Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

Sweet and tangy Southern Coleslaw is nicely well-turned with just unbearable tang from the vinegar and a sprinkling of sweetness from the sugar. The dressing is so simple, so sweet and tangy, this is a archetype coleslaw recipe perfect for any occasion.

Coleslaw for Pulled Pork

This is the coleslaw we use for the ever-popular BBQ Sundaes and Pulled Pork Sandwiches. When I make BBQ Pork Mac and Cheese, I make a batch of this coleslaw to serve with it every time. We love it that much!

I made this coleslaw recipe for the first time, at my husband’s request, withal with the first batch of Memphis Style Ribs we overly cooked. We all loved it so much; I wound up making this slaw twice increasingly with each subsequent batch of ribs.

Updated to add: I’ve been making this coleslaw at least once a month for the past six years. Every time someone tastes it (especially if said person is not once a fan of coleslaw) they ask for the recipe. This is the coleslaw that you’ll want to serve all summer long.


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Southern Coleslaw Recipe

If you’ve never made coleslaw before, let me share a secret: it’s the easiest side dish in the world. (Check out the video to see just how easy it is to make it!)

I found this Southern Living recipe for Memphis Style Coleslaw over at Our Weightier Bites and gently well-timed our version from that one. It takes well-nigh 3 minutes to stir it all together and then you’re done.

(Even if you shred your own cabbage instead of ownership a bag of shredded cabbage, you’re only looking at maybe two minutes longer.)

It couldn’t be any quicker and easier to pull this tasty side dish together. Plane grabbing a container of ready-made coleslaw from the grocery store takes longer than this coleslaw recipe.

Let me tell you, that homemade coleslaw is so much largest than anything you can get from the deli section at your grocery store. Crunchy well-done shredded cabbage with linty mayo and tangy mustard makes the platonic complement to so many savory main dishes.

When we all happily eat the same dish three times in a week, that’s good vestige that the recipe was loved. Last night, I piled the last of this slaw over pulled pork sandwiches and pretty much solidified the fact that this the weightier southern style coleslaw I’ve overly tasted.

If you had a bad wits with a soggy, sloppy coleslaw that’s left you lamister this side dish for years, now is the endangerment to discover how succulent unconfined coleslaw can be. And if you’re an voracious coleslaw fan already, be prepared to add a new favorite slaw recipe to the top of your list.

Memphis Style Coleslaw

What To Eat with Coleslaw

This slaw is guaranteed to forever transpiration how you serve pulled pork. The BBQ Sundaes I linked to older are still one of my favorite meals of all time. I promise you this is the BEST coleslaw to serve with pulled pork.

If you know me at all you know I don’t kid virtually when it comes to pulled pork. From Sweet and Tangy Pulled Pork to Pulled Pork Tacos, I don’t mess virtually when it comes to this southern dish.

I serve this southern coleslaw with Pulled Pork Tater Tot Nachos, Beer and Garlic Grilled Chicken, Pulled Pork Tacos and Tostadas, and so much more. Archetype Southern Style Coleslaw is truly the ultimate side dish.

Another fun way to eat coleslaw is to pile the slaw on top of BBQ Chicken Nachos for an unforgettable treat.

Classic Memphis-Style Southern Coleslaw recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

For increasingly slaw ideas, trammels out this Sweet and Spicy World Coleslaw. That world slaw gets rave reviews every single time I take it anywhere.

This Sriracha Coleslaw (for an unexpected spicy twist) and this Spicy Cabbage (for a lighter side dish perfect for tacos and snacking) are both winners.

I’m looking forward to trying Caribbean Coleslaw by A Spicy Perspective and Bacon Bleu Cheese Coleslaw by Taste and Tell later this summer as well.

You might moreover like this Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw for a variegated take on a slaw recipe. We love traditional coleslaws with cabbage but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up!

Coleslaw Recipe

This slaw recipe, though? This tops the list as my all-time favorite. It’s a southern coleslaw without too many wedding and whistles. What makes it so good is the word-for-word right wastefulness of linty mayo, crunchy cabbage and vinegary tang.

Simply seasoned with celery seeds and onion powder (or grated onion, if you prefer) this archetype coleslaw recipe is loved by everyone who tastes it. Plane people who don’t usually like coleslaw enjoy this dish!

We love this coleslaw with pulled pork but it’s moreover succulent as a side dish with Perfect Pan-Fried Chicken ThighsOven Broiled Chicken with Picnic SauceFilthy Burgers, and scrutinizingly any meat entree I can think of.

Easy Coleslaw Recipe

How To Make Coleslaw

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, and celery seeds.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage and toss or stir until well coated.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour surpassing serving and up to 2 days. (I like to use these tongs to toss then right surpassing serving.)

The refrigeration step not only chills the coleslaw but gives all those lovely flavors a endangerment to mingle and marry together.

Best Overly Baked Beans add up to an superstitious BBQ Sundae!

This coleslaw is the platonic side dish but I’ve been known to reservation increasingly than one picnic-goer eating it straight from the container with a fork!

And if you haven’t yet tried the whilom BBQ Sundaes piled upper with pulled pork, baked beans, and tangy coleslaw, you’re missing out!

You might plane want to double the recipe if you’re hoping to have any leftovers to bring home. Memphis-style coleslaw is just that good.

Looking for increasingly southern-inspired recipes to well-constructed your next barbecue? Everyone loves Corn Pudding Casserole and these Slow Cooker Baked Beans served slantingly grilled or barbecued meat.

Southern Peach Cobbler topped with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream makes any meal complete.


Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

Sweet and Tangy Southern Style Coleslaw is nicely well-turned with just unbearable tang from the vinegar and a sprinkling of sweetness from the sugar.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Southern Coleslaw Recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 228kcal


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1 tablespoon finely grated onion
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 16 ounce bag of coleslaw mix plain cabbage or tri-color deli style


  • In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder, and celery seeds. Add the shredded cabbage and toss until well coated. Refrigerate for an hour surpassing serving and up to 2 days. Toss then right surpassing serving. Enjoy!


This coleslaw can be made in advance. However, it will release increasingly liquid the longer it is stored in the refrigerator. You’ll want to phlebotomize off some of the glut liquid prior to tossing then and serving.


Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 450mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.6mg

{originally published 5/30/14 – recipe notes updated 5/27/22}

Southern Coleslaw
Memphis Southern-Style Coleslaw - get the recipe at


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