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The World’s Best Vinegar Based Coleslaws

Vinegar coleslaw is a classic side dish that adds a tangy, refreshing element to any meal. It’s a simple dish to make, but mastering the techniques and choosing the right ingredients can elevate its flavor to new heights.


Essential Ingredients:

* Cabbage: Green or red cabbage provides the base for the coleslaw.
* Carrots: Thinly sliced carrots add sweetness and crunch.
* Vinegar: White vinegar or apple cider vinegar imparts the characteristic tangy flavor.
* Sugar: Helps balance the acidity of the vinegar.
* Salt: Enhances the flavors and draws out moisture from the cabbage.

Optional Ingredients:

* Onions: Red or white onions add a bit of bite and complexity.
* Celery: Adds a crisp texture and a subtle celery flavor.
* Bell peppers: Red, yellow, or orange bell peppers add a pop of color and a slightly sweet flavor.
**Herbs: Fresh dill, parsley, or chives add a touch of freshness.

Preparing The Cabbage

* Finely shred the cabbage using a mandoline, food processor, or knife.
* Rinse the cabbage thoroughly to remove excess moisture.

Making The Dressing

* Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, salt, and any herbs or spices you desire.
* Adjust the proportions of vinegar, sugar, and salt to your taste preferences.

Combining the Ingredients

* In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and any additional vegetables you’re using.
* Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and toss to coat evenly.
* Allow the coleslaw to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to blend and the cabbage to soften slightly.

Tips for Perfect Texture

* Shred the cabbage thinly: This will ensure a more tender texture.
* Rinse the cabbage thoroughly: This will remove excess moisture, preventing the coleslaw from becoming watery.
* Don’t overmix: Overmixing can break down the cabbage and make the coleslaw mushy.
* Marinate before serving: This allows the flavors to penetrate the cabbage and the cabbage to soften slightly.


* Add grated zucchini for a refreshing twist.
* Use broccoli slaw or Brussels sprouts for a different texture and flavor.
* Add thinly sliced radishes for a bit of spice.

Herb and Spice Variations:

* Stir in fresh dill or parsley for a herbaceous flavor.
* Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat.
* Sprinkle in caraway seeds for a slightly nutty flavor.

Dressing Variations:

* Substitute mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for a creamier dressing.
* Use rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a different tang.
* Add a bit of Dijon mustard for a slightly spicy kick.

In my previous posts I discussed salads with beets, salads with pecans, salads with corn, salads with shrimp and salads with chickpeas.

Tip: If you ever go too heavy on the vinegar, you can try to add a bit of oil to even it out.  

  1. Billy Parisi with their Vinegar Based Coleslaw 
vinegar based coleslaw recipe in a bowl with apple cider vinegar
Billy Parisi
  1. Kay Nutrition has the Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw
Apple Cider Vinegar Coleslaw
Kay Nutrition
  1. Call Me PMC has their Tangy Vinegar Based Slaw 
A basic cole slaw recipe, Tangy Vinegar Based Slaw is zippy and crunchy flavored with a little heat and a pinch of sweet
Call Me PMC
  1. has their Oil and Vinegar Coleslaw
  1. Delish has the Best Homemade Coleslaw Recipe
Coleslaw Horizontal

6. A Couple of Cooks has this vinegar based coleslaw

Mexican coleslaw recipe

A Couple Cooks

7. Savory Experiments has the Vinegar Coleslaw

Close up of coleslaw on a fork
Savory Experiments

8. Jetts Kitchen has their Vinegar Slaw recipe

vinegar slaw recipe
Jetts Kitchen


Making the perfect vinegar coleslaw is all about choosing the right ingredients, following the proper techniques, and experimenting with different variations. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a tangy, refreshing, and flavorful coleslaw that will complement any meal.

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