Easy Cole Slaw (Coleslaw)

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 in white serving bowl

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.

More Coleslaw recipes:

Why buy pre-shredded cole slaw mix? The time required for 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. 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 recommend at least 2 hours. Even better if you can do it the night before.

Bowl of Cole Slaw

This classic Cole Slaw recipe is a perfect easy barbecue side dish. Instead of spending four dollars a pound on grocery store cole slaw that could have been sitting there a week, you can make it at home and with ingredients you can control.

If you speak to the head of deli department in your local grocery store, they’ll likely tell you 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.



  • Serve: Make sure to refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving, serve chilled, and don’t leave it out longer than 2 hours.
  • Store: Cole Slaw can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week. If it starts to break down, add more coleslaw mix to keep it fresh longer.
  • Freeze: Coleslaw doesn’t freeze well, so just throw it out and make a fresh batch when needed.
Cole Slaw

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Easy Cole Slaw Recipe (Coleslaw)

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.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


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


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



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


Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 19.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Keyword: Easy Cole Slaw
Cole Slaw collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I tried this recipe this morning and I am going to Barbacue a turkey and Deer ? sausage for this afternoon. I am putting Cole slaw in refrigerator. I don’t like Mayonnaise so I used Miracle Whip Salad dressing and I didn’t have white distilled Vinegar so I used Apple Cider Vinegar

  2. I usually don’t like most coleslaw’s so I was just making it like why not try it. I didn’t have lemons so I used 2 limes so they didn’t go to waste, added a bit more salt and it was so good! Made me want to eat it all. I did not shred the cabbage just bought some coleslaw bag. Would make again ??! Gonna have it tomorrow with pulled pork sandwiches ???? bye!

  3. Great Recipe! Easy to make and taste way better then any jar. My husband’s new favorite coleslaw recipe.

  4. I made your coleslaw with fresh cabbage and carrots from my garden. Refrigerated for 4 hours. Served with barbecued chicken. The coleslaw was a hit. Thankfully I doubled the recipe.

  5. I love your recipes looking forward to trying it. I am guessing it’s bottled lemon juice?

  6. I made this a few times recently, it’s really tasty. Added a grated apple, some dijon mustard and garlic pepper to taste.

  7. Delicious!
    Couldn’t find my moms recipe but this one was spot on
    I substituted sugar with 1 1/2 packets of zing, and instead of kosher salt I added celery salt.

  8. replaced the Vinegar with pickle juice and halfed the sugar amount using dark brown sugar, yum.

    1. Thanks for posting your comment here about subbing dill pickle juice & dark brown sugar. I was reading the comments to see what recommendations were suggested to sub for the white vinegar because II’m running too low on it before next shopping trip to buy more. You have a GREAT solution. I can’t recall what happened when I made a similar recipe with acv (which I have more of in the pantry), but it doesn’t matter now. I’ll follow your resolution to my dilemma.

  9. I ‘ve been making this recipe since it was published. I love this recipe. Today, I’m going to try it with Broccoli slaw.
    It came out just as good as regular coleslaw!

  10. this is perfect!!!!!! My Mom always made her own dressing for cole slaw & it was great. Finally I found the one that tastes just like what she made…….thanks so much….have been buying bottled stuff that never pleases me.

  11. Super easy and Super delicious! Can’t buy a better coleslaw from the deli. We make it 2 times a week at least.

  12. Easy recipe and it’s tastes good ! I made a batch and will have with pork chops and I can eat it alone as a salad.

    Thanks ?

  13. Easy, quick and delicious! Tonight with bbq pulled pork sandwiches and left~overs tomorrow with cheeseburgers and fries! Always perfect!

  14. This was a huge hit at my house. I made this to top off my homemade pulled pork sliders with. I’m thrilled with the way the slaw pulled it all together. YUM! It’s definitely on my list for making in the future and can’t wait to make it for a party.

  15. Great quick recipe. Kept the dressing in a glass jar and mixed it with the cabbage just before serving. Coleslaw stays crisp and it keeps a bit longer this way. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I’ve been making this recipe since it was published. I love this recipe. Today, I’m going to try it with Broccoli slaw.

  16. I started using this recipe a few years ago. I’ve never wanted to look for another one! This has the perfect balance of everything. I don’t like celery in coleslaw but I DO like the flavor. After making this a few times as is, I decided to add celery seeds. IF you’ve never cooked with celery seeds, please note that a little goes a long way…my first batch using it was overpowering.

    Also, my brother won’t eat coleslaw anywhere else cause it’s not as good as ‘mine’! Glad I found this recipe!

    1. that’s how my mom always made it, just reduce any vinegar by the taste test. Also, you can add a small amt of grey Poupon.

  17. Easy to follow and put together. I use apple cider vinegar instead of plain while vinegar. Salad tastes great! This is my go to cole slaw recipe! Thanks.

    1. I use apple cider vinegar too – love it! No sugar for us (diabetic) but everything else the same. My go-to recipe for life!

  18. Hello Sabrina, I’ve been making your cole slaw recipe for several years now, every time I make cole slaw I go right to yours, it’s easy and taste very good my family and friends enjoy it. Thank you for all your great recipes.

  19. Double the sauce if you like it saucy. Also substituted celery salt for salt, lime for lemon (what I had), and added teaspoon of dijon mustard. Turned out great!

  20. Because the hubs and I are type 2 diabetic I had to make 1 substitution.
    Rather than 2 T. sugar used equivalent amount of stevia.
    And it was delicious!

  21. Quick easy and delicious
    Hadn’t made coleslaw for a long very time
    Braised cabbage was my go to cabbage recipe
    Will be definitely making coleslaw again

  22. This is my favorite go to recipe for cole slaw. My family of five LOVES it so much. Thank you for such a great recipe site. I look forward to finding more wonderful recipes. God bless.

  23. Hi Sabrina, This recipe which is second time making for my husband & says is excellent. (i do not like coleslaw or anything made with “raw” cabbage) I can say that I’ve tried your Asian recipes and they are the best ones yet on Pinterest. I know if i get recipe from you, it’s going to be a “keeper”.

  24. Family lovvved this recipe. Thank you. I have made a lot of recipes that are on your sight and they never disappoint. ALL KEEPERS

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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

  30. 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..

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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.

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

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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!!

  41. 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!

  42. 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 !

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

  44. 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!

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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!!

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. Hi
    The bacon corn looks very gd. I am not keen on BBQ sauce.what other sauce can i use instead pls.

    Many thks

  51. Love this recipe! I doubled it and added some celery seeds, dry mustard, and onion powder as suggested in the comments. So good!

    1. I’ve not tested it that way before but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!

  52. What are the serving sizes for the Cole slaw recipes….1 cup, 1/2 cup etc.? I am doing WW and need to know serving size to determine points

    Thank you

  53. Made this and WOW. So darn good. Now I keep bag slaw on hand and make this couple times a week. So very easy and tastes better the next day.

  54. Yum. Used a “southern style” slaw mix (onions, cabbage, finely chopped bell pepper) and used 2Tb of White Wine Vinegar (didn’t have a lemon or white vinegar) and it came out DELICIOUS!

    Very nice recipe – thank you!

  55. Whenever I’ve made coleslaw in the past, it’s sucked. I couldn’t figure out what was so hard and had pretty much given up making it. (Even though it seems rather simple?) I was always looking at some famous chef’s recipe, but it always tasted bleh… This slaw was delicious and EASY as promised. I made the dressing as written and sliced one head of cabbage thin. Maybe a hair too much dressing but not by much. May I never lose this recipe, and bless you!

  56. This is an easy and very tasty recipe. The dressing is creamy and it holds up well over time. I reduced the white sugar to 1 tablespoon and found the taste to be very pleasant.

  57. This is a very good coleslaw as is. For a little flavor boost, add some mini marshmallows, very delicious.

  58. Delicious the best coleslaw recipe for my taste to date. I like miracle whip so I used 1/2 mayo 1/2 miracle whip we also like a little celery seed so added it as well. Lovely balance of sweet and tart!

  59. AMAZING. Only change I made was to use cider vinegar, but I am sure white would have been just as good. Really a very simple and tasty recipe!

  60. Made this yesterday for ribs today. Tasted it while making it and was tastey. Ate it today and fabulous. Definitely gets better for the next day.

  61. Love this! Did half the sugar and 1.5tbls cider vinager and added garlic and onion powder. BINGO! The perfect savory side to our fried fish dinner!

  62. This was such an easy recipe to make and it was delicious. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Thanks!

    1. I love this recipe, reminds me of my moms coleslaw. I have been searching forever for a recipe like yours and i finally found it. Thank you for sharing.

  63. Quick and easy but ABSOLUTELY delicious! This slaw us a must have with any BBQ this summer.

    1. I made this tonight and my wife told me it’s a keeper. Perfect salad to accompany my summer grilling.

  64. This recipe is almost like the one my mother always made and I still make (I’m 78): 2 T sugar, 3 T ACvinegar, 1 t celery seeds, 1/2 to 3/4 c mayo, S&P. We never heard of Tony Roma’s! Although I’ve been cooking a long time, I still enjoy your blog.

  65. This is such a perfect side for so many meals! I can’t wait to make a big batch.