Best Coleslaw Recipe

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The best coleslaw recipe is easy to make in under 5 minutes! This homemade coleslaw is lightened up and only sweetened with honey, and is a delicious summer BBQ side dish!

a spoon scooping homemade coleslaw out of a large bowl


Coleslaw is a classic, refreshing summer side dish that is a must-have at every summer BBQ (and you can’t forget the pasta salad with homemade dressing or easy stovetop mac and cheese)!

This easy coleslaw recipe take 5 minutes to prepare, and is the best coleslaw ever! It’s naturally sweetened with honey and is lightly dressed with a delicious homemade coleslaw dressing (instead of being drowned in it)! Nothing beats this homemade coleslaw!

up close photo of a spoon of coleslaw

Coleslaw: Ingredients & Substituions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this coleslaw recipe
  • Mayonnaise. There really isn’t a substitute for mayonnaise in this coleslaw recipe. You can use light mayo or homemade mayonnaise. You can also use miracle whip but it will make the coleslaw significantly sweeter. 
  • Honey. granulated white sugar or maple syrup can be used in place of honey.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is a great substitute for apple cider vinegar.
  • Lemon Juice. I don’t recommend making a substitution for the lemon juice.
  • Celery Seeds. I love the authentic flavor celery seeds impart in the coleslaw recipe. However if you’d prefer you can very finely chop celery and add it to the mix for a similar flavor, and a little more crunch. 
  • Coleslaw Mix. If you prefer to make your own coleslaw mix instead of buying it bagged, simply use 6 cups green cabbage, 1 cup purple cabbage, and 1 cup shredded carrots.  
a large bowl of homemade coleslaw

How to make Coleslaw

It only takes 5 minutes to prepare this homemade coleslaw recipe! Let’s walk through the steps together, and as always don’t forget to watch the video!

Make the dressing

To make the coleslaw dressing, start by adding all the ingredients (except celery seeds) into a medium bowl. 

Overhead photo showing how to make coleslaw

Whisk the ingredients thoroughly until the dressing is smooth and creamy.

photo showing how to make coleslaw dressing

Add celery seeds and whisk until they are evenly distributed. Then set the coleslaw dressing aside for a moment.

photo showing how to make coleslaw dressing

Mix it together

Mix this homemade coleslaw recipe in halves to ensure even distribution of the dressing. Start by adding half of the coleslaw mixture in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing over the coleslaw in the bowl. Add the rest of the coleslaw mixture and pour the rest of the dressing over it. Stir until combined.

To make your own coleslaw mix

 Finely chop 1 medium head of  green cabbage (6 cups), half a head of purple cabbage (1 cup), and use 1 cup shredded carrots. 

Chill

Transfer the coleslaw to a serving dish, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Serve

When you’re ready to serve, stir the coleslaw. Then garnish with salt, pepper, extra celery seeds, chopped onion, etc. and enjoy on the side of your favorite BBQ or potluck fare (like this chicken satay, pasta salad, etc.). 

Store

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

up close photo of a spoon of coleslaw

Recipe FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about this easy coleslaw recipe. 

How long does homemade coleslaw last?

Homemade coleslaw lasts for three days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze coleslaw?

No. Do not freeze coleslaw. It will give is a gritty texture, make it soggy and all around inedible.

How do you shred vegetables for coleslaw?

I prefer to finely chop my vegetables if I don’t use a store-bought bag of coleslaw mix. You can also use a hand held shredder or food processor to shred the cabbage and carrots. 

spoon taking a scoop of coleslaw out of a large bowl

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Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Laura
The best coleslaw recipe is easy to make in under 5 minutes! This homemade coleslaw is lightened up and only sweetened with honey, and is a delicious summer BBQ side dish!
5 from 23 votes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 14 Servings
Calories 77
Prep Time5 minutes
Chilling1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, lemon juice, vinegar, salt pepper until the mixture is combined and there are no lumps.
  • Add celery seeds and whisk to combine.
  • Place half of the coleslaw mixture in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour half of the dressing over the coleslaw in the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the coleslaw mixture and pour the rest of the dressing over it.
  • Stir until combined.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Stir, then garnish with salt, pepper, extra celery seeds, chopped onion, etc.
  • Serve.

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions  

  • Mayonnaise. There really isn’t a substitute for mayonnaise in this coleslaw recipe. You can use light mayo or homemade mayonnaise. You can also use miracle whip but it will make the coleslaw significantly sweeter. 
  • Honey. granulated white sugar or maple syrup can be used in place of honey.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is a great substitute for apple cider vinegar.
  • Lemon Juice. I don’t recommend making a substitution for the lemon juice.
  • Celery Seeds. I love the authentic flavor celery seeds impart in the coleslaw recipe. However if you’d prefer you can very finely chop celery and add it to the mix for a similar flavor, and a little more crunch. 

To make your own coleslaw mix

 Finely chop 1 medium head of  green cabbage (6 cups), half a head of purple cabbage (1 cup), and use 1 cup shredded carrots. 

Store

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 77kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am a cole slaw snob, self-professed, and have quite a few recipes gathered and created. I have to ketofy mine, but that takes nothing away from this gorgeous recipe.

    What a beautifully balanced recipe this is! Just tasting the sauce, I could tell that it was an absolute winner.

    If you don’t know how to make cole slaw, and you want to start with a top-notch basic, you can’t go wrong with this recipe!

    I did not use the celery seeds because I did not have them on hand, instead, I replaced the salt with celery salt and that worked out beautifully. (Or people who have Beau Monde from Spice Island could also use that, as it’s main ingredient is celery salt.)

    For my first go, I used 4 cups of red cabbage and a bit of green pepper that needed to be used up. Honestly folks, you can use this sauce for any cabbage slaw variation. My sauce went over the top to WOW when I added in 1/2 t of Door Country Cherry Balsamic vinegar, but it was just a spontaneous add in, because I received that as a gift. Not needed at all and I would not ever use that for a green cabbage slaw.

    Thank you so much! I can’t wait for my daughter to come home so that I can make this for her. (She gave me the Cherry Balsamic.)

    PS. My keto version used a faux honey substitute (Nature’s Hollow…NOT affiliated!) that has xylitol in it. I was shocked at how well that worked. I just share this in case there are other keto people looking for adjustment ideas.)

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe on it’s own. For a change – tonight I added Sriracha – since the kids aren’t joining us for dinner. It adds perfectly.

  3. 5 stars
    This is the first coleslaw dressing that had the right combination of all ingredients!! (I did halve the honey though) This is perfect, and the honey is a game changer. I’m erasing all of my other coleslaw dressing pins!! Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much Jessie! We take our coleslaw seriously around here! 😉 I”m so glad you love this recipe as much as we do!