Coleslaw Dressing

published Jul 9, 2022
Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

A creamy, briny dressing perfect for coleslaw, grilled chicken, and beyond.

Makes3/4 cup

Prep5 minutes

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a bowl of coleslaw with more coleslaw dressing on the side.
Credit: Laura Manzano

Few things say summer quite like a big cookout, and no cookout is complete without its most ubiquitous side dish: coleslaw. Whether you’re slicing cabbage yourself or buying a pre-bagged mix, we insist you make the dressing from scratch. The good news? There’s a pretty high chance you already have everything in your pantry, and it all comes together in a matter of minutes. This recipe is the perfect amount to toss into one standard 12-ounce bag of coleslaw mix, or about four cups’ worth of shredded cabbage and carrots.

What Is Coleslaw Dressing Made Of?

Coleslaw dressing is all about balance. For creaminess, we use mayonnaise, but sour cream or plain Greek yogurt work just as well. For that signature tang, apple cider vinegar provides a tart flavor with plenty of depth — apples and cabbage are a classic pairing, after all. For a fun variation, look toward the back of your fridge for your pickle jar and substitute the vinegar for pickle brine. A little granulated sugar balances out the tanginess, and celery seed lends that special flavor that only it can. 

Credit: Laura Manzano

What Else Can I Use Coleslaw Dressing For?

Aside from mixing into coleslaw, this dressing is as versatile as any of your favorite condiments.

  • Spread it on a sandwich (we recommend turkey or roast chicken). 
  • Thin it out with a little more vinegar or pickle brine to use as a dressing for any other leafy salad.
  • Mix it with some hot sauce as a dip for french fries or fried pickle chips. 
  • Use it to dress your favorite pasta salad. 
  • Use it as a marinade for grilled chicken. Boneless, skinless breasts or thighs will work best — make sure they’re fully submerged, and marinate for up to eight hours, flipping halfway through. 

Coleslaw Dressing Recipe

A creamy, briny dressing perfect for coleslaw, grilled chicken, and beyond.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 3/4 cup

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    apple cider vinegar or pickle brine

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    celery seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or pickle brine, 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. If desired, drizzle over 12 ounces coleslaw mix and toss just before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Coleslaw dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.