Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

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This easy, traditional Coleslaw Dressing Recipe is always better than store-bought. Best of all, it’s made with simple pantry ingredients and ready in minutes.

Coleslaw dressing in a clear bowl on a countertop.


 

A creamy, sweet and sour coleslaw dressing is the perfect side dish for summer’s best barbecue. It cuts through the heat of ribs, brisket, chicken, and tri-tip with it’s cool and soothing taste and temperature.

This homemade coleslaw dressing is reminiscent of Marie’s brand from the grocery store. It’s made with plenty of mayonnaise, two kinds of vinegar, and mustard to balance out the sugar. I think it’s the best coleslaw dressing you can make at home.

Whether you pile it on your plate or directly on your barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, all you need is this creamy coleslaw dressing a bag of coleslaw mix. Nothing could be easier to round out your bbqs!

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for coleslaw dressing.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Sugar: Substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar (the flavor will change but it still tastes great).
  • Vinegar: I prefer a combination of white and cider vinegar here, but you can use all of one kind (or even white wine vinegar). Lemon juice works too.
  • Celery seed: If you’re not a huge celery seed fan, start with 1 teaspoon of celery seed or substitute poppy seeds.
  • Coleslaw mix: For the easiest coleslaw ever, mix the dressing and toss with a bag of shredded green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots. You can find it in the grocery store’s produce section; it usually comes in 14-ounce or 16-ounce bags. 

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine together mayo, sugar, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed.
Coleslaw dressing ingredients being added together in a clear bowl.
  1. Whisk until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Cover and chill until serving time. To make coleslaw, toss with 1 pound coleslaw mix.
Coleslaw dressing being poured onto a large clear bowl of cabbage.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of dressing which generously dresses 1 pound of cole slaw mix. You’ll end up with 6 cups of coleslaw (six 1-cup servings with ¼ cup dressing each).
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Sitting out at room temperature: Discard any mayo-based coleslaw dressing if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Caraway seeds: Feel free to use an equal amount of caraway seed for the celery seed in the dressing.
  • How to shred cabbage:
    1. Remove any damaged or browned outer leaves and rinse under cold water. Place the head of cabbage on a cutting board or clean work surface with the stem side down.
    2. Locate the stem of the cabbage. With a chef’s knife, slice in half lengthwise, all the way through the core.
    3. If making shredded cabbage, remove the triangular core by cutting into the core at an angle where the stem meets the leaves of the cabbage, and remove it from each half.
    4. Place the halves, cut side down, on the cutting board. Starting at the end opposite the stem, cut crosswise from top to bottom into thin slices. Or slice with a mandoline.
A serving bowl filled with apple coleslaw.
For fall-infused flavors, try this easy Apple Coleslaw recipe. It’s made with cabbage, apples, dried cranberries, green onions, and almonds coated in a zippy sour cream and honey mustard dressing. Or substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. This make-ahead salad recipe takes just 5 minutes to prepare!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can coleslaw sit out at room temperature?

Throw away any mayonnaise-based coleslaw dressing that has sat at room temperature for 2 hours or more.

What is coleslaw dressing made of?

Creamy coleslaw dressings are made with mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and sugar plus spices. Some versions are made with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, too.

What is coleslaw mix made of?

Coleslaw mix is usually a blend of shredded green cabbage, shredded red cabbage, and shredded cabbage.

More delicious dressings

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Coleslaw dressing in a clear bowl on a countertop.

Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

This easy, traditional Coleslaw Dressing Recipe is always better than store-bought. Best of all, it's made with simple pantry ingredients and ready in minutes.
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 6 servings (¼ cup each)
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 293
5 from 27 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, combine together mayo, sugar, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed.
  • Whisk until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Cover and chill until serving time. To make coleslaw, toss with 1 pound coleslaw mix.

Notes

  1. Sugar: Substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar (the flavor will change but it still tastes great).
  2. Vinegar: I prefer a combination of white and cider vinegar here, but you can use all of one kind (or even white wine vinegar). Lemon juice works too.
  3. Celery seed: If you’re not a huge celery seed fan, start with 1 teaspoon of celery seed or substitute poppy seeds.
  4. Coleslaw mix: For the easiest coleslaw ever, mix the dressing and toss with a bag of shredded green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots. You can find it in the grocery store’s produce section; it usually comes in 14-ounce or 16-ounce bags.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of dressing which generously dresses 1 pound of cole slaw mix. You’ll end up with 6 cups of coleslaw (six 1-cup servings with ¼ cup dressing each).
  6. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Discard any mayo-based cole slaw dressing if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25 cupsCalories: 293kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 17gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 267mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 27IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. Being Diabetic I needed a recipe that is both sugar and calorie friendly. Instead of sugar, I used Splenda. I substituted Citrus Champagne Vinegar for the white vinegar, and Dijon Mustard for the yellow mustard. I also used 1.5 tablespoons of celery seed because I favor them. I built the dressing in the bowl that I added the shredded cabbage and carrots to. It worked great with minimal clean up. AWESOME Flavor. To make this really low calorie I will try this recipe with Fage Plain yogurt on my next attenpt. I may need to add more sweetener, but this dressing is gooood5 stars

    1. So glad this recipe worked out for you Mark, thanks for sharing that variation! – Meggan

  2. Deliciously bright dressing for cole slaw. I like to make my own from fresh cabbage, carrots, and celery. Dinner guests loved the addition of Cuties Mandarin wedges. Will definitely make this dressing again. Thank you Culinary Hill.5 stars

  3. I tried this dressing and it was a huge hit! My husband, a BIG potato salad fan, said “ I could eat this all day long!”
    In fact I made it a second time in the same week for an impromptu get together and was again a BIG hit. I added some dried cranberries and chopped pecans which I had on hand. I didn’t have celery seed but will get some for the next batch. I used “bagged” shredded cabbage which is only 14 ounces. I think there is enough dressing to use more shredded cabbage and will experiment with that next time.5 stars

  4. Just wondering about the vinegar in this recipe. The ingredients calls for using white vinegar and in the instructions you say to add white wine vinegar. Which one is it?

    1. Sorry about that!! It’s white vinegar. We started with a recipe that used white wine vinegar, so that works too, but ultimately I thought white vinegar was better. It tastes almost the same and people are more likely to have it. So the recipe should say white vinegar. I’ll fix it! Thanks! -Meggan

  5. This is delicious and closely resembles a popular commercial brand. That brand is sweeter which makes this recipe nice because you can make it either more sweet or sour depending on your preferences.5 stars