Classic Creamy Coleslaw

This creamy coleslaw recipe uses freshly grated cabbage and carrots. Topped with a sweet and tangy mayonnaise based dressing. This is the ultimate classic coleslaw recipe. Simple and delicious!

A closeup of a bowl of coleslaw next to a napkin.

Do you like potato salad? Check out my Instant Pot Potato Salad recipe.

What Is Coleslaw?

Coleslaw is a raw cabbage based salad that is just right for a bbq or potluck dinner.

Macaroni salad is another one of my favorites for social gatherings.

This classic coleslaw is delicious on a pulled pork slider. A perfect combination. You can also add this creamy coleslaw to fish sandwiches as well as simply eating this as a side dish to your favorite meal.

This recipe is a summer favorite because it’s easy to make and can be adapted to personal tastes. I love that you can take a simple recipe and put your spin on it. Truly, a versatile recipe.

Coleslaw is one of those recipes that can be tailored to your liking. You can add as many extras that you want. Or keep it simple like this recipe.

Try These Add Ins

  • Add some red cabbage for more color and taste
  • Dill pickle juice could also be added for extra tang
  • Mix in a tablespoon or two of chopped onion
  • Chop up a Granny Smith apple

What’s the difference between grated and shredded cabbage?

Grating cabbage is when the cuts are smaller pieces. You can achieve this by using a box grater or the grating disc on a food processor.

Shredded cabbage is when the cabbage is cut into long thin slices using a knife.

In this recipe, I use grated cabbage but you could used shredded. It just depends on your personal preference.

Two glasses with plates, forks, and napkins next to a bowl of coleslaw.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • Easy to prepare.
  • Makes a great side dish to take to potlucks.
  • Uses fresh cabbage and carrots.
  • This is the perfect make ahead recipe.
Bowl of coleslaw on wooden boards.

Ingredients Needed

These are simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

  • Cabbage – I prefer to buy a head of cabbage and grate it myself. I use my food processor which makes grating the cabbage fast.
  • Carrots – I also use my food processor to grate the carrots.
  • Mayonnaise – This is the base of the coleslaw dressing. This gives the dressing its tangy taste.
  • Sugar – This adds a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity from the vinegar.
  • Vinegar – I like to use white vinegar but you can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Celery Seed – This is something you may not have in your pantry but I highly recommend using it. Celery seed adds so much to the flavor. I can’t imagine coleslaw without it.
  • Dry Mustard – I like to add depth of flavor to my coleslaw and this adds just the right amount.
  • Salt and Pepper – These spices are essential to bringing out the full flavor of the dressing.
Spices, a bowl of mayonnaise, vinegar and a sugar canister.

Finding your spices is easy when they are organized. Check out How To Organize Your Spices.

How To Prepare Creamy Coleslaw

See the recipe card for full ingredients and instructions.

  1. Grate the cabbage and carrots.
  2. Mix the two together in a large size bowl.
Adding grated carrots to a bowl of shredded cabbage.
Using a white spoon to mix carrots and cabbage together in a clear bowl.
  1. For the coleslaw dressing: whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a separate bowl till combined.
  2. Pour the coleslaw dressing over the mixed cabbage and carrots. Stir the cabbage mixture till it’s all coated with the dressing.
Pouring coleslaw dressing into a bowl of shredded cabbage and carrots.
  1. Refrigerate the coleslaw, tightly covered for a minimum of two hours. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together.
A spoonful of coleslaw above a white bowl.

Pro Tips

  • Short on time? You can use a bag of coleslaw that has already been shredded.
  • Chilling the coleslaw is necessary for the ultimate flavor.
  • To make ahead, wait till two hours before to add the coleslaw dressing to maintain the crunchy cabbage.
  • Serve chilled.
  • For extra color, garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

How To Store Creamy Coleslaw

Since this is a mayonnaise based salad, it must be kept chilled.

Coleslaw does become watery after awhile. So, it’s best to eat it the day it is made or the next day.

Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

A closeup of a bowl of coleslaw next to a napkin.

Classic Creamy Coleslaw

Carol
This creamy coleslaw recipe uses freshly grated cabbage and carrots. Topped with a sweet and tangy mayonnaise based dressing. Simple and delicious!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups grated cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, mix together the grated cabbage and grated carrots. Set aside.

Coleslaw Dressing

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seed, dry mustard, salt and pepper till combined. Make sure the mixture is smooth.

Making The Coleslaw

  • Pour the coleslaw dressing over the mixed cabbage and carrots. Stir the cabbage mixture till it's all coated with the dressing.
  • Refrigerate the coleslaw, tightly covered for a minimum of two hours. 
  • Serve, chilled.

Notes

Storing coleslaw:
  • Since this is a mayonnaise based salad, it must be kept chilled.
  • Coleslaw does become watery after awhile. So, it’s best to eat it the day it is made or the next day. 
  • Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Keyword cabbage, carrot, creamy, easy, salad
Did you make this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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