How to Make Coleslaw: The Ultimate Guide

Greetings, food lovers! Today, we’re going to share with you a step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect coleslaw. A staple at picnics, potlucks, and backyard barbecues, coleslaw is a delicious and refreshing side dish that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, our guide will help you create coleslaw that is both tasty and visually stunning. So, put on your apron and let’s get started!


Coleslaw is a salad made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables, mixed with mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It is believed to have originated from the Netherlands in the 18th century, and since then, it has become a global favorite. Coleslaw is versatile, and you can make it with a variety of herbs, spices, and dressings. Interestingly, coleslaw is not only a side dish but also a topping for pulled pork sandwiches and hot dogs.

In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to make coleslaw that will impress your family and friends.

What are the ingredients needed to make coleslaw?

The following are the ingredients you will need to make coleslaw:

Ingredients Quantity
Cabbage 1 head
Carrots 2
Mayonnaise 1/2 cup
Greek Yogurt 1/2 cup
Apple Cider Vinegar 2 tbsp
Honey 2 tbsp
Red Onion 1/4 cup
Celery Seed 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 lemon

How to prepare the ingredients?

Shred the cabbage using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. Similarly, use the same tool to shred the carrots into thin strips. Once you’re done, place them in a large mixing bowl.

How to make the dressing?

In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, red onion, celery seed, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Whisk the ingredients until they are well combined.

How to combine the ingredients?

Pour the dressing onto the cabbage and carrots mixture and stir until everything is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

How to serve coleslaw?

You can serve coleslaw as a side dish or as a topping for sandwiches. It pairs well with grilled meats, fried chicken, and seafood. Coleslaw also complements spicy dishes as it helps to cool off the palate.

Tips for making the perfect coleslaw

Here are some useful tips to help you make the perfect coleslaw:

  • Use fresh vegetables: Fresh and crisp cabbage and carrots make a big difference in the texture and flavor of coleslaw. Choose vegetables that are firm, heavy, and have a bright color.
  • Cut vegetables evenly: Slice the vegetables into thin and equal-sized strips to ensure that they cook evenly and look visually appealing.
  • Use a dressing that complements the ingredients: Coleslaw dressing can be creamy or vinegar-based. It’s important to choose a dressing that enhances the flavor of the salad and isn’t overpowering.
  • Let the coleslaw chill: After mixing the dressing with the vegetables, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This helps the flavors to meld and the textures to soften.
  • Add herbs and spices: To add extra flavor to your coleslaw, you can add herbs like parsley, dill, or cilantro, and spices like cumin or paprika for an extra kick.


What are some variations of coleslaw?

There are many variations of coleslaw, including:

  • Asian coleslaw with soy sauce and rice vinegar dressing
  • Mexican coleslaw with lime juice and cilantro
  • Vegan coleslaw with tahini and garlic dressing
  • German coleslaw with bacon and mustard dressing
  • Korean coleslaw with gochujang sauce and sesame oil

Can you make coleslaw without mayonnaise?

Yes, you can substitute mayonnaise with Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even avocado. Vegan options include tahini, nut butter, or hummus as a base for the dressing.

How long does coleslaw last in the fridge?

Coleslaw can last up to three days in the refrigerator. After three days, the vegetables will start to lose their crispness and the dressing may become watery.

Is coleslaw healthy?

Coleslaw is a healthy side dish as it is low in calories and high in fiber. However, some dressings may contain high levels of sugar and fat. Therefore, it’s essential to choose dressings that are low in calories and high in nutrients.

Can I make coleslaw ahead of time?

Yes, you can make coleslaw 24 hours ahead of time. However, it’s best to dress the salad just before serving to prevent the vegetables from becoming soggy.

Why is my coleslaw watery?

If your coleslaw is watery, it’s likely due to un-drained vegetables, too much dressing, or not chilling the salad long enough.

What are some toppings that can be added to coleslaw?

Here are some toppings that can be added to coleslaw:

  • Crushed nuts or seeds
  • Crispy croutons or fried onions
  • Dried cranberries or raisins
  • Bacon bits or cooked ham
  • Feta cheese or blue cheese crumbles

What is the difference between coleslaw and sauerkraut?

Coleslaw and sauerkraut are both made from shredded cabbage, but they are different dishes. Coleslaw is a cold salad that is dressed with mayonnaise or vinegar, while sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is tangy and sour in flavor.

Is coleslaw served hot or cold?

Traditionally, coleslaw is served cold or at room temperature. However, some recipes call for a warm dressing to be poured over the vegetables.

What are some herbs that can be added to coleslaw?

Here are some herbs that can be added to coleslaw:

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Chives
  • Basil

Can I make coleslaw without cabbage?

Yes, you can make coleslaw without cabbage. You can use vegetables such as kale, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts instead.

Why is my coleslaw bitter?

If your coleslaw is bitter, it’s likely due to using old or wilting cabbage. Try using fresh vegetables and soak them in cold water for an hour to remove the bitterness.

What can I use instead of vinegar in coleslaw?

You can use lemon juice or lime juice as a substitute for vinegar in coleslaw. You can also use white wine or apple juice vinegar.

How do I store leftover coleslaw?

After serving, cover the coleslaw with plastic wrap or a lid and store it in the refrigerator. It can last for up to three days.

Can I freeze coleslaw?

Coleslaw does not freeze well as the vegetables may become mushy and the dressing may separate.


There you have it, a complete guide on how to make coleslaw that will impress anyone who tastes it. We hope our step-by-step instructions and tips have helped you create the perfect coleslaw every time. Experiment with different dressings and toppings to find your favorite version of this classic salad. Remember to use fresh vegetables, evenly slice them, and let them chill for at least 30 minutes for the best results.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your coleslaw! You can use different vegetables, dressings, and toppings to create a unique and delicious side dish. We hope you enjoy making and eating coleslaw as much as we do!

Closing Disclaimer

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Coleslaw may contain allergens, so it’s essential to read labels and check with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Follow proper food safety guidelines when making and storing coleslaw to avoid foodborne illness.

Video:How to Make Coleslaw: The Ultimate Guide