How To Make Coleslaw With Just 4 Ingredients

The garden is producing several heads of cabbage so it’s time to use some of it. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is Coleslaw. That old staple for picnics and family get-togethers. So I am going to tell you how to make coleslaw using just 4 ingredients. Now mind you I am no master chef just an old home cook. But my family loves it and that is all that really matters to me. I hope you will like it too.

My grandma made the best coleslaw and I will never be able to duplicate her recipe.  I’ve tried.  Believe me, I have tried.  She would grate her cabbage real fine with a grater. When I did this my coleslaw would turn out runny.

Then I came across a recipe for copycat KFC coleslaw and it called for chopped cabbage. So I made my original coleslaw but I just chopped the cabbage.  My husband loved it.  I have tried buying bags of shredded cabbage. You know the ones in the produce department labeled “coleslaw mix” Nope, not for me.  I find that I prefer the cabbage chopped.

What Is Coleslaw?

According to Wikipedia coleslaw is a side dish consisting primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage with a salad dressing, commonly either vinaigrette or mayonnaise.

How Far in Advance Should You Make  Coleslaw?

Make your coleslaw just a couple of hours before you plan to serve it.  Give it just enough time for the flavors to meld together. Freshly made coleslaw is at its crunchiest.  The longer coleslaw sits the more watery and limp it will be. Nothing worse than limp and watery coleslaw.

How Long Will  Coleslaw Last?

Coleslaw stored in the refrigerator will last 3- 5 days. I would not keep it any longer than 5 days. If left out on the counter at room temperature for more than 2 hours then you need to throw the coleslaw away.  Even in the refrigerator, the coleslaw will become watery. This is due to the weeping of water from the cabbage. But there is a way to prevent this.

How to Keep Your Coleslaw Crisp and Not Become Watery

Cabbage is 93% water so it will weep water even after adding your dressing to the cabbage. To prevent this, after shredding or chopping your cabbage place cabbage into a colander. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of cabbage and toss to evenly coat the cabbage.  Place colander of cabbage into a larger bowl and let sit for a couple of hours.  You will be surprised by how much water will be in the bowl.  Just press the cabbage lightly, do not squeeze, and then pat dry with paper towels. Then proceed with making your coleslaw.

Now let’s get to business, shall we?

How To Make Coleslaw

The Ingredients

  • One half of a large cabbage
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise.  I use Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise.
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sugar depending on your level of sweetness. (I prefer 1/4 cup)
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 carrot, shredded (optional) I don’t add carrots because I don’t like them 🙂


Chop cabbage real fine.  I know this is a lot of work.  But it will be worth it, I promise. Place cabbage in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over the cabbage and mix well. Refrigerate.


 And that’s how to make coleslaw with 4 ingredients

how to make coleslaw

Very simple and tastes good too!

I hope that you found this little article informative and that you will be able to make coleslaw with confidence. If so, great, that was my intention. You don’t have to be a master chef to make great food. Sometimes I think that too many ingredients “muddles” a recipe.  Simple is always best.

Please leave me a comment below.  I would love to know what you think.

Have a Wonderful Day!

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6 thoughts on “How To Make Coleslaw With Just 4 Ingredients”

  1. Wish I had a garden here this looks so yummy and have not been able to find a good home made one need to try with store bought ingredients I guess.

    • Hi Tiffany, Thank you so much for your comment. When cabbage is no longer available in my garden, I go to my local grocery store and buy a head of cabbage when I want to make coleslaw.

  2. Hi Taianne,
    I liked your tip for getting the water outta the cabbage. I didn’t know that so thanks for the tip. I’ll have to remember to try it!

  3. Do you think a food processor, using the pulse button, would work to chop the cabbage? Being very careful to get it the right size, it may work. I’ll try to remember to let you know the result. TY

    • I’m not sure about chopping cabbage with a food processor. I’ve never tried it. I just always chop it by hand. I know it’s a lot of work but we prefer it this way. Yes, I would love to know the results. Thank you.


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