This classic creamy coleslaw is a classic summertime side dish staple. The homemade dressing is easy to make and you can shred your own vegetables or use a bagged mix. The slaw is quick to make and good with burgers, BBQ and more!
There is just something about a delicious creamy coleslaw. It is one of the few salads that is even better when it is made ahead of time and it goes so wonderfully with fried chicken, BBQ and more. It is a favorite summer side dish.
What MiMi Had to Say About the Recipe
Our family has been enjoying this coleslaw recipe for years. The original recipe is from The Better Homes and Gardens red and white checked cookbook that Pops and I received as a wedding gift 34 years ago.
I changed it just a little to suit our tastes. So many of the meals I grew up eating came from my mom’s red and white checked cookbook that she got as a wedding gift.
My daughters all have one too. I have gifted many brides with their own copies. Hopefully they will use theirs as references for years too!
Dressing the Coleslaw Ahead of Time
Every time I make coleslaw, I am amazed by the process. When you first pour the dressing on and give it a stir, it never seems like it is going to be enough.
But over time in the refrigerator, the salt and vinegar work their magic. The cabbage softens up and everything comes together in the end.
That is one of the fabulous parts about this salad. Unlike most salads, you don’t have to put it together at the last minute.
In fact it is best when you do it a couple of hours ahead of time and let it sit in the refrigerator. Just give it a quick toss when you are ready to eat and you are ready to go. Now worries about wilted lettuce!
Making Traditional Coleslaw:
The slaw base: I usually use bagged coleslaw mix to make preparing this recipe super easy. You can shred your own green cabbage, red cabbage and carrots if you prefer.
Or try using other veggies to make the slaw. Our grocer store carries a broccoli slaw that is really tasty too.
Creamy Coleslaw Dressing Recipe:
MiMi likes to combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and spices in a mason jar. Then all you have to do is shake them up and stick the dressing in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
I think the coleslaw tastes best if it is dressed about an hour before you serve it. Just pour the dressing over the shredded veggies and stir.
You will want to give it another stir before you serve it, as the extra dressing will sink to the bottom. You can dress your slaw several hours in advance without any issues. Though after too long, it may start to get soggy.
Is coleslaw better fresh or made the day ahead of time?
Coleslaw is best made an hour in two in advance so the cabbage has a chance to soften a bit. While creamy coleslaw is still good the next day, it looses some of its crunch and the dressing can get a little bit watery.
More Great Recipes
We love eating ours as a side to so many dishes, but we also love it as a topping on our pulled pork sandwiches! It is also a must at a fish fry!
If you prefer a vinegar dressing, don’t despair. I have a recipe for tangy vinegar coleslaw as well!
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Creamy Coleslaw Dressing
- 16 oz. package of coleslaw mix*
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoons celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Stir together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Or put the dressing ingredients in a pint sized jar with lid and just shake it up. Store it in the refrigerator until ready to stir into the cabbage mixture.
- In a large bowl, stir together the coleslaw and the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to several hours.
- Stir before serving.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If it is a little bit watery, drain off the excess water and stir in a bit more mayonnaise if needed.