Basic Coleslaw Recipe

Basic (and Frugal) Coleslaw Recipe

Who wants to spend hours and hours in the kitchen, especially during the hot summer months? Not me!

Coleslaw is a summer staple because I can whip it up in under ten minutes, it’s nutritious, and it’s honestly just a few pennies per serving. I whip up a great big coleslaw almost every week and leave it in the fridge to accompany sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, or as a great stand-alone lunch.

I make my dressing from scratch because I don’t like all the additives and preservatives in commercial mayonnaise. I’m also picky about the oils I use. It only takes an extra two minutes or so, and I feel better about feeding it to my family.

I’m feeding a family of ten, so this recipe makes a stinking huge bowl of coleslaw. You might want to halve the ingredients, or else you could prepare all of the veggies and just stash half of them in the crisper drawer in your fridge for later. Once you dress the salad, the dressing pulls moisture from the veggies and gets a little runny, so it’s better to dress it right before serving.


Coleslaw Recipe:


  • 1 head green cabbage
  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 3 pounds carrots
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash cayenne pepper


Instructions for Coleslaw Vegetables:

  1. Wash both cabbages and remove any damaged outer leaves.
  2. Quarter the head of cabbage and remove the core.
  3. Slice the cabbage into very thin shreds, then cut the shreds to the desired length, about the size of a large wooden matchstick.
  4. Toss both heads of shredded cabbage into a very large salad bowl.
  5. Wash and trim the carrots, then shred them with your food processor and toss them with the red and green cabbage.


Coleslaw Dressing Instructions:

We’re basically making mayonnaise here, then spicing it up and sweetening it a titch with honey.

  1. Crack both eggs into a wide-mouthed quart jar (or similar receptacle) if you are using an immersion blender. This also works well in a regular blender or a food processor. Personally, I don’t have an issue adding raw egg to the recipe, but if you’re concerned about them, buy pasteurized eggs (sold in cartons near the eggs at the grocery store).
  2. Add the vinegar to the eggs and blend them together well.
  3. Slowly add the oil a teaspoon at a time. Adding the oil slowly is really important. If you were to dump it all in at once, it wouldn’t all emulsify properly and your mayonnaise would be very thin. Your mixture should thicken substantially as you add the oil.
  4. Add the mustard and blend thoroughly.
  5. Add the seasonings, lemon juice and honey and blend thoroughly again.
  6. Taste the dressing and adjust it to your preference. The consistency should be just a bit thicker than commercial ranch dressing. 
  7. Pour the dressing over your vegetables and toss it all together to coat everything thoroughly. 


Optional Mix-ins to Dress Up Your Coleslaw:

  • shredded red and yellow bell peppers (so pretty!)
  • sliced almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • flax seeds
  • poppy seeds
  • shredded granny smith apples (or any variety, but the granny smith add a nice, tart crunch)
  • blue cheese
  • dried cranberries
  • raisins
  • sliced green onions
  • sliced red onions


Coleslaw Cost Breakdown:

  • 1 head green cabbage $1.40
  • 1 head red cabbage $1.60
  • 3 lb carrots $1.27
  • eggs $0.20
  • olive oil $0.30
  • honey and lemon juice $0.40
  • seasonings $0.20

Under 18 cents per serving!


This huge coleslaw recipe makes about 30 servings, not kidding! I usually shred and toss all of the vegetables, then stash half of them away in the fridge for later in the week. Even just serving half of this salad to my huge family, there are always plenty of leftovers, and they always get eaten!

Want some easy meal ideas for pennies?



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