Southern Coleslaw Recipe

This Southern Coleslaw recipe is a true classic that never goes out of style. A staple at family BBQs and summer picnics, it's creamy, tangy, and full of flavor. Made with simple ingredients, it's quick and easy to put together, but the real magic happens when you let it sit in the fridge for an hour and let the flavors meld together.

Southern Coleslaw Recipe

Photos of Southern Coleslaw Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are common and likely already in your pantry or fridge. However, coarse-grain brown mustard might not be an ingredient you always have on hand. It adds a depth of flavor and a little bit of texture to the coleslaw. You can find it in the condiment aisle of your supermarket.

Southern Coleslaw Recipe Ingredients

Red wine vinegar: It gives the coleslaw a tangy flavor that's essential for a good slaw.

White sugar: A pinch of sugar balances out the acidity of the vinegar.

Mayonnaise: This is the base of the dressing, giving the coleslaw its creamy texture.

Coarse grain brown mustard: It adds a depth of flavor and a little bit of texture to the coleslaw.

Cabbage: The star ingredient, thinly sliced or shredded.

Eggs: Hard-boiled and chopped, adds a nice contrast and makes the coleslaw more filling.

Bacon: Cooked until crispy and then crumbled, adds a smoky flavor to the dish.

Salt and pepper: Used as seasoning to enhance the flavors.

One reader, Kaela Linder says:

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This southern coleslaw recipe is a game-changer! The combination of tangy vinegar, creamy mayo, and crunchy cabbage is simply irresistible. The addition of bacon adds a delightful smoky flavor. It's the perfect side dish for any barbecue or picnic. I highly recommend trying this recipe!

Kaela Linder

Key Techniques for Making Southern Coleslaw

How to prepare the coleslaw dressing: In a large bowl, stir together the red wine vinegar, white sugar, mayonnaise, and coarse-grain brown mustard until well combined.

How to shred the cabbage: Cut the head of cabbage in half, then thinly slice each half to create shredded cabbage.

How to cook the bacon: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon slices until they are crispy. Once cooked, remove the bacon from the skillet and let it cool before chopping it into small pieces.

How to hard-boil the eggs: Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the eggs simmer for 9-12 minutes. Once done, transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool before peeling and chopping them.

How to assemble the coleslaw: Add the shredded cabbage, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and chopped bacon to the prepared dressing, then toss lightly to coat with the dressing.

How to season the coleslaw: Season the coleslaw with salt and pepper according to taste.

How to refrigerate the coleslaw: Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

How to serve the coleslaw: Serve the coleslaw as a side dish with barbecue or any main dish of your choice.

How To Make Southern Coleslaw

With bacon, eggs, and cabbage, this easy Southern coleslaw recipe makes the best side for your favorite barbecue with its creamy deliciousness.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes



  • 1tbspred wine vinegar
  • 1tspwhite sugar
  • cupmayonnaise
  • 1tbspbrown mustard,coarse-grain
  • 1cabbage head,cored and shredded
  • 2eggs,hard cooked, peeled and chopped
  • 6bacon slices,crisply cooked, crumbled
  • salt and pepper,to taste


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, and mustard.

  2. Add the cabbage, eggs, and bacon, and toss lightly to coat with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving to blend flavors.

  4. Serve with barbecue and enjoy.


  • Calories: 276.33kcal
  • Fat: 23.02g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.85g
  • Trans Fat: 0.04g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.15g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 8.13g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.97g
  • Fiber: 4.24g
  • Sugar: 6.15g
  • Protein: 7.66g
  • Cholesterol: 77.47mg
  • Sodium: 514.88mg
  • Calcium: 77.83mg
  • Potassium: 360.92mg
  • Iron: 1.24mg
  • Vitamin A: 34.37µg
  • Vitamin C: 58.14mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Southern Coleslaw

When preparing the cabbage for this Southern coleslaw recipe, it's important to slice it as thinly as possible. This will not only make the coleslaw easier to eat, but it will also allow the cabbage to better absorb the flavors of the dressing. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin slicer can help achieve this. Additionally, when adding the eggs and bacon, make sure they are properly cooled before mixing them in to prevent the mayonnaise from separating.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Coleslaw

Prep ahead: Chop and shred the cabbage, cook the bacon, and mix the dressing the day before. This will save time on the day of serving.

Use a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly shred the cabbage, saving time and effort compared to hand chopping.

Multi-task: While the coleslaw is chilling in the refrigerator, use that time to prepare other dishes for your meal, maximizing efficiency in the kitchen.

Buy pre-shredded cabbage: If you're short on time, consider purchasing pre-shredded cabbage from the store to skip the step of shredding it yourself.

Simplify the dressing: Consider using a store-bought coleslaw dressing to save time on mixing and measuring ingredients.

Substitute Ingredients For Southern Coleslaw Recipe

  • red wine vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a similar tangy flavor and acidity that can work as a substitute for red wine vinegar in coleslaw dressing.

  • white sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add sweetness to the coleslaw dressing while also providing a hint of floral flavor.

  • mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can provide a creamy texture and tangy flavor similar to mayonnaise, while also adding a boost of protein.

  • coarse-grain brown mustard - Substitute with Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard has a similar pungent flavor and grainy texture that can replace coarse-grain brown mustard in the coleslaw dressing.

  • cabbage - Substitute with shredded Brussels sprouts: Shredded Brussels sprouts can provide a similar crunchy texture and mild cabbage flavor in the coleslaw.

  • eggs - Substitute with extra mayonnaise: Extra mayonnaise can help maintain the creamy texture of the coleslaw dressing without the need for eggs.

  • bacon - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can add a hint of smoky flavor to the coleslaw without the need for bacon, while also providing a vibrant color.

  • salt and pepper - Substitute with garlic powder and onion powder: Garlic powder and onion powder can add savory depth and flavor to the coleslaw dressing, replacing the need for salt and pepper.

Creative Ways to Serve Coleslaw

  1. Elevate the coleslaw with a modern twist: Create a visually stunning presentation by using a ring mold to shape the coleslaw into a perfect round. Place it in the center of the plate and carefully remove the mold to reveal the beautiful layers of cabbage and bacon.

  2. Garnish with crispy bacon: Crumble the crispy bacon into delicate shards and artfully arrange them on top of the coleslaw. This adds a textural contrast and a burst of savory flavor to the dish.

  3. Drizzle with a tangy mustard vinaigrette: Create a decorative drizzle around the edge of the plate using a tangy mustard vinaigrette. This not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the flavor profile of the dish.

  4. Add a touch of elegance with edible flowers: Place a few edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or pansies, strategically around the plate to add a touch of elegance and a hint of floral notes to the coleslaw.

  5. Serve in individual ramekins: For a refined presentation, portion the coleslaw into individual ramekins and carefully invert them onto the plate. This creates a neat, cylindrical shape that showcases the layers of ingredients.

  6. Incorporate a crispy cabbage chip: Create a delicate cabbage chip by baking thinly sliced cabbage until crisp. Prop it up against the coleslaw for a visually striking presentation and an added crunch.

  7. Accent with a sprinkle of microgreens: Sprinkle a handful of vibrant microgreens over the coleslaw to add a burst of color and a subtle hint of fresh, herbaceous flavor.

  8. Serve on a bed of smoked sea salt: Present the coleslaw on a bed of smoked sea salt to infuse a hint of smokiness into each bite and create a visually appealing contrast against the vibrant colors of the dish.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Southern Coleslaw

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It can be used to quickly and efficiently prepare coleslaw ingredients such as cabbage and other vegetables.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the coleslaw dressing and ingredients. It allows for easy tossing and coating of the cabbage, eggs, and bacon with the dressing.
  • Whisk: A whisk is used to thoroughly blend the vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, and mustard for the coleslaw dressing, ensuring a smooth and well-incorporated mixture.
  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is necessary for finely shredding the cabbage and slicing any other vegetables or ingredients needed for the coleslaw.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and slicing ingredients, such as cabbage and bacon, without damaging countertops or knives.
  • Refrigerator: The refrigerator is essential for chilling the coleslaw, allowing the flavors to meld and ensuring it is served at a refreshing temperature.

Interesting Trivia About Coleslaw

Southern coleslaw is a classic side dish in the Southern United States, often served alongside barbecue. It is known for its creamy and tangy flavor, which comes from the combination of mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard. This dish is a staple at picnics and potlucks, and it's a versatile accompaniment to a wide range of main dishes.

Is Making Southern Coleslaw at Home Cost-Effective?

This southern coleslaw recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as cabbage, eggs, and bacon, are generally affordable and easily accessible. The recipe's simplicity and use of common pantry items make it a budget-friendly option. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $10-$15, depending on the quality of ingredients. Overall Verdict: 8/10.

Is Southern Coleslaw Healthy or Unhealthy?

This southern coleslaw recipe, while tasty, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The recipe relies heavily on mayonnaise, which is high in fat and calories.
  • Bacon is used, which is high in saturated fat and sodium.
  • The recipe includes added sugar, contributing to empty calories.
  • The recipe lacks a variety of vegetables, focusing mainly on cabbage.

However, there are some redeeming qualities:

  • Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable, rich in vitamins K and C, and fiber.
  • Eggs provide a good source of protein and nutrients like choline and vitamin D.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace half or all of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt for a lower-fat, protein-rich alternative.
  • Omit the bacon or replace it with a leaner protein source, such as grilled chicken or tofu.
  • Reduce the amount of added sugar or use a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
  • Add more vegetables to the mix, such as grated carrots, bell peppers, or red onions, for added nutrients and fiber.
  • Use a lighter vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar, and increase the amount for a tangier, lower-calorie dressing.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, like fresh dill or celery seeds, to add flavor without extra calories.

Editor's Opinion on This Southern Coleslaw Recipe

This southern coleslaw recipe combines the tangy flavors of red wine vinegar and mustard with the creaminess of mayonnaise, creating a delightful dressing for the cabbage. The addition of eggs and bacon adds a rich and savory element, while the touch of sugar balances the flavors perfectly. However, I would recommend adjusting the amount of mayonnaise and vinegar to suit personal taste preferences. Overall, this coleslaw is a delicious and versatile side dish that pairs wonderfully with barbecue or any summer meal.

Enhance Your Southern Coleslaw Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, perfect for pairing with the tangy coleslaw.
Grilled Corn on the Cob: Juicy, charred corn on the cob brushed with a savory herb butter, a delightful complement to the southern coleslaw.
Pulled Pork: Tender, slow-cooked pulled pork smothered in a smoky barbecue sauce, a classic pairing with the creamy coleslaw.
Fried Green Tomatoes: Crispy, golden-fried green tomatoes with a zesty remoulade sauce, a delicious contrast to the cool coleslaw.
Peach Cobbler: Sweet, juicy peaches baked with a buttery, cinnamon-spiced crust, a delightful way to end a meal of southern coleslaw and barbecue.

Similar Dishes to Southern Coleslaw

Cajun Shrimp and Grits: This classic southern dish combines spicy cajun shrimp with creamy grits for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
Smoked Pulled Pork: Slow-smoked pork shoulder is shredded and mixed with a tangy barbecue sauce for a delicious and tender pulled pork dish.
Fried Green Tomatoes: Sliced green tomatoes are coated in a seasoned cornmeal mixture and fried to crispy perfection, perfect for a southern-inspired appetizer or side dish.

Why trust this Southern Coleslaw Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a classic southern coleslaw experience, combining the tangy flavors of red wine vinegar and coarse-grain brown mustard with the creamy richness of mayonnaise. The addition of crispy bacon and the subtle sweetness from white sugar elevates the dish. With a touch of freshness from the cabbage and a hint of richness from eggs, this coleslaw is a perfect accompaniment to any barbecue feast. Trust in the blend of flavors and textures, and savor the authentic taste of the South.

Share your thoughts on this Southern Coleslaw Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make it even better!
What type of cabbage should I use for this coleslaw recipe?
You can use green or red cabbage for this coleslaw recipe. Both types work well and provide a nice crunch and flavor.
Can I substitute the bacon with something else for this coleslaw recipe?
Yes, you can substitute the bacon with diced ham, crispy fried shallots, or even toasted nuts for a vegetarian option.
Is it necessary to refrigerate the coleslaw before serving?
Yes, it's best to refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together and for the cabbage to slightly soften.
Can I make this coleslaw in advance?
Absolutely! This coleslaw actually tastes better when made in advance. You can make it up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
How long will this coleslaw keep in the refrigerator?
This coleslaw will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

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