Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

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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!

If you love coleslaw, you’ll also love my Crunchy Asian Cabbage Salad and my Cruciferous Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing. All of these have different flavor profiles, but so delicious!

Overhead shot of a white bowl of creamy coleslaw with wooden spoons.

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!
A large white bowl of creamy coleslaw with two spoons.

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:

  1. Prep veggies. Add the cabbage mixture to a large serving bowl. If using a whole cabbage, slice it in thin strips.
  2. 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.
  3. Add dressing to cabbage. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss.
  4. 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!
A closeup on the coleslaw with the dressing on top.

How to serve this coleslaw:

A plate with a pulled pork sandwich, with coleslaw and barbecue sauce.

Favorite potluck dishes:

Headed to a barbecue? Here are some other foods you should consider preparing!

Side shot of a white bowl of creamy coleslaw with wooden spoons.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

Overhead shot of a white bowl of creamy coleslaw with wooden spoons.

Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

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!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy coleslaw recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 186kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

I highly recommend serving this creamy coleslaw with any barbecued meat, like my smoked pork shoulder, smoked spatchcock chicken, a delicious burger, or the best ribs. All of these are on the blog!

Nutrition

Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg

Wednesday #BBQWeek Recipes

Appetizers and Drinks

Side Dishes

Main Dishes

Desserts

Be sure to follow our Pinterest board for more summer BBQ ideas. Thank you to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures and Ellen from Family Around the Table for hosting the event.

One Comment

  1. I love this on a pulled pork sandwich!

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