Easy Coleslaw Recipe

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This Easy Coleslaw Recipe makes a classic, creamy coleslaw that compliments all sorts of summer dishes! It’s a fresh and healthy 15-minute side dish you’ll fall in love with.

A Doubled-Up Bowl Filled with Coleslaw with the Rest of the Coleslaw in the Background

The Best Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw is essentially a salad composed of chopped-up vegetables and a creamy vinnaigrette dressing. This recipe uses standard coleslaw veggies like cabbage and carrots as well as flavorings like lemon juice and Dijon mustard. If you’re looking for a simple, classic coleslaw that everyone will rave about, you’ve come to the right place.

This well-loved side dish is a stellar choice for special occasions, but it also makes a great last-minute recipe to make thanks to how quick and easy it is! Whether it’s a relaxed family dinner of Instant Pot Ribs or a mid-summer potluck, you’ll want to make some room at the table for this coleslaw.

A Serving Bowl Filled with Coleslaw and Two Metal Spoons

Is Coleslaw Healthy?

This dish is centered around the vegetables, making it a fresh and healthy option that will offset some of the more caloric summer dishes you may indulge in. Balance is key! One superfood that this coleslaw utilizes is apple cider vinegar, which has anti-bacterial properties and helps control your blood pressure, among other benefits. Plus, its zingy flavor elevates the taste of the dish!

A Close-Up Shot of Homemade Coleslaw in a Bowl with Two Spoons

What You’ll Need

These are the ingredients that make this creamy coleslaw come to life:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: You’ll need 1 tablespoon.
  • Granulated Sugar: Don’t worry, this won’t make your coleslaw taste sweet – it’s there to balance out the flavors so it’s not too bitter.
  • Lemon Juice: Fresh, from half a lemon.
  • Dijon Mustard: To flavor the dressing.
  • Salt: A teaspoon of salt keeps your coleslaw from coming out too watery.
  • Mayonnaise: This will be the base of your creamy dressing.
  • Milk: 1/4 cup of milk also makes for an ultra creamy vinaigrette. 
  • Cabbage: 1 head, shredded.
  • Carrots: Shredded.
  • Onion: Finely diced.
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley: 1/4 cup, plus a little extra to garnish the dish.
Time-Saving Tip

Instant of shredding the cabbage and carrots, you can substitute one 14-16 oz. bag of coleslaw mix.

Chopped Cabbage in a Glass Mixing Bowl on a Countertop

How to Make Coleslaw from Scratch

Making homemade coleslaw is as easy as a salad should be! You just have to combine the ingredients, make the dressing and mix it up.

Make Dressing: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, mustard, salt, mayonnaise and milk until well combined.

Make Salad: In a separate bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onion and fresh parsley.

Toss: Once combined, pour over the mayonnaise mixture and toss together.

The Bowl of Dressing Being Poured Over The Combined Veggies

Garnish & Serve: Garnish with extra chopped fresh parsley and enjoy!

How to Store Homemade Coleslaw

Leftover coleslaw can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for no longer than 2 days. The dressing itself can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated on its own, then added to a fresh salad – an easy meal prep idea!

A Plate of Coleslaw on the Counter with a Bottle of Water Behind It

Tips for Success

This straightforward recipe couldn’t be more beginner-friendly. Here’s some extra advice that’ll help you make the best coleslaw ever!

  • Chill Before Serving: If you keep your coleslaw in the fridge for about an hour before you serve it, the flavors will intensify, the texture will be just right, and every bite will feel even more cool and refreshing!
  • Shred & Dice Veggies Finely: I find that the smaller the pieces of vegetables are in the salad, the more flavor you get in each bite. Shred and dice the veggies to the size that works for you.
  • Adjust to Taste: If you try your coleslaw and it seems too bitter, add a bit more sugar to taste. If it’s too sweet, add more lemon juice. Play around with the seasonings until it tastes just right!
  • Make Additions: Want to incorporate more flavors and textures into your coleslaw? Try adding sliced nuts, seeds, different herbs or more diced veggies! We love making Pineapple Coleslaw with macadamia nuts.
A Serving of Coleslaw in a Bowl Beside a Larger Bowl of Coleslaw

What Goes with Coleslaw?

If you don’t already have a lineup of potential main dishes in mind for this coleslaw, be sure to check out the delicious pairing ideas below.

Fried Chicken Dinner

Serve with Fried Chicken: This crispy Air Fryer Fried Chicken is the perfect match for your cool and creamy coleslaw.

Bake Some Biscuits: You really can’t go wrong when you add a batch of flaky Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits to the meal. Make sure you melt some butter on them while they are still warm.

Barbecue Meal

Serve with Ribs: Pair your coleslaw with a hearty, filling dish like my Easy Instant Pot Ribs. They’re perfectly seasoned and served alongside an addicting homemade sweet and sour sauce.

Make Some Rice: With the Asian-style flavors, you can definitely round out the meal with simple Cilantro Lime Rice.

Steak Supper

Serve with Steak: The cool and creamy slaw will definitely balance the heat of some perfectly grilled Blackened Steaks with Blue Cheese.

Pair with Potato Salad: You know what else tastes great with a classic summer side dish like coleslaw? Another classic side like Potato Salad! And my recipe makes the creamiest, most flavorful one ever.

A Plate of Coleslaw on the Counter with a Bottle of Water Behind It

Things You’ll Need

Brianne Recommends
  • A handheld citrus juicer is the easiest way to squeeze those lemons fast. I use mine all the time.
  • A good pair of tongs is perfect for tossing and serving that slaw.
  • There are lots of liquids in this recipe. These little measuring beakers are not only super cute, but also super convenient when you want to measure all of your ingredients quickly.
  • I love having little spatulas for so many uses around the kitchen, whether it’s scooping the mayo out of the jar or stirring together that dressing.
coleslaw in a small dish with a white napkin and the big serving bowl behind it
5 from 1 vote

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

This Easy Coleslaw Recipe makes a classic, creamy coleslaw that compliments all sorts of summer dishes! It's a fresh and healthy 15-minute side you'll fall in love with.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes


  • Bowl


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded
  • 3-4 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus extra for garnish


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, and salt, until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onion and fresh parsley.
  • Once combined, pour over the mayonnaise mixture and toss together.
  • Garnish with extra chopped fresh parsley and enjoy! 


Serves 6-8.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Coleslaw Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 277 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 14g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 14mg5%
Sodium 607mg25%
Potassium 355mg10%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 4714IU94%
Vitamin C 54mg65%
Calcium 80mg8%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


More Potluck Ideas

Want more tasty dishes to serve at your next summer potluck? Try these!

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