Sweet & Creamy Coleslaw Salad

Sweet & Creamy Coleslaw Salad

This classic, easy-to-make, New England style coleslaw recipe is sweet and creamy, similar to the coleslaw served at Kentucky Fried Chicken!

The recipe starts out with a crispy coleslaw base of cabbage, carrot and onions that are gently mixed and coated with a sweet, zesty, and creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and seasonings.

This classic Cole Slaw recipe is a perfect and easy picnic or barbecue side dish. Instead of spending big bucks on grocery store coleslaw that could have been sitting there for a week, you can easily make it fresh at home with ingredients you can control. Here are the ingredients I will be using in this recipe!

To cut the cabbage for the coleslaw, first peel off any loose outer leaves. Then slice the cabbage in quarters from the top through the core with a sharp chef’s knife. Lay each wedge on its side and cut out the tough core. You can then use the knife to thinly slice the cabbage into strips or use a box grater or mandolin to grate or slice the cabbage as desired.

cabbage has been cut into strips for coleslaw

The cabbage can be grated, shredded, or thinly sliced for coleslaw. One head of cabbage yields about 6 to 8 cups sliced.  

For my coleslaw recipe, I use a ratio of 2 medium-sized carrots for every head of cabbage which I like to grate for better distribution.

In a large bowl, combine the grated carrots and sliced cabbage, then season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.  

To make the coleslaw dressing, the first step is to combine the oil, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl and mix well. 

My recipe includes half of a small onion that has been finely diced, which I add into the coleslaw dressing.  

To complete the coleslaw dressing, add the diced onions, celery salt, and Miracle Whip (or mayo) into the oil & vinegar mixture.

With all of the coleslaw dressing ingredients combined, this creamy and traditional version is classically sweet and tangy from the Miracle Whip, vinegar, and sugar, and only needs to be poured over the prepared cabbage and carrots to complete the salad!

Homemade coleslaw is simple to make and holds well in the refrigerator. In fact, it only tastes better the longer it sits, so make a big batch to have on hand to serve with, or on, sandwiches, or as an instant side dish at another meal. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

In this photo, I am serving a side of this coleslaw with grilled pork tenderloin medallions, homemade applesauce, and hash brown potatoes! (Click the highlighted links for their recipes)

History – The word “coleslaw” comes from the Dutch word “koolsla” meaning “cabbage salad”. The first part “kool” in Dutch sounds like “cole” and is ultimately derived from the the Latin colis, meaning cabbage. The “sla” part means lettuce or salad. 

Varieties – Also known as cole slaw, or simply slaw, it is a side dish consisting primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage topped with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing. According to the Joy of Cooking, raw cabbage is the only consistent ingredient in coleslaw and today there are many variations of coleslaw recipes. I personally like to sometimes add other crispy fruits and vegetables to my coleslaw, such as grated green apples, jicama, celery, broccoli stems and even zucchini.

Sweet & Creamy Coleslaw Salad

This classic, easy-to-make, New England style coleslaw recipe is sweet and creamy, similar to the coleslaw served at Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Prep Time 15 minutes
refrigeration 2 hours
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Cups


  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chef knife
  • 1 box grater
  • 1 Whisk


  • 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 each Small Onion, finely chopped (1/4 to 1/2 cup total depending on taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 head Green Cabbage, finely chopped or sliced (Approximately 6 to 8 cups in total)
  • 2 each Carrots, peeled and shredded / grated
  • To Taste Salt
  • To Taste Pepper


  • Combine the oil, vinegar, and sugar in a bowl.
    3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, 1/2 cup Sugar, 3 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Add the diced onions and celery salt to the oil / vinegar mixture.
    1/2 each Small Onion, finely chopped, 1/2 tsp Celery Salt
  • In a large bowl, add the chopped cabbage and the grated carrots. Mix well and then season with the salt & pepper to taste.
    1 head Green Cabbage, finely chopped or sliced, 2 each Carrots, peeled and shredded / grated, To Taste Salt, To Taste Pepper
  • Pour the dressing over the seasoned cabbage mixture and stir well.
  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to let the dressing soften the cabbage and allow the flavors to blend.
  • Serve the coleslaw chilled. Leftovers can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.
Keyword BBQ, cabbage, carrots, cole slaw, coleslaw, mayonnaise, picnic, slaw, vinegar
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