Creamy Cole Slaw Recipe

| March 25, 2012 | 38 Comments

Creamy Cole Slaw Recipe
This quick and easy coleslaw recipe is a traditional side dish for lots of great southern foods.  You’ll find it served up with BBQ, Fried Chicken, Fish and Seafood at most family gatherings.  It’s also a favorite on Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and BBQ Sandwiches.  Just a few simple ingredients are all you’ll need.


We’re just a couple of days into Spring and for the past few weeks our thoughts have been turning to getting back outside.  It’s time to put away the heavy winter clothing in exchange for t-shirts and lighter wear.  We’ve already seen some summer like temperatures here in the South this year and it’s not even April yet.  Before long, we can drag out the shorts and sandals and bask in the warm sunshine, do some planting and gardening and just spend time around the picnic table with family and friends.

As a youngster, I spent as much time outside playing as I possibly could.  Of course, it didn’t matter much if it was Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall…it was just fun being outside.  My friends and I found all sorts of things to keep us busy…and active.  We had to create our own games most of the time but that wasn’t very hard to do when we put our collective minds together and started using our imaginations.

As I got older though, I found myself spending more of my time inside.  I started working at age 15 and from there on, most of my outside time dwindled away.  Many years would pass before I discovered the great outdoors once again.

In the first of 2009, I realized I needed a “hobby,” and decided it was high time to get back to doing some fishing.  I soon became the recipient of a Zebco 33 Rod and Reel, just like my dad use to fish with, and before long….I was HOOKED.  Seriously, I fell into fishing hook, line and sinker.  I just totally loved it and couldn’t wait to get back out alongside the water each day that I possibly could.

I started meeting new friends and started catching some fish.  Often times I was fishing six days a week at a large lake that is 30 miles from my home.  That was just one way.  Still, I loved it and I loved being with others that enjoyed it.  We caught fish, we threw them back in, we gave them away, it didn’t matter as long as we were fishing.

I’ve made some very close friends on The Pier where I fish.  We laugh, we fuss at each other, we try to outfish one another.  In the end, the important thing is that we’ve had a good time….then we all go our separate ways….and head back home.

I caught my first fish of the year just a few days ago.  Surprisingly, I’ve had a bit of a dry spell over the past few months.  I’ve tried to catch fish, but I just haven’t been very succesful at it.  That’s about to change though, I can feel it in my blood.  And of course, that means that before long, we’ll be enjoying some fried fish at one of my fishing buddies home.  He and his wife have been gracious enough to invite me over several times throughout the year.  We enjoy the Crappie fish that we’ve caught and really enjoy just sitting around the table sharing stories.

With the water warming back up, another Fish Fry can’t be far away.  Thus, I want to share some recipes over the next few weeks to help you put your own Fish Fry together.  I’m starting off with this recipe for Cole Slaw because you just can’t have a real Southern Fish Fry without having some delicious coleslaw.  I’ll also be adding recipes on making hoe cakes and hushpuppies, french fries and of course….Fried Fish.  I hope you’ll come along for the adventures.

This coleslaw is a bit on the sweet side….just the way I love it.  It’s great as a side dish for Fried Fish, Fried Chicken, BBQ, and lots of other Southern favorites.  It’s also fantastic served on top of BBQ Sandwiches, Hamburgers…(if you eat them) and Hot Dogs.  I love hamburgers and have ate my fair share….I just haven’t had one in over THREE YEARS now.   But, that’s another story for later.

If you’re ready for Spring, Summer and Family Get Togethers….add this coleslaw recipe to the menu.

Let’s Get Cooking!


Creamy Cole Slaw Ingredients needed.
Creamy Cole Slaw Recipe:  You’ll need these ingredients.


Cut the end off a medium sized head of cabbage.
We’ll begin with a medium sized head of cabbage.  Peel away the outer layer or two of leaves on the cabbage.  Rinse it well under cool running water, then place it on your cutting board and carefully slice off the end with the stem.  It’s tough, so be careful when cutting it.


Cut the cabbage into halves.
Stand the cabbage on it’s cut end and slice it into halves.  Then, slice each half into quarters.


Grate the cabbage.
Use a grater and grate each section of the cabbage quarters.  This is an old grater that my mother used.  You may have one just like it or you can use something similar.  It’s probably one of the more dangerous kitchen tools in my kitchen.  Getting use to it includes scraping your knuckles on those sharp edges a time or two, but it’s also a very versatile utensil and comes in handy.  There are newer styled gadgets to accomplish the same tasks and you could also just slice and chop with a good knife.  I understand there’s some new fangled contraption called a food processor that might also work.  I’m thinking about looking into that.  (Smile)  Then too, how much easier can it get than just buying a bag of cabbage for cole slaw already cut up at the grocery store?  Times are changing.


Place the grated cabbage in a mixing bowl.
OK…it gets a bit messy doesn’t it?  Place the grated cabbage in a mixing bowl.  In this picture, the cabbage that actually got grated is what you see in the bowl.  It collects inside the grater as you grate.  What’s on the outside is usually larger pieces and we’ll end up chopping those some with the knife.


Chop the large pieces.
Just gather up the large pieces and chop them with your knife.  Make it as small or as big as you like.  Sometimes I seem to like a really finely chopped slaw and somedays I like more of a shredded slaw.  Just depends on the mood and what it’s intended for.


Discard the core pieces.
The center core pieces are usually discarded.  Toss them into your mulching bin if you have one.


Grate a carrot for some color.
Now, grate up a small carrot to add a little color.  Mama didn’t use carrots in her coleslaw.  I got into this habit when we had the restaurants.  You don’t use a lot, just a little to add some color and make it look pretty on the dish.


Chop up some pickles.
Sweet pickle relish is also needed if you have it.  Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to have any of mama’s special recipe for her sweet pickles on hand.  That’s going to make a world of difference in this coleslaw.  OK, maybe I’m a bit partial.  Mama made her special pickles about every year.  They are a sweet pickle and she used them and their juice in all different types of recipes like Chicken Salad, Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs…lots of different things.  It’s long been a dream of mine to one day be able to produce and package these pickles and get them on the shelves of grocery stores all around the country.  To me…they’re just that good.

I never tried to make them myself until about two years ago.  Last summer, I took photos of the entire process and I hope to share it with you here on Taste of Southern before very long.  It’s going to take some time to put it all together because it takes a long time to actually make them.  Keep watching for it OK.


Chopped pickle pieces.
Chop up some sweet pickles if using them instead of relish.


Measure out the pickles.
Measure out about one half cup of chopped pickles or sweet relish.  Sweet Pickle Relish is available at most grocery stores and is a good substitute.  The pickles will also add some additional color to the recipe.


Place the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Place the grated cabbage in a large mixing bowl.


Add the grated carrots.
Add the grated carrots to the bowl.


Add pickles.
Add the chopped pickles.


Add the mayo.
Add the Duke’s Mayonnaise.  Duke’s is a traditional southern favorite and a must have at my house.  Afterall….”It’s the Secret to Great Food.”  You can learn more about our favorite mayo by clicking this link – Duke’s Mayonnaise.  If it’s not available at your local grocery store, you can order it directly from their website.  I just thought you should know.


Add sugar.
Add the sugar.


Add the black pepper.
Add the Black Pepper.


Stir the ingredients.
Gently stir it all up a bit.


Add the salt.
Add the Salt.


Add the vinegar.
Add one teaspoon of vinegar.


Stir well.
Now, gently stir up all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed together.  Its going to be a bit juicy once the sugar starts to melt and combine with the mayonnaise.  That just makes it all that much the better.


Serve and Enjoy!
Serve and Enjoy!


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Creamy Cole Slaw Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 - 10 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American


This quick and easy coleslaw recipe is a traditional side dish for lots of great southern foods. You’ll find it served up with BBQ, Fried Chicken, Fish and Seafood at most family gatherings. It’s also a favorite on Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and BBQ Sandwiches. Just a few simple ingredients are all you’ll need.



  • 1 – medium size Cabbage, grated or chopped.
  • 1 – medium size Carrot, grated or chopped.
  • 1/2 – cup of Pickles, chopped ( or Sweet Pickle Relish)
  • 1/2 – cup of Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 – cup of Sugar
  • 1 – teaspoon of Vinegar
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Salt


  1. Peel away outer layers of cabbage, rinse under cool running water.
  2. Slice the stem end off of the cabbage.
  3. Place cabbage on end, cut in half, then cut each half into quarters.
  4. Grate the cabbage quarters, chopping any larger leftover pieces.
  5. Grate the carrot.
  6. Finely chop the pickles.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, add the cabbage.
  8. Add carrots
  9. Add pickles
  10. Add mayonnaise
  11. Add sugar
  12. Gently stir the ingredients until fairly well mixed.
  13. Add black pepper
  14. Add salt
  15. Add Vinegar
  16. Stir the ingredients again until mixed well.
  17. Serve and Enjoy.


This coleslaw contains mayonnaise and should be kept cool at all times. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 1-2 days.

Keywords: Creamy Cole Slaw Recipe, made from scratch, Duke's Mayonnaise, southern cole slaw, old fashioned, homemade, southern recipes, cabbage


Your Comments:  I really appreciate your visits to Taste of Southern.  I’ll never know you stopped by unless you take a quick moment and leave me a comment in the section below.  If you try my recipes please let me know.  I hope you’ll give it a try and that you enjoy it.

Be Blessed!!!


Tags: , , , ,

Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (38)

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  1. Steve says:

    One of the best cole slaw recipes ever – both in taste, not too much mayo and the pickles add a lot, but also in texture. I love the grated cabbage vs. chopped or shredded!

  2. shirley taylor says:

    hello – thanks for the cs recipe. i’m 71yo and retired – also the second of 10 children.
    my mother used to make a soft creamy slightly sweet cs when we were all at home. it was delicious! ive been trying to find that recipe for years. yours is tasty. im taking it to a friday lunch with some siblings and our dad who turned 100yo last sunday.

  3. Anna says:

    This recipe is proof you are the real deal when it comes to Southern cooking. Duke’s Mayo is a must for that southern taste like Mama used to make. This is my go-to recipe for slaw. Thank you, Steve!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Anna, Thank you for your very kind compliments. I’m a true believer in the Duke’s Mayo. I just might keep an extra jar or two in the cabinet to be sure I don’t run out. Smile. I’m thankful you’ve found our recipes and greatly appreciate you trying our Cole Slaw. Thank you for your visit and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Page Morden says:

    Just finished making and eating this wonderful recipe. Have been making it since I discovered your website last year, just never got around to letting you know. Only one in the house who eats it, so had to cut the recipe in half. Hate to say it but I might have eaten a 6 inch pan of corn bread and all the slaw, except for a small portion for my midnite snack. Had never heard of DUKE’S mayonnaise before reading this recipe. Searched online and discovered the grocery store where I trade has it in all different sizes. Only tried two kinds of mayonnaise in my life, grew up with Bama and when I left Alabama couldn’t find that so bought Hellmann’s and have used it ever since, even when returning to Alabama, except for the creamy slaw, use DUKE’s in it. Duke’s and homemade sweet pickles makes for mighty fine eating. Thanks for all the work you put into getting the Newsletter and recipes out each week. Have tried a bunch of them.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Page, Welcome to the world of Duke’s Mayonnaise. I’m so proud of you. It’s good stuff isn’t it? I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the Cole Slaw and thanks for “finally” getting around to telling me. Smile. It’s my pleasure to share the recipes, and to send out the Newsletters. I’m just thankful that you’ve subscribed and read them. Makes my day. I do appreciate your visits and your support. The door is always open, so please stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Chris says:


    This coleslaw recipe is quite delicious! I’m a North Carolinian, so putting slaw on a burger, hotdog, or bbq sandwich is a staple in the south! I found another awesome recipe to match your slaw with…crock-pot Carolina pulled pork! These two together are a match made in heaven! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. Michele says:

    I just discovered your site today while searching for bread and butter pickle recipes. I’ve spent the past hour going through your yummy recipes. I have not seen the sweet pickle recipe mentioned in this and several other recipes though. Any plans to share that in the near future? I’ve got cucumbers coming in fast and furious. I would love to try my hand at your Moma’s sweet pickles. I have always added chopped sweet pickles to my potato salad and deviled eggs.
    Thank you!

  7. Ed Monfalcone says:

    Prepared this Cole slaw for my church fish fries and it was a great hit
    I had to make some conversions to cover an increase to 20lbs of cabbage
    turned out great thank you! Ed

  8. Heather says:

    I am going to try this today. 🙂 We are having fish, grits, eggs, this Cole slaw, homemade French fries, and shrimp.

  9. Martha says:

    Your recipe has been by far the BEST!! This was my first time making slaw today and it was great on my hotdogs!!
    Thank you for sharing!!

  10. Hank Fowler says:

    Loved your recipe! Was looking for something close to this that I had at Major Grumbles Alley Restaurant in Selma, AL before they closed last year. I’ve been looking for a Dill Slaw recipe that is very similar. Theirs was my favorite that I have ever had – so good that I would forego any of the other sides and order nothing but their slaw. It did not have anything except cabbage, dill and mayonnaise in it as primary ingredients – no red cabbage, pickles, carrots, etc. I’m still trying to perfect this particular recipe at home since I have found nothing like it before and since. Enjoy your site!

  11. Tássya says:

    I lived in Montreal for 6 months, and since my first supper I fell in love with this salad. It was by far my favorite, much better than the famous caesar salad. Since I came back to Brazil, 5 months ago, I’m looking for a good coleslaw salad recipe. Yours seems to be the best, the one that will make me taste a bit of Canada and miss the country a little more. So thank you so much. I bet my weekend will be better because of your blog.

  12. Mandy says:

    You know I only recently tried sweet pickle relish in deviled eggs. Now I like them. Made them before like that just would not try them. Never a fan of deviled eggs. At Thanksgiving and Christmas I specially made mine that way!
    Now then, sweet pickles or just pickles in slaw? My sister just gave me a head of cabbage and half a bag of carrots last night. I am thinking I will have to try this. As long as they do not want it in the pork shoulder roast I will be making in a few days!
    Your recipes are excellent so I have faith in this one!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mandy, I’m glad to hear that you’re coming around to liking deviled eggs, and I’m glad that you tried making them with the sweet pickle relish. As for our Creamy Cole Slaw recipe, I use my homemade sweet pickles to make them, but any sweet pickle or sweet pickle relish will work fine. Just start out with a small amount and add more according to your personal tastes. I do hope you give the recipe a try.

      I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you’re enjoying our recipes. I appreciate your comments and trust you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. Marlene Ashburn says:

    Sure am glad I found your site! So much of your recipes remind me of my mother-in-law’s and wonderful cooks’ here in middle Tennessee. As a transplanted Yankee, I love southern cooking and have been trying hard to be a good steward of my southern mother-in-law and polish,mother’s ways.
    Looking forward to your Mama’s pickle recipe. Are you familiar with “lime pickles? Thanks again, gotta get back to my cukes, they are rolling in the door! 🙂

  14. Steve Clutter says:

    Great web page. As I write this, I have a 10 lb pork shoulder in the oven. First time making pulled pork in the oven. Following your recipe.
    Great cole slaw recipe on your site. I like Mt. Olive sweet pickle cubes and a little chopped onion in mine. After living in Houston 15 years and just moving to Hot Springs Village, AR, the pickle cubes are hard to find but got the local grocery store to order them.
    We lived 20 years in Eastern NC before moving to Texas. North Carolina is the best BBQ!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Steve, Thank you for trying the Cole Slaw and the Pulled Pork BBQ recipes. I hope you’ll enjoy the taste of that BBQ when it comes out of the oven.

      Mt. Olive makes some great pickle products and I’m glad you’ve been able to get your local grocer to carry what you need.

      Thank you for sharing your comments. You’re always welcome to return to North Carolina you know? Smile. I at least hope you’ll stop by Taste of Southern for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  15. Janae says:

    Hi Steve! I am new to your site and I absolutely love so many of your recipes! I will be trying this as well as so many others. Thanks for all your hard work of putting step by step processes to make cooking easy for this young wife and mom. Just curious, have you posted the recipe for the Sweet Pickles yet?? I would love to try that because I love pickles! Thanks again and God bless you, Janae

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Janae, Thank you for your comments. I do hope you’ll try the Cole Slaw and that you’ll really like it.

      I haven’t been able to post the Bread and Butter Pickles recipe yet. I submitted it to Our State Magazine and I have to wait 30 days before I can post it here on Taste of Southern. You can view it on their website by clicking:

      Local cucumbers are all but gone around here and now I wish I had made more. Would have been great to give for Christmas Gifts this year huh? Thank you for asking though and I do hope you’ll be able to make some of your own. I’m thankful you’ve found our site and do hope you’ll give some of our recipes a try. I think you’ll like them.

      Please stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  16. stephanie allen says:

    I tried this today with your pulled pork bbq recipe and it was great. I thank you for this recipe and I will be using more of your recipes.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi again Stephanie, I see you went all out by making both the Cole Slaw and the Pulled Pork BBQ. That’s great. Did you make some hushpuppies to go along with all that? Thank you again for taking the time to share your comments and for trying our recipes. I look forward to you coming back often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  17. Robin Hayes Gough says:

    So happy to have found this recipe. This sounds like the one I grew up eating and I agree that the pickles Momma made are so much better than the relish you buy. I also don;t buy any mayo but Dukes! Thank you for your work. I appreciate it very much!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Robin, Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to let us know that you dropped by. Hopefully you’ll give the recipe a try sometime and let me know how it turns out for you. Yes, got to have the Duke’s to make it right, I love the stuff. Please visit with us again real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  18. Oglatha Aikens says:

    You use the same ingredients that I use except the relish! I will be trying this to see how it taste with the relish!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Thank you for stopping by today Oglatha. I appreciate your visit and your comments. As for the relish or, sweet pickles…I wouldn’t have it any other way. I trust you’ll like it also if you try it that way. Stop by again anytime, we’d love to have you visit with us. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  19. Barbara Crabtree says:

    Steve just love your taste of southern. I check it out every week. Great banana pudding and chille was good to. Keep it going.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Barbara, Thank you for your comments. Its great to know you’ve tried a recipe…or maybe two…and that you enjoyed them. Thank you for stopping by, glad to hear that you check us out weekly. That’s really appreciated. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  20. Don Winters says:

    I wonder, please … are we using in this recipe white vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Don, I use Apple Cider Vinegar when making the slaw. I do hope you’ll give it a try and let us know how you like it. Thank you for stopping by, come back again OK. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  21. R&W Auctions says:

    Hey Mr. Gordon, Took a look at the recipe for cole slaw. Think I’ll try it at home, sounds good. I’ll let you know. Keep up the website, doing a good job. See ya at the auctions…Ricky

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Thank you Ricky. I do hope you’ll give it a try and let me know if you like it. I think you will. I’m glad you stopped by and hope you’ll come back often. Save my seat, I’ll see you soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  22. ce ce says:

    Doing an event for the first time w/hot dogs on my ice cream truck, and could not find large amounts of slaw already made at the last minute……so I am going to try yours to top my hot dogs!!! wish me luck!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Ce Ce, Thank you for stopping by. Congratulations on the Ice Cream Truck. Your Hot Dogs will have to be a success. Know why? Because you’re willing to go the extra mile and MAKE fresh Cole Slaw. I’m not saying it will by MY recipe that does it for you but, you can’t go wrong when you use fresh made slaw and homemade chili. We sold a ton of hot dogs at our first little restaurant and I hope you can do the same. I’m a big fan of hot dogs but, finding them with homemade ingredients is a MUST as far as I’m concerned. I look forward to hearing how it turns out for you. Use the recipe as a starter for making your own and tweak it around until you’ve got something that you and your customers will like and appreciate. Stop by again soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

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