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Classic Coleslaw

classic coleslaw topped with homemade salad dressing in a white bowl
You’ll often find signature creamy coleslaw recipes at places like Chick-fil-a, KFC, and Jamie Oliver. For good reason: all generations enjoy the sweet-sour taste and it 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. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

What’s a staple at BBQs, potlucks, birthday parties, and all sorts of celebrations? A creamy classic coleslaw recipe with mayo and vinegar dressing. It’s one of the foods that often gets invited out. But don’t reserve this perfect coleslaw just for entertaining! When you have this ultimate side dish on your plate, everything just tastes better. 

Serve it alongside other easy recipes such as scalloped potatoes, sauteed vegetables and elbow macaroni salad. It’s also great paired with our cheesy pull apart bread.

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

RECIPES THAT GO GREAT WITH CLASSIC COLESLAW
Beer Marinated Chicken | Pulled Pork


CLASSIC COLESLAW INGREDIENTS

classic coleslaw raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 1 (14-ounce) bag coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 chopped green onions

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.

SEEDS: You can also toss in a sprinkle of celery seed 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 and sugar together. I also like to add chopped parsley and onions for an extra flavor kick.

PRO TIP: 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. Add our iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side.

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.

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

You’ll often find signature classic coleslaw recipes at places like Chick-fil-A, KFC and Jamie Oliver. For good reason: all generations enjoy the sweet-sour taste crunchy raw cabbage and it pairs well with anything you serve it with.

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!

FAQ

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 it’s 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.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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classic coleslaw topped with homemade salad dressing in a white bowl

Classic Coleslaw

5 from 11 votes
You’ll often find signature creamy coleslaw recipes at places like Chick-fil-a, KFC, and Jamie Oliver. For good reason: all generations enjoy the sweet-sour taste and it pairs well with anything you serve it with.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bag coleslaw mix 10 ounces
  • 1 cup carrots shredded
  • 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl toss the coleslaw mix with shredded carrots.
  • In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, sugar, parsley, and green onions.
  • Toss dressing with mix and refrigerate until serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1893IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Saudie says

    I just hate bagged coleslaw mix I find it has a taste, so I shredded a green and purple cabbage and followed the recipe to the tee and it was very good. Next time I may throw in match stick sliced Granny Smith apples. Great on your instant pot pulled pork in a bun.

  2. Beth says

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. Super easy and tasty. A great coleslaw recipe if you are a fan of creamy type coleslaw. A keeper for sure. Will be making it again!

  3. Janis says

    5 stars
    Since there are only two of us, I don’t usually make a large recipe of cole slaw, so I purchased Trader Joe’s 9oz. bag of red & green cabbage and shredded carrots. I made ½ the dressing recipe. Delicious, but a tad too much dressing for that amount of slaw mix. I will make this recipe again, but most likely back off just a tad on the dressing ingredients.
    Also to make it a little less in fat and calories, I substituted Light Mayonnaise, 1% milk, and granulated Splenda along with the Apple Cider Vinegar.
    We will enjoy this recipe for years to come. Thanks, Melodee!

  4. 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!

  5. Ninini says

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

    Of course… îm living in cameroun 😂😂😂😂

  6. 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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