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Easy Homemade Coleslaw

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This easy homemade coleslaw recipe is a summer classic. It’s an easy salad to serve all summer, crispy, crunchy, and perfectly flavored—exactly what a coleslaw should be.

Coleslaw with fresh parsley and carrots in a bowl.

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It’s also a perfect accompaniment for fried fish, pulled pork, ribs, fried chicken — well… actually, anything!

Coleslaw Origins

Originally inherited from Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam, their word, “koolsla,” quickly became an American favorite any time of the year, especially in summer. A perfect pairing for anything with barbecue sauce.

Homemade Coleslaw Ingredients

Keeping coleslaw traditional, I always combine green, purple, or red cabbage with carrots for a rainbow of color and hearty nutrition.

Here are the ingredients I use to make this simple homemade coleslaw.

  • Cabbage: Use a combination of green and purple shredded cabbage. If it’s easier, you can buy pre-shredded mixes. If you want to experiment with flavors and textures, try shredding Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy.
  • Carrots: Julienned or shredded
  • Coleslaw Dressing: Mayonnaise, cider vinegar, granulated sugar, celery seed, and salt and pepper.

How to Prepare Cabbage for Coleslaw

Easy recipes start with the right equipment. Here are some of my favorites!

It’s quick to shred together in a food processor, but I often find myself quickly shredding the cabbage thinly with a sharp knife and using a box shredder for the carrots.

To shred the cabbage with a knife, cut the head into quarters. This makes it easy to remove the core. Then, slice each quarter into thin slices.

Storing Homemade Coleslaw

Coleslaw will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. However, for the best texture, serve within the day it’s made.

If you want to make it ahead, shred the cabbage and carrots a day or two ahead and refrigerate in a resealable bag. The dressing will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator when stored in a lidded jar in an airtight container.

More Summer Salad Recipes


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Closeup horizontal view of homemade coleslaw in a light blue bowl.

Easy Homemade Coleslaw

This simple coleslaw recipe is a summer classic. An easy recipe to serve all summer long. Crispy, crunchy, and perfectly flavored. Exactly what a coleslaw should be.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson



  • 1/2 head of cabbage or 1/4 green and 1/4 purple for about 6 cups, shredded
  • 4 medium carrots julienned or shredded
  • 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • In a bowl toss together the cabbage and carrots. In a separate bowl combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt and pepper until well incorporated and creamy. Pour dressing over cabbage and carrots and toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve and up to 1 day.


Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6885IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cabbage, Carrots, Coleslaw, Simple Coleslaw Recipe

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