Easy No Mayo Coleslaw
This 3-ingredient, easy no mayo coleslaw is great on pulled pork or BBQ chicken sandwiches, in tacos or as a side dish when grilling out! It hits the spot for a healthier, lightened up coleslaw!
Anyone else not a fan of the overly creamy, mayo-drenched coleslaws you sometimes get at cookouts? The kind where you cant taste or hardly even see the actual cabbage mix?
Sorry, but no thanks.
Today Im sharing my favorite easy, no mayo coleslaw, which is the perfect addition to any summer cookout.
Its also just a great side dish to anything from the grill in the summer.
It may be because its healthier, but I think the real reason Im so drawn to this type of no mayo coleslaw is because its the Eastern North Carolina style. A.k.a., where my people are from.
My mom grew up in Eastern N.C., and I still have lots of family in that part of the state. And we visited my grandmother there often growing up. BBQ and slaw from one of the local joints was among my moms must-haves during a visit home.
This recipe is adapted from Southern Living and Ive been using it for years now. Im lazy and buy the coleslaw mix in the bag, but if you want to chop your own, go for it!
The Best Coleslaw Recipe
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Crisp and colorful Coleslaw is a welcome and popular dish for picnics or BBQs. Creamy and zesty, with a hint of sweetness it is the best fall and summer salad.
This homemade coleslaw recipe uses simple and basic ingredients of coleslaw with great flavor that makes it such a popular recipe. Fall in love with coleslaw, and add this salad to almost any meal.
Ingredients For Homemade Coleslaw
This is a quick overview of the simple ingredients that you’ll need for a homemade coleslaw recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Green cabbage: you’ll need 8 cups of shredded cabbage, which is approximately one large head.
- Carrots: peel them first, and then shred the carrots in the same way that you shred the cabbage.
- Mayonnaise, sour cream, milk and buttermilk: the base of the creamy, tangy homemade coleslaw dressing.
- Granulated sugar: the classic KFC coleslaw recipe is quite sweet, so you’ll need a good amount of sugar in the dressing.
- Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice: a bright, acidic touch to the dressing.
- Onion: sweet Vidalia onions are my preference, but any white or yellow onion will work. Grate it very finely , and then add the grated onion and its juices to the dressing.
- Celery salt, kosher salt and pepper: for even more flavor in the dressing.
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What Our Readers Are Saying
If you dont believe that our recipe helps you achieve the best coleslaw from scratch, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.
This is seriously the best coleslaw I have ever made or tasted. Judy
Wow, fantastic slaw! Bryant
Amazing! I wanted to eat the whole bowl! Caitlin
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Tips For The Best Homemade Coleslaw Recipe
- For the classic KFC coleslaw texture, use the shredding disc on a food processor to chop the cabbage and carrots very finely. The food processor also makes the job quick and easy!
- Grate the onion very finely. I use a microplane for this task, which creates an onion pulp that blends smoothly into the dressing.
- Chill the coleslaw for at least 2 hours before serving. This gives the vegetables a chance to marinate in the dressing for the best flavor and texture.
- Just like KFC’s, this coleslaw dressing is very thin and will accumulate at the bottom of the dish. That’s normal! Just drain off any extra dressing or use a slotted spoon for serving.
Recipe For Homemade Coleslaw With Mayo
In this article, I will show you how to make a traditional homemade coleslaw. I have included step-by-step instructions, photos, and videos so you can easily follow this recipe. You will also find ideas for how to make sandwiches with this coleslaw, including my recipe for ham, beef and cheese salad sandwiches.
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Salt And Drain Cabbage For Better Coleslaw
Freshly made coleslaw tends to be at its crunchiest, creamiest best if eaten on the day its made. The longer it sits, either on a picnic table or in the refrigerator overnight, the more liquid is released from the shredded cabbage, which can make the salad overly wet and soggy.
If youre hoping to make the slaw a day or two ahead, Id suggest prepping the cabbage and carrots, and then storing them, undressed, in a container in the fridge until you need them. The dressing can be made in a mason jar or other small container when youre ready to assemble the salad, just shake up the jar and pour.
Theres one other option, too: salting the cabbage. This seems counterintuitive since salting the cabbage causes it to wilt, so this requires some trust. Once squeezed of liquid and mixed with the carrots and the dressing, the texture of the cabbage is actually quite crunchy, and the salad itself will keep for several days.
What Should I Serve With Coleslaw
My easy coleslaw recipe would serve up well withCrispy Baked Chicken Thighs, Honey Mustard Chicken or my BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. For gatherings, Ill make my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or grill BBQ Ribs which are a huge hit with the creaminess and crunch of coleslaw. Alternatively, if Ive got slaw left over I may add them to my Shrimp or Fish tacos that I wrap with my gluten-free Cassava Tortillas.
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How To Store Coleslaw For Later
This coleslaw dressing will draw moisture out of the vegetables, eventually making the coleslaw watery. But sometimes freshly dressed coleslaw can be too firm and not as flavorful. Get that sweet spot by making this coleslaw a couple of hours ahead of time and refrigerating it until serving. If, after tasting it, you think it needs more salt, add it right before serving.
Refrigerate leftovers for 3 to 5 days it will become water, but will still be enjoyable.
You can slice the vegetables and make the dressing a day before serving store separately in covered containers in the refrigerator. About 2 hours before serving, toss and place back in the refrigerator. Taste and season with salt, if needed, right before serving.
How Long Does Coleslaw Keep
- The salt and vinegar in the coleslaw dressing start to break down the cabbage and draw the moisture out, so once the dressing is added I recommend that you serve within a couple of hours for best results.
- If you have leftovers it can still be eaten the next day the dressing just becomes runnier.
- Unfortunately it cant be frozen. The overall texture will change too much.
- For make ahead: Mix dressing up to 3 days in advance. Pour over cabbage mixture when ready to serve.
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Classic Coleslaw Salad With Mayonnaise
Homemade creamy coleslaw salad with mayonnaise.
A classic American salad to go with everything you dish out at picnics, especially grilled meats and burgers.
An easy salad for all seasons and occasions.
Finely sliced cabbage, carrots, a dash of pepper and creamy mayonnaise are the main ingredients in this easy coleslaw salad.
Its ideal for long summer picnics if you are wondering, how to keep the coleslaw fresh when its hot?
Well, all you need is a cold pack to keep it fresh.
Theres no other salad that would please both adults and kids than a large bowl of creamy Coleslaw served with barbecued meat, burgers and hotdogs.
My kids love the KFC Coleslaw, so I tend to make the salad a few times a month at home.Not only is it easy to make but you can also teach the kids to make it.
Dont forget, this is one more sneaky way to get the kids to eat their carrots and cabbages without a fuss.
Im always, always surprised how quickly they stuff themselves with the salad which you and I both know is basically a raw salad with only a salad dressing right?
Ever wondered what coleslaw is?
Coleslaw is basically a salad made using, mainly cabbage, there are many variations that coms under a slaw with extra ingredients, such as, carrots, onions.
The dressing for the salad can either be vinegar-based which will give you a tangy flavor or a creamy version using mayonnaise.
Can This Be Made Ahead Of Time
Yes! Coleslaw can be made up to 1 day ahead of time when mixed with the dressing. However, the mixture will become watery with a diluted flavor, and the cabbage will not be as crunchy. Make sure only to toss half of the dressing with the vegetables, drain off some of the liquid that pools at the bottom of the bowl after sitting.
Drizzle the reserved dressing over the coleslaw right before serving for better taste and texture. You can also precut the cabbage and carrots, which are hearty and store very well when refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, then toss it in the dressing, which can be made 3 days ahead of time, right before serving.
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This Tangy Easy Coleslaw Recipe Is Just Begging To Be Your Next Picnic Side Dish Or Barbecue Topper
Youll never see an authentic barbecue restaurant or bustling church fish fry without it. Coleslaw is a staple side dish and for good reason. Its fast and easy to prepare and adds a light crispness to many of your favorite hearty dishes. Once you master this easy coleslaw recipe, its easy to customize it with your favorite add-ins like spicy jalapenos, tart berries or crispy bacon bits for starters.
Styles Of Coleslaw Recipes
There are so many ways to spice up this backyard barbecue favorite here are a few of our favorites.
Vinegar coleslaw: This classic coleslaw recipe keeps things simple with ingredients like cabbage, carrots and vinegar, plus sugar for the dressing. The sweet, tangy slaw is the perfect complement to a heavier dish like tangy pulled pork sandwiches or Texas-style beef brisket.
Creamy coleslaw: To make creamy slaw, start with vinegar slaw as a base and mix in mayonnaise. Try pairing your creamy slaw with crispy fish tacos for a crisp bite with out-of-this-world flavor. Keep scrolling for our easiest creamy slaw recipe ever.
Red coleslaw: Red slaw gets its creaminess not from mayo but from ketchup. Red slaw is a Louisiana favorite so try serving it as a side dish with Creole jambalaya.
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What Goes With Coleslaw
Tips On Selecting Ingredients
When choosing ingredients, save yourself a step by buying chopped cabbage and shredded carrots this will cut your prep time in half. Look for a mix of green and red cabbage for a vibrant, colorful dish.
Once you remove your chopped cabbage from its bag , pat it dry with a paper towel. The less moisture in the cabbage before you start, the crunchier your slaw will be. To really get a serious crunch, toss the cabbage with salt and allow it to sit for about an hour. Then use a paper towel to wring out the excess moisture.
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What Is Coleslaw Dressing Made Of
Coleslaw dressing is made with mayonnaise, a sweetener , apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, salt and pepper. Some coleslaw dressings are made with dairy , but I dont think its necessary and prefer this dairy-free option.
My creamy coleslaw dressing recipe is also low in sugar and calories, compared to what you would get at a store or restaurant. This was by design. But if you want something a little more reminiscent of your favorite KFC coleslaw, add more sweetener.
My sweetener of choice is honey, but maple syrup works great as well. And either of those is better than the processed white sugar used in most traditional coleslaw recipes.
If mayonnaise-based coleslaw isnt your thing, check out my recipe for Vinegar Based Coleslaw. You can also read more about the health benefits of cabbage there. Dont let the mayonnaise fool you, cabbage is an amazing vegetable to have and keep in our diet.
Benefits Of Eating Cabbage
One reason you should eat more coleslaw is the amazing health benefits of cabbage! You can boil cabbage, sauté it, ferment it or enjoy it raw, like in this tasty coleslaw recipe. However you eat it, youll be absorbing plenty of necessary nutrients from cabbage.
Cabbage comes from the same plant family as kale, cauliflower and broccoli. And like broccoli, cabbage has a similar anti-inflammatory profile. Chronic inflammation over time is associated with heart disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome , cancer and diabetes. In other words, eat more cabbage and other veggies!
Cabbage has a ton of Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that protects cells from harmful free radicals. In turn, Vitamin C has been linked to lowering high blood pressure and boosting your immunity .
This crunchy vegetable is also high in Vitamin K. Just one cup of cabbage is 85% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, which is essential to help with blood clotting. So much goodness from one simple vegetable.
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Can This Coleslaw Recipe Be Frozen
If you added the mayonnaise to your dressing do not freeze this recipe! Mayonnaise does not freeze well and when thawed youll end up with a separated watery dressing. Gross.
However, you can freeze the cabbage blend and make the dressing fresh the day you are serving. Make sure to freeze in an airtight container and thaw thoroughly before mixing in the dressing.
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Calculating How Much Cabbage You Would Need
1 medium-sized cabbage would give you 4 cups of raw shredded cabbage since most groceries sell in weight, I would estimate you would need 400-500g or 14-15 oz. This would easily serve 5 individuals.
How much cabbage will I need for 5 individuals?
400-500g of cabbage would give you 4 cups.
This would roughly serve 4-5 individuals easily but buy a little more than the 500g mentioned here as there will be extra servings.
How much cabbage will I need for 2?
200g of would give you 2 cups of cabbage that should be enough for 2 but as mentioned above, make a little extra to be on the safe side.
Utensils and appliances needed.
1 large carrot sliced fine or grated coarsely
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon of lime juice
Slice the cabbage thin and grate the carrots as well, make sure the carrots are grated using the large surface holes in a grater.
Place both the above ingredients in a large bowl.
Add mayonnaise, sugar, lime to the bowl and combine all ingredients until the vegetables are completely coated with mayonnaise.
Season with salt and pepper, since coleslaw tastes better slightly cold, once you make the salad, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
Let the Coleslaw rest for 2 hours before serving.
Before you serve the Coleslaw, give the salad a mix, check if you are satisfied with the seasoning then serve.
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