Coleslaw Dressing


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A homemade coleslaw dressing doesn’t get any better than this — tangy, slightly sweet, and perfectly creamy. Just whisk together six simple pantry ingredients and toss with shredded cabbage and carrots for the best coleslaw ever.

A container of coleslaw dressing.
Photo: Gayle McLeod

Why You’ll Love This Coleslaw Dressing

Given how many people love my coleslaw salad recipe, I think it’s safe to say that you can ditch the packaged coleslaw dressings such as Kraft or Marie’s. Here’s why my homemade version will taste far better: 

  • The ingredient list is light and fresh. Some creamy coleslaw dressings are loaded with sugar and made with dairy (buttermilk), which I don’t think is necessary. Instead, this recipe uses my homemade mayonnaise as the base, with a touch of honey. It’s lower in sugar and calories, yet still deliciously creamy!
  • It can be tweaked to your liking. The beauty of homemade dressings is that you can swap ingredients when needed! I have a few notes below on substitutions, including a way to make a vinegar-based coleslaw.
Ingredients for coleslaw dressing.

Coleslaw Dressing Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise: I’m a big proponent of making your own mayonnaise rather than buying it in the store. It tastes fresher and is super easy to make with a stick blender.
  • Sweetener: I always default to honey, but maple syrup is another great alternative. Plus, either option is better than the processed white sugar, which is what you’ll find in most traditional coleslaw recipes.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: A little vinegar will give your dressing that fresh and tangy flavor.
  • Celery Seeds: These little seeds add an earthy, aromatic flavor to the dressing. Trust me, it’s an ingredient you won’t want to skip.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • If you don’t have celery seeds: You could dry dill seeds or celery salt as an alternative.
  • Use a different sugar: Honey is my go-to, but you could also use maple syrup or stevia for a keto option. 
  • Tweak the mayonnaise: Some readers have said they’ve used partial yogurt with the mayonnaise and it worked out great. If you’re not dairy-free, go for it! 
  • Make this an apple cider vinegar-based dressing. You can follow my vinegar coleslaw recipe that swaps mayo for vinegar, with a touch of olive oil and Dijon mustard.
Mixing coleslaw dressing in a bowl.

How To Make Coleslaw Dressing

  • Whisk everything together: Combine the mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seeds in a small bowl and whisk together. For a sweeter dressing, add another tablespoon of honey. 
  • To store for the week: You can store this in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days. Enjoy this tossed with a classic cabbage slaw that tastes amazing on its own, especially with pulled pork. But take a peek at the next section for other ways to use it!

Ways To Use Coleslaw Dressing

  • Use it as a salad dressing. Similar to a Caesar dressing, this coleslaw dressing can also be used to toss with salads for a creamy, tangy touch.
  • Turn this into a dip. This is a great dip for french fries, sweet potato fries, or baked zucchini fries
  • Spread in sandwiches. For a more flavorful mayo-based spread, this coleslaw dressing is perfect!
Pouring coleslaw dressing.

More Dressing Recipes

I can’t wait for you to try this coleslaw dressing recipe! If you make it, I’d love to know how it turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community. 

A container with coleslaw dressing and a spoon.

Coleslaw Dressing (So Easy!)

4.93 from 40 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


An easy homemade coleslaw dressing doesn’t get any better than this — tangy, slightly sweet, and perfectly creamy.



  • OXO Whisk My favorite whisk I've had forever!



  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, (or more if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • Mix the dressing. Combine mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and celery seeds in a small bowl and whisk together. If you want the dressing to be sweeter, add another tablespoon of honey. 
    Mixing coleslaw dressing in a bowl.
  • Serve or store away. You can toss some of the dressing and store the rest away in the fridge for later use.
    A spoon with coleslaw dressing.

Lisa’s Tips

  • To store for the week: You can store this coleslaw dressing for up to a week in a storage container in the fridge. 


Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course: dressing
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Coleslaw Dressing, Coleslaw Dressing, Coleslaw Dressing Recipe, Creamy Coleslaw Dressing Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Thank you for sharing my favorite recipes. For Coleslaw salad, you could add red apples – fuji, gala, or any favorite red one.5 stars

      1. Thanks for the quick tip on apples! That’s always a great way to add a crisp, fresh touch.

  1. Thank you so much! I do not always have time to make my coleslaw from scratch and I always worry about the salt in the premade stuff. This is handy for other salads as well.5 stars

  2. I LOVE this dressing! Super simple to mix up. I use avocado mayo for this recipe. It makes a delicious coleslaw. I have also enjoyed this dressing on steamed veggies that have been chilled, as a dip for homemade sweet potato fries, and as a mayo substitute on sandwiches. I keep finding new uses for this great dressing!5 stars

  3. Wow! Quick! Easy! Tasty! I was skeptical but both pressed for time and had the ingredients at home and this was wonderful!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!5 stars

  4. Thank you for your recipe for CREAMY COLESLAW. I haven’t made it yet but it looks, after reading it, that it will be yummy! I am cooking for 40 people. I do a fair amount of cooking and baking, so I will return back to you how it turns out.

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Easy! Yummy! Perfect! Tasty!
    Made this today. 
    Used 1 Tbsp red apple balsamic vinegar with  
    1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar.
    Saved to my favourites!

    P.S. Also loved the recent Italy travelogue with your niece 🙋‍♀️5 stars

  6. I’m doing ribs and making coleslaw this weekend. I went to my local grocery store to get the fixings. Believe it or not,there wasn’t one bottle of dressing in the house. So I googled a recipe and chose this one. I had everything but the celery seed,which they did have. I know everyone’s taste is different. But let me tell you something. This dressing is outstanding. Better than any dressing I’ve ever purchased. And so freaking easy to make. I’m really looking forward to the meal.5 stars

  7. I thought this was absolutely perfect.  I used the honey, and the rest of the recipe as written. It’s delicious, and I’ll never buy coleslaw again!5 stars

  8. Favorite slaw dressing so far- I played with quantities and used 1/2cup of mayo and 1/4 cup of yoghurt to health it up a little. Did the trick for me and the fam👍5 stars

  9. I love this recipe! I had to make it because my local restaurant drains all the dressing out of the cole slaw and then serves it so I needed something to dress up my “chopped Cabbage!” It’s ridiculous because the dressing is what makes it cole slaw otherwise it’s just chopped cabbage! I’m in the south but used to live in NY with the tastiest varieties of coleslaw. Thanks for this recipe, it’s perfect!5 stars

  10. Sounds yummy trying it soon , but how much bagged coleslaw for the 1 cup Mayo recipe?  I was getting a 2 lb bag. Will that work or do I need to adjust the amounts thank you5 stars

  11. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect!
    Did I mention it was perfect?
    This will now be in my go to recipes. Love love love the addition of honey!
    Thank you for sharing!!5 stars

  12. 2nd time only I’ve dabbled with my own slaw. This is the ‘dogs’😉 best ever dressing for me all the way from here. Didn’t have celery seeds? Thank you very much Lisa 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻5 stars

  13. Love the maple syrup sub for sugar! I also add dill seed. Hubby loves slaw in the summer, esp when we pair with air-fried fish’n’chips.5 stars

    1. Tried making this using sugar all our maple syrups were strongly buttered flavored had too tweak it a bit added more sugar a little bit more salt and next time we will use less mayo but worked rly well for a tweak recipie I’d recommend5 stars

  14. Wow 😳 I have to say that this definitely came out way better then I thought. However I did improvise on the amounts of the ingredients a little bit more pepper and celery seed and it’s my new favorite recipe for coleslaw dressing 5 stars

  15. I didn’t have any mayonnaise so I used tarter sauce and only one Tbsp vinegar.  Awesome recipe 5 stars

  16. Just used this on a slaw of cabbage, kohlrabi and scallion. Used homemqde garlic mayo. Delicious and simple, total keeper recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Katie- Glad you loved this recipe! Definitely one to keep on hand for all your summer festivities :)

  17. Great recipe. I had lots of compliments. Lots of coleslaw dressings are too sweet but this turned out perfect with the maple syrup. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  18. This recipe is just perfect. Made as in and wouldn’t change a thing!  Had to print it out and add it to my cookbook binder. 5 stars

  19. I’d like to try your coleslaw recipe but wondered how plain yogurt would substitute for mayo?
    I’ll give it a try and let you know.

  20. Made your dressing today and liked the honey addition vs sugar. Initial taste was a tad tart, so added a touch more honey. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!5 stars

  21. My whole family loved this coleslaw dressing.
    I substituted balsamic vinegar for the apple cider vinegar, used celery salt instead of seed and used maple syrup instead of honey… delightful! Will be my go to for coleslaw…5 stars

    1. Hi Stacie – Glad you found a few substitutes for this recipe :) Can’t wait for you to make it again!

  22. IF we wanted to keep this sugar-free, do you know how much granulated erythritol (only ingredient) I would add?

    1. Hi Monika – This would be dependent on how sweet you would want the dressing. I would start with a teaspoon and then taste test and add more from there.

  23. Love this dressing! And I love I can make a batch to have on hand whenever I need it! So delicious and easy to boot!5 stars

  24. I’m definitely in the mayo based cole slaw dressing camp. I really like how this is easy to whip up and I can even put it on a bag of store bought shredded cabbage for a quick side. Perfect for summer when I don’t want to be in the kitchen ;)5 stars

    1. We’re definitely in the same camp, Michelle! Enjoy making this quick coleslaw recipe! :)

  25. I love a really good and creamy coleslaw that I usually get in restaurants. It’s great that I can make it right at home now.5 stars