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Coleslaw with Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

This easy coleslaw recipe is a family favorite side dish any time of the year. It’s a 4-ingredient quick-fix with creamy, tangy and delicious homemade coleslaw dressing.

Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe served in a white bowl on a marble countertop. A blue and white print fabric napkin is in the background.
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Easy coleslaw with creamy homemade coleslaw dressing is outrageously simple to make and packs a real flavor punch.

This is one of those recipes that becomes so personal and a part of tradition in families that it won’t surprise you when I say it’s really the only coleslaw recipe my family eats.

Just like with potato salad or macaroni salad, families can become polarized around a recipe that has been handed down for generations. It’s the one that tastes best to them and I think that’s as it should be.

From that one favorite base recipe, all kinds of variations can be born. But to come up with variations, you first have to have a tried and true family favorite coleslaw recipe.

If you don’t have a family recipe handed down for generations, yet, today is the day you start your tradition. You’re gonna love my simple creamy coleslaw with homemade coleslaw dressing.

Closeup of Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe

The Ingredients

  • Coleslaw Mix – You can certainly grate or chop fresh cabbage if you prefer not to buy the already grated coleslaw mix. I love it because it saves me so much time and already has a mix of both green cabbage and red cabbage along with grated carrots.
  • MayonnaiseHomemade Mayonnaise or store bought mayonnaise work equally well in coleslaw. As a matter of fact I have made it with dressings like Miracle Whip with good success, too. It’s just sweeter. Choose what you like best. My go-to standard is mayonnaise.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Again, this is a matter of personal preference. There is a slight natural sweetness to red wine vinegar and I love it in this homemade coleslaw dressing. However, you can substitute white vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar and it will be scrumptious. Choose your favorite or what’s already in your pantry.
  • Granulated Sugar – We’ve talked about granulated sugar before. I use Zulka Morena which is less processed, which is why it appears tan in photos. What ever brand you choose will be fine.
  • Salt and Pepper – Use it to taste. Every palate is different, but most will want at least some seasoning in their coleslaw. Start in small increments and add more after tasting.
Ingredients for Coleslaw Dressing: mayo, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper

What Is Coleslaw?

Our English word coleslaw, or cole slaw, comes from a Dutch word, koolsla. Koolsla is translated as cabbage salad. Even though it originated in the Netherlands, recipes for coleslaw were used in American homes as early as the late 1700’s.

Therefore, we can assume that the main ingredient in coleslaw is typically cabbage, though it’s not unusual to include other vegetables or greens in American coleslaw recipes.

Coleslaw (cabbage salad) dressings are what brings all the flavor to this scrumptiously crunchy salad. Homemade coleslaw dressing can fall into one of two varieties: mayonnaise dressing or vinegar based dressing.

The dressing you choose determines the texture and flavor of your coleslaw. And there are lots of possible variations.

Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe served in a white bowl on a marble countertop. A blue and white print fabric napkin is in the background.

How Long Does Coleslaw Last?

How long can I keep coleslaw in the fridge?

The USDA recommended time for any leftovers is not more than 4 days. And that seems right to me when it comes to coleslaw. If it lasts that long, (It doesn’t in our house), 3 or 4 days will be the limit before the cabbage starts breaking down and weeps a lot of its moisture into the dressing. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy it for up to 4 days.

Coleslaw Recipe Variation Possibilities

When you’re making coleslaw, the dishes you’re serving it with will often determine the coleslaw dressing recipe that you use. And let’s be honest, the dressing is what makes the coleslaw.

This creamy, mayo-based coleslaw dressing recipe is my go-to for most any meal. And, for potlucks or tailgating. It’s quick and easy to prep and I always have the ingredients on hand. Plus, it complements almost any main dish or sandwich with ease.

But you can definitely get creative with this coleslaw recipe, too.

Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe served in a white bowl on a marble countertop. A blue and white print fabric napkin is in the background.
  1. Add more veggies or fruit. I’ve been know to use half cabbage slaw and half broccoli slaw in this recipe. Any color of bell peppers, green or red onions, grated apple and grated jicama are all delicious additions to coleslaw.
  2. Add herbs seasonings and spices to create completely different flavor profiles.
    • Mexican Slaw – Most Mexican Slaw recipes are vinegar based. But you can add some southwestern flair to this creamy version by using half mayo and half sour cream and adding cumin and cilantro to the dressing. Substitute lime juice for the vinegar. And if you want some spicy kick, try adding minced jalapeno or my Southwestern Seasoning.
    • Greek Slaw – Substitute lemon juice for the vinegar and Greek yogurt for the mayo. Add chopped pepperoncinis, olives, bell pepper, chickpeas and oregano. Toss in a little feta and some freshly chopped dill or mint.
    • Asian Slaw – Asian Slaw doesn’t have to be vinegar-based. Try Kewpie mayo instead of traditional. Substitute rice vinegar for the red wine vinegar. Add soy sauce, grated ginger and sesame oil to the dressing, too. Green onions, sliced almonds and sesame seeds would be scrumptious add-ins, as well. (You may also like my Broccoli Ramen Coleslaw, which IS vinegar-based.)

Regardless of how you dress it up, coleslaw is a quick and easy side dish. It’s versatility makes it a great complement to any main dish. And it can almost always be on the table in about 30 minutes.

What To Serve with Coleslaw with Creamy Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

Slaw can be served with almost any main dish or sandwich. But, here are a few of our favorite recipes to serve it alongside.

We love this easy, lightly sweet coleslaw with my two-ingredient Perfect Pulled Pork. And best easy coleslaw is also a fabulous side dish for juicy and tender Baked Chicken Breasts.

Coleslaw with creamy coleslaw dressing alongside my Best Sloppy Joes is an over-the-top delicious quick and easy meal. And this crunchy coleslaw recipe is the perfect complement to my delicious 5-ingredient Meatloaf.

Meatballs in Brown Gravy or our favorite Creamy Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas are also perfectly complemented by creamy cabbage slaw.

We also enjoy coleslaw as a side dish for this easy 5-ingredient Beef Enchilada Casserole. And, it has just enough acidity from red wine vinegar to cut perfectly through the richness of easy and delicious Crockpot Cube Steak.

Honestly, this delightfully flavorful coleslaw is the creamy, acidic pop that goes well with almost any protein. We even love it in tacos. Try it with BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos or these tasty Air Fryer Tilapia Fish Tacos!

How to Make Homemade Coleslaw Dressing and the Best Coleslaw Ever

  1. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the coleslaw mix and stir to thoroughly coat the cabbage and veggies in dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favorite family meals.
Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe served in a white bowl on a marble countertop. A blue and white print fabric napkin is in the background.

The Recipe

Print
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Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe served in a white bowl on a marble countertop. A blue and white print fabric napkin is in the background.

Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 12 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x

Description

This easy coleslaw recipe is a family favorite side dish any time of the year. It’s a 4-ingredient quick-fix that’s creamy, tangy and delicious!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 16 oz bag coleslaw mix (or 16 oz. freshly grated cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper) together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the coleslaw mix and stir to thoroughly coat the cabbage and veggies in dressing.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with your favorite family meals.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Chill Time: 25 min
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable
  • Method: Cold Prep
  • Cuisine: American

Check Out More Delicious Salad Recipes

glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

24 thoughts on “Coleslaw with Homemade Coleslaw Dressing”

  1. This recipe is so crazy easy and good! I loved how simple the dressing was and it has so much flavor. Nothing like crunchy refreshing coleslaw!






    Reply
  2. This was just like I used to eat when I was a kid and really couldn’t have been easier! SO tasty! Thank you for another great one.






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  3. This made perfect use of a bag of ready diced coleslaw that I bought at my local supermarket on sale! Loved this baby, it was delicious and creamy.






    Reply

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