Easy Cole Slaw (Coleslaw)

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Easy Cole Slaw, also known as Coleslaw, in just 5 minutes with the perfect homemade dressing, this is the ultimate side dish for summer because it gets even better the next day. Perfect for cookouts and planning ahead.

Cole Slaw
 Easy Cole Slaw (Coleslaw) Recipe

Cole Slaw is the quintessential side dish for the summer. We love it so much we already have two versions on the site! Both are copycats, one is KFC Coleslaw (Copycat) and the second is my personal favorite unique cole slaw, Tony Roma’s Coleslaw with celery seeds.

What to serve with ColeSlaw:

Cole Slaw is a classic summer side dish best served with BBQ Pulled ChickenBBQ ChickenBarbecue Ribs or any other summer favorites you love including corn on the cob and Potato Salad.

Why buy pre-shredded cole slaw mix? For us the time involved in chopping plus the leftovers of the cabbage make it an easy swap. In addition to that, for some reason we find buying the vegetables whole costs almost twice as much as buying the pre-shredded bag. For us in the summer we love to keep things easy. This recipe shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to put together the morning of your bbq.

Important Note about Cole Slaw: YES, this recipe takes about five minutes, but one of the most important things about Cole Slaw is letting it sit, so that the dressing can soften the crunch of the cabbage. We give it at least 2 hours. Even better if you can do it the night before.

Bowl of Cole Slaw

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This Cole Slaw recipe is your classic cole slaw. Think going to the grocery store, about to spend four dollars a pound on cole slaw, cole slaw. Instead of spending so much, you can make it at home and with ingredients you can control.

I’ve actually spoken to heads of deli departments who have told me that cole slaw comes in either pre-made or in two parts, mix and dressing. This is a way to have fresh cole slaw without the added preservatives you’ll find in packaged cole slaw dressings.

So why post a third cole slaw recipe on the same site? Well, it’s the CLASSIC summer side dish and I love options. So choose your favorite version.

Easy ColeSlaw Recipes:

  • KFC Cole Slaw: Made with milk, buttermilk, lemon juice chopped cabbage, onion and carrots, this is the perfect KFC copycat. It has a bit of a bite from the onions.
  • Tony Roma’s Cole Slaw: This recipe is the perfect higher end recipe with celery seeds and a bit less creamy texture. If you’re serving up a summer dinner menu, you can go a bit fancier with this version.
  • Easy Cole Slaw: This recipe, this is the standard classic version made to take the place of buying pre-made.

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Easy Cole Slaw Recipe (Coleslaw)

5 from 67 votes
  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Course: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Easy Cole Slaw made in just 5 minutes with the perfect homemade dressing, this is the ultimate side dish for summer because it gets even better the next day. Perfect for cookouts and planning ahead.


  • 14 ounce coleslaw mix with red cabbage and carrots*
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, white vinegar, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
  2. Add in the coleslaw mix and stir well to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes

* If you want to uses your own mix for the coleslaw, I use 8 cups shredded cabbage, 1 cup shredded red cabbage, and 4 julienned carrots.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 120 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 120g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 170mg, Potassium: 84mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 60g, Vitamin C: 19.2g, Calcium: 20g, Iron: 0.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Easy Cole Slaw
Summer Southern Cole Slaw
Easy Southern Cole Slaw

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  1. This was the exact kind of recipe I was looking for. Sooo good! I had leftover shredded cabbage and brussel sprouts, so this was the perfect dish to make to use those up. I did add one shredded carrot, and then added a few more TBS of mayo to make it creamier.

  2. Excellent. I had left over bagged “cole slaw” mix from a fish taco recipe and this worked perfectly.

  3. Absolutely delicious…I added a tsp of mustard, celery seeds and substituted 2 tbs 0f sweet pickle relish instead of salt, sugar and vinegar. I will never buy cole slaw again.

  4. I’ve been making this Cole slaw recipe for years I love it easy and delicious my alway go to coke slaw recipe. My neighbor loves Cole slaw, I always make sure to delivery across the street a container. I have this recipe in my notes so i go right to it.

    Thank you again for another great recipe.

  5. This is very similar to my coleslaw, but I add a little celery seed. Really takes it to the next level.

  6. This was good, but waaay too sweet for me and I started with half the sugar suggested. Added some more mayo and lime juice to adjust. I’d say start with a little sugar and add more if you want it sweeter..

  7. Excellent!! I only let the slaw rest for about 10-15 minutes as we like it crunchy. I have also added poppy and/or caraway seeds – delicious!

  8. This is my go to cole slaw recipe. Sometimes I switch it up and substitute fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of chipotle puree for a southwestern flair. My husband loves it!

  9. Good recipe that tasted better than expected. The lime juice really gave it a unique flavor. I added some minced onions to the mix

  10. Came out really well! Only change I made is I added a little bit chopped onions and let the coleslaw sit. I love onions so just had to incorporate them lol. Simple and delish! Perfect with crispy chicken sandwiches. Thank you.

  11. Looks yummy. I’ve tried to make this for my family, and my family really love it. I will introduce your recipe for my friends. Thank you so much. I love it.

    1. What can I use instead of vinegar? And is it ok to completely remove that ingredient, will it taste ok without it? Thanks!

  12. Simple and excellent, making it with your bake beans as well, just tasted both, just perfect. I bookmarked this site to use as a future reference. Thank you Sabrina.

  13. Very easy recipe. Delicious whole family loved it . Never buy store bought again. It’s a keeper.
    Thank you for sharing.

  14. This is a great staring base recipe. I’ve tweaked it a couple times. A little less sugar. Cut the Mayo a bit. Added some celery seed. But I use this as my go to every time. Thanks

  15. This is such a good base for a slaw. It is so easy and so good. I make this at least once a week. I adjust it a little: less mayo, apple cider vinegar rather than white, and I don’t put in black pepper because my daughter won’t eat it if she knows there’s pepper in it. If I have celery and a little time, I’ll shred some into it. Can’t thank you enough.

  16. My husband is a coleslaw lover and absolutely loved this recipe. He loved the tanginess with a little sweetness in the background. Definitely saving this recipe. Thank you!!

  17. Thank you for posting this easy and delicious recipe! Used the Trader Joe’s 9 oz. bag of organic green and red cabbage, and carrots. No white vinegar on hand so substituted apple cider vinegar. Add-ins were 1/2 grated honey crisp apple and 1/4 tsp celery seeds. Great summer side!

  18. I made the Cole Slaw with store-bought mix of both white and red cabbage and carrots,
    using your recipe for dressing. Exactly as written. My husband and I both enjoyed it
    very much. It was creamy, great-tasting and very easy to make !

    Next time, I will add even less Mayo and maybe try adding regular table or sea salt in
    place of kosher one. To experiment a little. Mayo can be reduced for sure, to my taste.

    It’s a great recipe ! Thank you very much, Sabrina !

  19. Loved dressing . Used rice wine vinegar in place of white vinegar. I add black raisins , good handful, and one carrot and apple grated. B

  20. This is my go-to coleslaw recipe – it’s just perfect. I make it exactly as directed and always have happy eaters.

    1. My husband & I love this recipe! I use seasoned rice wine vinegar, which is sweet in itself, so I cut the sugar down to 1 tbsp. I also add more carrots & red cabbage than what comes in the grocery cabbage mix. Delicious!

  21. This was so unexpectedly good!!! Picked this over the recipes on the internet because it had the most basic ingredients which I had in my pantry.

    I would suggest to only adjust for taste after it has been chilled. I followed the recipe to the letter and it tasted too sour when I first put it together. Let it chill and let the sourness mellow down before judging if you need to add more salt, pepper or sugar etc.

    I was thinking I’d add some sugar before consuming it, but after spending a few hours in the fridge it tasted perfect and I didn’t need to adjust! Will definitely make this again.

  22. Great coleslaw dressing. I chopped my own green cabbage, a bit of red cabbage, and grated some carrot to make my own mix. My husband is a Type 2 diabetic, so I used Erythritol instead of sugar. We will eat it with leftover baked cod for tacos.

  23. This stuff is GREAT!! So easy and so good for you! I don’t use the mix-I get cabbage and carrots for free! Shred in food processer and add the other stuff.Once in a while I drizzle a little balsamic on it- so good!!

  24. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have NEVER liked coleslaw (or potato salad) but after I mixed this recipe together I couldn’t wait to eat a bowl. I did add an extra 1 1/2tbsp. sugar because I did want it a bit sweeter but OMG it’s good. The bowl of coleslaw may not survive until dinner tonight haha

  25. My first time making my own coleslaw, can’t stand the store bought. Cut my own cabbage and carrot, and it was excellent. Followed the recipe to a “T”. There might be better recipes out there, but this is my go to for sure. Thanks from all of us at home.

    1. Very good. Not fancy nothing to right home about but just what you think of when you want slaw

      1. Greatly appreciated, finally a quick recipe I can make with the things I have a lot home and still ENJOY! FIRST TIME making my own coleslaw, it’s something I on again off again crave (especially now that I’m super pregnant) and it’s nice to be able to just do this and go on about my day.