This Creamy Coleslaw Recipe is the quintessential side dish to any backyard barbecue. A simple combination of cabbage, carrots, onions, and the most delicious creamy dressing – makes this the salad you’ll come back to again and again!
The BEST Coleslaw
While it’s easy to buy a container of coleslaw at the grocery store these days, making your own is SO much better. YOU get to control what goes in the salad, so adding a little of this and subtracting a little of that is up to you.
This coleslaw is ALL the things:
- Creamy – That mayo based dressing is creamy and delish!
- Crunchy – The cabbage stays pretty crunchy, even after a few hours (or more) in the refrigerator.
- Tangy – Apple Cider vinegar provides the perfect zip for the dressing. One of my favs!
- Slightly Sweet – There is a tad bit of sugar, but it’s the perfect balance to all the other flavors. Not too sweet…but just sweet enough!
Ingredients and ways to adapt:
- Cabbage – Use whatever variety of cabbage mix you prefer. Choose from green, red, Napa, an easy packaged mixture (without dressing!) etc.
- Onion – You could use red or green onions, or if you prefer the stronger stuff, go with white!
- Mayo – I prefer a mayonnaise made with olive oil, but any mayo works. Stay away from the fat-free super light kind though.
- Sugar – I used just three tablespoons of sugar. If you like your coleslaw on the sweeter side, use more.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This is my favorite vinegar for coleslaw, but lots of folks use a regular distilled vinegar as well. Either works well.
- Spices – I used celery seed, ground mustard, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. You could add or subtract spices according to what you like best. Experiment a little and let me know what works for you!
One important reminder. If you are bringing this coleslaw to a backyard barbecue, make sure it stays chilled, especially in the summertime. You can pack it in a cooler and serve it nice and cold, preferably in a bowl on ice. Gotta be careful to avoid letting the salad get warm in the sunshine as it is mayo based!
How to make the BEST creamy coleslaw:
- Prep veggies. Add the cabbage mixture to a large serving bowl. If using a whole cabbage, slice it in thin strips.
- Make dressing. In a mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients – the grated onion, mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings (celery seed, ground mustard, salt, and pepper). Whisk to combine.
- Add dressing to cabbage. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss.
- Serve. You can serve immediately, but I recommend letting the coleslaw sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving. The flavors will meld together!
How to serve this coleslaw:
- On a sandwich – There is nothing better than adding a scoop of coleslaw to a pulled pork sandwich. Am I right? WITH some homemade barbecue sauce, of course!
- With a main dish – Serve a scoop of creamy coleslaw with some Stuffed Flank Steak, a couple of big Juicy Lucy Burgers, or alongside a Smoked Spatchcock Chicken (with Blackened Seasoning)!
- As a salad trio – Just like in a restaurant, you could serve coleslaw with a couple of other salads. Give my Healthy Broccoli Salad and my Best Italian Chopped Salad a go!
Favorite potluck dishes:
Headed to a barbecue? Here are some other foods you should consider preparing!
- Creamy Potato Salad – My mother’s recipe, and it is THE BEST. Seriously!
- Classic Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze – Easy and best if using home-grown tomatoes!
- Best Creamy Cucumber Salad – An adaption of my mom’s recipe. A favorite summer recipe here!
- Crunchy Curry Chicken Salad – Oh that curry! It adds the perfect flavor to an otherwise regular chicken salad recipe. Try it!
Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
- 16 oz. packaged cabbage slaw
- 2 cups red cabbage – sliced thin
- 1 Tablespoon grated red onion
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar – more or less to taste
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Prep veggies by slicing the cabbage. You can also use bagged cabbage mix (like I did here).
- Mix the dressing up in a bowl – the grated red onion, mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings (celery seed, ground mustard, salt, and pepper). Whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage. Toss to combine.
- You can either serve this immediately or add the dressing in advance. I like to let the flavors meld together in the refrigerator for an hour or so before eating. Enjoy!
Wednesday #BBQWeek Recipes
Appetizers and Drinks
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad by Daily Dish Recipes
- Cheddar Bacon Ranch Corn by Making Miracles
- Cowboy Beans by Devour Dinner
- Creamy Coleslaw Recipe by SueBee Homemaker
- Grilled French Fries by Palatable Pastime
- Memphis-Style Coleslaw by House of Nash Eats
- Slow Cooker Baked Beans by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Slow Cooker BBQ Green Beans with Bacon by Blogghetti
- Sweet and Spicy BBQ Chicken Macaroni Salad by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Bacon and Cheddar Smash Burgers by Family Around the Table
- Easy Smoked Ribs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Greek Chicken Pita Sandwich by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- The Best Grilled BBQ Chicken Breasts by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Grilled Banana Bread with Vanilla Ice Cream and Homemade Caramel Sauce by Our Good Life
- Magic Chocolate Walnut Fudge by The Spiffy Cookie
- Old Fashioned Whoopie Pies by Jolene’s Recipe Journal