Easy Coleslaw

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An easy recipe for classic Coleslaw with from-scratch dressing and a bag of slaw mix. Pile it on the plate or throw it in a bun. It’s simple and delicious!

Coleslaw on a blue plate.

A classic creamy coleslaw is the palette cleanser of today’s backyard barbecue.

Between bites of grilled meats, hot and hearty sides, and soft rolls or cornbread, coleslaw is cold, slightly sweet, and a little crunchy. I like one that tastes like its from the deli, or maybe even KFC.

Recipe ingredients

A bowl of cabbage slaw mix next to a bowl of 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: Honey also tastes great to sweeten this dressing (the flavor will change).
  • Vinegar: I prefer a combination of white and cider vinegar here, but you can use all of one kind (or even white wine vinegar).
  • Coleslaw mix: Substitute a pound of fresh cabbage and shred it yourself. Or, use a food processor fit with a slicing disk. Add some carrots (shredded or grated) and you’re good to go!

Step-by-step instructions

  1. To make the slaw dressing, just whisk up the ingredients together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then store it in the refrigerator until you need it.
    Coleslaw dressing ingredients being added together in a clear bowl.
  2. Toss it with a pound of coleslaw mix (or just shred cabbage yourself).
    Someone pouring dressing onto coleslaw in a clear bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of dressing which generously dresses 1 pound of coleslaw mix. You end up with 6 cups of coleslaw.
  • Storage: Properly stored in the refrigerator, the dressing should last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. The coleslaw doesn’t last well, so don’t plan on keeping leftovers.
  • Sitting out at room temperature: Bacteria has a much better chance of growing in warm temperatures, so throw out any mayo-based coleslaw if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Broccoli coleslaw: Made with crunchy ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, walnuts, scallions, and a sweet vinegar dressing.
  • Apple coleslaw: Made with slaw mix, sliced apples, scallions, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds.
  • Seasonal slaw: Change up your slaw with the seasons. In spring, add slivered radishes and chives. In winter, use a base of shredded kale or Brussels sprouts instead.
Coleslaw on a blue plate.

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Coleslaw in a teal bowl.

Easy Coleslaw

An easy recipe for classic Coleslaw with from-scratch dressing and a bag of slaw mix. Pile it on the plate or throw it in a bun. It's simple and delicious!
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Servings 6 servings (1 cup each)
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 313

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (see note 2)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons celery seed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces coleslaw mix (see note 3)

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together mayo, sugar, white vinegar, cider vinegar, yellow mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper). Cover and chill until serving time, up to 4 days in advance.
  • In a large bowl, add coleslaw mix. Drizzle with dressing to taste and toss to combine. This tastes best when eaten the day it is made.

Notes

  1. Sugar: Honey also tastes great to sweeten this dressing (the flavor will change).
  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).
  3. Coleslaw mix: Substitute a pound of fresh cabbage and shred it yourself. Or, use a food processor fit with a slicing disk. Add some carrots (shredded or grated) and you’re good to go!
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of dressing which generously dresses 1 pound of coleslaw mix. You end up with 6 cups of coleslaw.
  5. Storage: Properly stored in the refrigerator, the dressing should last up to 4 days in the refrigerator. The coleslaw doesn’t last well, so don’t plan on keeping leftovers.
  6. Sitting out at room temperature: Bacteria has a much better chance of growing in warm temperatures, so throw out any mayo-based coleslaw if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
  7. Broccoli coleslaw: Made with crunchy ramen noodles, sunflower seeds, walnuts, scallions, and a sweet vinegar dressing.
  8. Apple coleslaw: Made with slaw mix, sliced apples, scallions, dried cranberries, and slivered almonds.
  9. Seasonal slaw: Change up your slaw with the seasons. In spring, add slivered radishes and chives. In winter, use a base of shredded kale or Brussels sprouts instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 313kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 281mgPotassium: 150mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 98IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 1mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Love trying different slaw recipes and I love your recipes in general. I’ve made so many I couldn’t count! If I decide to try the honey as the sweetener would I use it in equal amount to the sugar? Also never tried a combo of vinegars before. Will be making soon to have with Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders. Keep cooking and so will I!5 stars

  2. This is a dead ringer for a very popular dressing, and customizes very well. It stays fresh quite awhile when stored in the fridge. However, I doubt there will be any left over to store. It’s that good!5 stars