This classic coleslaw salad is a must-have recipe for your summer plans. Whether you need a side dish to bring to a family barbecue or picnic, or an easy make ahead lunch to pack for work or for a potluck, classic coleslaw brings a fresh, crisp, and creamy game-changer to the table. Thrown together in less than 10 minutes, this classic coleslaw consists of only three simple ingredients plus a creamy and delicious dressing that ties it all together. Pair with meats, throw it on tacos, or eat it on its own: classic coleslaw is as versatile as it is delicious.
Why You’ll Love Classic Coleslaw
- Crisp, fresh vegetables. Purple cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots bring a healthy crunch to your coleslaw. The vinegar in the dressing helps soften the veggies just enough to create the perfect texture. It’s a match made in food heaven.
- The blend of bright colors. Colesaw is not only delicious, but it is pretty to look at. Vibrant purple, green, and orange colors are typical in classic coleslaw, making it just as tasty as it is attractive.
- Quick and easy last-minute recipe. This salad takes just 10 minutes to make (most of the time goes into prep to shred those veggies). Which means it’s the ideal starter to munch on when dinner (or you) is running late!
To make easy and delicious classic coleslaw, you will need the following ingredients:
- green cabbage - you could also substitute this with broccoli stems.
- purple cabbage
- vinegar - I used white vinegar and apple cider vinegar for the best results. You would substitute the apple cider vinegar with a squeeze of lemon juice for a similar acidity.
- sugar - a little sugar to balance out the acidity in the vinegars. You could choose to leave this out if you please.
- celery seeds - celery seeds are small seeds that look similar in size to poppy seeds. They are a classic ingredient in coleslaw that gives it that slightly bitter taste that is so distinct in coleslaw.
- salt and pepper - to taste.
You will also need a cheese grater or mandoline slicer with cut resistant gloves to shred the vegetables. Or, to make things even easier and faster, you can use a 14 ounce coleslaw mix instead of shredding the vegetables yourself.
How to Make the Best Classic Coleslaw
- Combine salad ingredients. In a large serving bowl, combine cabbage, purple cabbage, and carrot.
- Toss with dressing. In a small mixing bowl, mix together mayonnaise, vinegars, sugar, celery seeds, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add dressing to the salad and toss to combine.
- Serve. Serve immediately, or refrigerator for one hour to allow the flavors to infuse into each other more. Add more salt and pepper if desired, to taste.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Homemade coleslaw is best eaten fresh within a day or two, and here’s why. Over time, the vinegar will continue to soften the veggies, and the dressing can become watery. So, although it will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days, it tastes best the day of or day after it’s made.
- How to shred cabbage and carrots for coleslaw: To easily shred cabbage, simply cut the head of the cabbage in half, then finely slice each side with a chef’s knife. The best way to shred your carrots is with a cheese grater.
- How to customize: Everyone has different preferences when it comes to their coleslaw. You might like yours a bit sweeter (or spicier!), so don’t be afraid to adjust the dressing to your taste.
More Salad Recipes
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Homemade Potato Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Chickpea Greek Salad
- Creamy Broccoli Slaw Salad
- Quinoa Spinach Salad
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.