If you’re looking for the perfect side dish to accompany your next meal, look no further than Southern Coleslaw! This crunchy and tasty coleslaw recipe is a staple in the South—and it’s sure to add an extra layer of flavor to any gathering.
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Coleslaw is one of those things that we must have at every BBQ. There’s just something about the creamy dressing and the crunchy texture of the cabbage and carrots that I can’t resist.
I enjoy it as a barbecue side dish or a topping for sandwiches and burgers. And the best part? Coleslaw is so versatile! You can customize it to your liking with different types of dressing.
This classic coleslaw recipe uses mayonnaise, buttermilk, and apple cider vinegar in the coleslaw dressing. The dressing is poured over finely shredded cabbage and can be used over bbq, burgers, hot dogs, and much more.
If you love coleslaw, check out this cajun coleslaw recipe too.
Ingredients for Coleslaw
Vegetables: Green cabbage, carrots, and sweet onion. I use a food processor to cut the cabbage and shred it finely.
Coleslaw Dressing: mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugar, salt, and pepper.
How to make Southern Coleslaw
Prepare your vegetables by finely shredding cabbage, carrot, and sweet onion.
Add them to a large bowl.
Add mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Pour this mixture over the shredded vegetables and toss to combine, ensuring the dressing covers the coleslaw.
Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. Serve and enjoy.
Fridge: Southern coleslaw can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Freezer: I do not recommend freezing coleslaw as freezing can cause the vegetables in the coleslaw to become watery and mushy, and the dressing can separate and become grainy or clumpy once thawed.
What to Serve with this Recipe
This recipe is perfect for serving alongside all your cookout favorites, like chili hot dogs, ribs, and bbq chicken. Coleslaw also goes along with fried foods, like Southern fried cauliflower and fried catfish.
- Use fresh ingredients. The cabbage should be fresh and crisp, and the mayonnaise should be flavorful. I like to use Duke’s mayonnaise in my coleslaw.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Use a food processor with a shredding blade to finely shred the cabbage. The finer the shred, the more quickly the flavors will be absorbed.
To make Southern coleslaw healthier without sacrificing taste, try using Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise. You can also add more veggies like shredded carrots or sliced bell peppers to increase the nutritional value.
Yes, you can use pre-shredded cabbage for Southern coleslaw. Keep in mind that pre-shredded cabbage may not be as fresh as freshly shredded cabbage. This can affect the taste and texture of the coleslaw.
Pre-shredded cabbage may not be as fine as desired for coleslaw. To get the desired texture, you may need to chop it further or run it through a food processor.
The best cabbage to use in Southern coleslaw is green cabbage. It has a crisp texture and slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the tangy and creamy dressing typically used in Southern coleslaw recipes.
If you have tried this recipe, please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Southern Coleslaw Recipe
- ½ of a medium cabbage finely shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- ¼ of a sweet onion finely shredded
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon buttermilk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare your vegetables by finely shredding cabbage, carrots, and sweet onion. Add them to a large bowl.
- Add mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Pour this mixture over the shredded vegetables and toss to combine, ensuring the dressing covers the coleslaw.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or up to overnight. Serve and enjoy.
- If desired, you can add other shredded vegetables, such as celery or bell peppers, for additional flavor and crunch.
- You can also adjust the seasonings to your preference. If you want a creamier coleslaw, you can add more mayonnaise. If you want a tangier flavor, you can add a bit more vinegar or lemon juice. You can also add in a bit of hot sauce to give it a bit of a kick.