June 25, 2024
Learn how to make classic cole slaw, light and healthy versions, vegan options, creative variations, and the best dressings to use in this guide to cole slaw. Pair it with your favorite dishes for a perfect side.

I. Introduction

If you’ve ever had a barbecue, burger, or sandwich, chances are you’ve encountered cole slaw. The side dish made up of shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing is a staple in many cuisines and an essential dish to master as a home cook. In this article, we’ll cover classic cole slaw, how to make it light and healthy, creative variations, vegan options, and the best dressing to use. Let’s get started!

II. The Classic Cole Slaw Recipe: A Step-By-Step Guide

The classic cole slaw recipe is simple and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A head of cabbage, shredded
  • Two carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To prepare the ingredients, wash and slice the cabbage into thin, even strips. Peel and grate the carrots. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper until combined. Add the cabbage and carrots to the bowl with the dressing and stir well to combine. Be sure to coat all the vegetables evenly.

Pro tip: To prevent the cole slaw from becoming too watery, let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld and for excess water to drain off.

III. How to Make Light and Healthy Cole Slaw: Tips and Tricks

For those who want to enjoy cole slaw but are watching their calorie and fat intake, fear not. There are plenty of ways to make cole slaw lighter and healthier without sacrificing flavor. Here are our tips:

  • Use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great substitute for mayo in cole slaw dressing.
  • Use vinegar-based dressings instead of creamy ones. A dressing made with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, and Dijon mustard can add a tangy sweetness to cole slaw without added fat or calories.
  • Add more vegetables. By adding red and green peppers, onions, and celery to cole slaw, you can add more flavor, crunch, and nutrition without adding any unhealthy ingredients.

IV. 5 Creative Cole Slaw Variations You Need to Try Today

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to mix up your cole slaw routine, here are five delicious variations to try:

  1. Asian-Inspired Cole Slaw: Made with sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger, this cole slaw is perfect for pairing with stir-fry or grilled meats.
  2. Apple and Pecan Cole Slaw: This variation adds diced apples, pecans, and a honey mustard dressing to the classic cole slaw recipe, giving it a sweet and savory crunch.
  3. Fajita Cole Slaw: Combining traditional fajita ingredients like bell peppers, cumin, and chili powder with cole slaw adds a Tex-Mex twist to this classic side dish.
  4. Buffalo Ranch Cole Slaw: If you like buffalo wings, you’ll love this cole slaw. Made with hot sauce, ranch dressing, and blue cheese, it’s the perfect accompaniment to your game day snacks.
  5. Greek Cole Slaw: For a Mediterranean twist, add feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and a red wine vinegar and oregano dressing to your cole slaw.

Try these variations and see which one becomes your new favorite!

V. The Secret to Flavorful Cole Slaw: Choosing the Right Dressing

The dressing is the heart and soul of cole slaw, so it’s essential to choose the right one. Here are the different types of dressings you can use in cole slaw:

  • Mayonnaise-based: The classic dressing for cole slaw, this dressing is creamy and tangy.
  • Vinegar-based: This dressing is light and tangy, a great option for those who want a healthier dressing option.
  • Yogurt-based: Greek yogurt, in particular, can be used as a very healthy and high-protein alternative to mayonnaise.
  • Creamy, sweet, and tangy: This dressing is perfect for those who want a slightly sweeter cole slaw, especially when serving with spicy foods.

Here’s a recipe for those who want to try making their own dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.

VI. How to Make Vegan Cole Slaw That’s Just As Tasty As the Original

If you’re a vegan or looking to limit your intake of animal products, there are plenty of substitutions you can make to create a delicious vegan cole slaw. Here are our recommendations:

  • Use vegan mayo or Greek yogurt as a substitute for traditional mayonnaise.
  • Use maple syrup instead of honey in dressings to make them vegan-friendly.
  • Substitute tofu or tempeh for chicken or other meat ingredients in cole slaw variations.

Here’s a vegan version of the classic cole slaw recipe:

  • A head of cabbage, shredded
  • Two carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegan mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots and toss to combine.

VII. From Southern Barbecue to Seafood Salad: How Cole Slaw is the Perfect Side Dish

Cole slaw may have originated in the United States, but it has since become a popular side dish in many cuisines. Here are some dishes that go especially well with cole slaw:

  • Southern barbecue: Pulled pork and cole slaw are a match made in heaven.
  • Burgers and hot dogs: A juicy burger or hot dog needs a cool, refreshing cole slaw to balance out the heat.
  • Seafood salad: Lobster rolls, crab cakes, and fish tacos all benefit from the addition of tangy cole slaw.

Try pairing cole slaw with your favorite dishes and see how it enhances the flavors.

VIII. Conclusion

Whether you’re a fan of classic cole slaw or wanting to try new variations, there’s something for everyone in this guide. Experiment with different dressings, add new vegetables, and try out our creative variations. Cole slaw is a versatile dish that’s easy to make and even easier to love. So next time you’re whipping up a meal, consider making some cole slaw to accompany it.

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