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Published June 25, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This delicious refreshing Memphis style creamy coleslaw recipe is the perfect side dish to any friends and family backyard get together
When it comes to barbecues and family events, I just love all the side dishes that are offered up. If you’re looking to impress your guests at your next get-together then definitely try out my cornbread or my Italian pasta salad recipe.
Coleslaw has origins all the way back to ancient Rome, but the dish as we now know it in the United States can be traced to Dutch settlers. They have recipes stemming back to the late 1700s for both mayonnaise and vinegar coleslaw. While the side dish nowadays is certainly versatile and can be customized with ingredients to your liking, here are the classic vegetables you will find in it:
- Cabbage – Green or red cabbage, or a combination of both can be used.
- Carrots – This is more of a recent addition in the last 50 years, but the crunch adds another element to the dish.
- Onion – Thinly shaved yellow, white, red, or sweet onions work well for this recipe.
Salting the Cabbage
There is a classical procedure that involves salting the cabbages and carrots to draw out as much moisture as possible so that your coleslaw isn’t loaded with vegetable and dressing liquid. In my opinion, this technique is optional. I prefer to season and dress right before serving it and if the liquid does form at the bottom, I drain off and re-toss with a little more dressing.
Here are the procedures for salting.
Add the cabbages and carrots to a colander that is inside a bowl.
Season everything and toss it around to coat and let it sit for up to 1 hour.
After that time, thoroughly dry it with some paper towels or in a salad spinner.
The creamy coleslaw dressing in this recipe is incredibly easy to make and the flavors are fantastic. Using few ingredients, here is how you make it:
Add some buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and sugar to a bowl with mayonnaise.
Next, season the mixture with salt and pepper, and whisk until well combined. Set aside until ready to use.
How to Make Creamy Coleslaw from Scratch
Follow along with these simple to follow instructions to make a delicious coleslaw:
- Start by preparing the cabbages, onions, and carrots.
- If you do not salt the cabbage, season it with salt, pepper, and celery seed right before serving it.
- Coat the outside of the bowl with dressing and mix until well combined.
- Serve the coleslaw with sliced green onions.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 2 hours ahead of time, but it is best to dress and mix right before serving.
How to Store: It is best if you can keep the dressing separate from the vegetables and cover both and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
chef notes + tips
- Salting the cabbages and carrots will make the coleslaw a bit saltier.
- Feel free to add more ingredients such as bell peppers, jalapeños, celery, etc.
- It is vital that you season and dress the coleslaw only right before serving.
- If the coleslaw sits for too long liquid will form at the bottom of the bowl. The best way to counter that is by draining and re-tossing in 2-3 tablespoons more dressing.
More Side Dish Recipes
Easy Creamy Coleslaw Recipe
For the Dressing:
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Vegetables:
- ½ head thinly sliced green cabbage
- ¼ head thinly sliced red cabbage
- 3 peeled julienne carrots
- ½ peeled and thinly sliced yellow onion
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Dressing: Combine all the ingredients into a medium-size bowl and whisk together until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Vegetables: Combine everything together in a large bowl and coat the outside of the bowl with dressing and mix gently with tongs until completely combined. If you want to salt the cabbages and carrots, see above in the blog post for procedures.
- Garnish the coleslaw with more sliced green onions.