Introduction: Simple Cole Slaw

About: I'm an IT professional with a master's in library science. I enjoy woodturning, film making, and being frugal. Sometimes I make stuff that isn't horrible.

There are few things as divisive as barbecue. Politics, religion, and yes, cole slaw.

Some like it sweet, some without Mayo. Those people are wrong and will not be tolerated in this recipe. If you're ready for some simple, delicious, tangy slaw, read on!

Step 1: Supplies


  • 1/2 head of (I ended up using about 3/4 on this, since it was small)
  • 4-8oz Duke's mayonnaise (Just Mayo is a great dairy/soy free alternative)
  • White Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dill, dry
  • 1/4 tsp Celery seed, dry


  • Apple cider vinegar
  • black pepper


  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife
  • Measuring cup

If you're worried about color or presentation, use some purple cabbage. I don't do this unless I'm making a triple batch, since I can't eat that much before it goes bad. It may also turn your slaw pink once the dressing settles.

Step 2: Chop Chop Chop

I start by removing the outermost leaves and halving the cabbage. One of my favorite television chefs, Marvin Woods, always recommends that you "top and tail" the items you're working with. Use the flat side against the cutting board to safely process the cabbage. You may have noticed that I said nothing about salting the cabbage first. Many online recipes call for this, but it's totally unnecessary in my book.

It may be easier to cut out the core now, but leaving it in will give the rest of the cabbage support while we chop. Whichever way you choose, remove the bulk of the dense white middle. This part is a different texture and more apt to be bitter. Some is fine, but we're after the leafy part.

I opt for a loose chop. I start thin, like slicing an onion, and then rough chop that perpendicular to the first cut. Uniformity isn't much of a concern for me. If it is for you, a food processor may help.

Step 3: Get Dressed

With our cabbage processed and living in a mixing bowl, it's time to make the dressing! I start with 4 heaping teaspoons of mayonnaise and enough vinegar to cover in my measuring cup. I then add a 1/4 tsp celery seed, and 1/2 tsp dill. These get stirred vigorously and tasted. Mine needed a little more vinegar to cut the mayonnaise. Add more seasoning to taste - these measurements are a great starting point. Once satisfied, drizzle it over the cabbage and mix thoroughly with a fork.

This is normally where I stop for classic, tangy slaw. If you want a little extra flavor, I highly recommend an additional splash of apple cider vinegar and some black pepper. This is especially appropriate with Carolina barbecue of the vinegar or mustard persuasion.

Step 4:

That's all there is to it! I made this again recently and cleared my fridge at the same time. I grated carrots and minced onions that were leftover, used only apple cider vinegar, and Just Mayo. This made a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free dish that's hard to beat!

Slaw is a fantastic side. Unlike salad greens, the cabbage lasts a good while in the refrigerator and it's stupid cheap. The cabbage is about $.80/lb (sometimes I get it as low as $.48 a head) and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples for us(though we don't often use dill or celery seed). The prepared slaw will last a few days in the fridge - just cover with cling-wrap and press out the excess air to keep the seal tight.

Did you try this? I'd love to hear from you in the comments and see pictures. If you enjoyed this instructable, be sure to check out my other articles on everything from laundry detergent to sock puppets and storage benches.

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Gluten Free Challenge 2017

Participated in the
Gluten Free Challenge 2017