Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (2024)

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posted by Crissy Pageon Sep 1, 2019 (updated Jan 19, 2024) 66 comments »

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Friends, you’re never going to need another coleslaw recipe again. My mom makes the absolute best sweet coleslaw and I’m sharing her secret recipe with you today.

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe

Luckily, my mom isn’t super protective of her recipes. It didn’t take much arm twisting to get her to write her famous sweet coleslaw recipe down on an index card for me. I keep all of my favorite family recipes in a little tin recipe box and I was so happy to finally add this one to my collection.

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (1)

Restaurant Style Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of those dishes that I sort of avoided as a kid. My grandma loved coleslaw and it was often on the family dinner table. I learned to love it when I became sort of hooked on the coleslaw at KFC and Frisch’s. I just love that sweet, restaurant-style coleslaw so much.

Of course, everyone loves coleslaw at family gatherings and cookouts, especially during the summer! You’re going to want to pin this fantastic sweet coleslaw recipe for easy retrieval when you need it. Or, you can jot it down on an index card and add it to your old school recipe box if you have one! :)

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (2)

This sweet coleslaw recipe is so simple to make. You start with a store-bought bag of slaw mix. You’re welcome to shred your own veggies, but this is such an easy solution and perfect for times when you need a tasty dish for a potluck.

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (3)

This coleslaw recipe is definitely on the sweeter side and it reminds me of coleslaw that I’ve had at some of my favorite restaurants like the ones I mentioned earlier!

It makes a great side dish, but this coleslaw is also a great topper for a pulled pork sandwich or even a hot dog. If you’ve never had coleslaw on a hot dog you’re missing out on something truly wonderful!

RELATED: Looking for more great summertime side dishes? Try our amazing classic potato salad recipe. It’s perfectly DELICIOUS! Also, my three bean salad or this unique dill pickle pasta salad are great bets.

Oh, and you can’t miss my favorite spaghetti salad recipe!

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (4)

I’m sort of picky about coleslaw and my mom’s recipe is truly the best I’ve ever had. I could eat a whole vat of this stuff which is why I usually try to pawn the leftovers off on someone else in the family when I take this to a cookout. Otherwise, I find myself at the refrigerator multiple times per day with a fork in my hand. Yikes. It’s just so yummy.

Be sure to let me know if you love my mom’s famous sweet coleslaw recipe as much as I do. I’ll be sure to pass along the feedback to her. :)

For another potluck classic, try this tasty German cucumber salad!

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (5)

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Additional Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

This sweet and flavorful coleslaw will knock your socks off!


  • 1 ( 16 oz. bag) coleslaw mix
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds


  1. In a medium bowl stir together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and the celery seeds until well blended. Add the coleslaw mix and stir until well coated.
  2. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 10Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 127Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (6)

Salads Sides

originally published on Sep 1, 2019 (last updated Jan 19, 2024)

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66 comments on “Best Sweet Coleslaw”

  1. Theresa Reply

    This is the recipe one of my neighbors used when I was growing up. I’m picky about my slaw and this recipe is the best hands down!

  2. Beverly Carrigan Reply

    This is great coleslaw. I have made it several times and now my husband who could care less about coleslaw asks for it all the time. Great dressing taste. So quick and easy.

  3. judy v Reply

    This recipe ws awesome. Have not made it in a long time but this is exactly like my mom made it way back when (old days). The only change I made was added milk because I like it a little thinner. Thanks!

  4. Christina O Reply

    Can you use white vinegar to substitute apple cider vinegar

  5. Alice Donofrio Reply

    This was so easy to make and is delicious.Thank you for the recipe.Alice Donofrio

  6. Erica Reply

    I am really picky when it comes to cole slaw. This is the best recipr! Ive been making it for a while and everyone who tries it loves it, even my very picky mom. She now makes it too! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  7. Van Reply

    Delicious! Just a tad sweet for me, but great. Added a squirt of bleu cheese dressing and it was amazing.

  8. Sandi Reply

    Hello – Thank you for the recipe. When you say Mayo, do you mean actual mayo, or do you mean Miracle Whip? I’m sorry to ask. Probably a crazy question, but want to make sure.

    • Crissy Page Reply

      Mayonnaise! :)

  9. Jane Reply

    Excellent recipe! Cut it in half as there are only 2 of us; used 1/2 head of small,cabbage, 1 small carrot, and 2 radishes grated; had to skip,the celery seed as I didn’t have any on ha d; it was still excellent. Used GF Mayo (smart balance); thanks for an easy slaw!

  10. Michelle Rapier Reply

    This was very yummy! I couldn’t remember my coleslaw recipe as I hadn’t made it in forever and never wrote down my recipe so I searched for a sweet recipe and came up with yours which seemed very similar to how I used to make mine. I added dried pineapple to it which gives a little extra crunch and is delicious! (I also put dried pineapple in my chicken salad.) Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. Frances Bartley Reply

    Just like the cole slaw of my childhood. Thank yoy!

  12. Sue Miller Reply

    Totally our go-to recipe for slaw!!! Simple and tasty – thank you!!!!

  13. Glenda Sanders Reply

    This coleslaw is THE BEST I’ve ever had!!! I’d almost given up on trying to find one my husband and I really like. I’ve made it twice and this time it was even better. Goes great with our Maryland Crab Cakes. Thanks sooo much! 👩🏻‍🍳

  14. IVY SMITH Reply

    I have been searching for a coleslaw recipe that was perfect and I have found it! Hands down the best recipe out there. Love love love it! Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Dusty Collett Reply

    I prefer to eat my coleslaw the same day its made and my mother prefers to eat her coleslaw over the next couple days…when your 97,
    I guess you can eat it however you want :)
    …I have a problem with people who say they just love your recipe but they added this or they subtracted that…it isn’t your recipe any longer its their recipe they love…just my two cents…I just got an error message so if this doesn’t make sense, do please disregarded…

  16. Aimee Reply

    Can you use white vinegar instead?

  17. Linda Reply

    I have been searching for years for a coleslaw recipe and this is it! My husband and I have enjoyed every ultimate bite!

    Rating: 5

  18. Sharon Berner Reply

    Absolutely the best coleslaw recipe I’ve tried!

    Rating: 5

  19. Brenda J Smith Reply

    I do not put the vinegar in.

  20. Dawn Morgan Reply

    Just made this today, and it’s the best coleslaw I’ve ever had!!! Delicious, with just the right amount of sweet and tang. My Husband raved about it! The only thing I changed was adding about a 1/2 of raisins. This is a keeper!!!!

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Page Reply

      Dawn, I am so glad you loved it as much as my family does!! Raisins sound like a yummy addition to this coleslaw, I’m going to have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

  21. Barbara Lee Reply

    I didn’t have any celery seed but would like to use it next time. I only put 1 Tbs and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in mine; I added a Tbl of milk and used a little pepper too; VERY GOOD!!! Thank you for the perfect slaw!!!

    Rating: 5

  22. Dawn Reply

    This recipe is amazing..super easy and delicious.

    Rating: 5

  23. Susan Reply

    This is the same recipe my momma has made all her life and me and my daughter also make it momma’s way. She uses pickle juice instead of vinegar. You can use sweet pickle juice or for a little extra tang use dill pickle juice.

    Rating: 5

  24. Charyl Reply

    The title of this recipe is an accurate description. I, too, am picky about Cole Slaw and this recipe is perfect! Slightly sweet with a little twang and comes together so quickly. Thank you for posting.

    Rating: 5

  25. Jen Reply

    So yummy!

    Rating: 5

  26. Laura Reply

    Thank you for posting this delicious recipe!

    Rating: 5

  27. Kit Reply

    Coleslaw is very good and so easy to make!

    Rating: 5

  28. CARMEN Ramirez Reply

    Coleslaw was is great. I loved it.

    Rating: 5

  29. Norm in Alabama Reply

    Colleen below says that she grew up with this recipe. Well, we didn’t eat cole slaw while was growing up that I remember but later on after I got married etc. I thought for 40 years or so that cole slaw dressing only came in a bottle. Never was wild about it. So, brainiac that I am, I decided to ask Google…and I wound up here. Crissy..this is EXACTLY the one I was looking for. Making my second batch this evening. You did GOOD!!! Got you saved on my computer, I do! THANKS!

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Glad you loved it! :)

      • Norm

        Hiya Crissy!

        It’ now the start of 2021 and I’m leaving this note to get busy making your mom’s recipe for about the, I dunno…15th time? It’s only about 500 times better than that bottle stuff we thought we had to have.

        When you need coleslaw, it’s actually better to have coleslaw with actual GREAT taste! Thinking of you every time we go for it. You did good! A perfect coleslaw angel! Thanks again! Take care!

  30. Colleen Reply

    The same slaw I grew up with. Folks who say they don’t like Coleslaw have changed there minds after tasting this recipe! Our Moms jnew best! ❤️

    Rating: 5

  31. Wendy Reply

    I love this coleslaw easy and tasty ?

    Rating: 5

  32. Beverly crown Reply

    Love this, so simple and soooo good!

    Rating: 5

  33. Emily Reply

    Made this yesterday and it was delicious! The recipe says to let it sit for 1-2 hours, but I made it early so I left it for 4-5. My husband could not get enough!! My new go to recipe!!!

    Rating: 5

  34. Samantha Reply

    I love this coleslaw! This is now my go-to recipe when wanting coleslaw. So simple and easy though I prefer to let it mingle overnight. It reminds me of my grandma’s coleslaw that she never wrote down. I’ve tried many coleslaw’s that left me always disappointed but not this one.

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Samantha, glad you love it! Yes, it definitely tastes better with a little extra time to “mingle” in the fridge. :) Thanks so much for commenting!

  35. Angie Reply

    The best!

    Rating: 5

  36. Barbara Reply

    This is the best! The only recipe I use! My family loves it! Thanks for the recipe! ??❤️

    Rating: 5

  37. Diane MacKenzie Reply

    This is handsdown the best coleslaw we have ever had. It is the ONLY one I make. It will not disappoint. Thanks you!

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      I’m so glad that you love my easy coleslaw recipe! Thanks so much for commenting Diane! :)

  38. Rose Grace Reply

    I just made this, yum yum! I’m eating a dish of it now and it tastes great . I can’t imagine it could be better after two hours, but I’m looking forward to trying it out later

  39. Michael Reply

    This is the BEST coleslaw I have ever made or tasted! I added just a little brown mustard and fennel seeds to give it an edge. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Yay, I am SO glad you loved it! Brown mustard and fennel seeds sounds amazing, will try that!

  40. Jen Reply

    This is great I add feta and chopped peanuts – it takes it to the next level!

    Rating: 4

  41. Tammy Reply

    So good!! I tripled it for a BBQ and it was a hit!

    Rating: 5

  42. Debbie Allen Reply

    Yummy! I add raisins

    • Crissy Reply

      Never thought about adding raisins to coleslaw but that sounds amazing. Maybe dried cranberries even?

      • Sandra

        Furr’s Cafeteria always served cole slaw with the raisins, I always ordered it ! So good.
        Just a note. There is a Mexican Restaurant in Midland Texas that serves their Chili Relenos topped with sour cream, pecans and raisins. It might sound awful, but it is just to die for if you like raisins and pecans. This is the only place where a person can find this.

  43. Mary Hunt Reply

    Old favorite recipe. Yes, this is the best. Not restaurant recipe, but home style.

    Rating: 5

  44. Julie Reply

    This really is the best coleslaw recipe I’ve made. Better than any restaurant coleslaw. My boyfriend loved it! Going to make it for a party this weekend. Pretty sure everyone will love it.

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Julie, so glad you loved it!! Thank you for leaving a comment and a rating, it means so much to have feedback like yours. Have a great summer!

  45. Ashley Reply

    Our whole family loves this coleslaw! Seriously amazing and perfect balance of flavours. We have made this so many times now – definitely our go to recipe.

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Ashley, thanks so much for commenting and I’m so glad your family loves my coleslaw!! :)

  46. Robin Morris Reply

    OMG! This is the very best cole slaw I ever ate. I made 1 lb. and finished it overnight. Made 2 more lbs. for a friend and myself. Hope it last. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    Rating: 5

    • Crissy Reply

      Hi Robin, I’m SO glad you loved my coleslaw recipe! :)

  47. Ellen Reply

    I make mine the same way…but I add a tablespoon of horesrradish to the mix. Let sit in the frig for about an hour or so. Give it a final stir and its good to go

  48. Sherry McKinney Reply

    This is almostmy Granny Rose’s recipe. She added about a half tsp of mustard to dressing. I have used dark brown sugar in place of white sugar and it is a wonderful different taste as well.

  49. Violet Gilbert Reply

    The recipe is very good but I used miracle whip instead of mayonnaise and 2 tbs of sugar everything else is the same as your recipe stated. Thank very much my husband really enjoyed it.

    Rating: 5

  50. james wagner Reply

    My wife has the best Coleslaw ever. Store coleslaw mix,juice from Bread and Butter pickles,musturd,mayonnaise.

    • Nadine Reply

      That sounds great im going to try it that way soon.

  51. Sharon Farnsworth Reply

    Similar tho my mom’s. Hers used Miracle Whip and only 1 1/2 Tbs sugar, 1tsp vinegar. Very yummy! I also add small cauliflower florets for added crunch. Everyone always asks me how I make it. I swear it’s the Miracle Whip.

  52. Abby Reply

    OHH… I love sweet cole slaw, I’ll be making this tomorrow !!

  53. Kathy Detweiler Reply

    This is exactly how my mom made her cole slaw and how I make mine today. Except we grated the cabbage and carrots, no pre-mix back in those days. :)

    Rating: 5

Leave a comment »

Best Sweet Coleslaw Recipe - Restaurant Style Slaw (2024)


How do you make Gordon Ramsay homemade coleslaw? ›

In a bowl mix together 2 Tbs vinegar, juice of half lemon, 3 Tbs mayonnaise, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and pepper and mix well. Add the dressing into the cabbage and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving as a healthy side dish to your burger!

Why is KFC coleslaw so good? ›

KFC coleslaw has a sweet and tangy taste, with a creamy texture. The dressing is made with a blend of mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, sugar, and spices, which gives it its distinct flavor. The coleslaw also contains shredded cabbage and carrots, which add a crisp and fresh texture to the dish.

What is the difference Cole slaw and slaw? ›

The real difference is that the raw, chopped vegetables in coleslaw are primarily cabbage: Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy. Slaw without the cole can feature any crunchy veggie in place of cabbage, including chopped or shredded broccoli, carrots, snow peas, jicama, and more.

How do you reduce the bitterness in coleslaw? ›

You could also add grated apple, finely diced pineapple, or even a sprinkle of sugar. Just be careful not to be too heavy-handed — a little sweetness goes a long way. Bitterness is another common problem with coleslaw. Sweeteners like honey and fresh fruit should also help to counteract even a stubborn bite.

What is in Mary Brown's coleslaw? ›

Mary Brown's shreds fresh cabbage and carrots in house, and tops it with a creamy dressing. The freshly shredded veggies give you a light yet satisfying crunch while the dressing gives you the tanginess you're looking for.

Why does my homemade coleslaw taste bitter? ›

Cabbage Core:Issue: The core of the cabbage can be bitter, especially if it's not removed before shredding. Solution: Ensure that you remove the core of the cabbage before shredding it. Cut the cabbage in half, then cut out the triangular core from each half. Old Cabbage:Issue: Older cabbage may develop a bitter taste.

Why did KFC stop selling coleslaw? ›

The fast food chain was forced to stop selling its coleslaw tubs when a supply issue meant the slaw would have to be served up without the dressing. “We are currently experiencing a supply issue with our KFC coleslaw dressing,” a KFC spokesperson said. The slaw is made up of cabbage and carrots coated in mayonnaise.

What is the most unhealthy thing from KFC? ›

Worst: Extra Crispy Tenders

It's no surprise that the extra crispy tenders don't top the list of healthiest items at KFC. As a battered, deep-fried food, they could contribute to increased health risks like cardiovascular disease.

How do you make store bought coleslaw taste better? ›

Sugar or agave nectar are good choices of sweeteners. Flavor wise, chopped pickle relish, celery seeds, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and sour cream are all common. Just mix everything together and go!

Which is healthier salad or coleslaw? ›

Classic coleslaw is full of shredded cabbage and carrots. The dressing, however, is made with mayonnaise and sugar. There is usually about ½ a cup of mayonnaise and usually a couple tablespoons of sugar. That adds up to more calories and more fat than you're probably looking for in a salad.

Why is cole slaw not cold slaw? ›

'Cold slaw': A Food Name Review. However cold your coleslaw may be, you are wise to spell it coleslaw. The word comes from a Dutch word (koolsla) that combines the Dutch words kool, meaning "cabbage," and sla, meaning "salad." Etymology is the main course.

What is coleslaw called in America? ›

Coleslaw (from the Dutch term koolsla meaning 'cabbage salad'), also known as cole slaw, or simply as slaw, is a side dish consisting primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage with a salad dressing or condiment, commonly either vinaigrette or mayonnaise.

Is it better to make coleslaw the day before? ›

Store coleslaw in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. You can make this coleslaw ahead of time to help blend the flavors, but the dressing will become thin over time as liquid releases from the cabbage. Whisking in extra mayonnaise can help fluff up the dressing before serving.

Why does my homemade coleslaw go watery? ›

Cabbage contains lots of water. Alton Brown suggests salting the cabbage and letting the water drain for two hours, then rinsing the cabbage and spinning it dry before dressing it. That purges the excess water out of the cabbage before it is dressed, so it doesn't get watery.

Should you wash bagged coleslaw? ›

Bagged or ready-to-eat, fresh-cut produce

If the product is not labeled "washed," "triple washed," or "ready-to-eat," it must be washed before eating.

What is traditional coleslaw made of? ›

What is traditional coleslaw made of? Traditional coleslaw is little more than shredded cabbage and a creamy dressing. This recipe adds a bit more flavor with shredded carrots and onion. The creamy dressing is made with mayonnaise, sugar, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper, for a just right tangy-sweet flavor.

What is the dressing made of in coleslaw? ›

What Is Coleslaw Dressing Made Of? This creamy, mayo-based dressing uses ingredients you likely have on hand: sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and of course, mayonnaise. The resulting dressing is just the right balance of sweet, tangy, creamy, and peppery!

What is homemade coleslaw made of? ›

  • 1 small white cabbage or ½ large.
  • 4 carrots, peeled.
  • 1 large red onion.
  • ½ small bunch dill, chives, parsley or coriander, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • 50g mayonnaise.
  • 50g yogurt, soured cream or more mayo.
  • 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar.

What is the best tool for making coleslaw? ›

Cabbage Shredder

Microplane Cabbage shredders and graters provide essential kitchen tools for cabbage for making coleslaw, kimchi and more as simple as possible.

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