This homemade creamy coleslaw recipe is not-too-sweet and makes a great side dish for a cookout. Eat it with pulled pork or ribs, on tacos or hotdogs, or use it to add crunch to sandwiches.
Coleslaw is one of those foods that people seem to love or hate. This simple homemade coleslaw recipe relies on the naturally occurring flavors and high quality ingredients to get the best creamy coleslaw ever. Plus, the optional smoked paprika gives it a unique flavor profile that makes this a great dish for a cookout.
What Makes Coleslaw Creamy?
For this coleslaw recipe, it’s creaminess comes from a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream in the dressing. These two ingredients bring a lot of texture as well as flavor to the coleslaw.
If you’re nervous about the mayonnaise in the coleslaw, you can switch out to plain yogurt as an alternative. The sour cream can also be omitted for strictly mayonnaise.
I recommend making the coleslaw dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl. This saves you dishes later, but it doesn’t give you a lot of control for how much dressing is used. This is definitely not a heavily dressed coleslaw recipe, but if you want more command over it, make your dressing in a separate container.
How Long Does Coleslaw Last?
If you keep this creamy coleslaw recipe in an airtight container in the fridge, it will stay good for about three days.
Homemade coleslaw has the best texture when it is served the same day it is made, so you may notice that as the days pass it gets a bit soggy. You may also notice that the edges of the cabbage start to turn brown, but this isn’t a sign of it going bad, it’s just oxidation from being cut and exposed to air.
How Do You Keep Coleslaw From Getting Watery?
Cabbage is very similar to eggplant in that it holds a lot of water. As acid and salt sit on the cabbage, it leeches out the naturally occurring water into the coleslaw dressing.
To prevent this coleslaw recipe from getting watery, you need to salt and drain the cabbage before mixing. This step, a lot like making hash browns, it critical to a crunchy and creamy coleslaw.
To salt the cabbage, place it in a cheesecloth lined colander after slicing. Sprinkle a teaspoon of fine salt over it and let toss it lightly. Let it sit for at least a half an hour, then squeeze the excess water out.
You can also pat it dry with paper towels, but my absolute favorite way is with a salad spinner. It keeps from breaking the cabbage slices and gets it drier than a towel does.
How To Make Creamy Coleslaw Even Better
The thing that makes this coleslaw recipe really shine is time. With just the right amount of time you get a perfect creamy coleslaw that isn’t watery. If you want to improve on that though, here are some tips I recommend mastering.
- 2 Minute Mayonnaise. Homemade mayonnaise is so much more flavorful and tangy than store bought. This coleslaw recipe will have even better flavor with it.
- Storing Spices. If you don’t use celery seed often, you may be wondering whether or not it is still good. This will tell you what to look for, as well as my hack for remembering when to throw it out.
This week I’m partnering with other food bloggers to bring you scrumptious recipes for hosting a cookout. Each day of the week there are plenty of fun and tasty options coming your way, including this creamy coleslaw recipe.
If you would like to see some of the other great recipes check them out below.
- Best Biscuits for a BBQ by Daily Dish Recipes
- Brazilian Steak Kabobs by Sweet Beginnings
- Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Crushed Oreos by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Deviled Eggs with Capers and Dill by Palatable Pastime
- Grilled Italian Sausage Kabobs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Grilled Loaded Redskin Potatoes by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Grilled Spiced Octopus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Herb Grilled Lobster Tails by Family Around the Table
- Israeli Veggie Salad by Cookaholic Wife
- Southwestern Potato Salad by The Freshman Cook
- Strawberry Salad with Mojito Vinaigrette by Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Homemade Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
If you want to save on some time, you can opt to buy the bagged cabbage mixture at the store. (It’s often called “slaw mix”.) The cabbage and carrots come shredded, but look at the bag carefully. Often, the ingredients are dry and low quality. It makes for a great time saver, but not always a quality one.
Use this grocery list to help simplify shopping. Everything is listed in standard grocery store amounts. If no size is specified, even the smallest package will provide more than enough.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Happy Cooking! 🙂
Not-Too-Sweet Creamy Coleslaw
- 4 cups green cabbage, core removed and thinly shredded
- 2 cups red cabbage, core removed and thinly shredded
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon celery seeds
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 4 stalks of green onions, roots removed and sliced thinly
- Place the green and red cabbage into a colander and stir in the salt. Let sit for 30 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- In the bottom of a large bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, sugar, and smoked paprika.
- Add in the shredded cabbage, carrots, and green onions and toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.