Crisp, creamy, tangy and a ever so sweet, this Basic Coleslaw recipe is the perfect side dish for thins like ribs, burgers, steaks, and even roast chicken. It takes only a few minutes to prepare and requires very few ingredients.
Cabbage isn’t just affordable and filling, it’s also a resilient and versatile vegetable that you can probably easily find right now. The best part about this basic coleslaw recipe? It stretches out cabbage even further, helping it last another five days in the fridge. In fact, this easy to make coleslaw actually tastes even better the next day!
What You’ll Need for Basic Coleslaw:
- Regular green cabbage is by far the more common variety used in coleslaws, but that shouldn’t stop you from experimenting with purple cabbage, savoy, or Napa. Feel free to use what is available to you. When it comes to slicing the cabbage, you can use a food processor with a slicing attachment, a Japanese mandoline, or you can slice it by hand with a very sharp knife. Either way works.
- Carrots not only add a pop of colour to the coleslaw, but they also impart a subtle sweetness that pairs well against the slightly bitter cabbage. I like to coarsely grate them with a box grater or handheld grater.
- Any type of onion would work here. I like red because it adds a bit of colour, but you could use yellow, white or even green onion if that’s what you have. You can also use shallot.
- To keep things heart-healthy and paleo-friendly, I always use a mayonnaise that is avocado-oil based. If you can’t find it in stores, you can very easily make your own from scratch.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
- ACV (apple cider vinegar) is wonderful here because it imparts a slightly fruity flavour to the basic coleslaw. It’s not as astringent or tart as white vinegar or white wine vinegar, but either of those types would work as well if that’s what you have. You can also use red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar. I wouldn’t necessarily use balsamic vinegar here because it would discolour the coleslaw.
Honey or Maple Syrup:
- A bit of natural sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, helps balance out the bitter notes from the cabbage and acidity of the vinegar. It’s not mandatory and you can certainly omit it for a tarter and more savoury slaw, especially if you’re looking for a Whole30 coleslaw recipe, but I recommend trying it. You don’t need much and a little goes a long way.
- As always, I use kosher salt (Diamond Crystal, specifically) for daily cooking. Not only does the salt season the slaw and bring out other flavours in the dressing, it will also pull moisture out of the cabbage and soften it, making for a nicer texture.
Freshly-cracked black pepper:
- Freshly-cracked pepper is always the way to go, but if you only have pre-cracked, then use that. If you like, you can add other seasonings as well, such as celery seed, caraway seed, or fresh herbs like dill and parsley. But, again, use what you have.
- ½ cabbage – thinly sliced or shredded
- 2 medium carrots – coarsely grated
- ½ medium red onion – finely chopped
- ½ cup avocado-oil mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
- Add the cabbage, carrots and onions, and toss everything to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Toss, taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper or honey, as desired. For best results, refrigerate overnight. Can be stored, covered, for up to 5 days in the fridge.