Coleslaw recipes spice up picnic menus

Coleslaw is a summer staple with almost as many recipes as there are heads of cabbage.

Coleslaw is one of those dishes that’s often put together at the whim of the cook. Cabbage is the heart of the dish — though it can be made with broccoli — and the seasonings can range from sweet and creamy to vinegary and spicy.

We asked readers of the Lexington Herald-Leader to send us their favorite coleslaw recipes to help us spice up our picnic menus this season:

John Tully of Lexington, Ky., said his mother, the late Pauline Tully of Radcliffe, Ky., always grated cabbage for slaw, never chopped it.


1 small head cabbage

Salt and pepper to taste

1‚Ñ4 teaspoon celery seed

Smidgen of sugar

1‚Ñ4 cup Miracle Whip

Milk or cream

Grate cabbage into medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle cabbage with salt, pepper, celery seed and sugar. In a small bowl, combine Miracle Whip with enough milk or cream to soften. Mix well. Pour over cabbage mixture.

Note: You can add a teaspoon of crushed pineapple or chopped green pepper and a small amount of onion. Sprinkle completed dish with paprika.

Mary J. Wells of Lexington shares her recipe for Ocilla coleslaw. “Ocilla is a small Georgia town best known for its annual Sweet Potato Festival as well as its coleslaw. I have used this on sandwiches, and when the vegetables are gone, used the dressing for other salads.”


1 cup corn oil

1 cup sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons celery seed

2 teaspoons powdered mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large cabbage, coarsely shredded

1 large sweet onion, sliced in rings

2 green peppers, chopped coarsely

Chopped celery if desired

Combine corn oil, sugar and vinegar in an enamel or stainless steel saucepan. Boil slowly for 5 minutes. Add celery seed, mustard, salt and pepper. Cool slightly.

Combine cabbage, onion, green pepper and celery in a glass or china bowl, pour on dressing and let slaw stand in refrigerator for 24 hours. Serves 20 or more.

“Your request for slaw recipes made me think of my mother and her ‘special’ slaw recipe,” Jonell Tobin of West Liberty, Ky., said. “Mother made a simple slaw, with only shredded cabbage; the dressing was what made it special. Mother’s name was Marjorie C. Tobin. She died in 1999.”


1 cup vinegar

1‚Ñ2 cup water

2‚Ñ3 cup sugar, divided

2 eggs, well beaten

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

In a small saucepan, heat vinegar and water; add 1‚Ñ3 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, salt, remaining sugar and flour. Add to vinegar mixture and cook until dressing thickens. Add butter. Cool slightly before mixing with cabbage.

“My former mother-in-law, Ann Keeton, who lived in Winchester [Ky.] and who is also deceased, had a very different slaw recipe,” Tobin said. “This recipe is for a clear type of slaw that she kept in the refrigerator until it was eaten. She usually had it made in the summer when fresh garden vegetables were available. She was affectionately known as ‘Grannie Annie.’”


1 quart chopped cabbage

1 cup chopped carrots

2 tablespoons salt

1 cup green and red peppers, chopped

21‚Ñ2 cups water, divided

3 cups diced celery

1 or 2 onions, chopped

1‚Ñ2 cup vinegar, more if needed

3‚Ñ4 cup sugar

In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, carrots, salt, peppers, 2 cups water and celery. Let sit in refrigerator overnight. Next morning, drain off liquid and add onion.

In a small saucepan, add vinegar, sugar and 1‚Ñ2 cup water. Boil 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool and pour over cabbage mixture. Mix well. Put in jar and keep in refrigerator. This slaw will keep for several days.

Dorothy Isaacs of Nancy, Ky., said this slaw goes well with any seafood.


1 package chicken-flavored ramen noodles

5 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 cup slivered almonds

1 medium head cabbage, shredded

8 green onions, chopped, white part only

6 tablespoons vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Combine noodles, sesame seeds and almonds, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until toasted. Let cool 30 minutes.

Combine cabbage and onions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine seasoning packet from noodles with vinegar, sugar, oil, salt and pepper, and pour over cabbage and onions. Add cooled noodle mixture and toss together.

Donna Seaborn of Lexington sent recipes that belong to her cousin Anita Hisle of Russell Springs, Ky. “She is retired from the state parks and is putting together a cookbook,” Seaborn said.


1 head cabbage, chopped or shredded

1 large carrot, grated

1 cup sour cream

11‚Ñ2 cups mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)

5 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Place cabbage and carrots into large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage mixture and refrigerate overnight.

Linda M. Brewer of Lexington said this recipe must be prepared the day before serving.


1 medium head cabbage, shredded

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped


1 cup vinegar

11‚Ñ2 cups sugar

3‚Ñ4 cup oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon celery seed

Combine cabbage, pepper and onion in a large bowl. Place dressing ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture and cover. Marinate for 24 hours in refrigerator.

Jo Freund of Lexington makes a sweet-and-sour coleslaw.


1 head cabbage

1 cup diced celery

1 green pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

1 tablespoon salt

13‚Ñ4 cups sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3‚Ñ4 cup vinegar

1‚Ñ2 cup water

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon celery seed

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon mustard seed

Grate cabbage or cut into chunks. Place in food processor and pulse about 30 times. Place in a large bowl with celery, green pepper and onion. Add salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Set aside until liquid forms. Squeeze liquid off cabbage and set aside.

In a saucepan, add 13‚Ñ4 cups sugar, vinegar, water, celery seed and mustard seed. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool thoroughly. When cooled, stir into cabbage mixture.

Note: Prepare at least two days before serving. Keeps in refrigerator for as long as two weeks.

Drew Rasmussen of Herb’n Renewal makes his slaw with broccoli. “We garnish it with sprigs of fresh dill, and it’s always been a big hit at gatherings,” he said.


116-ounce bag broccoli slaw mix

1‚Ñ2 cup diced purple onion

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Herb’n dill seasoning

1 tablespoon sugar

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon salt

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix broccoli and onion; set aside. Mix together next six ingredients well. Fold into broccoli mix; mix well. Refrigerate overnight but make sure you stir before going to bed and in the morning.

Barbara Harper-Bach of Lexington makes a slaw that is very spicy. “It goes great with Mexican food and hot dogs,” she said. “This is enough slaw for a big cookout, so you may want to cut the recipe in half for the family.”


1 large head cabbage, finely shredded or chopped

1 cup vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1‚Ñ2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1‚Ñ4 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter

4 beaten eggs

1‚Ñ4 cup cream

Place cabbage in large bowl. In a saucepan, bring vinegar, salt, spices, sugar and butter to a boil.

In another bowl, beat eggs, then slowly stir in vinegar mixture. Pour back into saucepan, add the cream, and cook over medium heat until thick. Pour over cabbage and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

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