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This easy creamy Coleslaw Dressing comes together in about 5 minutes with just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand! Pair this delicious side dish recipe with all of your favorite summer cookout dishes — from barbecue to burgers, it’s always a hit!

Front shot of shredded cabbage and carrots tossed with creamy coleslaw dressing

I originally tasted this traditional coleslaw recipe when I was at a Fourth of July cookout at my friend Margeaux’s house 5 years ago. After one bite, I asked her for the recipe and I’ve been making it ever since. This Southern coleslaw dressing is a dead ringer for the creamy KFC coleslaw that we all know and love! One bite, and it will soon become a staple in your kitchen, too!

Overhead shot of coleslaw dressing tossed with shredded cabbage and carrots

What is coleslaw dressing made of?

First, you’ll need a package of coleslaw mix (or you can shred your own cabbage and carrots).

Glass bowl full of coleslaw mix

Next, in a separate bowl, prepare the coleslaw dressing by whisking together the following ingredients:

  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • grated onion
  • sugar
  • vinegar
  • dry mustard powder
  • celery salt (or sub with regular salt)
  • fresh dill
  • lemon juice

Creamy coleslaw dressing in a red bowl with a whisk

Stir together the dressing and the coleslaw mix. See? A 5-minute recipe!

Coleslaw in a glass mixing bowl

Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate the dish until you’re ready to enjoy.

Overhead shot of creamy coleslaw in a blue serving bowl with herbs and lemons surrounding

What to serve with homemade coleslaw:

This traditional KFC copy-cat coleslaw recipe pairs nicely with almost any of your favorite picnic foods. Try these main dish options alongside your next batch of creamy coleslaw dressing:

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations — Creamy Coleslaw Dressing:

  • How do you keep homemade coleslaw from being watery? This dressing works so well because it’s very thick. This is ideal because when you combine the dressing with the coleslaw mix and it sits in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, the liquid that the vegetables naturally release will thin the sauce without making the coleslaw too watery.
  • If you don’t want to purchase a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix, you can shred your own cabbage and carrots at home. You will need a total of about 6.5 cups – 6.75 cups of loosely packed shredded slaw.
  • Adapt this to make it a healthy coleslaw dressing recipe. Replace the mayonnaise with light mayo, use yogurt instead of sour cream, or replace the full fat sour cream with a light sour cream. You can also decrease the amount of sugar that you use for a less sweet dressing.
  • Is coleslaw dressing gluten free? Yes, if you carefully select your ingredients, this recipe is naturally gluten free. Duke’s mayonnaise is gluten-free, and pure distilled white vinegar is also gluten-free. Sour cream is also naturally gluten free.
  • If you don’t like the taste of fresh dill, you can omit it from the recipe. I, however, think it’s delicious and it really adds a bright freshness to the dish that I never want to skip! You can also replace the fresh dill with about 1 teaspoon of dried dill weed, or use a different fresh herb like chopped parsley, basil, thyme or rosemary.
  • Don’t have celery salt in your pantry? Replace the celery salt with 1 teaspoon of regular salt. The celery salt adds great flavor, though!
  • Can you freeze coleslaw dressing? No, I don’t recommend freezing this dressing. The mayonnaise in the dressing tends to separate when frozen and then thawed. Homemade coleslaw dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 3-5 days. If the dressing has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it should be discarded.

Close up shot of homemade coleslaw in a blue bowl

More easy side dish recipes that are perfect for your next cookout:

Close up shot of homemade coleslaw in a blue bowl

Easy Coleslaw Dressing

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings 6 people (1/2 cup servings each)
Calories 252.8 kcal
This easy creamy Coleslaw Dressing comes together in about 5 minutes with just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (14 ounce) bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) (or shred your own cabbage and carrots for a total of about 6.5 cups)
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise (I use Duke's, but any similar variety will work)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt (or substitute with 1 teaspoon of salt)
  • Fresh dill, to taste (I use about 1 - 2 tablespoons)
  • A little squeeze of lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour dressing over coleslaw mix and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

When the cabbage absorbs the dressing, it wilts slightly and shrinks in volume. After chilling for at least 1 hour, the total amount of coleslaw yielded from this recipe is approximately 3 cups (or 6 1/2-cup servings).
  • How do you keep homemade coleslaw from being watery? This dressing works so well because it's very thick. This is ideal because when you combine the dressing with the coleslaw mix and it sits in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, the liquid that the vegetables naturally release will thin the sauce without making the coleslaw too watery.
  • If you don't want to purchase a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw mix, you can shred your own cabbage and carrots at home. You will need a total of about 6.5 cups - 6.75 cups of loosely packed shredded slaw.
  • Adapt this to make it a healthy coleslaw dressing recipe. Replace the mayonnaise with light mayo, use yogurt instead of sour cream, or replace the full fat sour cream with a light sour cream. You can also decrease the amount of sugar that you use for a less sweet dressing.
  • Is coleslaw dressing gluten free? Yes, if you carefully select your ingredients, this recipe is naturally gluten free. Duke's mayonnaise is gluten-free, and pure distilled white vinegar is also gluten-free. Sour cream is also naturally gluten free.
  • If you don't like the taste of fresh dill, you can omit it from the recipe. I, however, think it's delicious and it really adds a bright freshness to the dish that I never want to skip! You can also replace the fresh dill with about 1 teaspoon of dried dill weed, or use a different fresh herb like chopped parsley, basil, thyme or rosemary.
  • Don't have celery salt in your pantry? Replace the celery salt with 1 teaspoon of regular salt. The celery salt adds great flavor, though!
  • Can you freeze coleslaw dressing? No, I don't recommend freezing this dressing. The mayonnaise in the dressing tends to separate when frozen and then thawed. Homemade coleslaw dressing will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 3-5 days. If the dressing has been left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it should be discarded.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 252.8kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 1gFat: 24.9gSaturated Fat: 3.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 21.8mgSodium: 527.6mgPotassium: 19.8mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 7g
Keyword: coleslaw dressing, creamy coleslaw dressing, traditional coleslaw recipe
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in August, 2014. The photos were updated in July, 2019.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Looks delish! My hubby is a huge coleslaw fan. I’ll have to give this one a try for him. Thanks for sharing on the Merry Mondays linky party. Pinned & Tweeted 🙂 ~Stacy

  2. 5 stars
    Your Margeauxs Coleslaw looks wonderful, we would really enjoy it. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday this week. Have a great weekend and come back real soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Love coleslaw, and yours looks wonderful!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  4. Thanks for sharing with us at Best of the Weekend – I’ll be featuring this on my blog tomorrow night!

  5. 5 stars
    Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  6. Hi Blair,

    I’m a new follower of your blog over the past month or so and I have to tell you how much I enjoy your posts and all the great recipes. I’ve envied your early spring as here in the Chicago area we’re a few weeks behind. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas and peek at beautiful Virginia! Finding your blog really has helped me during this quarantine period.

    1. Hi, Deb! It’s so kind of you to take the time to send me a note. I am so appreciative of readers like you — it makes me happy to know that my recipes and photos bring you joy. Take care, and have a great weekend!

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Blair! I made this dressing last night and it was delicious! I had half a bag of coleslaw mix leftover from your Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe so I halved the dressing ingredients. Tasted so fresh and went perfectly with our bbq ribs. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Such a great side dish with ribs, Denise! I’m glad to know that you enjoyed it. 🙂 Thanks for your note!