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Monday, August 5, 2019

Tangy Classic Coleslaw {With Vinegar Dressing}

Fresh vegetables combine with a super simple sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing for a fresh and fabulous coleslaw.

close up of a white serving bowl loaded with tangy vinegar based coleslaw

      Coleslaw is a must have summer side dish. It's at almost every bbq and potluck and pairs perfectly with anything from the grill. This version has great tang, plenty of crunch and is best made hours ahead of being eaten so you can enjoy your friends and family instead of cooking during the party.

     This recipe is adapted from my aunt's sister-in-law, Linda.  She makes giant batches of coleslaw for a local organization and it is a must have at their events.

       I have been meaning to make it for a while, but despite our penchant for hosting we still never need a half gallon of coleslaw dressing to go with 4 heads of cabbage and fixins.

      So I finally decided to pair it down to a more reasonable size and make it anyway.  We have been getting beautiful heads of cabbage and lovely sweet onions from our CSA that were begging to be made into slaw.

    Combine that with the fact we have  carrots and peppers from our garden and it just seemed meant to be. It was finally time to make her coleslaw!

How to make fresh and tangy coleslaw

The hardest part of making coleslaw is prepping the veggies, but that really isn't all that hard. If you have a food processor, just let it shred them for you.

That would normally be my go to way, but I store my food processor in the basement.  On this particular day shredding the vegetables with a knife seemed like less work than retrieving the machine to do it.

head of cabbage on cutting board being cut into small pieces for coleslaw

Sometimes I find tasks like kneading bread relaxing and shredding the cabbage had a similar effect. I was able to get it in nice sized pieces and kind of enjoyed the process.

You can certainly do whatever method speaks to you.  You could even buy bags of preshredded cabbage if you prefer.

You can make the dressing ahead and store it in a jar if you'd like. You can also just make it in the bowl.

Linda likes to reserve a bit of the dressing to add right before serving.  It helps give the slaw a little extra zing.

big bowl of shredded cabbage, onions, peppers, carrots and celery seed for coleslaw

Once the veggies and dressing are ready,  just toss it all together. Chill it for a few hours if you can, it will help soften the cabbage a bit and give the flavors a chance to meld.

Store leftovers in the fridge. They will be good for at least a few days to a week before it starts getting too soft.

Linda's Big Batch Recipe (Perfect for family reunions, church suppers, catering and big parties!)

Dressing (Makes 1/2 gallon)
4  cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 teaspoons salt

4 heads cabbage
2 onions
1 green pepper
1 pound carrots
celery seeds (whole or ground) to taste

Mix dressing ingredients well then let sit until sugar is dissolved. Linda likes to make it one day and use it the next.

Shred the vegetables. Mix with a small amount of dressing and chill overnight. Add more dressing when ready to serve.

bowl of tangy vinegar based coleslaw with bell pepper, carrots, onion and cabbage

More great coleslaw variations

Light and fresh apple slaw adds the crunch and sweetness of apples to the mix!

Honey lime slaw with cilantro and sriracha is a fun topping for tacos and burrito bowls, but you could also eat it as a salad. 

Creamy coleslaw is a classic.  It is really easy to make and has that creamy dressing we love.

Bonus fact: The word coleslaw comes from the Dutch word koolsla which means cabbage salad. 

vinegar based coleslaw, coleslaw no mayo, coleslaw no mayonnaise
salad, side dish
Yield: 12 servings

Tangy Classic Coleslaw {With Vinegar Dressing}

Fresh vegetables combine with a super simple sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing for a fresh and fabulous coleslaw.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M


  • 1 small head cabbage
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


How to cook Tangy Classic Coleslaw {With Vinegar Dressing}

  1. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside (dressing can be made ahead if desired.)
  2. Shred and/or dice the vegetables into small pieces.  Toss with celery seeds.
  3. Drizzle most of the dressing over the salad and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight. 
  4. Add remaining dressing and stir before serving.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Fresh vegetables combine with a super simple sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing for a fresh and fabulous coleslaw.


  1. Coleslaw is hard to get right according to my kids. I bet your recipe is perfect. Happy Monday sweet friend!

    1. There is definitely good coleslaw and just ok coleslaw. I hope this one lives up to their standards!

  2. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchenAugust 5, 2019 at 11:07 AM

    I love coleslaw but so often it's dressed in something mayo-based and I'm just not into it. I'll have to try this recipe because I love the sound of that dressing!

    1. This is definitely brighter than the mayo dressed versions!

  3. I love coleslaw and am always looking for a different recipe for it. I'm going to have to try this one. Thanks.

    1. It is fun to try different versions of coleslaw. I think this is at least the 4th different recipe I've posted!

  4. This is a fantastic recipe, we just love it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,444 and hope you have a great week!
    Miz Helen

  5. This is my kind of coleslaw! It sounds so delicious, and definitely a great side for a barbecue!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!