This easy homemade coleslaw recipe is rich and creamy with the crunch of fresh veggies and goes perfectly with everything from BBQ to roast chicken, picnics, sandwiches and so much more.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Homemade cole slaw tastes way better than what you can buy in the supermarket plus you know there are no nasty additives etc in there.
- It’s easy to make, my coleslaw is really just a grate and mix recipe.
- Versatility, starting with this basic coleslaw recipe you can customise it any way you like for all sorts of flavours.
What is coleslaw
Often referred to as slaw or cole slaw this simple side salad originated in The Netherlands in the 18th century. The name comes from the Dutch word ‘koolsla’ which is pronounced colesla and means cabbage salad.
Coleslaw is a cabbage salad. In fact, there are so many variations on this salad that raw cabbage is really the only base ingredient that folks don’t change.
From Germany to Isreal, Poland to Sweden, the USA to Ukraine and the UK cabbage salads are ever popular.
This is a classic coleslaw recipe using just the 3 basic slaw ingredients of cabbage, carrots and onion.
The complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making this recipe can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Ingredients for classic coleslaw
This is a very basic cole slaw recipe using the classic 3 main ingredients of raw white cabbage, carrots and red onion.
I have garlic in mine just because we love it but this is purely optional and not traditionally used in slaw.
Many recipes especially in the USA call for red cabbage, but here in Britain, we tend to opt for good old white cabbage for our coleslaw.
For my coleslaw dressing I have used mayonnaise lightened up with some Greek yogurt. You can use just plain mayo if you prefer, but I always tend to lighten things up by mixing in the yogurt half and half.
White wine vinegar, use cider vinegar if you prefer but avoid malt vinegar as it is too strong and would overpower the taste of the veggies in this coleslaw.
Dijon mustard for a wee kick!
I have added a squeeze of lemon juice and the zest of half a lemon as I really like the zing this gives to my cabbage salad, lifting all the flavours.
I sometimes throw in garlic which isn’t part of the traditional slaw recipe but we all adore the taste of garlic so why not.
Alternative ingredients for coleslaw
You can use red cabbage instead of white. Use a white onion instead of the red onion. Having a bit of red in the salad does brighten it up a bit.
How to make homemade slaw
This is such an easy recipe with only three simple steps to the perfect coleslaw.
Your first step is to prepare those veggies; Slice your veggies. You can use a knife and finely chop your cabbage, carrots and onion or use a grater, mandolin slicer or food processor.
Be careful if you are using a food processor without a grating blade as you can end up with your veggies almost in a puree – pulse, don’t run on auto!
Next step – Mix the cole slaw dressing ingredients in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, in a large bowl stir the finely sliced veggies into the coleslaw dressing and chill for half an hour in the fridge to let the flavours really develop.
Additions to Colelslaw
You can add all sorts of goodies to coleslaw to make it your own. From celery to apple, walnuts to cheese. Why not raid your herb pots and add some chives, dill or basil.
Or add some sultanas or finely chopped dried apricots.
How to serve coleslaw
The traditional way to serve coleslaw is as a side salad with everything from cold chicken to BBQ. I love coleslaw stuffed into a baked potato or in a wrap with ham and cheese.
How long does this keep?
Store your homemade coleslaw in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Looking for more delicious salad recipes to try? Then why not check these out before you go;
Looking for even more tasty inspiration? Then go to my Salads And Sides section for a whole host of great recipes.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Easy Homemade Classic Coleslaw
- 300 g white cabbage about half a cabbage
- 1 small red onion
- 2 large carrots
- 20 g mayonnaise
- 20 g Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice optional
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Finely slice all veggies either using a sharp knife, grater, food processor or mandolin slicer.
- Make the dressing by mixing all your ingredients in a large bowl
- Add the sliced veggies to the bowl and mix well adding seasoning to taste
- Chill in the fridge for half an hour to really let the flavours develop.