Southern coleslaw is slightly tangy, sweet, and creamy.
It is used as a barbecue side dish or on top of pulled pork, hamburgers, or hot dogs.
This creamy coleslaw recipe is easy to put together and will be a favorite addition to all of your back yard cookouts.
Or if you want a "Carolina" hamburger or hot dog, make my homemade hotdog chili recipe.
Top your juicy burger or tasty hotdog with ketchup, mustard, and then add the homemade chili and Southern slaw! YUM!
Southern coleslaw ingredients
To make this Southern coleslaw recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Cabbage-You can used pre-shredded bagged cabbage to save time. However, shredding it yourself is cheaper and more flavorful.
- Mayonnaise- Use real mayonnaise, not Miracle Whip.
- Mustard- Use plain yellow mustard for this recipe.
- Celery Salt- You can substitute with ¼ tsp of celery seed if you cannot find celery salt.
- Relish- I use sweet pickle relish rather than dill relish for this recipe. However, it is good also with dill relish for a different twist in flavor.
Note: To make your own homemade celery salt, try this recipe. It is so much better than the store bought stuff!
What to use to shred cabbage?
Southern cabbage is usually finely shredded.
You can buy the pre-shredded cabbage in the grocery store. I don't like using it because it is dry and doesn't absorb the dressing as well.
If you are in an absolute time crunch, you can buy the bagged cabbage.
However, I suggest you use a food processor with the grater attachment. It shreds down the cabbage into perfect small pieces. It is also quick and easy to do.
Or use a box grater. It is a little more time consuming. However, it will finely shred your cabbage to the right consistency.
How to make coleslaw from scratch?
Follow these easy steps to make homemade creamy coleslaw.
- Core cabbage, then shred with a food processor or box grater.
- In a mixing bowl, mix mayonnaise, sugar, relish, mustard, and celery salt.
- Mix dressing with the shredded cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate 2 or more hours before serving. Stir one more time before serving.
Note: When the dressing is first mixed with the coleslaw, the sugar will be gritty and the slaw will not be very creamy. When resting in the refrigerator, the sugar and salt will draw out some of the moisture from the cabbage creating the desired creamy rich texture.
How long will it last?
Homemade coleslaw will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
It is best to eat within 3 days, because the longer it stays in the refrigerator, the more watery it will become.
Mustard vs Vinegar
Some Southerners use vinegar with the mayonnaise. Others use mustard. There are some that use neither.
I have found the vinegar makes the slaw too watery after sitting in the refrigerator.
The little bit of mustard acts as a thickening agent when mixed in the dressing. It also gives a little acid flavor to cut out some of that mayonnaise flavor for a more well rounded finish.
If you want it really tangy, add 2 tbs of mustard.
Out of laziness, I don't use carrots in my recipe. I find it adds a pretty color, but doesn't do much for flavor.
Therefore, out of laziness, and not having to add an additional ingredient, I do not add carrots.
However, if you want to add carrots, shred 2 carrots and mix in with your slaw.
Please leave me a comment below if you make this slaw recipe and tell me what you thought about it. I would love to hear back, and so would my readers.
Southern Coleslaw- Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
- 3 lb cabbage head medium sized cabbage
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbs sweet pickle relish
- 1 tsp mustard
- ½ tsp celery salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Core 1 medium sized cabbage head, then shred with a food processor or box grater. (about 3 lbs)
- In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup mayonnaise, ⅓ cup sugar, 2 tbs sweet pickle relish, 1 tsp mustard, and ½ tsp celery salt.
- Mix dressing with the shredded cabbage. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate 2 or more hours before serving. Mix one more time before serving.