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Favorite Easy Coleslaw Recipe

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This Creamy and Easy Coleslaw Recipe is the perfect summer side dish with THE BEST coleslaw dressing you can make at home! This is a light, delicious side that goes with just about everything and it couldn’t be simpler!

Overhead image of coleslaw in a gray bowl on a striped towel.

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If you order any fried fish basket in Maine, you’ll be guaranteed two things: a dinner roll and a side of coleslaw.

Now admittedly, I was never a huge fan of coleslaw until this recipe came into my life. And now this is the only slaw I’ll eat!

This creamy, sweet coleslaw recipe is exactly what you’re looking for for all your summer side dish needs.

It’s the perfect balance of crunchy cabbage and carrots in a creamy combination of mayonnaise, vinegar, and a little sugar. The dressing is not too vinegary, so it’s a hit with kids! This is sure to be your favorite side dish this summer!

And if you’re looking for the full New England inspired experience, serve this slaw alongside my Air Fryer Fried Fish with Housemade Tartar Sauce and Crockpot Baked Beans!

Why You’ll Love This Creamy Sweet Coleslaw Recipe

  • Quick and easy to make with simple ingredients
  • Shortcut ingredients are available to make this recipe even easier
  • A classic side dish for summer right up there with potato salad.
  • Perfect side dish for fish frys, BBQs, bean suppers, potlucks, and more!

Ingredients for Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

This sweet and creamy coleslaw recipe is made with just a few basic ingredients.

Ingredients for coleslaw

Shredded Coleslaw Mix – I’ve used ever variety of vegetable slaw mix at my grocery store, and they’re all delicious with this coleslaw dressing.

Shredded Carrots – you can shred your own or buy bagged, pre-shredded carrots. I like adding an additional cup of carrots for color and sweetness.

Mayonnaise – use full fat or light mayo

Apple Cider Vinegar – you can also use distilled white vinegar or rice wine vinegar

Sugar – You can use maple syrup or agave as well

Celery Seed – Not celery salt. If you only have celery salt, omit the extra salt from the ingredients.

Coarse Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Tip: Any combo of shredded veggies can be used to make your own coleslaw mix. I just make it easy and use a bagged coleslaw mix from the produce aisle. You’ll need a total of 6 cups of shredded vegetables (including the shredded carrots).

Step by Step Instructions

If this is your first time making slaw, you’ll love how this easy coleslaw recipe is made in just a few simple steps.

Step 1

Overhead of measuring cup with ingredients. Whisk in the background.

In a small bowl combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine the ingredients well.

Step 2

Coleslaw dressing pouring over shredded vegetables in a bowl.

Place the shredded vegetables in a large bowl. Pour the coleslaw dressing over the shredded vegetables and mix well until completely coated. The mixture won’t look creamy at this point, and that’s ok!


Step 3

Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for two hours or up to overnight before serving.

After chilling, the vegetables will have released a bit of moisture, making a creamy coleslaw dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Stir before serving to evenly coat the shredded veggies.

Coleslaw in a mixing bowl with a black spatula.

Make Coleslaw in Advance

The coleslaw is best after chilling for two hours to soften the vegetables and to make the coleslaw dressing extra creamy. It’s even better after sitting overnight.

Substitutions 

  • For a coleslaw recipe without vinegar, use lemon juice instead.
  • Use any combination of green cabbage, red cabbage, veggies, and carrots 
  • Make this coleslaw recipe without mayonnaise by using plain Greek yogurt instead. I recommend whole milk Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. Adjust the salt to taste.
  • You can swap traditional mayonnaise for light mayo.
  • Use an egg-free mayo if you are allergic or avoid eggs.
A mixing bowl of coleslaw with a black spatula.

Tips & Tricks

  • Coleslaw tastes better the longer it sits and it gets creamier. Make this coleslaw a few hours in advance so the flavors have a little time to develop in the fridge,
  • Serve two hours after mixing. Or for best flavor results, let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • You can use paper towels or a salad spinner to remove some of the water if there is too much moisture in the cabbage mixture.
  • The mixture will look a bit dry at first, but the slaw will get creamier as the veggies soften and release moisture.

What to Serve with Coleslaw

  • Black bean burgers 
  • Air Fried Fish and chips
  • Serve on or with fish tacos or lobster rolls
  • The perfect coleslaw recipe for pulled pork sandwiches
  • Goes great with BBQ Chicken Thighs or fried chicken
  • The classic side for hamburgers and hot dogs
  • On a Reuben or corned beef sandwich
A bowl of coleslaw on a striped towel, mixing bowl in the background.

How Long Does Coleslaw Last in the Fridge?

Leftover coleslaw can be chilled in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

FAQs

What is traditional coleslaw made of?

Traditional coleslaw consists of shredded cabbage as the main ingredient in a creamy mayo-based dressing or vinegar-based sauce. Additional ingredients like shredded carrot or red onion are added for extra flavor and color.

What to do with leftover coleslaw?

You can use leftover slaw as a side, or on sandwiches or tacos. 

Can you freeze coleslaw?

It is not recommended to freeze coleslaw, especially if it has been mixed and sat out.

Image of a whisk

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More Recipes You’ll Love

Overhead image of coleslaw in a gray bowl on a striped towel.

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Yield: 1 quart
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The only coleslaw you'll ever need! This easy coleslaw recipe has a creamy dressing perfect for every side dish!

Ingredients

  • 12-16 ounces (5 cups) of shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt)
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the coleslaw mix and carrots to a large bowl.
  2. Combine the mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt, and pepper into a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. Pour the coleslaw dressing over the shredded vegetables and mix well until completely coated. The mixture won’t look creamy at this point, and that’s ok!
  4. Cover and chill in the fridge for two hours or overnight before serving. This will soften the vegetables and make the dressing creamier.
  5. Stir before serving and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g

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