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Classic Coleslaw

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close up shot of Classic Coleslaw in a bowl
This creamy classic coleslaw is crisp and tangy and pairs well with anything you serve it with.
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Table of Contents
  1. Classic Coleslaw Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Classic Coleslaw Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Make this creamy classic coleslaw recipe with mayo and vinegar dressing a staple at all of your BBQs, potlucks, and birthday parties. Don’t reserve this crisp coleslaw just for entertaining though; when you have this ultimate side dish on your plate, everything just tastes better. 

close up shot of classic coleslaw topped with homemade salad dressing in a white bowl

Classic Coleslaw Ingredients

classic coleslaw raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 chopped green onions
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SOUR CREAM: Substitute buttermilk or sour cream for about half the amount of mayo in the recipe.

LEMON JUICE: Lemon juice can be used instead of vinegar, and it dials down the tang a little.

HONEY AND GINGER: Swap out sugar and use honey and a little ginger. Spice it up with a teaspoon of dijon mustard or horseradish cream.

MIX-INS: You can also toss in a sprinkle of celery seeds or sunflower seeds. Finely chopped celery and bell peppers add interesting diversions, too.

COLESLAW: The easiest route for this recipe is using a bagged coleslaw mix. If you prefer, you can make your own shredded cabbage mix with green cabbage, red cabbage, or purple cabbage. Using a food processor, you can shred your own cabbage quickly.

MAYONNAISE: You can replace the store-bought mayo in the recipe with homemade mayonnaise if you prefer making your own.

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How To Make This Classic Coleslaw Recipe

STEP ONE: In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, parsley, and green onions together.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

If you love this salad and plan to make it frequently, double or even triple the dressing and store the extras in a mason jar in the fridge for next time.

classic coleslaw process shot of ingredients in a bowl to make a salad dressing

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, toss together the coleslaw mixture and carrots.

PRO TIP:

To shred the carrots, you can either use a box grater or a food processor to make the process quick and easy.

classic coleslaw process shot of ingredients in a large bowl

STEP THREE: Pour the creamy dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture. Toss it well, so the veggies are fully covered.

classic coleslaw process shot of salad dressing being poured and tossed into coleslaw

STEP FOUR: Pop the coleslaw into the fridge to chill for about an hour because the slaw tastes much better when the cabbage has time to marinate in the dressing. Just don’t leave it in there too long if you want to retain the fresh crunch.

How To Serve

We can’t list all the meals to serve this traditional coleslaw recipe with because it’s such a versatile and perfect side dish. A few options include hamburgers, pork sandwiches, grilled meat, grilled tilapia, veggie burgers, or hot dogs.

Serve it alongside other easy recipes such as sauteed vegetables and elbow macaroni salad.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Classic coleslaw is one of those recipes that keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days if you store the cabbage and carrots undressed in an airtight container. Pour dressing over the slaw about an hour before you want to serve it to retain that fresh, crunchy taste.

IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe. Since the creamy coleslaw dressing is made with mayonnaise, it will separate and not taste the same after freezing.

classic coleslaw topped with homemade salad dressing in a large bowl with wooden spoons

I love the tang of a good classic coleslaw and this is one of the best mixed salads I’ve tasted. But whatever recipe you choose to serve it with, homemade coleslaw makes everything taste better and your taste buds will thank you!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make this ahead of time?

This great side dish can be made ahead of time. Don’t add the dressing until about an hour before you are ready to serve it though or your cabbage will lose its crispness.

Can I freeze coleslaw?

Traditional coleslaws do not freeze well since they are made with mayonnaise. The mayo separates during freezing and will not taste the same after.

Can I shred my own cabbage instead of buying store-bought coleslaw?

You can buy full or half heads of cabbage and shred them yourself for this recipe.

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close up shot of Classic Coleslaw in a bowl

Classic Coleslaw

5 from 11 votes
This creamy classic coleslaw is crisp and tangy and pairs well with anything you serve it with.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, parsley, and green onions.
  • In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix with the shredded carrots.
  • Pour the creamy dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture. Toss it well, so the veggies are fully covered.
  • Pop the coleslaw into the fridge to chill for about an hour because the slaw tastes much better when the cabbage has time to marinate in the dressing. Just don’t leave it in there too long if you want to retain the fresh crunch.

Video

Notes

  • If you love this salad and plan to make it frequently, double or even triple the dressing and store the extras in a mason jar in the fridge for next time.
  • To shred the carrots, you can either use a box grater or a food processor to make the process quick and easy.

Nutrition

Sodium: 195mg | Calcium: 29mg | Vitamin C: 15mg | Vitamin A: 1893IU | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 120mg | Cholesterol: 12mg | Calories: 217kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fat: 21g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 6g | Iron: 1mg
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  1. McCala says

    I love this coleslaw! It is fantastic and we will be enjoying it for years to come, thank you for sharing the recipe! I only added a dash of cayenne pepper and some celery seed, otherwise followed the recipe to a tee. It’s a winner!

  2. Ninini says

    À gréât idéal to serve ali gaude camerounian soya that I love over any BBQ receipes.

    Of course… îm living in cameroun 😂😂😂😂

  3. Ellen Postlethwaite says

    5 stars
    Delicious! I made it to go with a fish fry. It was perfect just as the recipe states. I didn’t change a thing. It was a big hit with the whole family.

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