Skip to Content

Southern Coleslaw Recipe – Quick and Easy Southern Style Slaw

This Southern coleslaw recipe is so bright and colorful and filled loads of flavor from fresh vegetables and home grown parsley.

It is a quick and easy side dish that is perfect for your summer barbecues and parties.

When my family asks me to make this Southern style coleslaw every time we have a barbecue, you know it has to be good.

A few simple ingredients are all you need to make this sweet and tangy salad that will go with all sorts of proteins, from burgers to fried chicken.

Summer is the time for fresh salads.  I use them both as Southern side dishes and also as main meals.  Check out my Mediterranean chicken salad for a healthy and tasty recipe.

This southern style coleslaw is fresh and bright with a tangy home made dressing

History of coleslaw

The word “coleslaw” comes from the Dutch term koosla which translates as cabbage salad. It is a salad made mainly of finely shredded or chopped cabbage with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise dressing.Creamy homemade coleslaw

The dressing often has a picked taste to it.

Shredded or chopped?

There are two modes of thinking when it comes to making a great homemade coleslaw. Some like to use a food processor to shred the veggies and others like to take a sharp knife to the vegetables and chop them. Really, it’s just  a matter of personal preference.

The problem with a food processor is that, although this makes the prep very quick, it is sometimes easy to over process the veggies so that they get mushy without much “bite” to them.

But if time is a factor and you like smaller pieces, by all means use the food processor!

Personally, I like a courser feel to my slaw, so I guess I’d go for shredded over chopped. I feel that texture is a big factor in the total impact of a dish. 

What the salad feels like in your mouth with the first bite can make a difference to the overall impression of it.

Chopped coleslaw vegetables

I do often use pre-cut carrots cause even though I love the texture of a dish, who the heck has time to make tiny carrot sticks?

Ingredients in this simple coleslaw recipe

I like lots of color in my dishes, and this easy summer coleslaw recipe is no exception. I chose a half head of both purple and green cabbage, as well as some carrots, a bright Vidalia onion and, of course, some fresh parsley.Cabbage, carrots, onion and parsley gives lots of color and texture to the homemade coleslaw

I use fresh herbs to cook all year long but particularly so in the summer when it’s so darn easy to grow them!

How to make homemade coleslaw dressing

A normal dressing for Summer cole slaw can be either vinegar or mayonnaise based. 

Mine has both! This healthy coleslaw dressing recipe is made of mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

How to make homemade coleslaw dressing

The creamy vinegar dressing is very easy to make. Just put everything into a bowl, give it all a good whisk and then pour over the vegetables.


Easy and tasty!

What could be better?

Time for a taste test!

This Southern style coleslaw has loads of crunch from the chopped fresh vegetables and the dressing is tart, sweet and tangy with tons of flavor.

Tasting Southern style coleslaw

Trust me…after eating this easy coleslaw recipe, you will never buy store bought again, and there is no need to since it comes together so quickly!

Tips for a great coleslaw recipe

Coleslaw is such an easy recipe, just dress the veggies and chill but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that the taste turns out well.

Save the dressing until you are ready to eat.

We all love to make dishes ahead of time, to save time in the kitchen later but don’t add the coleslaw dressing to the greens until you are getting ready to eat. 

If you add it early, your veggies will wilt and get soggy.  If you do dress it early, you might want to drain off some of the liquid before serving to guests.

Keep the ingredients chilled

For food safety be sure to keep your dressing and your prepared, cut veggies chilled the entire time. And don’t leave uneaten coleslaw with dressing out after you have served it since bacteria could grow on it. 

Discard any that has been left out for two hours or more for safety’s sake.

Southern coleslaw with fresh veggies and home made dressing

It’s okay to vary the veggies

It’s perfectly fine to use veggies you have on hand for this coleslaw to suit your taste. Add in those that you love the taste of. 

If you don’t care for vidalia onions, white or yellow will work just fine.  Not a fan of red cabbage, just sub it out for normal green cabbage.  Want a bit more crunch or a sweeter taste? Use some slivered almonds or chopped apples. 

A great coleslaw recipe is more about the dressing than the actual vegetables.

This Southern style coleslaw recipe is super simple, completely no-cook, and very easy to simply put together and then chill until serving time.

Calories in Southern Coleslaw Recipe

Since this recipe is mayonnaise based, most of the calories come from the dressing.  The veggies themselves have very few calories.

I used a light mayo for my dressing and the salad works about to about 10 cups with each 1 cup serving having just over 100 calories.  Not bad at all for a mayo based salad dressing!

Pin this Southern Slaw for Later

If you would like a reminder of this Southern style coleslaw so that you can make this salad for your next summer barbecue, pin this image to one of your cooking boards on Pinterest.This homemade Southern coleslaw recipe is perfect for summer barbecues. It is fresh and crunchy with a tangy homemade dressing.

Admin note: This creamy coleslaw recipe was first posted in May of 2018. I have updated the post with a printable recipe card and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 10

Southern Style Coleslaw Recipe

This southern style coleslaw is fresh and bright with a tangy home made dressing

This Southern style Coleslaw recipe is both sweet and tangy and full of fresh ingredients and home grown parsley.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small head green cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, diced
  • 1/2 of a finely sliced medium sized Vidalia onion


  • 3/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise (I used Duke's Light Mayo)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Fresh parsley to garnish


Cut each cabbage half in two pieces and cut out the core. Very finely slice the caggage. Place the shredded cabbage in a very large bowl. Add the shredded carrot, sliced vidalia onion, and diced fresh parsley to the vegetable mixture and toss well.

In a separate bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sour cream, sea salt, and pepper together. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Pour the dressing over the diced vegetables and mix well.

The salad can be eaten right away or placed in the fridge for a short while so that the tastes combine well. Don't let it sit too long though, or the veggies could get soggy.

The cut up coleslaw mixture will keep for about 3-5 days in an air tight container in the fridge. Just dress it before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 101Total Fat: 7.0gSaturated Fat: 0.9gUnsaturated Fat: 5.1gCholesterol: 13.1mgSodium: 358.8mgCarbohydrates: 8.8gFiber: 2.4gSugar: 2.9gProtein: 1.6g

Share on Social Media

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Skip to Recipe