Home Cooking: Coleslaw Three Ways

Coleslaw, in any form, has been one of our family’s all-time favorite salads for as long as I can remember, even when our children were little. Because of my lettuce intolerance, it’s always been a great way for me to enjoy a salad as well. Back when we lived on the mainland I always has a bag or two of pre-shredded cabbage on my shopping list because it was healthy, convenient and inexpensive (99 cents or less for regular coleslaw, $1.20 or less for angel hair slaw, which was less than buying a whole head of cabbage). All I had to do was open the bag and rinse off the cabbage, whip up a dressing, add a few additional ingredients, most of which were pantry staples, and we had a cool, crunchy addition to our meal.

The following recipes for traditional, “Asian” and sweet and sour are still our three favorite ways to eat coleslaw, and all three are based on using a 14-oz bag of pre-shredded cabbage. These days I shred my own cabbage as a bag of the pre-shredded stuff is at least $5.99/bag (or more). Locally grown cabbage often shows up at the farmers’ market, and we can occasionally get heads of Hawaii-grown organic cabbage at Costco, but if not I can usually find something affordable at Safeway or Big Save.

Because we enjoy coleslaw so much, I hope that some of you will share your favorite recipes with me as we’re always ready to try something new!


An incredibly easy and delicious recipe.

1 14-oz bag shredded cabbage for coleslaw

grated carrot (optional)

1/2 cup mayonnaise (2 TBSP more if you like a “wetter” coleslaw)

1 TBSP sugar

1 TBSP cider vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Blend in mayonnaise until mixed well with cabbage. Sprinkle sugar over the coleslaw, then vinegar, and mix into the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let coleslaw sit for about 15 minutes before serving for flavors to mingle.


There are probably a hundred variations of this cabbage salad, none of them truly Asian, but this is the best one I’ve tasted. I sometimes add shredded leftover chicken and serve it as a main dish.

1 14-oz bag shredded cabbage for coleslaw (angel hair coleslaw preferred)

1 bunch green onions including green tops, thinly sliced

1 pkg. oriental- or chicken-flavored ramen, flavor packet set aside

2 TBSP sesame seeds

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/3 cup light olive or canola oil

3 TBSP rice vinegar

1 TBSP dark sesame oil (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Combine the cabbage, onions, sesame seeds and almonds in a large bowl. Break apart the uncooked ramen noodles into small pieces and toss with the cabbage. Just before serving mix together the oil(s), rice vinegar, salt, pepper and flavor packet from the ramen and blend well. Pour over the cabbage and toss to mix well. Serve immediately so the ramen stays crunchy.


This yummy recipe comes from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet. It goes well with grilled meat, and curry or Thai-flavored dishes. The recipe makes quite a bit, which is great for potlucks, but I usually cut the recipe in half for my family.

1/3 cup rice or cider vinegar

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy is OK)

3 TBSP brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBSP soy sauce

1 tsp dark sesame oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or 1/2 garlic chili sauce (optional)

2 14-oz bags shredded cabbage for coleslaw

1/2 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Blend together the vinegar, peanut butter, brown sugar, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil; set aside. (If you would like to add a little kick to your salad, add red pepper flakes or the garlic chili sauce.) About an hour before serving, place the peanut butter mixture in a large bowl, and add the cabbage, about 2 cups at a time, tossing the ingredients after each addition. Cover and chill the salad for an hour, tossing it every 20 or so minutes. Just before serving, add the chopped peanuts and toss once more. (This is quite a “wet” slaw; serve with a slotted spoon).


12 thoughts on “Home Cooking: Coleslaw Three Ways

  1. The first recipe is exactly what I make but I use Miracle Whip (less than 1/2 cup, white vinegar, less sugar, 1/2 tsp yellow mustard. So, mine is different a bit, but still the same. The other two recipes are ones I would never make or eat. I could eat cole slaw every day. I had a friend who chopped a couple of tomatoes in her slaw. I was initially turned off at the thought, but it was delicious. Tomatoes are good with slaw.


    1. My mom adored Miracle Whip – along with sweet pickle relish it was her favorite condiment. Although I grew up eating it, it was always too sweet for me, and these days I prefer mayonnaise.

      I could eat coleslaw every day as well. Tomatoes in slaw sounds interesting – I may give it a try one of these days.


  2. Sounds delicious. Saved these recipes! I’ve never heard of a lettuce intolerance- not to be nosy, but is it a gastroenterological thing? All other vegs are OK? I love salads of all kinds There is a kind of bottled coleslaw dressing from Walden Farms with NO calories and it’s pretty good, surprisingly. I add celery seeds to most of my coleslaw. My Mom made the best ever, although I know exactly how she made it, it’s just not quite the same.,,


    1. The lettuce intolerance is definitely weird – it is a gastro issue. I can eat fresh spinach without problems, and also iceberg lettuce. I was happy to read a couple of years ago that it’s actually more nutritious than people give it credit for. But most lettuces, especially romaine and other leaf lettuces cause problems. I have met one other person in my life with the same issue.

      I haven’t seen Walden Farms items here, but can’t you get their items online? I have heard of adding celery seeds, but Brett doesn’t care for them, so they don’t appear in our slaws.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have met one other person in my life that has it. For so long I always felt like I was the only one, or imagining it. It is weird though, and I definitely wish I didn’t have it!


  3. We once had a slaw it’s pineapple in it (at a roadside place in Maine) and it was hands down the most amazing coleslaw ever, shockingly ….. They wouldn’t (or couldn’t because there really wasn’t one) share the recipe and to this day we’ve been searching for something like it. It was so unique. We are partial to simple a vinegar slaw…they keep for days, super low calories and the texture is perfect for a side, or in a wrap!


    1. My grandmother always added pineapple to her coleslaw!! I loved it too. I like vinegar slaws too – I sometimes make a similar one using lime juice instead of vinegar and along with olive oil add chili powder and a little cumin for a Mexican-style slaw. It’s extremely low calorie, and delicious in a taco.


  4. I used to make your second recipe all the time when our daughters were at home – they loved it! I used to also make it for the frequent friends potlucks we attended and it was always a hit.

    Today my go-to for a crunchy salad is shaved Brussels sprouts with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Like your coleslaw recipes, I love that the leftovers don’t get soggy!


    1. There are a million varieties of the “Asian” slaw around, but this one has always been my favorite. Same for me when I took it to a potluck – it always disappeared.

      I could do the Brussels sprout slaw, but Brett dislikes them intensely, so that’s a no go here. We do like broccoli slaw though – I miss being able to get the bags of it at Trader Joe’s for an easy salad. We’re lucky that our kids all love coleslaw as well – we never had a problem getting them to eat it.


  5. I’ve made a version of the Asian slaw but I haven’t added the sesame seeds or oil. I’ll definitely be adding those the next time I made it. My in-laws love this salad and always ask me to bring it. I’m afraid they don’t think I can cook anything else since this is the only thing I ever make for them! Lol


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