This creamy coleslaw dressing recipe is easy to prepare! Toss with shredded cabbage and carrots for a crisp and refreshing side dish.
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Instead of purchasing store-bought bottles, make this delicious homemade coleslaw dressing recipe. It’s so simple to whip up and uses eight everyday pantry staples. All you need is mayonnaise, sour cream, and a combination of sweet and tangy seasonings. Whisk and drizzle over the coleslaw mix for a quick, easy side dish.
What’s convenient is you can prepare the creamy dressing a few days ahead. I often make a batch for a crunchy salad and topping for burgers and sandwiches. It’s great for making an easy coleslaw or tasty dip with veggies for parties, picnics, and barbecues!
- Mayonnaise: Use to create a thick and creamy base for the dressing.
- Sour Cream: Add a hint of tanginess and extra creaminess.
- Honey: Adds sweetness to the dressing, balancing the tangy ingredients.
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar adds a mellow vinegar taste and fruity aroma.
- Lemon Juice: The fresh citrus adds a tart flavor.
- Seasoning: Kosher salt and pepper to enhance the savory taste. Celery seeds are dried and concentrated in an earthy and slightly bitter flavor for dimension.
How to make coleslaw dressing
This is one of the easiest sauces to prepare! Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, celery seed, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
The mayonnaise is a permanent emulsion, so once you add in the other flavoring agents, it will keep its rich texture. The celery seed is optional, but it enhances the taste of the creamy dressing for depth in flavor.
It’s easy to customize the recipe for coleslaw dressing. Instead of purchasing new items, try these simple substitutions you may already have in your kitchen.
- I like to make homemade mayonnaise, but store-bought is a convenient swap. There are vegan options also available.
- Plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk is a good substitution for sour cream.
- Use other types of vinegar like distilled white, champagne, white wine, or rice vinegar.
- Lime juice is a more mild and more fragrant option for lemon juice.
- Pure maple syrup or granulated white sugar can be used for honey.
- Freshly chopped or dried dill or dill seeds are a good swap for celery seeds.
- If you like extra spice, stir in some Dijon mustard.
To make a classic coleslaw recipe from scratch, cut the cabbage into shreds. I use a mix of green and red cabbage, about six cups total to use with the dressing. Grate one cup of carrots for extra color and crunch.
For a quicker option, stores sell pre-shredded individual vegetables or a bag of coleslaw mix. Just add to a serving bowl and toss some of the dressing right before serving.
Ways to use coleslaw dressing
- Serve as an appetizer with Vegetable crudite
- Add to shredded chicken to make a protein-packed salad
- Use as a sauce for corned beef or leftover sandwiches
- A creamy dressing for pasta salad
- Switch up the flavor of macaroni salad
- Use as a dip for sweet potato fries or potato wedges
Frequently asked questions
Coleslaw dressing is a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream or buttermilk for tanginess, a sweetener like honey or sugar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, celery seeds, salt, and pepper.
White vinegar has a very clean, neutral taste with a strong pungency. Apple cider vinegar is mild and more fragrant. Use the latter for less of a sharp vinegar taste. A combination of the two is also delicious.
Freshly chopped celery, celery salt, fennel, dill, or caraway seeds can be used instead of celery seeds. If using celery salt, reduce the amount of kosher salt added, then adjust to taste.
Wait to add the coleslaw dressing
The salt in the dressing will draw out the moisture from the shredded cabbage. If the vegetables are coated too soon, it will cause the coleslaw to become watery. It’s best to dress the salad with a small amount of sauce right before serving or within 20 to 30 minutes. Serve more dressing on the side for a thicker coating right before eating.
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Homemade Coleslaw Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed, optional
- Make the Dressing – In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and celery seeds if using.
- To Serve – Use immediately with desired salad ingredients, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Recipe Yield: About ¾ cup
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Usage: Toss with 6 to 7 cups of coleslaw (shredded cabbage and carrot mix).
- Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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