Classic Creamy Coleslaw: A Delicious Side Dish Tradition

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Coleslaw, that delightful combination of crisp cabbage, tangy dressing, and a touch of sweetness, is a staple side dish for barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. It’s simple to make, budget-friendly, and endlessly customizable. But achieving that perfect balance of creamy and crunchy, sweet and tangy, can feel like a mystery. Fear not, coleslaw enthusiasts! This guide will walk you through every step of creating the ultimate classic coleslaw recipe, complete with ingredient explanations, detailed instructions, and even a nutritional breakdown.


Classic Coleslaw
Classic Coleslaw

1 head of green cabbage (about 5 pounds)

  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Instructions:

    1. Shred the Cabbage: The key to a good coleslaw lies in the shredding. While a food processor can be used in a pinch, a sharp knife and some elbow grease are ideal. Thinly slice the cabbage in half, then remove the core. Starting from the flat side, slice the cabbage into thin ribbons.

    2. Shred the Carrot: Shred the carrot using the large holes of a box grater. Aim for long, thin shreds that will add both color and texture to the coleslaw.

    3. Combine Cabbage and Carrot: In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage and carrot. Toss well to distribute them evenly.

    4. Whisk the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, celery seed, salt, and pepper. It’s important to fully emulsify the dressing, meaning the oil and vinegar are well-combined and creamy.

    5. Dress the Coleslaw: Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot mixture. Gently toss with tongs or large spoons until the coleslaw is evenly coated.

    6. Chill and Serve: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the cabbage to soften slightly. Serve chilled and enjoy!

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

    Calories: 130

  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 230mg
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    There you have it, the perfect classic coleslaw recipe to elevate your next potluck or backyard barbecue. With its fresh, vibrant flavors and satisfying crunch, this coleslaw is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Now, let’s address some of the most commonly asked questions about coleslaw:

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of cabbage?

    Absolutely! While green cabbage is the traditional choice, you can experiment with red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, or even a combination for a vibrant color scheme.

    2. How can I make my coleslaw creamier or tangier?

    For a creamier coleslaw, simply add more mayonnaise to the dressing. For a tangier version, increase the amount of apple cider vinegar.

    3. Can I add other vegetables to my coleslaw?

    Of course! Chopped red onion, bell pepper, or celery are all delicious additions.

    4. How long will coleslaw stay fresh in the refrigerator?

    Properly stored in an airtight container, coleslaw can last for up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator.

    5. Is coleslaw healthy?