This creamy coleslaw dressing is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and creamy! It only takes a couple of minutes to whip up and is so much better than the store-bought kind.
There are two main types of coleslaw dressings: vinegar based and mayonnaise based. Of course there are tons of variations and combinations of flavors and I encourage you to play around with the ingredients until you have the perfect coleslaw dressing that you and your family love.
My preference is a mayo-based dressing that has the perfect amount of sweetness paired with just enough tang to be completely balanced and absolutely delicious.
This is the coleslaw dressing recipe that I used when I owned my BBQ restaurant and it was a customer favorite. It is great on a pulled pork sandwich (recipe coming soon) with my 10-minute BBQ sauce!
I hope you love it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can. I suggest using something like Swerve, which is a 1:1 sugar replacement, so you end up with the same volume of dressing.
The sizes vary on bagged coleslaw mix, so a better way to determine how much coleslaw dressing you need is to go by cups of the coleslaw mix AND your personal preference.
If you like your coleslaw lightly coated with the dressing, I would use about ⅓-½ cup of dressing to 4 cups of coleslaw mix. Remember, you can always add more if needed.
If you like your coleslaw with a lot of dressing like I do, use about ¾-1 cup of coleslaw dressing to 4 cups of of the cabbage mix.
As the cabbage mix sits in the refrigerator, it will give off liquid which combines with the dressing, so use less than you think of the dressing and add more if needed just before serving.
The average serving size is about ⅓-½ cup of coleslaw per person. It is important to keep in mind that the cabbage will reduce in volume as it sits and the longer it sits, the more it reduces.
My rule of thumb is to use 1 full cup of the raw cabbage mix per person.
This mayonnaise-based coleslaw dressing will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
If the dressing or the coleslaw with dressing on it is left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, it must be discarded due to potential bacteria growth.
How to make coleslaw mix
There are tons of way to make your own coleslaw mix and it's very easy to do, but first you need to decide the type of coleslaw mix you want to make.
The main ingredient in a coleslaw mix is cabbage and it is usually green cabbage. I suggest using at least 75%-80% green cabbage in your mix, but you can make a simple coleslaw with 100% green cabbage.
You can also use different varieties of cabbage, like nappa cabbage, red cabbage and even savoy cabbage.
I like to add some color to my coleslaw mix by adding in shredded carrots and sometimes red cabbage.
You also need to decide if you want a finely chopped coleslaw or a shredded coleslaw. Both are delicious, but I usually prefer a shredded coleslaw.
If you have a food processor that has a shredding or chopping blade, that will be the fastest way to make your coleslaw mix, but if you don't (I don't have one), no worries.
You can chop or slice everything by hand or if you want a very fine coleslaw, you can use a grater. For the carrots, you can use a vegetable peeler.
I always use my vegetable strip maker from Pampered Chef and was so disappointed when they stopped carrying it. It had large holes on the grating surface and made shredding cabbage so easy! I tried to find something similar on Amazon, but haven't. You can buy the Vegetable Strip Maker on Amazon, but the prices are outrageous.
The ingredients and ratios I use are:
- 7 cups of shredded green cabbage
- 1 cup of shredded purple/red cabbage (use 8 cups of shredded green cabbage if you aren't using the purple/red cabbage)
- 1-2 carrots shredded
There aren't any right or wrong ways to make your coleslaw mix, make it how you like it or buy the bagged kind!
The most important thing to remember when making your mix is the amount you need per person. Plan on 1 cup of mix per person because the volume will reduce as it sits in the refrigerator.
You can make your coleslaw mix several days in advance, but for the best quality, I recommend adding the coleslaw dressing the night before you want to serve it or for a crunchier coleslaw add it 2 hours before serving and refrigerate.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is the main ingredient in the dressing, so I suggest using a good quality mayo.
While there is not a direct substitution for mayo in this recipe, you can use a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream or even a thick Greek yogurt. This will alter the flavor.
If you wanted to substitute all of the mayo for sour cream and/or Greek yogurt, I suggest testing a very small amount at first to make sure you like the flavor.
You can replace some or all of the sugar with a sugar substitute and I recommend using a 1:1 replacement like swerve. Replacing the sugar may have an impact on the consistency of the coleslaw dressing.
If your dressing is too thin, you can use a little xanthan gum mixed in with the sugar substitute to thicken it. Xanthan gum doesn't require heat to thicken, so it works great in dressings.
If you are keto or eating low carb, I really recommend you pick up some xanthan gum for thickening. It also works great with hot foods, but you must add the xanthan gum to either a dry ingredient or a fat before adding to the sauce/dressing you want thickened or it will clump.
I use white vinegar in this recipe, but you can use whatever kind of vinegar you like. White wine, red wine, apple cider will all work. The only type of vinegar that I don't suggest using is balsamic. Although I love the flavor of balsamic vinegar and it might add a really nice flavor to coleslaw, I doubt anyone would want to eat brown coleslaw!
I use a spicy brown mustard, like this one: Spicy Brown Mustard. You can use any style mustard you like, Grey Poupon is also a great choice.
You can also omit the mustard if you like.
The spices in this recipe are very simple; salt, pepper, and celery seed. These three spices balance this coleslaw dressing perfectly, but like anything else, it's up to you to use the spices and amounts that you like or fit your dietary restrictions.
You can use a salt substitute or adjust the amount of salt to your taste.
The pepper can be decreased, increased, or omitted.
When it comes to the celery seed, I recommend either using it or omitting it. I would not substitute celery salt.
How to Make Creamy Coleslaw Dressing
The great thing about making your own coleslaw dressing is it only takes about 5 minutes and you only need a bowl and a whisk or fork. Super simple.
This recipe makes about 1¾ cups of coleslaw dressing which is plenty for 8-12 cups of coleslaw mix.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
Once the ingredients are well-incorporated, transfer the dressing to a sealable container, like a mason jar and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or pour it over your coleslaw mix and toss if you are making your coleslaw immediately.
I recommend using between ¼-⅓ cup of dressing per 4 cups of coleslaw mix for a lightly-dressed coleslaw or ¾-1 cup per 4 cups of coleslaw mix if you like a lot of dressing like I do.
I used this entire recipe for 8 cups of coleslaw mix and it was perfect for me.
If you want to add a special touch to your coleslaw, try adding in about 1 cup of pineapple tidbits (drained) to 8 cups of coleslaw mix. It's absolutely delicious!
Refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best flavor. Serve & Enjoy!
If you enjoy making your own sauces and dressings like I do, you may also enjoy these recipes.
Homemade Creamy Coleslaw Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 tsp fine grind sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp celery seed
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until use.
To make Coleslaw
- Pour the dressing over 8-12 cups of coleslaw mix and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.
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