All American Coleslaw

The Backstory: The coleslaw police (believe me, they’re out there) are divided into two camps: those who live for mayo and gobs of it and those who like their slaw on the savory side with vinegar dressing and not a dollop of mayo in sight. So what’s a nice Jewish girl to do when she wants to please a crowd? Serve what her family likes, that’s what! My family prefers an extremely light touch when it comes to the mayo when we are having a barbecue and potato salad, coleslaw, and corn on the cob are on the menu. More of the Backstory after the recipe

All American Coleslaw

Crunchy and lightly creamy coleslaw is the perfect picnic and barbecue side dish for summer parties, tailgates, and any time when you're firing up the grill!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 package 14 - 16 oz. bag coleslaw mix or 1 medium head of cabbage shredded and 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. milk or water
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice, sugar, salt, paprika and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Pour cabbage mix into large bowl. Add in dressing and mix well to coat all vegetables. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Note: You can also give your coleslaw a chopped salad feel and texture by putting the cabbage mixture into a food processor and giving it a few whirls before mixing it with the dressing. Just don't let it spin around too long or you'll have a processor full of liquid. Keep an eye on it.

…The Backstory continues: However, when we are in New York, all bets are off as we immediately dive in (face first, for this writer) when we hit the 2nd Avenue Deli, and those little bowls of vinegary slaw greet us at the table, complimentary, as is their custom, as soon as guests takes their seats at the table. I have no words (shocking as that may seem). I devour my small bowl of slaw, reach for my husband’s, and then start digging my fork into any surviving threads in my children’s bowls. It’s that bad. I live for that coleslaw slaw.

But for now, I give you what my family loves on barbecue and summer party days: a traditional, All American Coleslaw that’s light on mayo, big on crunch, texture and flavor. Make a double batch if you’re feeding a large crowd. This is one of those yummy sides that’s always one of the first to go.


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Jodi Luber

Jodi Luber

Here goes: Born in Brooklyn. Daughter of a bagel baker with a Henny Youngman soul and a mom who makes Joan Rivers seem tame. Late bloomer. Married the love of my life at 45 and love being a mom to our three kids. I'm a professor at Boston U. Happiest in the kitchen baking and remembering how my dad would melt from a single bite of my cheesecake.
Jodi Luber
Jodi Luber

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