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Creamy and crunchy, this red cabbage slaw is easy to make and so delicious! This side dish has a short ingredient list and comes together in a flash.

Red cabbage slaw
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Coleslaw is one of those things we could eat for every meal (really). Here’s our new favorite spin: Red Cabbage Slaw! With standard coleslaw you typically have to buy two cabbage varieties: both red and green. Often times, the remaining cabbage halves hang out in our fridge with nothing to do. With this red cabbage slaw, the only veggies you need are a red cabbage and an onion! The coleslaw dressing has the perfect combination of savory, tangy, sweet and creamy and takes the crunchy cabbage strands to new heights. All you need is a few ingredients, and it comes together quickly. Here’s how it’s done!

Ingredients for red cabbage slaw

The big plus to red cabbage slaw is: you don’t need to buy two cabbages! You don’t even need a carrot. This monochromatic purple slaw is a beautiful bright shade of purple. You don’t end up with random cabbage halves in your fridge, and it’s a great way to use up a spare red cabbage if you have one on hand. Here’s everything you need for this coleslaw, which uses a riff on our Best Coleslaw Dressing:

  • Red cabbage
  • Red onion
  • Mayonnaise: use vegan mayo for a vegan variation!
  • Sugar: use maple syrup for refined sugar free
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dried dill
  • Celery seeds
  • Salt & pepper
Red cabbage slaw

Time saver tip: how to shred cabbage for slaw!

Undeniably the hardest part of making red cabbage slaw is shredding the cabbage. If you’re anything like me, I used to hack at a cabbage and end up with all sorts of weird uneven pieces…until we figured out this trick! Here’s how to shred cabbage so that you end up with bite-sized shreds perfect for slaw:

  1. Remove any outer layers of the cabbage that seem tough or are not fresh, and discard them.
  2. With a large chef’s knife, slice off the root of the cabbage.
  3. Cut the cabbage in half through the stem.
  4. Cut the cabbage into quarters.
  5. Remove the root of the cabbage by cutting it out diagonally.
  6. Thinly slice the cabbage in the short direction, using a circular motion with the knife.
Easy coleslaw dressing

Why it’s the best coleslaw dressing

The dressing for this red cabbage slaw is based on our best coleslaw dressing, which is perfectly balanced: tangy, savory and sweet. Here’s why we think it’s the best:

  • It uses less mayo than the standard coleslaw. Some slaw recipes are loaded with mayo. This one has just the right amount to taste nostalgic but not be overly rich.
  • The sweetness is balanced with a no refined sugar option. Use sugar if that’s what you have, or pure maple syrup adds a more subtle sweetness.
  • It’s got secret spices for the win. The spices here are a slight tweak on our coleslaw dressing: dried dill and celery seed add just the right herbaceous twinge.
Red cabbage slaw

More coleslaw variations

There are lots of spins on coleslaw! We love this red cabbage slaw for its simplicity, but here are a few other variations you can use depending on the ingredients you have on hand:

This red cabbage slaw recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (using vegan mayo).

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Red cabbage slaw

Simple Red Cabbage Slaw

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Creamy and crunchy, this red cabbage slaw is easy to make and so delicious! This side dish has a short ingredient list and comes together in a flash.


  • 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (1 medium cabbage, about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • ¼ red onion
  • ½ cup mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Thinly slice the red cabbage. Thinly slice the onion into slivers.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, dried dill, celery seeds, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Add the cabbage and red onion and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Store refrigerated for up to 4 days. 
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

More cabbage recipes

There’s so much to make with cabbage! Here are some favorite cabbage recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. BW says:

    This recipe was delicious. I made it in the morning and it sat in the fridge until dinner. I mixed the slaw a few times throughout the day. When time to eat, there was quite a bit of liquid that I strained out because I prefer it crunchy. The slaw retained its’ flavor without the liquid and it got rave reviews. I will add just a touch less sugar next time, as I prefer tangy more than sweet.

  2. Joan says:

    Great recipe. I made this salad almost exactly as written. I used a 1/2 vidalia onion as that is what I had. Very enjoyable salad which I definitely will make again. The dressing is just perfect. So easy and delicious.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Perfect balance of creamy, tangy, and a touch of sweet. I made this exactly as written. It’s a real keeper.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I made this excactly as written. It is now our go to recipe for red cole slaw. The balance i perfect. It’s not too heavy and has just the right amount of tangy to sweet.

  5. CWalls says:

    Chopped apples to add a special flavor!

  6. Norman says:

    This recipe is amazing! May I know how long I can keep this for?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      It’s best fresh but you can store refrigerated for up to 4 days!

  7. Bob and linda says:

    Great quick recipe for both our beer batter shrimp and fish (cod ) and chips fish fries.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  8. John Hillman says:

    This was delicious- already made another batch. The family just inhales this. A simple to prepare recipe, healthy and delicious too


  9. pam says:

    I like your easy to follow practical recipe.

  10. Stephanie Roberts says:

    So easy! I recommend letting the cabbage marinate in the dressing a little before eating. When I tasted it immediately after I mixed it, it was a little mayo-ie, but after it sat for a while it was much better!

  11. Daniel A. says:

    This was pretty good…i forgot about the maple syrup (sugar) and no one noticed! I think I would probably add a little just for the touch of sweetness…

  12. Alicia says:


    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  13. Cathy Winters says:

    How big are the servings?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Each serving is about 1 cup!

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