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Vinegar Coleslaw

A sweet and tangy old-fashioned Vinegar Coleslaw is the perfect side dish to serve with pulled pork, barbecue ribs, grilled chicken and fried fish. The classic Southern vinegar slaw is an easy, crowd-pleasing, make-ahead recipe.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Keyword old fashioned coleslaw with vinegar, southern vinegar slaw, vinegar based coleslaw, vinegar coleslaw
Prep Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 129kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
  • ½ of a medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag coleslaw mix (about 6 ¾ cups total)


  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, vinegar, oil, kosher salt, celery seed, dry mustard and black pepper. Add bell pepper, onion and coleslaw mix. Toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, tossing occasionally.


  • Allow at least 4 hours for the slaw to marinate in the dressing. The vegetables will soften and the flavors will come together. If you like the veggies really soft, you can prepare the coleslaw the day before you plan to serve it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  • For even more great flavor, add fresh herbs to the slaw. Good options include parsley, chives and dill.
  • Serve the coleslaw with a slotted spoon so that any excess dressing is left in the bowl -- and not on the plate!


Serving: 1/8 of the slaw | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg