Creamy Southern Coleslaw

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Creamy Southern Coleslaw is more than just a salad in the south. It’s also served as a beloved side and condiment. Southerners love slaw so much, we slather it on everything from barbecue to hamburgers!

white dish filled with creamy southern coleslaw on a blue napkin

What’s Special About This Recipe?

Making chili dogs tonight? You need this Creamy Southern Coleslaw recipe. Ever had a Carolina Burger? This creamy slaw tops it off. And, you know if you’re making Pulled Pork, ‘ya gotta have coleslaw on your sandwich!

Classic creamy slaw is a southern tradition. It’s sweet, tangy and crunchy all at the same time. With just the right amount of mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar, this recipe is perfect for every outdoor barbecue or indoor event.

The coolness of the coleslaw goes great with just about anything you can conjure up…including barbecue, hot dogs, and hamburgers! It’s also delicious alongside grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.

two hot dogs with creamy coleslaw and chili on top
dutch oven

Ingredients You’ll Need

There are only a few ingredients in this dish, but each one is very important. They blend together to create a tasty treat! See recipe card for quantities.

  • slaw mix or a shredded cabbage and carrots
  • onion
  • mayonnaise
  • vinegar
  • sugar
  • celery seed
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
ingredients for creamy coleslaw

How to Make Creamy Southern Coleslaw

Whisk all the ingredients together (except coleslaw mix) in a large bowl to make the dressing. Add coleslaw mix and toss in dressing until fully coated.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir well before serving. The mayonnaise will thin, so there’s no need to add milk to the mix.

If you prefer not to use a mix, chop up a small head of cabbage and shred a carrot from scratch. Mix in with the other ingredients as directed.

Some folks like their slaw finely chopped, so if you like, chop the cabbage in the food processor or blender before adding the dressing.

Can You Make Coleslaw In Advance?

I highly recommend you make this recipe ahead of time so the flavors will have time to meld together. It’s best when served the same day, but can be refrigerated at least a day in advance. Be sure to keep leftovers in the fridge.

barbecue sandwich with coleslaw and pickles on a bun

Recipe FAQS

Is coleslaw healthy to eat?

Cabbage is packed with fiber and vitamins as well as carrots with are usually found in a shredded mix. However, when you add mayonnaise and sugar to the mix, that also adds fat and fructose.

How long will coleslaw last in the fridge?

Slaw usually lasts at least 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored in an air tight container. It should never be left out in the heat due to spoilage issues.


Creamy Southern Coleslaw is best left alone if you’re serving it as a condiment. But, if you’re planning to serve it as a side, try these add-ins to ‘sass’ up your slaw a little bit!

  • sweet pickle relish
  • chow chow
  • radicchio
  • chopped sweet peppers
  • diced cilantro
  • chopped broccoli
  • diced cauliflower
  • shredded brussels sprouts
  • fresh dill weed, thyme or parsley
  • blue cheese crumbles

What Goes Best with Slaw?

Classic coleslaw is usually served alongside southern favorites like these…

coleslaw in a white floral dish with spoon

Creamy Southern Coleslaw

Creamy Southern Coleslaw is more than just a salad in the south. It's also served as a beloved side and condiment for everything from hotdogs to barbecue!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 161kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.


  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 14 oz package of coleslaw mix (or shredded cabbage)


  • Whisk the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage toss until fully coated.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and stir well before serving.


  • If you don't have pre-packaged slaw mix, simply shred a head of cabbage and add one shredded carrot to create your own. 
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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Looking for a slaw without mayonnaise? Try No Mayo Coleslaw from Smarty Pants Kitchen. It’s a great alternative if you’re not a mayo lover.


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always wondered how to make creamy coleslaw. Wasn’t sure about the ingredients. Thanks for this recipe!

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