Delicious Southern Barbecue Slaw Recipe

Hark! Attend thy ears and lend me thy attention for but a moment, for I have a tale to tell of wondrous delight that shall fill thee with joy eternal. Oftentimes we find ourselves uninspired by the mundane dishes our palates have grown accustomed to. But fear not, dear souls, for today I present to thee a recipe that shall awaken thy taste buds and kindle a fire within thee.

Picture this: A succulent pulled pork sandwich, generously dripping with sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, piled high with crispy coleslaw. But wait, ’tis no ordinary coleslaw – nay, ’tis a Southern Barbecue Slaw that shall transport thee to the very heart of Dixie. It is a slaw beyond compare – creamy, tangy, crunchy and sweet, all at once! You shall fall under its spell and beg for more.

This slaw combines the best of two beloved southern classics – slaw and barbecue – into one harmonious dish. The combination of shredded cabbage mixed with a dressing made of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar and spices like sweet paprika and dry mustard will leave thee singing praises. And if thou art feeling adventurous, throw in some hot sauce to add some heat to thy life.

This easy Southern Red Barbecue Slaw recipe can be served as a side dish or used as topping for any sandwich or burger. Serve it alongside some mouthwatering pulled pork or add it to thy smoked brisket sandwich – it elevates any barbecue experience. Fear not if thou prefer a vinegar-based slaw for we have included substitutions in the following sections.

So ready thy knives, gather thy ingredients and let’s embark on this journey together to create this magical slaw that shall leave thee breathless!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Barbecue Slaw
Southern Barbecue Slaw

Hark! Ye who seeketh the joy of a sumptuous Southern barbecue feast! Fear not, for I bring to thee an exquisite recipe, that shall delight thy taste buds and satisfy thy soul. Allow me to introduce thou to the Southern Barbecue Slaw Recipe.

What’s not to love about this recipe? It is a perfect accompaniment to your pulled pork or smoked brisket, adding a savory twist to your barbecue spread. This delectable slaw is packed with flavors that will leave you wanting more. The combination of cabbage, sweet onion, and barbecue sauce gives it a unique taste that sets it apart from other coleslaw recipes.

But wait, there’s more! Its versatility is unmatched. Whether you prefer the tangy vinegar-based slaw like they do in North Carolina or the creamy coleslaw style reminiscent of Memphis barbecue joints, this recipe allows you to customize according to your preference. And if you are feeling adventurous, try the Carolina Red Slaw with its unique blend of ketchup and hot sauce.

Not only is this slaw recipe easy to make, but it’s also budget-friendly. With affordable ingredients like shredded cabbage, cider vinegar, and mayonnaise, you can whip up a delicious batch quickly without breaking the bank.

So why not give it a try? Trust me, once you taste it; you will be hooked like a catfish on a line. Make this Southern Barbecue Slaw your go-to side dish for all your barbeque gatherings and impress your friends and family with your culinary prowess.

Ingredient List

 Creamy and Crunchy Southern Barbecue Slaw
Creamy and Crunchy Southern Barbecue Slaw

Let’s get started with the ingredients needed to make this mouth-watering Southern Barbecue Slaw Recipe!

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 sweet onion, finely chopped

feel free to add some grated carrot and celery seed to give your slaw a hint of color and great flavor.

Note: You can also use coleslaw mix instead of shredding cabbage yourself.

It doesn’t take much to make this recipe – most of the ingredients, if not already in your pantry, can be easily found at your local grocery store.

The Recipe How-To

 A Tangy Twist to Your BBQ Routine
A Tangy Twist to Your BBQ Routine

Now that you have all of the ingredients ready, let’s dive into making this delicious southern barbecue slaw recipe.

Step 1: Prepare the Cabbage and Onion

The first thing you need to do is shred the cabbage and onion. You can do this using a food processor or by using a sharp knife. I personally like to use a food processor because it saves me time and ensures that everything is finely shredded.

Step 2: Prepare the Dressing

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed.

Step 3: Mix the Cabbage, Onion and Dressing

Once your dressing is ready, add it to the shredded cabbage and onion mixture, and toss until everything is evenly coated.

Step 4: Chill and Serve

For best results, store your slaw in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and for the slaw to develop its signature tangy taste.

This southern-style red barbecue slaw recipe is perfect for pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, or just as a side dish at your next barbecue. It’s easy to make and will impress your guests with its creamy texture and tangy flavor. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 A Perfect Pair to Your BBQ Sandwich
A Perfect Pair to Your BBQ Sandwich

Verily, for those who seeketh to put their own twist on this easy southern barbecue slaw recipe, I present to thee a list of substitutions and variations.

For those looking to add heat to their slaw, try stirring in some hot sauce, or replacing the sweet paprika with a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You can also add some finely chopped jalapenos or habaneros for an extra kick.

If thou wishest to make a vinegar-based slaw, replace the barbeque sauce and ketchup with cider vinegar and white sugar in a one-to-one ratio. Additionally, thou mayest choose to use rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar for even more variety.

For a different take on the coleslaw ingredients, swap out the shredded cabbage with thinly sliced red cabbage or coleslaw mix. You can also experiment with other vegetables like shredded carrots or julienned bell peppers for added color and texture.

If you prefer a creamier coleslaw dressing, mix in some sour cream with the mayonnaise before adding it to the bowl. Likewise, using seasoned mayonnaise–such as garlic or chipotle mayonnaise–instead of plain mayonnaise can add flavor to your coleslaw.

Shouldst you find yourself without apple cider vinegar, thou canst replace it with any vinegar that thou happen to have in thy pantry. For added depth of flavor, try using sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar.

Finally, for those who prefer a North Carolina-style red barbecue slaw or Lexington-style coleslaw–replace the mayonnaise with mustard or a blend of mustard and mayonnaise. Add some celery seed for a distinct taste that will elevate thy coleslaw game.

Serving and Pairing

 Elevate Your Coleslaw Game with a Southern Flavor
Elevate Your Coleslaw Game with a Southern Flavor

Hark! Thou hast finished thy barbecue slaw recipe – ’tis a splendid accomplishment, indeed! Forsooth, it is now time to ponder the optimal pairing options that shall enhance thy taste buds and appease thy appetite.

Southern Barbecue Slaw is quite versatile and can be served as a side dish or an appetizer. It complements various main dishes such as pulled pork, pulled BBQ chicken, BBQ beef brisket, ribs, or smoked sausages. The crunchiness and tanginess of the slaw balance the fatty and sweet flavors of these meats.

In addition, Southern Barbecue Slaw pairs wonderfully with grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplants. It’s also delicious with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. I commend thee to try this dish alongside a classic southern fried chicken for a real finger-licking feast.

Furthermore, Southern Barbecue Slaw can be used as a salad topping to add flavor and texture. Simply toss a handful over mixed greens, cucumber spears or sliced tomatoes for an extra burst of flavors.

For drinks pairing, I suggest serving it with sweet iced tea or lemonade to balance the acidity of the slaw. If Thou art feeling fancy, Thou may opt for a Pinot Grigio wine.

Bear in mind that when dancing with flavors during mealtime, taste preference is subjective; however, Southern Barbecue Slaw remains one dish that can complement any sides nicely.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfect Side Dish for Your Next Summer Cookout
Perfect Side Dish for Your Next Summer Cookout

Verily, this dish is one that is best served fresh and on the same day it is made. Nevertheless, fret not for I have some tips and recommendations that would help you make preparation for this recipe ahead of time.

If thou art entertaining guests or hosting a barbecue party, thou canst prepare the ingredients a day before and shred the cabbage as well. Once everything is in order, simply mix the dressing and shredded cabbage together when thou art ready to serve.

For storing leftovers, keep them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not forget to stir it well before serving. If thee desire to reheat the slaw, re-mix it with a tablespoon of mayonnaise or barbecue sauce to restore its creaminess and flavor.

Let not the naysayers fool thee into thinking that this cannot be reheated because this slaw can withstand being reheated in the microwave or stove-top. However, should thee want to maintain its freshness and crispness, do not mix in the dressing until right before serving.

Thus, when it cometh down to it, even though this dish is best consumed fresh off the bowl, with these tips you can still enjoy this delicacy days after its creation.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Brighten Up Your Plate with this Colorful BBQ Slaw
Brighten Up Your Plate with this Colorful BBQ Slaw

To ensure that your southern barbecue slaw turns out perfectly, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, make sure to shred your cabbage finely. This will help the dressing to coat the cabbage evenly, ensuring that every bite is bursting with flavor. You can use a sharp knife or a food processor to accomplish this task quickly and effectively.

Adding some celery seed to the dressing can really bring some depth of flavor to your coleslaw. Be cautious though, as celery seed is potent and only a small amount should be used.

When it comes to the dressing, it’s important not to overdo it. Aim for a balance between creaminess and vibrancy of flavors. I suggest starting with equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream, then add in vinegar, sugar, mustard and spices accordingly.

Additionally, if you want your slaw to have a bold color like the classic southern red slaw or Memphis style coleslaw, adding some sweet paprika or dry mustard powder can do wonders.

For those who prefer vinegar-based slaws like Carolina style or Lexington style, try increasing the amount of cider vinegar and reducing the amount of mayonnaise in the recipe.

Lastly, let your coleslaw chill for at least an hour before serving. This allows time for the flavors to meld together creating a harmonious dish that will be sure to impress your taste buds.

By following these tips, you’ll have a perfectly balanced and delicious southern barbecue slaw every time!


Pray, let me attend to your inquiries and doubts regarding this Southern Barbecue Slaw recipe. Forsooth, I have concocted a list of frequently asked questions, which shall help clear any confusion that may have arisen. So, let us not tarry any longer and proceed to address your concerns with utmost clarity and precision.

What is BBQ slaw made of?

In this recipe, we’ll be combining finely chopped cabbage with tangy apple cider vinegar, a hint of sweetness from sugar, and a burst of heat from pepper and hot sauce. The result is a special dish that’s exclusive to our region and offers a distinctive flavor profile.

What is Amish coleslaw made of?

If you’re looking for a lighter and tangier alternative to traditional coleslaw, you may want to try Amish Vinegar Slaw or Old Fashioned Coleslaw. This easy-to-make side dish is perfect for BBQs, potlucks, and family gatherings, and it’s made with shredded cabbage, onion, apple cider vinegar, and dry mustard.

What’s the difference between cabbage slaw and coleslaw?

When it comes to coleslaw versus slaw, the main distinguishing factor lies in the type of vegetables used. Coleslaw prominently features cabbage of various varieties such as Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy, whereas slaw can incorporate any crunchy vegetables – whether they’re chopped or shredded – other than cabbage. This can entail a variety of options such as broccoli, carrots, snow peas, jicama, and beyond.

What is Dixie coleslaw?

This is a refreshing and vibrant coleslaw made with thinly sliced and mixed green and orange vegetables, coated in a creamy mayonnaise dressing.

Bottom Line

Therefore, I implore you to give this Southern Barbecue Slaw recipe a try. It’s an easy-to-follow recipe that anyone can make, and the results are mouthwatering. The combination of crunchy cabbage, tangy vinegar, sweet bbq sauce, and spicy paprika will make your taste buds dance with joy. Whether you prefer the classic southern coleslaw or want to switch things up with a red barbecue slaw, this recipe has got you covered.

Not only is this slaw perfect for pairing with pulled pork sandwiches or other barbecue favorites, but it also makes for a refreshing side dish on its own. Whip up a batch for your next summer cookout, potluck or family gathering, and watch as everyone raves about your delicious creation.

In conclusion, make sure to follow the tips for perfect results, substitutions and variations for personal preference, and serving and pairing recommendations. Don’t forget about the make-ahead and storing instructions to have leftovers ready for future meals. This Southern Barbecue Slaw recipe is truly a gem of southern-style cuisine that you must try at least once in your lifetime.

Southern Barbecue Slaw

Southern Barbecue Slaw Recipe

Here is another recipe from Jean Anderson that I found very interesting and tasty. It is from her book "A Love Affair with Southern Cooking". She says that these are found in some barbecue places in the South. I can't wait to travel through some Southern states when we get some time and try all the fun Southern recipes. I've increased the amount of hot pepper sauce because I thought it tasted better that way.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 242.2 kcal


For the Coleslaw

  • 8 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped (Vidalia, Spanish, or Burmuda)

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce


  • For the Coleslaw: place the cabbage and onion in a non-reactive mixing bowl and toss well. Set aside.
  • For the dressing: combine all ingredients in a non reactive pan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Pour the hot dressing over the coleslaw and toss well. Cool a bit and cover. Refrigerate until serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 150gCalories: 242.2kcalCarbohydrates: 18.7gProtein: 1.3gFat: 18.4gSaturated Fat: 2.4gSodium: 382.4mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 15.9g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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