Creamy Coleslaw

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This quick and easy coleslaw is creamy, fresh, and the perfect side to your favorite BBQ dish. Ready in less than 15 minutes, prep this simple cabbage coleslaw recipe ahead of time and serve alongside burgers, chicken, or pulled pork!

Closeup of creamy coleslaw in glass mixing bowl.

This delicious, creamy coleslaw is super simple and completely homemade! Filled with shredded carrots and cabbage, this side dish goes perfectly at any BBQ, potluck, graduation, or wedding — really, it’s great for just about anything you have planned this summer.

I am not a huge fan of store-bought coleslaw and neither is my family. Some brands aren’t too bad, but others are downright horrible. I feel like we’re always on the hunt for a good coleslaw with elements everybody loves, so instead of searching, I took matters into my own hands. This is my go-to recipe for tasty creamy coleslaw made right at home!

Why This is the BEST Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

  • It’s creamy!
  • Super flavorful
  • You know exactly what’s going in it
  • You can add and omit whatever you want
  • You can make the shredded vegetables your own consistency!
  • It’s easily modified to your preferences
  • And it’s super simple!
Shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw on white plate next to fork.

Ingredients for Homemade Coleslaw

Made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or fridge, this coleslaw recipe can be even simpler by substituting the individual cabbage and carrots out with a store-bought coleslaw mix. It’s like a salad mix but has only the good coleslaw bits!

Otherwise, if you go with 100% homemade, it’s important to take the time to shred your veggies to your preferred consistency. 

  • VEGETABLES: Your coleslaw just wouldn’t exist without shredded cabbage and carrots, plus a bit of chopped onions.
  • SUGAR: That sweetness has to come from somewhere! But be careful not to overdo the sugar; less is often more.
  • THE BASE: I use mayonnaise and sour cream for the base of my creamy coleslaw, but you can also substitute plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream if preferred.
  • OTHER: You will also need white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and celery salt for this easy side dish recipe.

How to Make Creamy Coleslaw

It all comes down to three things: shred, combine, and store. 

  • SHRED: First shred the cabbage and carrots until they are long, thin, and meet your preferred consistency.
  • COMBINE: Then, in a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. After that, stir in the shredded cabbage and carrots.
  • STORE: Next, cover your homemade coleslaw with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw in glass mixing bowl with tongs.


Can coleslaw be made ahead of time?

You can make this creamy coleslaw a day in advance, which in my opinion, makes it taste better because it has had time for the flavors to marinate.

What can I substitute for cabbage and carrots?

You can use one or two 14-ounce packages of coleslaw mix in place of cabbage and carrots.

How do you store coleslaw?

Leftover coleslaw can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

How do you keep homemade coleslaw from getting watery?

If you’re worried about having a coleslaw that is more runny than creamy, you can drain your cabbage before mixing it into the base. This will help remove some of the excess water from the vegetables.

What can I substitute for sugar?

You can leave out sugar from the recipe and maintain the sweetness by adding shredded or thinly sliced apples to your coleslaw instead. The natural sweetness is a tasty addition! I tend to use redder apples when adding them to coleslaw, as the redder the apple the more naturally sweet it is.

How can I make my coleslaw different from the norm?

You can use this recipe as your creamy base, and then add whatever else you want to your coleslaw! Chopped nuts could be good, maybe dried cranberries, or even chopped dates. You can play around with flavors and texture to make your coleslaw your own.

How Should I Serve this Coleslaw?

I love to serve this 15-minute coleslaw as a side dish to my favorite BBQ recipes!

You can serve it alongside pulled pork sandwiches or these absolutely mouthwatering BBQ Marinated Chicken Kabobs. You could even get fancy and use it as a topping for your sandwiches, burgers, or hot dogs.

I even know some people who use it as a dip with chips! The moral of the story here is you should enjoy this dish in whatever way makes you (and your tastebuds!) happy!

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Creamy Coleslaw

Course: Side dish/Salads
Cuisine: American
Keyword: barbecue, BBQ, coleslaw, easy side dish
Ready in less than 15 minutes, this quick and easy coleslaw is creamy, fresh, and the perfect side to your favorite BBQ dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1 Small head of cabbage shredded
  • 2 Large carrots shredded
  • ¾ cup Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Sour cream or plain greek yogurt
  • 3 Green onions chopped
  • 3 tbs Sugar
  • 2 tbs White vinegar or apple cider
  • 1 tsp Celery salt
  • Season salt and pepper to taste


  • Shred the cabbage and carrots.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then stir in the cabbage and carrots.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and store leftovers in the refrigerator.


  1. Can use one or two 14 oz packages of coleslaw mix in place of cabbage and carrots.
  2. STORAGE: Store in the refrigerator well sealed for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 623mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3743IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg

Don’t forget to comment below and let me know what you think! Tell me how it went over at your latest barbecue!

8 thoughts on “Creamy Coleslaw”

  1. This is an amazing recipe, so much in demand in our get togethers. It just has very different twist and not the original plain coleslaw that now has become a boring mix. I have been making this and putting them in bottles as a “to go” for family and friends. Thank you!!!


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