A creamy coleslaw with plenty of crunch.
There’s no need to buy a big tub of coleslaw with an annoyingly short expiration date when you can whip up a perfect sized batch of homemade coleslaw in 5 minutes.
So good as a side for summer barbecues and lazy lunches, or as a topping for pulled pork and crispy chicken burgers.

Close up of of a bowl of coleslaw
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Do you have a favourite style of coleslaw? Is it that creamy, extra crunchy luxury supermarket or KFC coleslaw?

Or the lightly-dressed colourful coleslaw with vibrant green and purple cabbage?

I think they both have their place and I love them equally.
The lighter one for the nutritious, zesty crunch with grilled meats and fish.
The creamy one as a more indulgent side that works best on sandwiches, or with crispy chicken and BBQ food.

Overhead image of creamy coleslaw surrounded by picnic food

This is my recipe for that delicious creamy version.
I’m making quite a big batch (it will last our family of 4 a few days), but you can scale it right down if you prefer just to make a couple of servings (see recipe card notes section for more info on scaling down).

What do we need?

Ingredients for making creamy coleslaw in a wooden table

We’re looking for a 3:1 ratio of cabbage to carrots, and then a small amount of onion.
I’m using half of a large white cabbage, 2 medium carrots and 1/4 of a small onion. The cabbage and carrots will be julienned and the onion will be finely grated (this will add a little flavour, but ensure you’re not getting the raw crunch of onion).

What’s the best type of cabbage to use?

Firm white cabbage – the shiny kind with pale green firm leaves – is the one to go for. I use the variety ‘Winter White‘.
This is the best cabbage if you’re looking for maximum crunch.

How to cut the vegetables

I like to use a mandoline to evenly cut the cabbage and carrots.
You can use a food processor with a julienne disc, or you could slice them thinly with a knife or use a hand julienne peeler if you prefer.

Shortcut tip:

You can buy bagged, cut, coleslaw veggies from the supermarket. The result will be a little different, as they often used red onion and red cabbage in the pre-cut mixes. They also usually come with a sachet of mayonnaise.
You can use these pre-cut veggies with the coleslaw sauce from my recipe for extra flavour.

How to make coleslaw

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Julienne cabbage and carrots using a mandoline (<- affiliate link). Place in a large bowl.
  • Grate (shred) quarter of an onion and add to the bowl
  • Add in mayonnaise, sour cream, white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard powder and white pepper.
  • Stir everything together until thoroughly combined.
8 image collage showing how to make creamy coleslaw

What to serve it with

You can serve this homemade coleslaw with:

KFC style coleslaw in a bowl
Coleslaw in a bowl

Extras to add into your coleslaw:

Sometimes I like to change it up a little so I like to add; Red onion, red cabbage, mustard seeds, honey & mustard and grated cheddar cheese all make interesting additions for your homemade coleslaw.

More fantastic side dishes

Watch how to make it

YouTube video

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5 from 13 votes

Homemade Coleslaw

A quick and easy creamy coleslaw with plenty of crunch – just like those luxury supermarket versions. Made at home in 5 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Course: side dish
Cuisine: American, British, Dutch


  • ½ large white cabbage (or 1 small white cabbage)
  • 2 medium carrots peeled
  • ¼ brown onion peeled
  • 240 g (1 cup) mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar granulated or superfine
  • tsp mustard powder
  • pinch white pepper
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  • Julienne the white cabbage and the 2 carrots using a mandoline, so you have fine, even, strips. Place in a large bowl.
    1/2 large white cabbage, 2 medium carrots
  • Carefully grate (shred) the quarter of an onion using a grater and add the onion to the bowl.
    1/4 brown onion
  • Add the cup (240g) of mayonnaise, 3 tbsp sour cream, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp mustard powder and the pinch of white pepper.
    240 g (1 cup) mayonnaise, 3 tbsp sour cream, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp mustard powder, pinch white pepper
  • Stir everything together until thoroughly combined.
  • Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed (up to 2-3 days).


YouTube video


Adjusting the quantity of coleslaw

You can increase or decrease the amount of coleslaw by adjusting the ingredients proportionately. 
If you’re just looking to make a small amount of dressing – for example you want to make one cup of coleslaw, use:
A matchbox-sized piece of cabbage, 1/4 of a carrot, a tsp of grated onion, 2 tbsp mayo, 1.5 tsp sour cream, a few drops of white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp sugar and a tiny pinch each of mustard powder and white pepper.
Nutritional information is per serving.


Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1766IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.


What is coleslaw dressing made of?

Coleslaw dressing is usually made with mayonnaise, seasoning (salt and pepper), an acid (such as lemon juice or white wine vinegar) and a sweetener (such as sugar or honey).
Some dressings also include buttermilk, sour cream, mustard or celery seeds.

Why does coleslaw get watery?

Coleslaw gets more watery the longer you leave it due to the vegetables releasing their water over time.

Can I freeze coleslaw?

No, I don’t advise freezing coleslaw. The vegetables release their liquid upon defrosting, as does the mayonnaise. This can split the sauce or make it over-liquidy.

Can you make it ahead?

Yes – you can make this coleslaw ahead. Once prepared, cover and refrigerate. It should last for around 3-4 days. You’ll need to give it a stir before serving.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. Jo Wedin says:

    5 stars
    Hands down best coleslaw I’ve ever made!

    1. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Thanks Jo 🙂
      Glad you liked it! Hope you and the family are well xx

  2. Valentina Smirnova says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe

  3. Sue Painter says:

    5 stars
    Really creamy and delicious ! Made it to go with the cheese and veggy burgers. Wonderful combination. Thanks again Nicky and Chris!

  4. Pat Wakefield says:

    Where did you get your mandolin from to cut the veg?

  5. Sue says:

    5 stars
    Best ever thank u xxxx

  6. Sue Painter says:

    5 stars
    This is the best ever coleslaw! I’ve tried many times to make a coleslaw that was just right and now I’ve found it – thanks to you Nicky!
    I didn’t have sour cream so used crème fresh. Didn’t have mustard powder so put in a small amount of ready made Dijon mustard.
    Many thanks again. I make loads of your recipes and they all turn out to be delicious!

  7. Ellen Burkhardt says:

    5 stars
    Delicious – love it that it does not have vinegar, very creamy was great right after I mixed it together and put in the fridge for a half hour. Very Very good and so easy to make! This will be a staple at our house, no need to buy store bought !

  8. Tony says:

    5 stars
    Just made my first batch of coleslaw but added some grated Red Leicester and cheddar. Best cheesy coleslaw I ever had 👍

    1. Chris Corbishley says:

      Yes love the addition of the red Leicester cheese, I need to give that a go.



  9. Christine says:

    5 stars
    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for, so tasty. The dressing is wonderful😋

  10. Roger Kille says:

    Hi Nicky,
    Hi Nicky,

    Hope you and all are well.

    In the ingrediants list you use “1 cup (240g) mayonnaise”. However in the instructions you say “Add the 2/3 cup of mayonnaise”…… So is it 1 cup or 2/3 cup ?
    Either way who uses cups these days in the UK?!! So old fashioned!

    Please advise is it 240g of mayo or 160g?


    1. Connie Hoffman says:

      You may there but I hate looking up grams all the time. And I’m from the U.S.A and old school. Just never got the hang of it in school.
      Also is there a substitute for mayo?

    2. Nicky Corbishley says:

      Hi Roger, Thanks for spotting my typo – it’s 240g of mayo. I updated the recipe during testing and updated the ingredients list, but forgot to update the amount in the instructions part.
      I try to include cups wherever possible in addition to grams as we have a lot of US readers who often use cup measurements. Thanks again 🙂