Cranberry Coleslaw

After my admonition to remember coleslaw and beans in the Corn Dog Bread post I realized something; I had loads of bean recipes here on Foodie With Family, but not one single coleslaw.  That was a problem requiring an immediate remedy.

You will note that the word ‘law’ is contained within the word ‘coleslaw’.  That is because it is the law that you need to have coleslaw with summer classic meals; corn dogs, barbecued brisket or ribs, grilled chicken, and the like.  You can even go to jail if you fail to serve coleslaw with hamburgers*!

*That might not be strictly true, but it should be.

How have I gone so long without sharing my favorite coleslaw recipe with you?  I should be strung up by my toes and given fifty lashes with a wet noodle.  I am contrite.

This recipe came to me years ago from Val and we’ve been making it religiously ever since.  I should have the recipe memorized at this point, but the little cobwebby corners of my brain have been filled with knowledge helpful to tasks like not tripping over shoes in the middle of the floor, remembering to sweep the chair free of Legos before lowering myself into it, making the kids lock the chickens safely in the coop at night, and releasing the parking brake before easing Hannibal* out of the driveway.

*Hannibal is the new-to-us big burgundy passenger van we recently acquired.  It’s big, people.  Big big.  As in crossing the Alps on an elephant big. In fact, one friend pointed out how we would be providing a boost to the economy every time we filled the tank.  And her son helpfully mentioned that if I ever got confused after shopping I would have no trouble finding the van since all I had to think was, “Oh!  I know!  It’s the MASSIVE PURPLE VAN! It’s right THERE!” And I feed this child on occasion.  Why I oughta…

As I was saying, I should have this recipe long since memorized.  This means that I do not.  Thankfully, Val is on my speed dial. I use this speed dial very, very often.  In fact, the number assigned to her on my phone is starting to wear off and the phone is less than two months old. My itchy dialing finger may account for the fact that Val dropped her phone into the toilet this week thereby rendering the boys and me incapable of annoying her every fifteen minutes with ridiculous puns and questions like, “Do you remember that one thing we ate that one time at that one place?  Do you still have the recipe for it?”

Mercifully, step-maternal guilt kept her from happily taking a breather from our near-constant barrage against her peace; she kept her email window open the whole time.  And so, not even five minutes after a panicked email reading something like this:

“Hey!  Remember the cranberry coleslaw you make?  Do you still have the recipe?  I can’t find mine anywhere!”

Val kindly responded with the necessary ingredient list and equally kindly avoided mentioning that she gives me this recipe once quarterly on average.  And once again, she saved my dinner and life was good.

At least you didn’t know what you were missing, because if you’ve been having plain old coleslaw all this time, you are about to be pleasantly surprised.  I’m talking about Cranberry Coleslaw. I have to admit, the first time Val made this lo these many years ago I thought maybe she had jumped the shark.  The thought of stirring dried cranberries and almonds or sunflower seeds into a creamy coleslaw momentarily fired up my latent inner picky-eating 8 year old.  But then I remembered that Val has  never -for as long as I have known her-  presented me with something to eat that was anything shy of delicious.  After the first bite I stuffed my inner picky eater back into the box with a stern warning and a reminder that I’m a grown up now. I was convinced.  Cabbage and dried cranberries were meant to be together.  Sweet and tart cranberries turned out to be the perfect pairing for peppery and crunchy cabbage.  And when it was topped with a tangy, slightly honey-sweetened dressing and almonds or sunflower seeds it absolutely sang. Who knew?  Well, I mean aside from Val?

Are you ready for my usual “But wait!  There’s more!”? It’s healthy! It’s really, really good for you.  Because you replace all but a minute amount of the normal mayonnaise with Greek yogurt this is a coleslaw that you can eat with reckless abandon*. By using Greek yogurt, you preserve all the creaminess you would’ve had with mayonnaise but avoid all the fat and calories.  Can I get a “Glory, hallelu!”?

*I know, I know.  I say that a lot.  But I like eating with reckless abandon, so in all likelihood I’ll keep saying it.  Just so’s you know…

You can definitely do worse things than make a double batch.  It tastes better and better in the refrigerator.  In fact, as I type this, I’m tucking into a bowl of three day old coleslaw and it. is. amazing.  So if you were looking for a good coleslaw (or even if you weren’t) to go with your Corn Dog Bread, look no further.

For a printer friendly, photo-free version of this recipe, click here!

Cranberry Coleslaw: Printer Friendly Version

Adapted from Valerie Daly’s recipe


  • 1 pound bagged cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix (or 6 cups mixed shredded  cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon shelled sunflower seeds or slivered almonds

Use a whisk to combine yogurt, honey, lemon juice (or vinegar), salt, pepper, and celery seed to make the dressing.  Set aside.

Add coleslaw vegetables to a mixing bowl.  Toss in 1/4 cup of the cranberries and 2 Tablespoons of the sunflower seeds.  Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat completely.  Transfer to a serving dish and scatter reserved cranberries and sunflower seeds over the top.  Store leftovers, tightly lidded, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Chrisi says

    Ooooh. I was just reading on another blog today about using greek yogurt in deviled eggs and thought I needed to try it, now I think I need to try this too. Gotta sneak the heathy stuff in when I can. I’m new to greek yogurt and so excited about all the possibilites for things I can make a little more healthy and tasty using it. I just shredded a head of cabbage and was debating what to do with it…………guess I found that answer. :)

  2. says

    Do you have a non-creamy coleslaw recipe that you can share? i’ve tried a few that are OK that I found on My husband went to dental school in Pittsburgh and we fell in love with Primanti Bros sandwiches that have the slaw right on them and now we are trying to duplicate the sandwich in our Phoenix area home. :) Thanks! PS My dad grew up over your way in York.

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