close up of creamy southern coleslaw
Recipes » Side Dishes » Creamy Southern Coleslaw

Creamy Southern Coleslaw

Creamy Southern Coleslaw is a favorite Southern barbecue and grill side dish.

Horseradish is the secret ingredient to make this Creamy Southern Coleslaw recipe stand out. Quit wincing, this is THE BEST slaw!

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Make ahead and let it hang out overnight in the fridge for a marvelous accompaniment to Oven Baked Deep South Barbecue Ribs, Perfectly Perfect Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks, or grilled steak with this AMAZING marinade.

How many recipes involving shredded cabbage do you know garner this much applause?

Coleslaw is one of the most underrated barbecue and grilling side dishes. A classic southern side made up of shredded green and purple cabbages, sweet carrots, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and sugar make up this favorite. An incredibly easy ten minutes worth of prep, and the creamiest, crunchiest addition to top off grilled franks or pile high atop pulled pork sandwiches is ready to roll. I love the thick, dressing this recipe yields largely because it seems to have the balance of tangy and sweet. It is excellent the first day you make it but look out on day two – you will swear this is the best thing you ever ate.

close up of creamy southern coleslaw

There is a sort of an unexpected ingredient in this dressing. You may not run across this ingredient in too many methods which is why it stands out in this one. Horseradish. Just a little goes a long way to putting this combination of ingredients on the map. This easy, creamy coleslaw recipe seems to please even the pickiest of eaters which makes it ideal for potlucks and cookouts.

This is a southern coleslaw recipe for pulled pork if ever there was … serve piled high.

Let’s talk personality for a moment. If you are reading this and I haven’t lost your attention, imagine that forkful of restaurant slaw that we’ve all tasted that seems to have that ‘guitar-twang bite.’ You know, the ‘too much of something, and not enough of the other’ slaw that after tasting, you wisely ate around? Well, not this coleslaw. This creamy southern coleslaw is moderately sweet, and “sweet” changes the coleslaw landscape.

It boasts a creamy dressing that lightly coats the shredded vegetables. With a handful of straightforward ingredients, a delicious sweet slaw dressing is reached. A bag of coleslaw mix makes this recipe easy but if you want to shred your own vegetables as I do, I have the quantities you will need in the recipe card below. If I do buy an already shredded bag of cabbage with carrots in it, pulse it once or twice in the processor to get the mixture a little finer.

coleslaw in a covered dish with carrots and a spoon

My Mom is the reason this coleslaw recipe is popular in our family – she’s been making it the same way for 30+ years. I made it for the first time at my first house in New Jersey yet. This slaw, along with the first ever batch of Oven Baked Deep South Barbecue Ribs, became a popular entertaining food theme for me. My friend April used to refer to it as “down south night.”

I was able to bake up cornbread or biscuits, and an easy lemon pudding cake and STILL focus on my company while my both my oven and refrigerator did the work. Everybody loved it so much because it was different, super delicious, and none of it was food you would typically grow up eating in Jersey. All this and I still never knew that in a few short years, my future would involve a move below the Mason Dixon Line.

close up of creamy southern coleslaw

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

close up of creamy southern coleslaw

Creamy Southern Coleslaw

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
Creamy Southern Coleslaw is a favorite Southern barbecue and grill side dish.
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Servings: 8 servings, 1/2 cup per serving
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings, 1/2 cup per serving
Calories 111 kcal


Ingredients for Creamy Southern Coleslaw

    ** if you do not want to chop/shred your own vegetables, a 16 ounce bag of prepared coleslaw mix from your grocer works well

    • 4 cups green cabbage shredded or chopped fine
    • 1 cup purple cabbage shredded or chopped fine
    • 1 cup carrots shredded or chopped fine
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon horseradish
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


    The Method

    • Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, horseradish, salt and pepper in a non-reactive bowl.
    • Add the cabbage and carrot mixture and stir until all vegetables are well coated.
    • Cover and chill until ready to serve.


    Serving: 1servingCalories: 111kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 268mgPotassium: 146mgFiber: 2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2851IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
    Keyword 10 minutes, barbecue side dish, cabbage, cole slaw, coleslaw, dressing, make ahead, side dish, slaw
    Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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