The Best Easy Coleslaw – Just 4 Ingredients

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Coleslaw is the classic side for a barbecue or cookout. This simple and quick, delicious, crispy, and tangy coleslaw has just four ingredients. You’ll love it!

It takes just minutes to make and is a total crowd-pleaser. I love coleslaw for cookouts and it’s great for the summer!

picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

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picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

4 Ingredient Coleslaw

While you can shred your own cabbage, onions, and carrots – we love using the pre-shredded bags, because it saves a ton of time. Simply open a bag, mix, and go! Of course, if you have your own fresh cabbage on hand, you can also shred it. Be sure to mix in some shredded carrots, and even some red onions, for color, and additional texture and crunch!

I believe in using ingredients that save time when it has little impact on flavor. Cabbage keeps well and the flavor and crispness are fine even in the bag.

This recipe is meant to work as a great base – it is delicious as-is, but can be built upon with flavors and herbs you love, to truly make it your own. It has a simple, lightly-sweet, and creamy taste that is easily customizable, or great as-is!

Here is my web story on this delicious and easy coleslaw recipe – it has video!

picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

How To Make Coleslaw

To make this easy coleslaw, you’ll need:

  • Coleslaw mix – bagged coleslaw consists of shredded cabbage, carrots, and sometimes onion. We love the addition of red onions in coleslaw if you can find a bag with it in – or you can stir in your own red onions, either diced or shredded. Cabbage is a great lightly flavored leafy green that is a rich source of vitamins C, K, B6, and B9 and minerals such as manganese and calcium – making it a great choice as a side dish!
  • Mayonnaise or greek yogurt – mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt) acts as a binder in this recipe, and seriously ups the rich, delicious, and cool creamy texture. Pick a mayonnaise you love – everyone has a favorite brand (our family love’s Dukes, but it can be hard to find in Colorado)
  • Apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar is tangy, with a bright, lightly sweet flavor, and great health benefits – plus a great down-home flavor! We love using apple cider vinegar in recipes, but you can use white vinegar if you do not have apple cider vinegar. We feel the apple cider vinegar
  • Honey – adding honey lends a bit of sweetness to counteract the light bitterness of cabbage, and pulls out the apple cider vinegar flavor – it also helps cut through some of the richness of mayonnaise, making this coleslaw light, crisp, and fresh.

This three-ingredient dressing is so simple. All you need to do is whisk the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and honey together in a bowl. It’s a classic flavor combo.

If you want to change it up a little I sometimes add a bit of salt (depending on the kind of mayo you use), garlic powder, onion powder, or even a little bit of dill weed.

picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

Tips And Tricks For The Best Coleslaw

Coleslaw mix is so easy, just open the bag, pour it in a bowl and toss it with your homemade dressing.

When to serve coleslaw. You can serve it immediately for a crunchier slaw, or refrigerate for a while to let the apple cider vinegar soften the cabbage a bit.

How to serve coleslaw. Coleslaw is great as a side dish alongside grilled meats and fish, or as a topper for sandwiches like pulled pork, and burgers.

Add seasoning. If you want to add more flavor, think of this recipe as a great base! Mix in jalapeños or beans and lime and swap the mayo for crema for a Mexican twist; stir in taco seasoning or ranch dressing seasoning; add cayenne or Aleppo pepper – the sky is the limit!


Can I make the dressing ahead of time?

You can make this dressing up to three days in advance and refrigerate if you’re pressed for time, although it’s super quick and easy. I wouldn’t suggest dressing the slaw mix too early bucause you don’t want your slaw to get too soggy.

Can I make coleslaw healthier?

Yes! I have made it with greek yogurt and LOVE the way the tangy dressing turned out.

Can I add other seasonings to coleslaw?

We designed this recipe to be easily adaptable, so that you can add other seasonings to it – you can mix in 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, ranch dressing seasoning, Italian herbs seasoning, adobo spices, chili lime seasoning – the sky is the limit!

Is coleslaw keto?

We’re using honey in this recipe, which is not keto – but the rest of the ingredients in this coleslaw recipe is low-carb. To make this recipe keto compliant, simply swap the honey for a stevia, monk fruit, or allulose syrup replacement.

picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

What To Serve With Coleslaw

We love serving coleslaw with our smoked pulled pork, our top rated pork ribs, and even alongside baked pork tenderloin! It is delicious alongside cookout classics like The Best Grilled Potatoes, and Grilled Zucchini and Squash!

If you’re looking for more delicious, easy knockout recipes, find some of our favorites below:

You can click here to find the rest of our grill and smoker recipes.

picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

The Best Easy Coleslaw Recipe

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picture of coleslaw in a blue bowl

The Best Easy Coleslaw

Classic homestyle coleslaw that is simple, easy, and delicious – with just 4 ingredients.
Course Side dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword bbq recipes, cabbage, coleslaw, cookout recipes, potluck, side dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 193kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • ½ cup mayonnaise or greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and honey until smooth.
  • Add mayonnaise mixture to coleslaw in a large bowl and stir well to mix.
  • Serve immediately or chill.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 167mg | Sugar: 9g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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  1. Jacqueline (Jackie) Thomas says:

    Hi Courtney,
    Love your recipes, but I have to write them out by hand and they get lost. I only have email. I do not use Facebook. Twitter or Pin.
    Could you please add an Email along with the above?

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      Great suggestion – should be added now!