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Easy Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing

Easy Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing is a quick and easy dressing recipe that’s got vinegar and sugar with mellow spices. It’s perfect for taking to a potluck or topping a BBQ sandwich!

Easy Picnic Coleslaw

Easy Picnic Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing is going to become your go-to recipe for when you need a quick side dish recipe for supper, your heading to a church potluck, or you’re taking a picnic on the go.

It’s filled with acidic vinegar, a touch of sweetness, and a subtle smokey flavor that is sure to complement any dish you serve alongside it.

Picnic Coleslaw Recipe

There are alllll kinds of coleslaw recipes!

This is a southern-style recipe with mayo, sugar, and vinegar.

And! It’s one of the quickest side dish recipes you can make — ready in under 5 minutes — but also able to keep for a few hours in the fridge.

When you’re planning your picnic menu, be sure to choose items that can be in a cooler for a bit of time — that way you don’t have to feel rushed when you arrive.

How to Make Coleslaw:

  1. In a mixing bowl, add spices, vinegar, and sugar and whisk to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add your cup of mayo, and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing into a jar with a lid, saving for later use.
  4. Add the shredded cabbage to the bowl (where your dressing just came from)
  5. Toss about to get the dressing from the bowl.
  6. Taste and see if you need to add more dressing.
  7. If you’re going to let it sit awhile, keep the extra dressing until you’re ready to serve so the cabbage doesn’t get too soggy.

Coleslaw is a side dish on most BBQ joints menus. It’s not a healthy side dish or vegetable. But, neither is Macaroni and Cheese, yet that’s on every vegetable side dish menu in the south, too!

How long does coleslaw keep?

It can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days! I like to purchase a second bag of shredded cabbage coleslaw mix, and when it’s been a few days, I’ll toss some fresh stuff in with the leftover coleslaw to ‘perk it up’ a little.

Let’s make Easy Picnic Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing

First, add your seasonings into the bowl.

Now, this recipe calls for a seasoning blend that I make myself.

But, it’s SUPER easy!

You take a jar of Montreal Steak Seasoning and a jar of Smokehouse Maple Seasoning, both from McCormick Grillmates, and combine them.

Then, you use this as an everyday seasoning! It’s delicious on chicken, shrimp, steak, pork chops, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and coleslaw!

One year, I even put it into little jars and gave it as a ‘secret’ spice blend to friends for Christmas…! ((4 people even asked for refills, so I told them the ‘secret!’))

Second, we’ll shake in some vinegar.

I use red wine vinegar here since I didn’t have apple cider or white vinegar on hand. Shocking for a southern belle, I know!

Next, sprinkle in a couple of spoonfuls of sugar.

I used an ordinary ‘everyday’ spoon, so not really measuring.

However, remember, you can add it in, but you can’t take it out. ((For the dressing, you could always add in more vinegar or mayo to take some of the sweetness away.))

Give this a vigorous whisk to dissolve the sugar.

Now, plop in a cup of Duke’s Mayo.

This is the only mayo I will use, y’all. You’ve heard me wax on poetic about the goodness on Instagram… If your store doesn’t sell it, order some from their website.

Whisk this until it’s creamy dreamy and delicious.

Check for seasoning — is the sweetness right?? Does it need a little extra hit of vinegar??

Now’s the time to check it!

This makes a good cup and a half of slaw dressing, and it keeps so well in a jar in the fridge.

So, pour most of the dressing into a Ball jar, and leave a thin amount in the bowl.

Using a spatula, run the remaining dressing up the sides of the bowl.

This is helpful when you add the shredded cabbage to the bowl.

Finally, dump your shredded cabbage coleslaw mix into the bowl and give it a good mix.

Make sure each strand is coated in the dressing.

What kind of vinegar do you use for coleslaw dressing?

You can use any of these three:

I used red wine vinegar, but would have preferred to use apple cider — but, didn’t have any on hand!

How long does the dressing keep?

In an air-tight container, this dressing will keep for a couple of weeks.

This also makes a fantastic marinade for chicken or pork!

Main Dish Recipes that Pair Well

Save this to your favorite Side Dish board on Pinterest!

Easy Picnic Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing from Sweetpea Lifestyle

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Easy Picnic Coleslaw

Easy Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing

5 from 5 reviews
  • Author: Sweetpea
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: no-cook
  • Cuisine: american


Easy Picnic Coleslaw with Homemade Dressing 


  • 2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (from McCormick Grillmates)
  • 2 tsp Smokehouse Maple Seasoning (from McCormick Grillmates)
  • 2 TBS Vinegar (I used Red Wine Vinegar, but Apple Cider or White Vinegar would work well)
  • 2 +/- tablespoons of Sugar (I used an ‘everyday’ spoon, and I like it on the sweeter side. Feel free to use less until you taste it and see if you need to add more)
  • 1 cup Duke’s Mayo
  • 1, 14-ounce bag of shredded Cole Slaw Mix


  1. In a big bowl, add spices, vinegar, and sugar.
  2. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add mayo, and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the dressing into a jar and save for later use.
  5. In the bowl with the residual dressing, add the shredded cabbage mix.
  6. Mix really well, coating each piece with sauce.
  7. If you need more dressing, add it if you’re eating within half an hour.
  8. If you’re not eating for a couple of hours or so, wait to add more dressing.
  9. Serve this with BBQ sandwiches, fried chicken, or any other grilled proteins!
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  1. This easy coleslaw with homemade dressing is perfect for outdoor bbqs all season long! Such amazing flavor and so simple to make.

  2. Simple to prepare, this coleslaw is so flavoursome. We love to serve it with grilled meats!

  3. Coleslaw in my opinion is severely underrated. I LOVE coleslaw as a side and sometimes even just as a main hahah. I’m intrigued by the seasonings you used in this which makes it a win in my book! And the fact you added sugar is interesting to me too! In the best way possible of course to balance out the tang of the vinegar!

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