Your next spread is begging for this Easy Apple Coleslaw! The perfect mixture of creamy, bright dressing, sweet apples, and crunchy cabbage. It’s the one salad on earth that actually gets better the longer it hangs out and soaks up the sweet and savory flavors of the dressing. With two steps and a handful of ingredients, there’s no reason to use that store-bought mush!
This recipe was born out of necessity when I made a big batch of pulled pork. What is a pulled pork sandwich without coleslaw? I don’t even want to think about it. I figured adding apples to the party would pair beautifully with the pork. It’s such a simple change from a traditional coleslaw that will take your sandwiches to the next level. It doubles as the veg in your sandwich and the side dish to go along with it. What a blessing!
You’ll find that my slaw is a little more tangy than sweet. With ripe apples in each bite, there’s no need to add an excessive amount of sugar. I mean, some of these recipes will call for 1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar! For a salad! To each their own, but when you’re cruising through my recipes, you won’t find anything like that.
This section will give you extra details and help with substitutes. Click the “Jump to the Recipe” button at the top of the page, or keep on scrolling for the full ingredient amounts and instructions.
- Mayo – Use more for a thicker, creamier consistency, or less for a thinner more vinaigrette vibe.
- Honey – You can use more or less depending on how sweet you want it.
- Apple cider vinegar – If you don’t have any, red wine vinegar will be your best substitute, and white vinegar will do if that’s all you have.
- Lemon juice – For flavor and to help prevent those apples from browning.
- Mustard – I used a grainy dijon. Use any type you like.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
- Cabbage – I shredded up some green and red cabbage. Use either/or.
- Carrot – Shredded. I used a cheese grater.
- Apples – Also shredded on a cheese grater. Grab any type you like! I went for Fuji.
What else can I put in apple coleslaw?
Your coleslaw can be the “kitchen sink” of the salad world. My only suggestions would be to make sure you use robust ingredients that won’t go soggy, and chop them up or shred to get similar strip-style pieces for the slaw. Here are some ideas for you:
- Dried cranberries
- Slivered almonds
- Bell peppers
- Green onion
- Napa cabbage
How to make easy apple coleslaw
Note that if you find your apples are sitting in an excessive amount of juice after you’ve shredded them, it’s a good idea to squeeze them out a little bit to avoid runny slaw.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Add the coleslaw ingredients to a large bowl along with the dressing. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately or let the slaw marinate for up to 2 hours.
Tips for making the best coleslaw
- How crunchy do you like your cabbage? Serve it up right away for extra texture or let it marinate until it’s reached your perfect bite.
- Using only green cabbage is a good idea if you plan on marinating. Red cabbage will bleed out and turn your slaw pink. It will still taste amazing! It’ll just look a little… different.
- Adjust the sweetness to your preference. Add more or less honey to taste.
- Squeeze out excess moisture from the apples if you find they’re quite liquidy.
How to store leftover apple coleslaw
Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-5 days. If you find the veggies have released excess moisture, you can mix a tablespoon or two of mayo into the leftovers the re-emulsify the dressing and coat the slaw nicely.
Give your coleslaw a boost and try it out with my easy Instant Pot pulled pork! I also made fresh, homemade hamburger buns to complete the meal. They were so easy to make, and a lot of my coleslaw and pork steps were done while the buns were rising and baking. Nothing like a plate full of homemade goodness.
Did you love this simple recipe? Try these:
- Potato Salad
- Watermelon and Feta Salad
- Greek Salad
- Dad’s Caesar Salad Dressing
- 20 Salad Recipes that will Blow Your Mind!
Easy Apple Coleslaw
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 4 cups cabbage green and/or red, shredded
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 2 apples about 1 1/2 cups. Shredded, squeezed of excess liquid
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together.
- Add the coleslaw ingredients to a large bowl along with the dressing. Toss well to combine. Serve immediately or let the slaw marinate up to a day before serving.*