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A delicious easy coleslaw recipe that’s always a crowd favorite! Crunchy cabbage with a delicious dressing, this easy coleslaw is a perfect side anytime!

Looking for more tasty side dishes? You’ll love this Southern Potato Salad, Skillet Mac and Cheese, and Fried Okra, to name a few!

Blue bowl with shredded cabbage and carrots in coleslaw //

Coleslaw has to be one of the most humble of recipes. It works perfectly with so many dishes as the side dish but rarely gets the star treatment that it really deserves.

Made with shredded cabbage and ingredients you most likely have on hand, this recipe with a creamy coleslaw dressing is always a crowd favorite and makes the best coleslaw recipe I’ve ever had!

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

For years, my family has made this coleslaw the traditional way of grating cabbage and carrots by hand or in the food processor. I definitely still make it that way, especially if I have freshly picked cabbage, but now I often find myself grabbing a bag of pre-shredded cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix at the grocery store. I’ve updated my classic recipe based on this easy method, and I’ve included the classic method in the notes of the recipe.

How to Make Easy Coleslaw

To make this tasty coleslaw, you will need:


Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

  • Shredded Coleslaw Mix
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar or honey
  • Salt

You can also add other mix-in ingredients to your coleslaw, like:

  • Sliced Green Onion
  • Pepper
  • Celery Salt

Step-by-Step Instructions

Prep. Add the shredded coleslaw mix to a large mixing bowl.

Make the Dressing. The dressing is the key to this creamy coleslaw! Whisk together your mayonnaise, buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, use my buttermilk substitute recipe!), vinegar, sugar, and salt in another medium bowl or 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Toss the cabbage with dressing. Pour over the cabbage mixture in your bowl and toss well to evenly coat with the coleslaw dressing.

Serve. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Side view of blue bowl holding coleslaw with carrots and cabbage //

Even though it is extremely delicious as soon as it is made, I find that it is even more delicious the next day for lunch with any leftovers we might have. That time in the refrigerator gives it a little bit more time to marinate in that creamy coleslaw dressing that tastes so amazing.

How Long Does Coleslaw Last?

In the refrigerator. Coleslaw lasts a day after the dressing is added to it when stored in the refrigerator.

To make ahead. Make the coleslaw dressing up to 3 days ahead and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture, toss it together, and serve.

Main Dishes To Serve with Coleslaw

This Coleslaw recipe is good with almost anything and works well with so many dishes that it is no wonder it makes a classic side dish.

We have made this recipe for years in my family, and it’s one that my family has always devoured! It always makes an appearance for picnics and BBQs to go with our favorite classic cookout fare.

But I also love it when it is piled on top of pulled pork in a sandwich or on top of a hotdog with a scoop of chili. In other words, it is a definite favorite anytime you serve it!

Coleslaw in a blue serving bowl //

Original Classic Coleslaw Recipe

Since I updated my family’s classic coleslaw recipe to use a more modern approach that I’ve found myself turning to time and again, I still wanted to preserve the original classic coleslaw recipe that my family has loved for years. If coleslaw mix isn’t your favorite, this version is a must-try!


  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots shredded
  • 1/2 small sweet onion diced (optional)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


  • Place shredded cabbage, carrots, and onions into a medium size bowl.
  • Add mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk together with a fork until well combined and smooth. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add black pepper and celery seeds. Pour mayonnaise dressing over cabbage and toss together to mix thoroughly.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator before serving.

More Favorite Side Dishes

Mashed Potatoes

Squash Casserole

Grilled Okra

Pinto Beans

Sweet Potato Fries

Black Eyed Peas

Here’s my easy coleslaw recipe. Be sure to make it soon. I think you’ll absolutely love it!

5 from 19 votes

Coleslaw Recipe

Side Dish 10 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Servings 6
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Coleslaw Recipe – A delicious easy coleslaw recipe that’s always a crowd favorite! Crunchy cabbage with a delicious dressing, this easy coleslaw is a perfect side anytime!


  • 1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • pinch salt


  • Place coleslaw mix into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk together with a fork until well-combined and smooth. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour the dressing over cabbage and toss together to mix thoroughly.
  • Serve immediately or cover and chill in refrigerator before serving.



Mix together coleslaw dressing and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Serve. 
After coleslaw dressing has been added to the cabbage mixture, the coleslaw is good for one day when stored in the refrigerator. 
For a vegan version of this coleslaw recipe, use vegan mayonnaise and a plant-based milk. 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

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Robyn xo

Coleslaw Recipe - A classic coleslaw recipe. Made of cabbage and topped with a delicious dressing, this coleslaw recipe is one you'll use again and again. //

30 Minutes or Less Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. 5 stars
    I’m Mexican, and I wasn’t raised with coleslaw. Later in life, I discovered how to make it. So crazy simple. Makes me wish I had learned earlier. Thanks for your recipe.

    1. Yes, it is super simple and goes great as a side dish in so many meals! I hope you enjoy this one!

  2. I use cole slaw a lot. It is so easy to make. Sometimes if I am in the mood (or for the dish itself) I might put dried cranberries and apples or even nuts (or change up some of the veg in it). That can almost become a main dish.

  3. 5 stars
    I pinned this the last time I saw it but can’t believe I didn’t leave a comment. You are so good to put your time into this and I know a lot of us greatly appreciate all you do. The least I can do is comment and let you know I look at your stories and recipes and I THANK YOU!!

    Coleslaw is one of my favorites. Love it with pinto beans, black-eyed peas, sloppy joes, hamburgers, meatloaf, country style steak, fried chicken, fish and a must on a hot dog! Your version sounds delicious and I’ll be trying it. Again, thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Robyn … love your website and recipes. Making your beer chicken wings and cole slaw for Father’s Day. Just a quick mention to your readers. When making the slaw, one should really “sweat” the cabbage with salt for a couple of hours before adding your delicious dressing. Heap a bunch of salt on the cabbage in a colander allowing the cabbage to sweat its excessive moisture out, then rinse and dry the cabbage. Sweating allows the dressing to cling and be absorbed by the slaw when you mix everything together.

    1. Great tip. I usually don’t take the time to do that and just throw it all together in the bowl together and stir. Ha ha!

  5. 5 stars
    Your coleslaw is classic and almost exactly how my grandmother made hers. I am planning to do a recipe round up on my site next month and was wondering if I can use one of your photos in the round up. I will link back to your site for the recipe.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  6. 5 stars
    So happy I found this great recipe!!! Coleslaw is my husband’s favorite salad!!! Going to make it today. Thanks for sharing:)

  7. 5 stars
    This coleslaw recipe looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it the next time we get together with our friends for a bbq. Thanks for sharing

  8. Hello Robyn,
    This recipe looks really delicious. I am lactose intolerant, so when milk is needed in a recipe, I use Lactaid. Can I use that as a substitute for the buttermilk?


    1. 5 stars
      I took a chance with the buttermilk. It was delicious. Even my 10-year old–who doesn’t like coleslaw, enjoyed it as well. Thank you for your response and the great recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this today and it’s really easy and tastes great. I added 1 can 8 oz. drained Libby’s  skinny fruits pineapple 🍍 tidbits and will serve this with my baby back ribs. 

  10. I am anxious to try thid, I tried the Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw recipe but noticed that it was almost watery I see that you have quite a bit of Buttermilk on there just wondering if you notice a lot of liquid in the coleslaw once it’s set

    1. Hi Liz,
      I don’t notice a lot of extra liquid when I make my recipe. I hope you enjoy it! xo

  11. 5 stars

    American girl living in Norway, making shredded BBQ pork and cole slaw sandwiches. I looked through several recipes before I settled on this one. Boy am I glad I did!

    I only altered a couple of things (out of need to use what we already have on hand). I used natural Greek yogurt instead if buttermilk, apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar, and didn’t add the onion. My family and I don’t care for onion in cole slaw. I also took the suggestion from another poster and salted the cabbage before hand and squeezed out all the liquid.

    This is DEFINITELY my go-to recipe from now on! Thank you!

    1. Wonderful to hear, Kayla! So excited you gave this a try and enjoyed the recipes! Thanks so much! xo

  12. 5 stars
    I’ve looked for, and tried several Coleslaw recipes but haven’t found one that hit the mark … until this one. It’s fantastic! Made it with without any changes for a tailgate during college football season, and for my wife’s cookie exchange. All to rave reviews. If you’re looking for just the right coleslaw recipe, look no further!

  13. 5 stars
    This is such a crunchy, delicious coleslaw, Robyn! Love the flavor – it is so good with so many other foods! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  14. This is the only way I make Coleslaw now. My family loves it. Exchanged the Buttermilk for 1% milk and it is great!
    It is so easy and quick to make too! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Christine, is the first ingredient the coleslaw mix? If so, it is the correct recipe.

  15. Why can’t I print the recipe for the coleslaw. When I hit print a different recipe comes up (the dressing is not the same as the first time you see the recipe.

    1. In the post, I list the original recipe using shredded cabbage but the printable recipe is the easier version using prepackaged coleslaw mix, Annette. I just printed the recipe and the updated easier recipe printed.

  16. 5 stars
    Excellent coleslaw, Robyn! Your recipe is ‘my go to’ recipe every time I make coleslaw for my family and friends. It’s delicious, and comes together in no time. We love it! Thanks again for another wonderful recipe. Take care.

  17. Love that you shared both versions of this fabulous recipe. My own is a cross between the two, substituting kosher pickle juice for the vinegar. Adds a delicious flavor! Thank you for your superb recipes!