• 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded (or one 16-oz bag of pre-shredded cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBS buttermilk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  1. Shred cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Combine with any other shredded vegetables to be used, such as carrots.
  2. Prepare cole slaw dressing in another bowl by combining the mayonnaise or salad dressing, vinegar, buttermilk, sugar, celery seeds, and sesame seeds. Mix thoroughly with wire whisk.
  3. Add salt and pepper to cabbage mixture and toss lightly.
  4. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss lightly to coat.
  5. Refrigerate cole slaw in an airtight container overnight before serving.


  1. For variety and color, carrots, bell peppers, or other shredded vegetables can be added.
  2. And then there is the onion question: do you or do you not put onion in cole slaw? I like it both ways, depending on the main dish that it’s going to accompany. KFC puts a ton of onion in their cole slaw (and they have sold tons and tons of it), so if you want onion, put in as much as you like.
  3. I like to shred my cabbage very finely. You can do this by hand, but a mandoline makes quick work of the process. Since I frequently make sauerkraut, I bought one of the wooden kraut boards (krauthobel) like the women of eastern Europe use to shred their cabbage. You can order these on the Internet. They come in two or three sizes and are truly wonderful for working with cabbage. (Be careful, though. The blades are sharp, and they can shred knuckles and fingers as well as cabbage.) You can buy pre-shredded cabbage at the grocery store, of course, but it’s not as fresh. Many deli departments will core and shred a fresh head of cabbage for you, if you don’t want to do it yourself.
  4. Many people only know slaw that has been minced in a food processor or, worse, a blender. To my mind, that produces “cabbage puree,” not cole slaw. I like the cabbage shredded finely, but not reduced to mush.


  1. As all who love cole slaw know, there are two main types: creamy and vinegar-based. This recipe is for the slaw that most people prefer: the creamy kind with a mayonnaise-based dressing (and just a little vinegar for tartness). However, vinegar-based slaw with no mayonnaise is also very good, especially with certain kinds of barbecue. I know of a barbecue place in Bowling Green, Kentucky (Smokey Pig) that offers you a choice of either kind of slaw. And in some restaurants in Texas, you can get a great vinegar-based concoction called Mexican slaw.

Southern Beans