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A classic coleslaw recipe is quite simple – it features only three ingredients (green cabbage, carrots, and dressing) and is very simple to make. Its simple crunchy creaminess pairs beautifully with rich BBQ meats and for that reason, coleslaw is a regular attendee at backyard parties and get-togethers.


And yet, the final result is oftentimes soggy instead of creamy salad. Ruining the only salad that pairs well with pretty much every type of dish you make isn’t fun. So, what can you do to prevent this?  Read on to learn all the basics & tricks related to coleslaw.

Coleslaw Basics


Standard coleslaw is made with only two simple veggies – green cabbage and carrots. However, if you want to fancy it up with additional color, you can include purple cabbage, as well as some grated celery. Braver cooks even add bell peppers to their coleslaw recipes! Bottom line is anything fresh and crunchy works good in coleslaw.


What makes this salad special is the creamy dressing. Without it, coleslaw would be a bunch of chopped and grated veggies without any special purpose.

There are three different classic dressings that will allow you to never get bored of this salad: buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream dressing. What all these dressings have in common is their tangy flavor which is achieved with the addition of vinegar (usually cider or white vinegar). However, to balance the vinegar’s tanginess, a small amount of sugar and salt is also added.

Again, these are the classic choices and other flavoring ingredients can be added to taste. Some examples include onion, garlic, and mustard.


Coleslaw Tips and Tricks

The longer you let the salad sit, the soggier it gets! This is the golden rule for coleslaw. One option is to eat the salad right after it is prepared; that’s when it is creamiest and crunchiest. Do not leave it in the fridge overnight. The cabbage releases liquid which makes coleslaw very soggy.

Ideally, to make the most of your slaw, refrigerate it for about an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to set and blend together.

If you really must make the salad ahead, grate and chop the veggies but don’t add the dressing. Instead, compose the dressing and store in the refrigerator, in a jar or a small plastic container, with the lid on, and add it just before serving.

Salting the cabbage helps as well – it aids the veggie to stay crunchy for a longer time. Just add a tablespoon of salt and let the cabbage sit for about an hour. Then, using your hands, squeeze as much liquid as you can. Thus prepared, the salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove the slaw from the fridge and add some reserved dressing or, if you don’t have some, a tablespoon of mayonnaise to make it creamier.

coleslaw recipe

Coleslaw Step by Step Instructions

A standard coleslaw is made with the following ingredients:

2 lb. cabbage

3 cups shredded carrots

1 1/4 cup dressing of choice

To make the dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise (or ½ sour cream + ½ cup mayonnaise; ½ buttermilk + ½ cup mayonnaise)

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Shred the vegetables

Start with the cabbage. It is best if you have a large grater, but if you don’t, you will need a large knife and/or a food processor. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the outer layers. Then, cut the halves into quarters and remove the core in the center. At this point, you can proceed using the knife to slice the quarters into thin shreds or place the quarters in a or food processor using the shredding blade. Once you’re done, transfer the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl.

The same goes for the carrots. Once you peel them, you can either use a knife to cut them into very thin pieces or use the food processor. Then, add the carrots to the mixing bowl with the cabbage and toss the two veggies together.

coleslaw recipe

Prepare the dressing

To prepare the dressing, all you need to do is add all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them until uniform. You can adjust the amount of vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste.

Compose the slaw

Pour the prepared dressing over the shredded vegetables. Toss gently until all vegetable sherds are uniformly coated.

Fantastic Coleslaw Recipes

Why stop at the classic coleslaw recipe when you can make the salad truly outstanding by adding less-then-usual ingredients? Think broccoli, turkey, pineapple juice, nuts, and more!

Broccoli Slaw

Crisp broccoli is accented with red bell pepper, crunchy noodles and a toasted sesame dressing in this fast and easy salad. For an intriguing flavor combo and a colorful presentation, cut a cantaloupe or honeydew melon into slices. Cut out the seeds in the middle of each slice and place each slice on a serving plate. Place a scoop of broccoli slaw at the center of each slice.

Ultimate Turkey Coleslaw

This recipe is perfect for enjoying on the deck when it’s a warm, sunny day. Toss it together, pour some lemonade, sit down and relax! Turn this recipe into a Cobb salad variation by using a blue cheese salad dressing instead of the oil and vinegar mixture.

coleslaw recipe

Favorite Coleslaw

This fast and fresh slaw, flavored with pineapple and mustard, is the perfect accompaniment for a hearty sandwich. For extra flvor,  substitute 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple for the pineapple juice and add 1/4 cup honey roasted sliced almonds just before serving.


Colorful Coleslaw

No family picnic can go without this zesty slaw. Note: If you don’t have the time to shred cabbage, there are several types of pre-shredded packaged cabbage and coleslaw mixes available in the produce section of your local grocery store.




Easy and Creamy Homemade Coleslaw Salad
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Easy and Creamy Homemade Coleslaw Salad
A classic coleslaw recipe is quite simple – it features only three ingredients (green cabbage, carrots, and dressing) and is very simple to make.
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