The Best Coleslaw

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This is truly the best coleslaw recipe out there. Heaven in a bowl and blue ribbon level, this creamy and flavorful side dish and sandwich topping will dazzle at the next cookout.

Miss Millie's Best Coleslaw

First, I gotta say… all coleslaw recipes are not created equal. Some are just okay, some are pretty good, and some are magical. Of course, whichever descriptive the coleslaw merits is purely in the eye of the beholder but in my mind, Miss Millie’s best coleslaw recipe definitely fits into the “magical” category.

So, who is Miss Millie? She was my grandmother’s best friend for most of her life. They were neighbors when Grandmama passed away and Miss Millie who makes the best coleslaw ever now lives just two doors down from my mother. What’s more, her son married my aunt so some of my cousins have both my grandmama and Miss Millie as their grandmothers! I figured that was grounds enough to adopt her myself!

This coleslaw isn’t just a side dish. Nope, it’s the MVP of any meal. It’s like the perfect backup singer to your main course, adding a pop of flavor and crunch. And guess what? It’s not just for the plate. Slap it on a sandwich, and you’ve got a whole new level of deliciousness!

Some of my favorite recipes to serve with this amazing coleslaw are Pulled Pork Sliders for Game Day, BBQ Ribs in Oven With Veggies, and Grilled Chicken Tenders (No Grill Needed)

Miss Millie's Best Coleslaw Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Mayo
  • Sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Celery seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dijon mustard

I know that seems like a lot of ingredients but trust me, it’s worth it. It’s also incredibly simple to make. 

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Miss Millie’s Best Coleslaw

Grate and chop veggies and place them in a large bowl.

Chop up your cabbage and bell peppers, grate the carrots and onions, and put it all in a large bowl

The grated onion thing is a little different but it works so well in this. If you’d rather, you can just chop it really fine.

Make sauce and pour over veggies.

Place all remaining ingredients into a separate bowl and stir really well until fully combined and sugar is dissolved.

Pour over veggies.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend. 

Best Coleslaw by Miss Millie

Try not to eat the entire bowl yourself. If you do, just wash the bowl, put it away, and claim you didn’t have time to make any!

How To Store Coleslaw

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Because of the mayonnaise dressing, coleslaw doesn’t freeze well.

Additional Tips for Making This Best Coleslaw Recipe

  1. Bagged Coleslaw Mix: To save time, you can use a pre-packaged coleslaw mix or pre-shredded cabbage.
  2. Sugar Substitute: If you prefer, you can substitute sugar with honey. Start with a tablespoon and adjust to taste.
  3. Don’t Skip Celery Seed: The celery seed is a key flavor component in the coleslaw dressing. It adds a distinctive and delicious taste.
  4. Fun Mix-Ins: Get creative with your coleslaw by adding extras like sliced apples, dried cranberries or raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or sliced almonds.

Recipe FAQs

What do you serve with classic coleslaw?

There are so many ways to serve this creamy coleslaw. Firstly, it’s the perfect side dish to serve with barbecue meat, like beef brisket, pulled chicken, beef ribs, and pulled pork. Second, do as KFC does and serve it alongside some fried chicken. You can also serve it as a sandwich or burger topping (try it with my meatloaf burgers).

What’s the best cabbage to use in this easy coleslaw recipe?

I love to simply use green cabbage, but you can definitely use a combination of green and red cabbage (or purple cabbage) if you like. Other cabbage varieties that work in a classic coleslaw include savoy cabbage and Napa cabbage. For something different, try broccoli!

Can I make coleslaw in advance?

I’d prepare the vegetables and sauce a couple of days in advance and store them separately in the fridge. Then mix them together and let the dish marinate for at least four hours (up to a day) before serving. The longer the coleslaw marinates in the dressing, the less crunchy it becomes.

You might also enjoy these cabbage and slaw recipes:

Miss Millie's Best Coleslaw

The best coleslaw recipe out there, this creamy and flavorful side dish and sandwich topping will dazzle at the next cookout.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: coleslaw
Servings: 4
Calories: 240kcal


  • 1 medium head green cabbage cored and shredded
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 green bell pepper cored, seeded, and diced
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard


  • Place shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, bell pepper, and onion in large bowl.
    1 medium head green cabbage, 2 medium carrots, 1 green bell pepper, 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • In a separate bowl, mix together all remaining ingredients, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Pour over vegetables and stir well to combine.
    2 cups mayonnaise, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons celery seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving to allow the flavor to marinate and blend.


Calories: 240kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


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  1. 5 stars
    We love coleslaw. i. my younger days I had a sweet friend who’s mother’s name was Millie!! Precious lady. Brings back many wonderful memories of time at their home. I plan on making this over the weekend for a cookout!! All your recipes I have tried have been delicious!! Will certainly honor a military family with giveaway abs keep our military in my prayers!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe has become a fav at our house. I love all of your coleslaw recipes. I just picked up some KFC chicken livers and will serve this slaw with them.

  3. This isn’t too far off from KFC, Long John Silver’s, etc. which is simply cabbage, carrots, miracle whip and sugar. My mother always used celery seed in hers, but I prefer finely sliced celery if I have it on hand. Even though I prefer to cook with very little salt, it’s especially necessary if you’re making this last minute without at least 12-hours for the cabbage to break down and the liquid to thin the dressing.

  4. Just made about midnight for Sunday’s dinner. I also like the grated texture of the cabbage. Tasted before putting in refrigerator and it had a great favor. I think a larger head of cabbage should have been used or I should not have poured all dressing mix in. I will see in morning if it has absorbed/tighten up a bit. If not on way home from church I may grab a bag of the shredded cabbage and toss a little in. VERY FLAVORABLE!

  5. I made Millie’s best coleslaw last week and was amazed. Everyone really liked it. Used leftovers (yes, there was a little) as a side for a fish dinner. Thank you

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