I’m an utter fool for coleslaw. We all know I’m cuckoo for salads in general, but coleslaw is in its own category. It’s a definitive warm weather food for me. I’ve shared one of my two favourite coleslaws here before, but I just realized as I stuffed a bunch of my all-time favourite Buttermilk Coleslaw onto a sandwich (which will be coming to the blog in the very near future) that I hadn’t shared the ne plus ultra of the coleslaw world. A crime, I tell you. It’s a crime.
Buttermilk Coleslaw is the perfect representation of what most folks would probably consider classic coleslaw. It’s creamy, tangy, slightly sweet, and crunchy as all get out with two simple vegetables sharing billing for center stage; cabbage and carrots. There’s nothing complicated or exotic about it at all, it’s just effortlessly perfect. Who doesn’t need a little perfect in their life?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist -although my baby sister is about to graduate from Cornell University with a degree in that, so if you’re in need of a rocket scientist, I can hook you up. And yes, I’m totally bragging- to understand that coleslaw is an easy choice to accompany meat or veggie burgers, pork chops, grilled chicken, fish, steak, or sandwiches of any stripe. But perhaps you don’t know about Buttermilk Coleslaw’s secret identity as an ingredient ON sandwiches. People. You will never reach for the mayo again when once you’ve crammed Buttermilk Coleslaw in between those pieces of bread or burger buns. And if you’ve ever adventurously crammed a generous amount of Buttermilk Coleslaw on top of a chili dog, you know what I’m talking about, too. It’s just so good.
- I know that mixing vinegar in milk will approximate buttermilk in most situations, but for this Buttermilk Coleslaw, please use real cultured buttermilk. It will provide a silkier texture to the finished coleslaw dressing as well as lending a subtle flavour that the vinegar soured milk just can’t provide.
- I use the thin slicing blade on my food processor to cut up my cabbage, because I like the floss-thin, crunchy slices. If you prefer, you can certainly grind it or grate it instead. Heck, if you’re opposed to knife or food processor work, you could even buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage. I do think that freshly sliced or grated cabbage will give you a little certain extra something something, though. When a dish is dead simple, the freshness of the ingredients can really shine through.
- Speaking of cabbage, I’d normally reach for the biggest head of cabbage at the grocery store or farmer’s market. In this case, however, one small head of cabbage is going to yield just about the perfect amount of cabbage (about 8 cups, give or take.)
- On the subject of shredding or slicing, I will say that I shoot my carrots through the matchstick blade on my food processor, too. I know that’s a less-widely-owned blade, though, and I made Buttermilk Coleslaw for YEARS with carrots that I grated on my box grater. I’m here to tell you it’s delicious that way. And again, if you fear the grater and don’t own the food processor, some grocery stores sell bags of pre-grated carrots.
- I highly advise letting the finished salad rest in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before serving it. This will allow the flavours to meld and marry. It’ll taste even better 24 hours after being thrown together, so if you have patience -which I often lack- you will be rewarded.
Connect with Foodie with Family
facebook | pinterest | instagram
Buttermilk ColeslawRate Recipe
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup real cultured buttermilk purchased or homemade
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar preferably raw
- the juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small head cabbage cored and thinly sliced or coarsely shredded, about 8 cups
- 3 large carrots peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks or coarsely shredded, about 2 cups
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, granulated sugar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, kosher salt, and black pepper until smooth. Toss in the shredded cabbage and carrot and cover. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. When stored in an airtight container, the coleslaw is good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Toss well before serving.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
Make sure to tag @foodiewithfam on Instagram and #hashtag it #foodiewithfamily so I can check it out!
Best coleslaw ever made at home, will reduce a little the amount of mayo and buttermilk because after resting for more than an hours becomes very liquid, but flavour was perfect
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it, Ce!
Very Tasty. I cut the sugar and salt in half and added 1tsp dijon mustard and it was perfect. It would have been too sweet for us as written but it had the flavor I was looking for.
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and share what changes you made, Oni. I’m glad you love it.
This is a fabulous recipe for coleslaw. I always use it and it’s always a hit. I use the sauce on organic bagged coleslaw from Whole Foods. I recommend it to everyone!! Thank you for this awesome, easy recipe!
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it, Libby! I’m so glad you dig it!
This recipe is fabulous!
I made some today for our Holiday cookout. It was perfect. My fresh grated carrot turned the dressing orange but no one cared because it was so tasty.
Thank you for sharing this!!!
Thank you so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it, Charyl! I’m so glad!!!
Paula Augustyn says
Excellent recipe for coleslaw! I bought buttermilk and couldn’t remember why I needed it. Made this with a big bag of Dole brand coleslaw and your recipe exactly as written. We all loved it and this will now be our favorite recipe for coleslaw. Thank you!
I’m so very glad you love it, Paula! Thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know. xoxox
Ed Morsch says
Pretty close to absolute best coleslaw ever. Definitely 5 *****
Make paper thin matchstick carrots on a mandolin.
Instead of lemon juice I use the juice from a small can of crushed pineapple & reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup. I also add about a teaspoon of finally finally grated sweet Vidalia onion.
That’s my Grandma’s recipe. She had 10 sisters & 4 brothers! They were raised on a cotton plantation outside of Charleston.
That sounds delicious!! And MERCY she had a nice big family! Thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe and share your version. xoxoxox
Ann Hubeny says
Loved your recipe. I didn’t have buttermilk, so I mixed plain yogurt with milk. It worked well .
Yes, I’m getting ready to make coleslaw using this buttermilk recipe. I know it will be good! For something super easy and different, try tossing some of these extras into the coleslaw:
Honey roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, crumbled bacon, chopped dates and/or even diced Pink Lady apples! Even if only using the honey roasted sunflower seeds and dried cranberries, this has high appeal for its flavor!
I have a dried cranberry/toasted almond coleslaw I love dearly, so I agree!
Kevin K says
Another tip: Toss your shredded cabbage with about 1T of salt to a head in a colander, and let it dran for at least 15 minutes,up to an hour. Then rinse and spin or pat dry. This removes a lot of the internal moisture, so it will pullin your dressing better as well as increasing crunch. It will help avoid tht puddle of glop at the bottom of the bowl we oftem see with slaw.
Thanks, Kevin! I’ll be sure to try that!
rosemary merrill says
thanks for sharing….it is a very homey recipe that was enjoyed by all!!!
I love, love, love your recipe!
I’m not a foodie or a great cook but learned to make a great pulled-pork and your coleslaw is the cherry on the top. <3
That is AWESOME, Helena! Thanks for letting me know!!!
Great recipe! Reminds me of the stuff that used to come with our BBQ down in GA! 🙂 Best coleslaw recipe I’ve tried yet. And I appreciate the format of your printable recipe too – a lot of people include unnecessaries and your format (printer, ingredients and steps) is perfect.
Thanks so much, Laurel!! That makes me so happy!
John Whitlatch says
Seriously, throw out your old coleslaw recipe and replace it with this one! Damnn! This is awesome slaw!!
HAHA! I’m so glad you liked it, John!
Cindy Cheaney says
Hands down, this has GOT to be the best coleslaw dressing I have ever tasted ( and I love coleslaw)! Thank you so much for sharing! This is now my go to coleslaw recipe. 🙂
Aww, I’m so glad you like it!
I made this to go with pulled pork and loved it, thanks. Great to find a recipe using buttermilk.
Do you think using powdered buttermilk would yield the same taste? I’ve seen where King Arthur sells it.
I’ve not tried reconstituting powdered buttermilk to see how it would do texture wise. Please let me know if you try it!
I used cultured powdered buttermilk. Also used some lemon juice from France and coconut sugar as substitutes as it was what I had on hand. It was delicious! I don’t cook often so I need to use items that will keep. This will definitely be my go to cole slaw dressing recipe. So quick and easy to make.
Note:. I used less sugar as I don’t like it so sweet.
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you loved it, Lynda!
Josh | Oakhurst Kitchen says
This really looks great. Just a fresh classic. I need to look into our food processor blade settings…
Question: if we you were going to try to make a bit of a spicy variation on this, would you suggest maybe just adding a bit of cayenne powder? Or maybe some minced Chipotle for a smoky spice? Just thinking here…love cole slaw but I feel like I want it to be spicy.
Hmmmmm. You could definitely add either of those. They’ll both definitely change the overall flavour profile, but I imagine both would be tasty in different ways.
Horseradish would be lovely!
Oooooh. I like that idea! Add a little bite!
Tim S. says
A definite yes. But, remember a little horseradish goes a long way.
Try fresh jalapeño