Coleslaw : Mayonnaise and Vinegar Recipes

Coleslaw Pin

Ask any barbecue fan, and they’ll be able to tell you what coleslaw is: Cabbage salad. Even the Dutch origins of the word, koolsla, translate directly as “cabbage salad”.

Once you get into exactly how to make this classic barbecue side dish, though, be warned: Arguments abound as to which recipe is best.

Commonly prepared with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise, the two major variations of coleslaw couldn’t be more different. One is bright and tangy, and can keep for weeks or months in the fridge; the other is rich and creamy, and best served right away to keep its trademark crunch.

Rather than try to settle the decades-long debate over which slaw reigns supreme, for today’s recipe we’ll be turning one head of cabbage into two styles of slaw. Whether you choose to make both is up to you.

The Recipes

As far back as the original The Joy of Cooking in the 1930s, raw cabbage has been the only consistent ingredient in coleslaw. Many slaw connoisseurs swear by adding shredded carrot as well, complementing the pungency of cabbage with carrots’ sweetness; we tend to agree, and have added it to our coleslaw base here.

For the Base

To prepare the base for both styles of slaw, you’ll need to shred one head of cabbage. Choose a green, red, or savoy variety and this will produce about 8 cups of raw cabbage; avoid napa cabbage, as it doesn’t have the right texture for this dish.

Adding 1 cup of shredded carrot, from about 2 to 3 medium carrots, will liven up your slaw with a splash of color and earthy sweetness. Peel your carrots before shredding to remove any dirt and overly crunchy outer layers.

1/2 head of cabbage and 2 medium sized carrots
Shredded carrots

A box grater will make quick work of shredding both carrots and cabbage, and is both the safest and easiest way to prepare your coleslaw base. Short of this, try using a mandolin or a good old-fashioned chef’s knife, chopping the cabbage into ½ to 1 inch strands.

Toss the carrots and cabbage to combine evenly, then separate into two evenly sized bowls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to mix with the two dressings.

The Mayonnaise Dressing

Add the following ingredients to a medium mixing bowl, whisking to fully incorporate:

  • 1 cup all-natural mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt

Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Mayo Based Coleslaw
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5 from 1 vote

Coleslaw : Mayonnaise Based Slaw

Commonly prepared with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise, the two major variations of coleslaw couldn’t be more different. One is bright and tangy, and can keep for weeks or months in the fridge; the other is rich and creamy, and best served right away to keep its trademark crunch.
Try this mayonnaise based slaw; pairing well with spicy BBQ dishes
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Mayonnaise based coleslaw
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 79kcal

Equipment

  • Box grater (mandolin or knife will work too!)
  • Medium sized serving dish
  • Small Mixing bowl
  • Mixing Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-natural mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 head cabbage (shredded) green, red, or savoy variety
  • 1/2 cup carrots (shredded)

Instructions

  • Shred cabbage and carrot(s) with box shredder. Toss together in medium sized serving dish.
  • Combine mayo, honey, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Stir well.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage/carrot mixture and stir well. Serve immediately.
    **Best when eaten within the hour of mixing; to avoid the cabbage/carrot mixture from getting soggy.

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 3.7mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 45.5mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 10.5mg | Iron: 0.25mg

The Vinaigrette Dressing

Mix the following ingredients in order, fully dissolving sugar in vinegar before adding oil and spices:

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp mustard powder

Set aside at room temperature until ready to use. Since it’s shelf stable, you can double or triple this recipe and save the leftovers for salad dressing during the week.

Vinegar Based Coleslaw
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Coleslaw : Vinegar Based

Commonly prepared with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise, the two major variations of coleslaw couldn’t be more different. One is bright and tangy, and can keep for weeks or months in the fridge; the other is rich and creamy, and best served right away to keep its trademark crunch.
Try this vinegar based slaw paired with dry rubbed and smoked meats.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vinegar based coleslaw
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 38kcal

Equipment

  • Box grater (mandolin or knife will work too!)
  • Medium sized serving dish
  • Small Mixing bowl
  • Mixing Spoon

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 head cabbage (shredded) green, red, or savoy variety
  • 1/2 cup carrots (shredded)

Instructions

  • Shred cabbage and carrot(s) with box shredder. Toss together in medium sized serving dish.
  • Combine apple cider vinegar, white sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Stir well.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage/carrot mixture and stir well. Serve immediately.
    **Best when eaten within the hour of mixing; to avoid the cabbage/carrot mixture from getting soggy.
    Note: this dressing is shelf stable and can be stored for use later in the week!

Nutrition

Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 3.7g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 2.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.38g | Sodium: 78.2mg | Potassium: 44.3mg | Fiber: 0.55g | Sugar: 3g | Calcium: 9.3mg | Iron: 0.25mg

Instructions

Preparing and serving your coleslaw couldn’t be easier. When your meal is ready to serve, simply add each dressing to one of the bowls of cabbage and carrot mix, stirring thoroughly to combine.

Coleslaw is at its best within an hour after the cabbage and carrots are shredded, when they will still be as fresh and crunchy as possible. Wait until the last possible minute to add the dressings, so the raw vegetables are coated in seasonings but don’t have time to get soggy before being eaten.

Vinegar Based Coleslaw
Vinegar Based Coleslaw
Coleslaw
Mayo-Based Slaw

Conclusion

With equal portions of both major coleslaw styles at your disposal, you can gather your family and friends around to cast votes on vinegar or mayonnaise as the perfect dressing. Try pairing the creamier mayo-based slaw with spicy barbecue dishes, and the vinegar-based slaw with dry rubbed and smoked meats; then you’ll see why we insist on having both on our dinner table.

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