamy texture many love about coleslaw.
  • Seasonings — celery seed, dry mustard, salt, black pepper, and sugar.

Step by step directions

Step 1 — Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dry seasonings to a small bowl.

Step 2 — Whisk the mayonnaise into the other dressing ingredients until combined, smooth and creamy.

Step 3 — Add half of the vegetables mixture to a large bowl. Then add half of the dressing. It’s not necessary to stir it at this point. Layering the slaw mix and dressing like this makes mixing it easier, ensuring the salad is well combined because this is a lighter (amount) dressing slaw than most.

Step 4 — Add the remaining slaw mixture and dressing to the bowl and stir well until thoroughly combined. Transfer to an airtight container and chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe adjustments

I am in a house divided where coleslaw is concerned. I confess I am not a huge fan of super creamy coleslaw (i.e. lots of mayo) recipes. Nor do I love it super tangy.

This simple coleslaw recipe uses equal parts mayonnaise and olive oil, and just enough vinegar to give it a slight bite. The vegetables are all coated, but they are not swimming in a sea of dressing. Call me crazy, but I want to taste the cabbage!

Prepared coleslaw in a black bowl.
  • Creamier — Increase mayo to 1/3 cup and omit the olive oil for super creamy. Or use 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • No mayo — Skip the mayo and use plain or plain Greek yogurt if you still want a creamy texture or simple omit the mayo and increase the olive oil to at least 1/4 cup. Use high quality olive oil particularly and especially if omitting the mayo.
  • Tangier — Increase the apple cider vinegar to 1/4 cup and then by the tablespoon from there until the desired tangy-ness has been reached.
  • Sweeter — Increase the sugar by the teaspoon until it’s reached your sweet spot. (See what I did there?)

Recipe FAQs

Can I use a different vinegar?

Yes! This is one of my favorite things to do. Rice vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, and flavored balsamic vinegars are some of my favorite substitutions.

Can I use Miracle Whip instead of mayo?

I do all the time. Just depends on my mood. Using Miracle Whip increases the tangy flavor of the slaw too.

How long will coleslaw keep?

3-4 days as long as it has been stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Stir it well before serving, as the natural water in the vegetables will have started to leak and the dressing may have begun to separate.

Branded image of this simple coleslaw recipe in a black bowl with wooden utensils slightly raising a portion.

Simple Coleslaw Recipe

Whether atop pulled pork or alongside fried chicken, everyone needs an easy and Simple Coleslaw Recipe and this one uses less mayonnaise too!
Prep Time5 mins
Chill Time Before Serving30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Simple Coleslaw
Servings: 8
Calories: 87kcal
Author: Ned Adams

Equipment

  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • various measuring cups and spoons
  • whisk

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar

Salad

  • 16 oz. coleslaw mix or 4 cups shredded cabbage; 2 grated carrots

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.
  • Place half the cabbage mixture to a large bowl then add half the dressing.
  • Add the remaining cabbage mixture and dressing. Stir until well combined.
  • Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Notes

  • Creamier — Increase mayo to 1/3 cup and omit the olive oil for super creamy. Or use 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • No mayo — Skip the mayo and use plain or plain Greek yogurt if you still want a creamy texture or simple omit the mayo and increase the olive oil to at least 1/4 cup. Use high quality olive oil particularly and especially if omitting the mayo.
  • Tangier — Increase the apple cider vinegar to 1/4 cup and then by the tablespoon from there until the desired tangy-ness has been reached.
  • Sweeter — Increase the sugar by the teaspoon until it’s reached your sweet spot.

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 176mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you try this recipe?Leave me a comment and rating below or Tag @DutchOvenDaddy on Instagram to show us your photos!
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