Make Ahead

Classic Coleslaw

October  4, 2022
7 Ratings
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld/ Bona Fide Farm Food
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

The creamy coleslaw by which to judge all others -- perfect for a barbecue, picnic, or reunion. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium-sized head of cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or Vegenaise or Miracle Whip)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste (I like lots)
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced
  1. Carefully cut the cabbage in half. Remove the core with a knife, then cut the cabbage into pieces small enough to fit into the tube of your food processor. If you are doing this by hand, it is still a good idea to cut the cabbage into manageable pieces.
  2. Grate the cabbage as finely as you can with a food processor, grater, or by hand, then do the same with the carrots.
  3. Combine the carrots and cabbage in a strainer or colander and season them with the salt. Toss to combine. Place the strainer in a bowl or leave it in the sink to drain for an hour.
  4. After about an hour, squeeze the cabbage by hand or by twisting it in a clean dish towel to remove as much moisture as you can.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and apple cider vinegar. Whisk them together until the sugar has dissolved. Add the mayonnaise (or Vegenaise or Miracle Whip) along with the celery seed, chives, and black pepper. Whisk the dressing again. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
  6. Squeeze the cabbage mixture one more time. Add it to the dressing and mix until the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the cabbage. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SMSF
  • Laura
  • Maria T.
    Maria T.
  • thirschfeld

9 Reviews

kristine July 4, 2016
I did not add extra salt since I seasoned the cabbage and strained it earlier. A little added horseradish made this a supremo complement to pulled pork sandwiches. Excellent, simple, easy.
kristine July 4, 2016
Oh, and no sugar.
SMSF March 18, 2016
I love the dressing, though I cut the sugar to less than one TBSP - starting tasting it then and decided it was sweet enough for me.
I found that the salt-and-rest treatment of the cabbage led to a texture I didn't particularly care for, though. It tasted great, but there was something off-putting about the texture - a bit too wilted. I'll definitely make this again but skip the salting technique, maybe that will help.
Thank you for the recipe!
Laura July 4, 2015
I just made this. It's delicious. The celery seed takes the dressing to another level. I only used one tbsp of sugar and it's plenty sweet enough for me. Thanks for this recipe!
Maria T. July 2, 2015
I've made this recipe and found it delicious, as did my guests. I like to slice the cabbage on a mandoline so it is uniform and in thin slices. This takes longer, but gives the slaw a more consistent mouth-feel. Excellent as a summer side dish and a really nice recipe as an accompaniment to BBQ.
thirschfeld July 3, 2015
Thanks Maria T., so glad you liked it!
plainhomecook August 13, 2014
This looks great, Tom. I noticed you don't mention when you rinse off the salt (which for the knowledgeable cooks that hang out here might not be a problem).
thirschfeld August 13, 2014
In this case I didn't and you will notice I didn't season the slaw at any point other then to mention taste and adjust the seasoning. But if it makes you nervous you can rinse it after you let it sit and before before you squeeze it dry.
plainhomecook August 13, 2014
Oh, that makes sense. Thanks for responding!