My Favorite Coleslaw

Here is the coleslaw recipe that goes with yesterday’s barbecued chicken (as well as with burgers, picnics or anywhere else you typically have coleslaw). I have grown less and less fond of an overuse of mayonnaise in my salads. This coleslaw is based on a recipe from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home, which uses sour cream as the base and just a touch of mayonnaise for richness. I find it much lighter and yummier than mayonnaise-based coleslaws.

This recipe is intended to serve 2-4 people, but I always end up making more coleslaw than we can possibly eat. Here’s one idea for what to do with the leftovers. A night or two later, make chicken tacos, using leftover coleslaw in place of the lettuce. If you have leftover barbecued chicken, that would also go well in tacos, or you can poach or roast a chicken breast for them. Add avocado and shredded white cheddar, and you’ve got a very tasty taco.

By the way, the recipe can be doubled or quadrupled, if you’re making coleslaw for a crowd. The original recipe I modified made 9 cups! Just remember that this recipe makes ¼ cup dressing total (3 parts sour cream to 1 part mayonnaise), so adjust accordingly.


Yields: 2-4 servings

To make the dressing, combine:

  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Whisk to blend. Refrigerate until ready to use, or store up to 3 days.

For the coleslaw, prepare:

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup cabbage, sliced (I used green cabbage, but a mixture of green and red is also nice.)
  • Fresh lemon juice to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To easily slice the cabbage in a food processor, use the slicing disk, rather than the grating disk. Core the cabbage and cut it into wedges. Place the wedges horizontally in the feed tube of the food processor and slice. This produces long, thin strips that seem heartier than finely grated cabbage. (However, it seems to work better to grate the carrot with the grating disk, as the sliced carrot will be too thick.) The vegetables can be grated a day ahead and refrigerated.

When you’re ready to serve, toss the cabbage and carrot together in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

I feel that it’s okay to add or substitute any other crunchy vegetables I have in my fridge for the carrot. I have used red onion, romaine lettuce, celery and even zucchini successfully.

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6 thoughts on “My Favorite Coleslaw

  1. […] cooking this week: A Down-Home Meal: Barbecued Chicken and Coleslaw @ Simply […]

  2. Leanne Hockenberry 10 February 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Great recipe! I cheated and used a bag of pre-shedded broccoli slaw. Looking forward to trying it with cabbage.

  3. Shannon 10 February 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I don’t think that’s cheating. Sometimes I get the bagged stuff if I’m in a hurry or making a large amount.

  4. […] My Favorite Coleslaw ( […]

  5. Melanie 12 April 2012 at 7:18 am

    Do you find this should be eaten quickly after adding the dressing or does it get better after “marinating” a day or so in the fridge?

  6. Shannon 12 April 2012 at 8:10 am

    Melanie: I think this one is best right away, although I have eaten it the next day and it was fine. It just seems better fresher.

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