Homemade Coleslaw – My Mom’s Recipe

Homemade Coleslaw
My late Mom’s homemade coleslaw was seriously amazing. Creamy and luscious with just a hint of tang, Mom’s homemade coleslaw was never over-dressed. I remember huge bowls of the stuff at family picnics, barbecues and potlucks. There were rarely any leftovers.

Homemade Coleslaw

Raw cabbage is really good for you – full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it is seriously low in calories. Mom always used both red and green cabbage for her recipe but you can just use green cabbage if that is all you have available. Please use freshly shredded cabbage for this recipe. I know those bags of ‘coleslaw mix’ are super convenient but the cabbage is often dried out and really doesn’t taste as good. It doesn’t take long to shred a cabbage or two and a couple of carrots and it’s well worth the effort. In fact, like repeatedly stirring a risotto, shredding or chopping vegetables can be positively therapeutic.

Just a note, my Mom would never, ever have used Hellmann’s mayonnaise. She was a Miracle Whip girl through and through. However I can’t get Miracle Whip easily in the UK and honestly, my family and I love Hellmann’s Extra Light. It has all the flavour of full fat mayonnaise and only 10 calories per tablespoon. With all of us in our house watching what we eat, it’s a real Godsend. (I’m not being paid to say that, it’s just my honest opinion.) Having said all that, this recipe is very flexible and you can use whatever mayonnaise you like best.

The thing I love about Mom’s coleslaw recipe is that you can definitely make it ahead. In fact, sitting in the fridge overnight deepens and improves the flavours, making Mom’s coleslaw taste even better. It will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to three days.

Just one bite of Mom’s coleslaw brings back such lovely memories. It’s colourful, it’s delicious and a great way to get your family to eat raw vegetables!

Homemade Coleslaw – My Mom’s Recipe
  • 6 cups shredded red and green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 cup Hellmann’s Extra Light Mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Wash and shred the cabbages.
  2. Wash and grate the carrots.
  3. Put all the shredded and grated vegetables in a large bowl.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, parsley, celery salt and ground pepper together thoroughly with a whisk.
  5. Add the dressing to the shredded cabbages and grated carrots and toss thoroughly.
  6. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
  7. Toss again before serving.

For more delicious salads, please click here

Shared with See Ya in the Gumbo, Full Plate Thursday

* indicates required

Article by April Harris

April has written 1281 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

View all posts by


  1. I love those inherited recipes April. There is a story behind every recipe. Thank you for sharing the taste of your childhood with us. Your mom’s Coleslaw sounds so good!

  2. Love this recipe!!! Love the crunch from a fresh coleslaw and your dressing sounds great!! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I love the purple cabbage in this! Your mom was a genius! This looks like a wonderful dish that I am sure was always a hit and will continue to be a hit at picnics! Nice!

  4. April, it’s gorgeous and sounds delicious. And by the way I am a Hellman’s Mayonnaise fanatic and can’t stand Miracle Whip!

  5. It’s so special to be able to recreate those recipes of family that are no longer with us.

  6. Looks great! Love that you’ve recreated your mom’s recipe. <3

  7. I never was a fan of coleslaw growing up because it was always too mayonaissy. Is that even a word? But once you start adding vinegar, that’s where I start coming around. I’ll definitely try this…it looks wonderful! And I grew up on Miracle Whip and can’t stand it now…once I tried the real deal, I never went back. Love Hellmann’s! Pinning!

    • Thank you, Michelle! And ‘mayonaissy’ is definitely a word in my book – I used it all the time when I was growing up because I felt things often had too much mayonnaise too 🙂

  8. This looks really good. I’m afraid I’m guilty of buying those pre-shredded bags, but you’ve convinced me to give chopping my own a try. I’ve never liked Miracle Whip, so I’ll use mayo too. I usually make coleslaw to go with pulled pork sandwiches.

    • Thank you, Marcy! I love coleslaw with pulled pork too and this recipe works really well. Honestly, you’ll love the fresh taste of freshly chopped cabbage – it’s worth it 😉

  9. I haven’t made coleslaw in years…seriously it’s been years! Have never thought to mix red and green cabbage–I always use green. But I really like this bit of color the red cabbage gives. I’m not going to wait another year to make coleslaw and this time I’m going to use red cabbage too.
    Thanks for sharing, April.

  10. Hi April,
    Your Moms Coleslaw looks so good, I just love the dressing. These recipes that our family members leave us are so special and give us so many warm memories of time spent together. Hope you are having a great fall day and thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  11. Delicious homemade coleslaw love it.

  12. Delirious Homemade coleslaw April I need to try this.

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: