NW Apple Coleslaw

September 25, 2018

Author Notes:

With a fresh, crisp, mildly sweet profile from the apples balanced by the tangy acidity of the dressing, this is my favorite salad and it is great paired with barbeque sandwiches or fish. Even friends who don’t usually like coleslaw tend to like it. This is very fast to make entirely from basic pantry ingredients. I often make it for weeknight dinners and can autopilot the recipe or riffs on the concept in under 10 minutes. The key for my speed is to build the dressing in the bowl (I even leave the large spoon in the bowl waiting for tossing duty) and shave everything on top directly into the bowl using a mandoline. It might take longer to clean the mandoline than to make the salad. Then, either cover and refrigerate for later use, or toss the salad when ready and serve. Making this ahead has the benefit of letting the dried herbs rehydrate a little in the dressing for improved flavor and texture. Scale up to feed a crowd. While vegetarian as written, this can be made vegan with good results using a vegan mayonnaise or simply replacing the mayo with a reduced amount of olive oil and sticking with brown sugar. This coleslaw keeps remarkably well if you have leftovers. Enjoy!


Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 10 min



  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared sweet/honey mustard (or Dijon with a little sweetening)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried and ground rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed brown or yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • ground black pepper to taste (4 grinds for me)

Salad Mix

  • 1 medium-large apple, cored and diced but not peeled (see note about variety below)
  • 1 large carrot (about 1 cup once cut)
  • 1 large celery stalk (about 3/4 cup once cut)
  • 1/4 head Savoy cabbage (about 3 cups once cut)
  • a few shavings of red cabbage for contrast
In This Recipe


  1. With a large spoon, combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Shave the salad mix ingredients (except for the apple) directly into the bowl on top of the dressing with a mandoline (set to 1/8in). For appearance, I like to waffle cut some of the carrot slices and finely julienne the rest of the carrot. If you don’t want to mess with a mandoline, cut the ingredients as desired with a knife or food processor.
  3. Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples are great choices for the explosive crunch and fresh sweetness or tartness but really any variety should work. Cut the apple from the core, dice coarsely, and place it into a small bowl. Sprinkle the apple pieces with a little salt, pour on some cold water, agitate the mixture, then drain using your hands (this step prevents the apple from unsightly browning). Add the drained apple to the bowl full of salad mix.

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