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Best Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

A creamy coleslaw recipe that’s crisp and bright, tangy and a little sweet, and seasoned with just the right hit of spice and salt is kind of a unicorn. This one is super simple, but it has it all.

low angled shot of coleslaw in a black bowl.
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Coleslaw is an essential part of many meals—from summer barbecues to fried chicken dinners—but it is often treated as an afterthought.

This one is no afterthought. It’s quick and easy to make, but it has all the flavor and crunch you want alongside hearty grilled meats or fried foods.

Do you prefer mayonnaise based coleslaw or no mayo coleslaw?

This is a mayo-based version. I love a good vinegar-based coleslaw, but in certain cases, only a creamy mayo-based version will do.

For a great vinegar based version, try my friend Helen’s No Mayo Coleslaw.

An overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make the recipe.

What ingredients do you need to make this Creamy Coleslaw Recipe?

  • Coleslaw mix (or a combo of shredded green cabbage, shredded red cabbage, and shredded carrot)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Celery salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How do you make it?

It’s literally as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Combine the dressing ingredients and stir to mix well.
  2. Put the coleslaw mix (or your own homemade cabbage/carrot mix) in a salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat all of the veggies with the dressing.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours (or longer!).

Tips for success

  1. Use a bagged coleslaw mix to save time.
  2. If you can’t find a good bagged coleslaw mix, combine 1/2 a head of green cabbage, shredded, with 1/4 head of red cabbage, shredded. Add to shredded carrots.
  3. Let the coleslaw stand in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. If you can make the coleslaw a day ahead of time, that’s even better.
  4. You can keep coleslaw covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What do you serve with it?

I serve this with my Instant Pot Spare Ribs, Instant Pot Ham, Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings, Air Fryer Fried Chicken, and as a topper on my Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich. Pair it with these Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes and any grilled or seared meat dish.

low angle shot of the coleslaw in a black bowl.

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Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Creamy Coleslaw

Low angle shot of creamy coleslaw in a black bowl.

This simple mayonnaise based coleslaw is full of flavor and the perfect accompaniment for barbecue ribs, fried chicken, and more.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (9-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (or use a 2:1 mixture of green cabbage and red cabbage plus a couple of shredded carrots)


  1. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, celery salt, and pepper and mix well.
  2. Put the coleslaw mix (or your own homemade cabbage/carrot mix) in a salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat all of the veggies with the dressing.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight (the longer the better!)

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 102Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 5mgSodium 246mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 0g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.


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By on July 1st, 2021

About Robin Donovan

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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