Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw (small batch)

Sunday 24 July 2022

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw


I am sharing the easiest and best coleslaw dressing recipe with you today. Not only is it extremely tasty, but also very quick and easy to make.

If you use a prepackaged coleslaw vegetable mix you can seriously have it ready in five minutes!  If not, you can shred your own vegetables and still have a tasty side dish in not a lot of time.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

My mother made very good coleslaw and raised a family of coleslaw connoisseurs.  All of us love it.  I have many fond memories of watching my mother make hers through the years.  She did not have a food processor and she would never have stopped to grating the cabbage on a grater.

The carrots yes, but not the cabbage. The cabbage was always very methodically hand shredded.  And I have to say hand shredding cabbage is a chore I love. It the type of chore that is a great way for you to practice mindfulness while you are doing it.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

There are some really good bags of already shredded coleslaw mixes available  in the shops these days and so to speed things up, by all means do use one of them, but if you don't mind getting stuck in and doing a bit of labor, hand shred.

Today I used a bag so show you just how quick and easy making this salad can be.

You need only as much time as it takes to whisk together the dressing ingredients and fold in the vegetables. Presto chango!  Its like magic of the tastiest kind!  I may not be able to pull a rabbit out of my hat but I can make a pretty darned good coleslaw! 

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 


Its a really simple list. If you can't find bagged coleslaw vegetables, just shred the equivalent required by hand. (cabbage, carrots)

  • 1/2 cup (110g) mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBS sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 8 ounces (230g) of coleslaw mix (roughly half a bag, shredded cabbage and carrots)

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

The recipe is one I borrowed from the blog Barefeet in the Kitchen.  I have all of Mary's cookery books as well.  Her recipes are great.

I downsized it to make half the amount of servings because I just don't need that much coleslaw and I knew it wouldn't get eaten up in time. Generally speaking coleslaw is not a great keeper.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

Half of it was for my father and I to enjoy along with our Chili tonight, and the other half was sent to a lady who just got out of the hospital. I had sent her a few meals to enjoy while she is recovering.

Its been so hot this past few days, I thought you might enjoy this different version of slaw.  It has the perfect balance between being tangy and being sweet. A combination of the two.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 


Seriously this takes just five minutes if you start off with a bagged coleslaw mix.

Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder and celery seed together in a bowl until well combined.

Add the coleslaw mix and toss together until well combined and coated. Cover and chill for one hour before serving, and for up to two days.

Toss again just prior to serving.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

I do not recommend making this too far in advance as it does water itself down upon standing. Its still highly edible but you will need to drain it a bit.  

This is the perfect slaw to enjoy along side of your burgers and dogs, on cold plates, and with pulled pork, etc.

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

We do love coleslaw in our family. I think we were spoiled by a mother who made the best slaw in the world in my opinion.  There is no shortage of coleslaw recipes here on the blog:

MACARONI COLESLAW -  A delicious mash-up of two summer classics, this Macaroni Coleslaw is loaded with plenty of texture and great flavors!

DELI STYLE COLESLAWThis tangy cold salad is delicious.  Its quite different than your usual creamy coleslaw in that there is no mayonnaise involved, just a simple oil and vinegar dressing.  It goes great next to deli sandwiches or even on deli sandwiches!

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw 

CHINESE COLESLAW - Also known as Ramen Noodle Salad. With crisp shredded cabbage and carrots, toasted almonds, and crunchy ramen noodles in a sweet and savory sesame dressing, it's the perfect addition to almost any potluck, picnic, or cookout. 

CHEESE SLAWThis is delicious and a bit different than regular slaw.  I like a nice quantity of cheese in mine, but you use as little or as much as you want.  

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

CREAMY CARAWAY COLESLAW -  There are only a few vegetables in this version. Cabbage and spring onion. The star is that lush creamy dressing. Its  a simple dressing made by combining dairy sour cream along with some mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and seasonings.  

So there are a few different and tasty options to sink your teeth into. The weather has been so hot these past few days, nobody really wants to be cooking much of anything.  

What are your favorite go-to's when the temperatures start to rise?  I really want to know!  Let's share with each other! 

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinTotal time: 5 Min
This small batch recipe is a sweet and tangy southern style coleslaw with the perfect balance of crunch, and creamy flavors. You can double the amount to serve more. You can make this in advance, but you may need to drain it a bit prior to serving.


  • 1/2 cup (110g) mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBS cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBS sugar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 8 ounces (230g) of coleslaw mix (roughly half a bag, shredded cabbage and carrots)


  1. Whisk the mayonnaise, mustard, cider vinegar, sugar, salt, onion powder and celery seed together in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Add the coleslaw mix and toss together until well combined and coated. Cover and chill for one hour before serving, and for up to two days.
  3. Toss again just prior to serving.
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Classic Memphis-Style Coleslaw

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  1. Oh my!! This sounds and looks amazing. I am for sure planning to try this!

    1. I really hope that you enjoy it Chrissy! xo


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