Classic coleslaw

Coleslaw in a bowl

Creamy, crunchy, a little sweet, and a little tangy, this coleslaw is truly a classic. The recipe takes literally minutes to make and makes a great side for any meal.

There are dozens of coleslaw recipes to suit every taste, whether you like sweet or tangy or somewhere in the middle. There is also any number of add-ins ingredients. Husband grew up with bananas in coleslaw. My mother-in-law told me later it was a good way to get her sons to eat coleslaw. It worked and it is delicious.

Coleslaw can easily be made for two people, or you can make a big batch for a crowd. It is best if allowed to sit refrigerated for at least 20 minutes which makes it a great make-ahead side.


Cabbage: Fresh green cabbage chopped or finely shredded is the basis of coleslaw. To make the recipe really easy you can use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage, which often includes a bit of red cabbage and carrots for flavor variety and color.

Onion: I typically use red onion, but yellow and white are also perfectly fine options.

Carrot: A shredded carrot is optional if you are starting with a head of cabbage. They are often part of a bag of shredded cabbage.

Seasoned salt: My go-to brand. Seasoned salt adds a nice depth of flavor.

Sugar: Adds a little sweetness for balance.

Freshly ground black pepper: Add to your taste preference. I like a lot.

Mayonnaise: Rich and creamy texture, tangy flavor, and the base of the sauce. I use a light mayo.

Sour Cream: I love the combination of mayonnaise and sour cream for the sauce.


Coleslaw is so quick and easy to make. Start by finely chopping or shredding your fresh cabbage, then finely chopping the onion. Shred the carrot if you’re using one. If you are starting with a bag of pre-shredded cabbage simply pour the mixture into a medium bowl.

Sprinkle the cabbage mixture with seasoned salt, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine the spices into the cabbage mixture.

Add mayonnaise and sour cream and stir to thoroughly combine.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. I like to let set at least 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Coleslaw with pulled chicken sandwich
Pulled chicken sandwich & coleslaw

Coleslaw is great side with these pulled chicken sandwiches.

Balsamic chicken sandwich & coleslaw
Balsamic chicken sandwich & coleslaw

Balsamic chicken sandwiches are another delicious option.

With warm weather right around the corner, this coleslaw will make a quick, easy, and delicious side dish to any meal!

Classic Coleslaw

Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • ½ medium sized head of cabbage finely chopped
  • ½ small onion-finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot shredded (optional)


  • ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • cup regular or light mayonnaise
  • cup sour cream


  • Finely chop cabbage and onion and shred carrot. Place in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Sprinkle cabbage and onion mixture with salt, sugar and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add mayonnaise and sour cream and stir to thoroughly combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Best when eaten within a few hours of preparation.
Keyword Creamy, Crunchy, Savory


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