Retro diner-style coleslaw with that perfectly balanced sweet & tangy dressing mixed with cabbage, carrots, onions, and seasonings. The perfect side to your bbq, burgers, hotdogs, and fish fries!
Y’all, I have lost count of how many pounds of this coleslaw I’ve made in my life. From making it as a kid with my Mom with cabbage from our garden to almost two decades at our pizzeria during Lent, this coleslaw is well…family.
Grab Your Ingredients
Once I transitioned this recipe into our pizzeria I switched from hand-slicing the cabbage and carrots to buying the bagged stuff. You absolutely can do it by hand but when you making gallons of this at a time, I need to work efficiently.
- Coleslaw Mix
- Minced Red Onions
- Mayo – yes the real stuff
- White Vinegar
Make The Dressing
This dressing is super easy and comes together in mere seconds. Now I have homemade celery salt on hand but you can easily make your own! If you don’t have it, you can just use 3/4-1 tsp of celery seed (ground) to 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of salt.
- To a bowl, add the mayo, vinegar, celery salt, sugar, and black pepper.
- Whisk until the sugar is fully melted in and combined.
Mix It Up!
- To a large bowl, add the slaw, red onions, and the dressing.
- Using a slotted spoon gently stir together, ensuring that all of the slaw is coated.
- Cover and place in the fridge for around 2 hours to allow the flavors to marry and the cabbage and veggies to slightly soften.
- Before serving, give it a mix.
Chef’s Tip For Onion Haters
Trust me, I get it! Remember, I grew up only eating 3 vegetables and I can tell you onions were NOT one. The onions though, you really need them in this dish. Do this instead if you can’t stand chunks of onions.
Grate Your Onions
- Grab your onion and a box grater. Carefully grate the onions to almost a paste.
- When you mix it into the slaw, it’ll pretty much melt into it. You’ll get the flavor of the onion without the chunks.
How To Store Coleslaw
Regardless if you use bagged slaw or fresh heads, it will turn watery in a few days. That’s just how cabbage works. Typically coleslaw will stay fresh and delicious for about 3-4 days in the fridge, in an air-tight container.
Yes, you’ll have to give it a stir right before serving but that’s normal.
Chef’s Tip on Watery Coleslaw
This will happen regardless but you can do a couple of things to help offset some of it.
- Use fresh cabbage and carrots – shred your own
- If you did overdress it or your cabbage is just super watery, just dump a little of the liquid out or add a bit more coleslaw mix to the container.
- Do not overdress. This recipe calls for two 16-ounce bags shredded. When you put the dressing on, it will look dry. That’s normal. Give it 2 hours and it’ll be perfect.
- 2–16 ounce bags of coleslaw mix
- 1 medium red onion, minced
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 teaspoons celery salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- In a large bowl add the coleslaw mix and onions. To another bowl, whisk together the mayo, sugar, vinegar, celery salt and black pepper. Mix this until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the mixture over top of the slaw and mix to combine and coat evenly.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To serve, give it another mix and enjoy!
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