Homemade Coleslaw

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Homemade Coleslaw is the perfect side dish for all your summer activities.

Heck, this coleslaw is so delicious (and easy), it’s good for all your year-round activities.

Fresh. Vibrant. Delicious.

A large white bowl containing freshly made homemade coleslaw.


You will be surprised at how easy it is to make super-fresh coleslaw at home.

Most of the components can be made 1 day ahead of time.

Watch us show you how to make this amazing Homemade Coleslaw!


What you need to make homemade coleslaw:

  • Head of green cabbage
  • Salt
  • Carrots
  • Red onion
  • Pepper
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Lemon juice
  • White wine vinegar
  • Celery seed

Green cabbage, shredded carrots and chopped onion for homemade coleslaw.


Starting with fresh cabbage is always best. We love using green cabbage and simply cutting it in half, then cutting out the tough core.

After roughly chopping the cabbage, place it in a colander in the sink.

Now, liberally add salt to the cabbage, tossing a couple of times to make sure all of the salt has covered most of the cabbage. The salt naturally extracts moisture, which in turn, softens the cabbage. Be sure to rinse the cabbage thoroughly before adding the other veggies and dressing to remove the salt.

Liberally sprinkle the cut cabbage with salt to soften it in a colander.

The dressing for this coleslaw is a perfect match of tang and sweet.

The combination of fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar and buttermilk is ideal against the sugar.

Celery seed adds a depth of flavor that is subtle, but pleasant.

A creamy dressing with a whisk for coleslaw.


To save time, you can easily prep the veggies up to a day in advance and then keep in an air-tight container until ready to assemble.

Make the dressing up to several days in advance.

Simply pour the dressing over the veggies and then toss just before serving. The slaw will stay fresh for several hours. If serving outdoors in warm weather, consider placing the vessel on top of a large bowl of ice.

Pour the dressing onto the vegetables just before serving.

Homemade coleslaw is the quintessential summertime side dish.  Another awesome slaw recipe is our Avocado-Lime Slaw!

It’s perfect with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Other amazing summertime side dishes are:

Southern Baked Beans
Best-Ever Potato Salad
Slow-Cooker Corn on the Cob
Cajun Pasta Salad
Jalapeno-Lime Slaw

In the meantime…let’s make this awesome Homemade Coleslaw!

Serve the coleslaw in a large cool serving bowl.

Dressing being poured onto homemade coleslaw.

Homemade Coleslaw

This homemade coleslaw is really delicious. Simple to make and bursting with flavor. Perfect for picnics, BBQs, or, actually, anytime of the year! Go with fresh cabbage, it makes it so much better!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ, Cabbage, Picnic Food
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 245kcal


  • Colander


  • 1 medium green cabbage chopped, about 4 to 5 cups
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 - 2 carrots shredded, about 1 cup
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • cup sugar Start with ¼ cup, and add more to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • tsp fresh lemon juice
  • tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery seed


  • Place cabbage in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Now, place in sink.
  • After 30 minutes, rinse the cabbage. This will remove the salt.
  • Place the cabbage, carrots and onion in a large bowl. Toss to mix.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all the other ingredients.
  • Add the dressing to the cabbage mixture, and stir until fully mixed.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Remove from the fridge just before serving, and give a good stir with a large fork.


The veggies can be prepped up to a day in advance.  Keep in an air-tight container.  Dressing can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Dress the salad just before serving.  If serving outdoors in warm weather, consider placing the salad vessel in a large bowl of ice.  The salad will stay fresh for 3 to 4 hours. 


Calories: 245kcal
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  • Go ahead and call me lazy!
    I’m going to buy a quality bag of coleslaw and use your excellent sounding dressing.

    Also, I’m all set to make your red/white and blue trifle.
    I love making trifles so everyone can serve themselves.
    Your cream cheese and whipped cream layer sound like the ultimate!

    I spend hours looking at your recipes and videos. So entertaining!
    It’s like sitting through a good and funny movie!

    • Hi Barb! We can’t even begin to tell you how much your comment filled us with such happiness! We hope you enjoyed the coleslaw and the trifle! Keep us posted! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I am a huge coleslaw lover, and this recipe is absolutely fabulous! I made it exactly as written, and would not change a thing! (I love every recipe of yours that I have made, and so many are in my queue! Thank you!!!)

    • Hi Stephanie! Yay!! We are thrilled you made the coleslaw and had such great success! We are extra happy that you are enjoying our recipes. Thank you so much for letting us know and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hello! Love your recipes! Quick question: is the 1/2 cup sugar in the dressing correct? My husband and I added 1/4 cup sugar and it was almost too sweet! Thank btw for adding the directions for salting the cabbage, such a necessary trick to use for coleslaw and very rare to come by in a recipe. Awesome advice!

    • Hi Emily! Thanks so much! We’ll check out the recipe for sure! We’re not big fans of overly sweet coleslaw either. Anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup seems to work for us, but we’ll double check! Thanks so much!

  • This recipe is one of my favorites- I also have another favorite for summertime(home grown tomatos) Shredded cabbage, finely chopped onions, chopped tomatos, s&p, a little sugar and mayonnaise(Duke’s, of course) Love ya’lls recipes!

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