Classic Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Maybe you’ve never thought about making homemade cole slaw. Maybe you’ve never really thought that much about cole slaw at all. Well, that’s why I’m here, thank goodness! To remind you of the really important things in life. LOL!

No, but seriously, if you’ve never tasted freshly made cole slaw, you are missing out. ‘cause it bears little resemblance to the god-awful, overly goopy and generally flavorless side they stick you with in most delis and diners.

And this one, with its tangy buttermilk dressing is just the best—it’s packed with flavor and terrific crunch in every bite!


And it comes together without a whole lot of effort and can easily be doubled or tripled for all those upcoming bbq’s and picnics! It’s the perfect, classic side.


Truth be told, if you’re as big a fan of cole slaw as my husband is, you wouldn’t dream of referring to it as a side—to him it’s the centerpiece of the meal. Gotta confess that I really love it too!

Yup, it’s definitely time to start thinking about cole slaw!!


Not feeling that classic slaw vibe? How about Summery Asian Slaw, Thai Slaw or Zucchini Slaw for a little twist?

Classic Buttermilk Cole Slaw

Makes 4-6 servings, definitely double or triple for a crowd

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus at least an hour for the cabbage to wilt


  • One small head green or red cabbage (use only half if it’s large) cored and thinly sliced so that it’s shredded

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, well shaken

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • Handful of fresh parsley, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe

1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large colander in the sink or set over a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 4 so that cabbage softens up and wilts a bit. Rinse under cold water, drain well and gently dry with paper towels.

2. Place cabbage in a large bowl with the carrot. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, parsley, shallot, vinegar, sugar, mustard and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over the cabbage/carrot mixture and toss well to combine. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to one day, to allow flavors to combine. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Leftovers will definitely last a few days.


Note: Recipe adapted from Vegetables Illustrated by America’s Test Kitchen. I tinkered with some of the proportions.

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