This easy Apple Coleslaw is great for lunch or dinner and every party you will ever host or attend. Everything can be prepped ahead of time.

In my quest for The Ultimate Coleslaw, I did a lot of research. I did some trial-and-error. I had to buy more than one head of cabbage before the day was over.

Apple coleslaw in a clear bowl with dressing being poured on it.

First, the cabbage. I read tidbits about using a food processor with the shredding attachment to shred cabbage. Wow, was THAT a mistake. The cabbage was pulverized beyond recognition. If you want to make “riced” cabbage, though, use your food processor.

You can either shred the cabbage by hand with a chef’s knife or buy a bag of shredded cabbage from the store. To shred the cabbage by hand (which takes all of 2 minutes):

  1. Wash the head and peel off the outer layers.
  2. Cut the cabbage in quarters.
  3. Cut the core off of each quarter at an angle. This is a much easier, much safer method of coring a cabbage than trying to carve it out of the whole head.
  4. Turn each wedge on to a flat side and thinly slice the leaves.
Apple coleslaw in a clear bowl.

While the dressing is chilling and the cabbage is draining, you can easily prepare the rest of your ingredients.

Or, everything can be prepped a day in advance. Even the apples! If you recall from my favorite Waldorf Salad post, Opal® Apples don’t turn brown when cut (and this is a natural phenomenon, not a genetically engineered one). They are also sweet, delicious, and a lovely golden hue!

Opal Apples on a brown countertop.

Dressing being poured onto Easy Apple Coleslaw ingredients in a clear bowl. lunch or dinner and every party you will ever host or attend. Everything can be prepped ahead of time.

Easy Apple Coleslaw

This easy Apple Coleslaw is great for lunch or dinner and every party you will ever host or attend. Everything can be prepped ahead of time.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 8 servings (1 cup each)
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 308


For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon poppyseeds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Slaw:

  • 1 head cabbage shredded (see notes)
  • 2 Opal® Apples
  • 2 carrots (see notes)
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • To make the dressing, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, honey, mustard, poppy seeds, and ½ teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days in advance.
  • Toss the cabbage with ¼ cup kosher salt and set in a colander over a bowl for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, to draw out some of the moisture from the cabbage. Rinse well and pat dry.
  • While the cabbage is draining, Core the apples and cut them into 1/8″-thick slices. Then, stack the slices and cut them in to 1/8″-thick matchsticks. Grate the carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Slice the scallions thinly.
  • In a large bowl, combine the drained cabbage, apples, carrots, cranberries, and almonds. Whisk dressing to recombine and pour over slaw. Toss until evenly coated. 


  1. I recommend using a knife to shred the cabbage (or buying a bag of shredded cabbage). I tried shredding my cabbage using a food processor (with the shredding attachment). I thought this would be a great, time-saving idea but it totally just pulverized the cabbage beyond recognition.
  2. ½ cup shredded carrots may be substituted for grating 2 carrots by hand.
  3. Adapted from Serious Eats. They had a lot of great ideas such as draining the cabbage. 


Serving: 1cupCalories: 308kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 5gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 128mgPotassium: 437mgFiber: 7gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 2797IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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  1. The colors in this salad are awesome!  I used half green and half purple cabbage for a little more jazz.  Wonderful recipe!5 stars

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