Sweet Potato Slaw: A Perfect Side Dish!

Howdy y’all, and welcome to my kitchen! As a chef who specializes in southern-style cuisine, I am excited to share with you one of my favorite recipes for a dish that’s sure to have your taste buds dancing – Southern Sweet Potato Slaw!

Now, I know what y’all might be thinking. “Slaw? That sounds boring!” But trust me, this recipe is anything but dull. Bursting with the flavors of sweet potatoes, raisins, walnuts, and a tangy dressing made of mayo and lemon juice, this twist on traditional coleslaw will have everyone asking for seconds.

Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also versatile. You can serve it as a side dish at your next BBQ or picnic, or even use it as a topping for pulled pork or chicken sandwiches. Trust me when I say that once you try this sweet potato slaw, you’ll never go back to regular old coleslaw again.

So grab your aprons and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Sweet Potato Slaw
Southern Sweet Potato Slaw

Folks, I am here to tell you about a southern-style recipe that will knock your socks off! This Sweet Potato Slaw recipe is sure to become a new favorite in your household. Here’s why:

Firstly, this recipe offers a delightful twist on traditional coleslaw with its star ingredient- the sweet potato. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, sweet potatoes are an excellent addition to any meal. Moreover, the use of broccoli stems in this recipe adds a crispy texture and unique flavor profile.

Secondly, this slaw is packed with delicious flavors that will have your taste buds dancing all over your tongue. The combination of sweet raisins, crunchy walnuts, and tangy orange zest takes this dish to a whole new level of yumminess!

Thirdly, this recipe can be customized to fit any occasion or dietary requirements. For example, you can make it vegan by replacing the mayonnaise with silken tofu or olive oil. You can customize the texture by substituting different kinds of nuts or using matchstick-cut potatoes instead of grating them. Ultimately, this recipe is versatile and encourages creativity in the kitchen.

Lastly, you’ll love that this Sweet Potato Slaw pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes. Whether you’re serving up BBQ chicken or pulled pork, sweet potato slaw is an ideal companion. It’s even perfect for “po boy” sandwiches and healthy sweet potato quesadillas!

In conclusion, while many coleslaw recipes exist out there, none compares to our Southern Sweet Potato Slaw Recipe. So what are you waiting for? Try it out today and experience the best southern-style cuisine has to offer!

Ingredient List

 A perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors in every bite
A perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors in every bite

Before starting the recipe, it is important to gather all the ingredients you will need. This sweet potato slaw recipe has a unique combination of ingredients that create a perfect balance of flavors, textures, and colors. Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy list; most of them are pantry staples and easy to find at your local grocery store. Here’s what you’ll need:

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 large broccoli stem
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1/4 green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced


  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Double check that you have all the ingredients for this sweet potato slaw recipe before moving on to the next section!

The Recipe How-To

 The vibrant colors of this slaw will brighten up any plate
The vibrant colors of this slaw will brighten up any plate

Now that we have the ingredients prepared and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking! In this section, I’ll walk you through the steps necessary for creating this delicious Southern Sweet Potato Slaw recipe.

Step 1: Prep the Vegetables

The first step in making our sweet potato slaw is to prepare the vegetables. Start by peeling and shredding 2 cups of sweet potatoes into small matchstick pieces. Next, shred 1 cup of broccoli stem into a similar size as the sweet potatoes. Finally, shred 1 cup of cabbage into thin strips or use a pre-shredded coleslaw mix.

Step 2: Make the Dressing

In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add in 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk all ingredients together until they are well combined.

Step 3: Combine Ingredients

After preparing our vegetables and dressing, it’s time to start combining everything together. Begin with adding our shredded sweet potatoes to the dressing mix, followed by our broccoli stem, cabbage or coleslaw mix, along with generous handfuls of both raisins and chopped walnuts. Toss everything together until it is evenly coated with dressing.

Step 4: Allow Time to Marinate

Once you’ve combined all the ingredients, store your sweet potato slaw in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to give all the flavors time to meld together. This would also work as a restaurant-style side salad as it is crunchy and goes along very well with most main dishes.

And there you have it, a perfectly balanced, sweet and savoury Southern Sweet Potato Slaw recipe that can be made year-round. Enjoy this delicious slaw as a side dish to pulled pork, BBQ chicken, or as a topping for your po boy sandwiches. The possibilities are endless!

Substitutions and Variations

 A Southern twist on a classic slaw recipe
A Southern twist on a classic slaw recipe

Are you looking to switch things up a bit with this sweet potato slaw recipe? Don’t worry; I’ve got some substitutions and variations that will keep things interesting!

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of raisins or walnuts, feel free to swap them out for other dried fruits or nuts. Dried cranberries, cherries, or apricots are good alternatives to raisins. Almonds, pecans, or even sunflower seeds work well as substitutes for walnuts.

If you’re vegan or want to avoid mayonnaise-based dressings, replace the mayonnaise and sour cream with silken tofu. You can also use vegan mayonnaise and other non-dairy products like coconut yogurt instead of sour cream.

For those who love a tangier taste, try using orange zest instead of lemon zest in the dressing. The orange has a more robust flavor than lemon and adds a unique twist to the dressing.

Additionally, you can experiment with different kinds of vegetables in your slaw. Broccoli stems make an excellent addition as they provide a crunchy texture and delicious flavor when thinly sliced. You can also add shredded cabbage, grated carrot, or sliced bell peppers to the mix.

Lastly, if you want to try some new serving options for your sweet potato slaw, it pairs wonderfully as a side with BBQ chicken or pulled pork sandwiches. You can also serve it on top of pulled chicken bowls or even use it as a topping for potato quesadillas!

Don’t be afraid to mix things up and get creative with your sweet potato slaw recipe substitutions and variations. Who knows? You might invent your sweet southern coleslaw recipe that will become a new staple in your home!

Serving and Pairing

 Sweet potatoes add a unique twist that will surprise your taste buds
Sweet potatoes add a unique twist that will surprise your taste buds

When it comes to serving this Southern Sweet Potato Slaw, you have various options. You can enjoy it as a side dish to complement your main course or serve it as an appetizer at your next party. Additionally, it pairs nicely with various dishes, from sandwiches and burgers to grilled chicken and fish.

One of my favorite ways of serving this slaw is on top of a crispy po’ boy sandwich with a generous helping of creamy coleslaw. The combination of the soft bread, savory filling, and tangy slaw creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Another great option is to serve it alongside pulled pork or pulled chicken bowls for a meal that packs a flavorful punch. The sweetness of the slaw complements the natural smokey flavor of the meat, while the creamy texture provides an excellent contrast to the crispy exterior.

If you’re looking for a lighter option, pair this slaw with roasted sweet potato quesadillas or black bean sweet potato salad. The sweet flavors play off each other beautifully and create a healthy yet satisfying meal option.

Finally, if you’re hosting a BBQ or grilling event, this slaw recipe is just what you need to complete your menu. It pairs perfectly with BBQ chicken or even BBQ salmon dishes.

Overall, no matter how you choose to serve this Southern Sweet Potato Slaw recipe, its unique flavors and texture make it versatile enough to accompany almost any dish.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect side dish for any barbecue or potluck
The perfect side dish for any barbecue or potluck

One of the best things about this Southern Sweet Potato Slaw recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, and it keeps well when stored properly. Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or looking to save time on a busy day, this slaw recipe can come to your rescue.

To make ahead, follow the recipe as directed and store your slaw in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes, as the dressing has more time to soak into the vegetables.

If you’re looking to serve this dish at a potluck or event, you can easily double or triple the recipe and store it in a large container. It’s always a hit at picnics and barbecues and pairs perfectly with pulled pork, grilled chicken or even on top of a BBQ salmon filet.

When reheating your sweet potato slaw, be sure not to heat it too much as the mayonnaise dressing can become runny when heated too high. Warm up slightly in the microwave or let it come to room temperature before serving.

With these make-ahead, storing and reheating tips, you won’t have to worry about your sweet potato slaw going to waste!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This slaw is as colorful as it is delicious
This slaw is as colorful as it is delicious

Southern-style cuisine is all about creating comforting and flavorful dishes that fill both your stomach and your heart. The Southern Sweet Potato Slaw recipe is no exception. It’s a unique twist on traditional coleslaw that seamlessly blends the creamy texture of mayonnaise with the sweet and zesty flavors of sweet potatoes, raisins, and orange zest.

To ensure perfect results every time you make this recipe, I’m sharing some of my go-to tips below:

1. Use fresh ingredients: Whenever possible, opt for fresh garlic, lemon juice, and zest instead of pre-packaged or bottled options. This will elevate the flavor profile of your slaw with minimal effort.

2. Toast your walnuts: Toasted walnuts add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to this recipe. Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned before adding them to the slaw.

3. Silken Tofu substitution: For those looking to keep it healthy, replace some or all of the mayonnaise with silken tofu for a lower fat option.

4. Cut your veggies into matchstick shapes: Cutting your broccoli stem and sweet potato into matchsticks will help them absorb more flavor from the dressing, resulting in a more flavorful slaw.

5. Season to taste: Be sure to season your slaw with black pepper and kosher salt. Taste as you go and adjust accordingly.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious Southern Sweet Potato Slaw that tastes just as good as it looks. Enjoy!


Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the ingredient list, steps, and tips for perfecting sweet potato slaw, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. In this section, we’ll be addressing the concerns of readers who are either trying this dish for the first time or running into some concerns when making it. So read on to get some answers for your queries!

What is a South American sweet potato called?

The language spoken in Northwestern South America known as Quechua, uses the terms Cumal or Cumar to refer to sweet potato.

What is the difference between cole slaw and slaw?

When it comes to coleslaw, the main ingredient for the raw, diced vegetables is cabbage, such as Napa, red, savoy, or bok choy. However, if you remove the “cole” from coleslaw and opt for a different vegetable, there are plenty of crunchy alternatives to choose from. This includes using chopped or shredded broccoli, carrots, snow peas, jicama, and various other vegetables.

How do you make Alton Brown coleslaw?

Let’s start by preparing the creamy and tangy coleslaw dressing. In a sizeable mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, yogurt, pickle juice, mayonnaise, mustard powder, and black pepper. Whisk these ingredients together until smoothly blended. Then, you can add in the crunchy and colorful vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, and chives. Toss everything in the bowl to make sure that all the veggies are evenly coated with the flavorful dressing. You got two options here: you can either serve the coleslaw fresh and crisp or chill it in the fridge to consume later for up to three days.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for a delicious and healthy side dish with a Southern twist, look no further than this Sweet Potato Slaw recipe. Packed with flavor and loaded with nutrients, this slaw is perfect for any occasion – from backyard BBQs to family dinners.

With simple and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is suitable for both seasoned chefs and novices alike. Plus, it allows for substitutions and variations to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

So why not give this Sweet Potato Slaw recipe a try? It’s sure to impress your friends and family with its bold flavors and unique twist on a classic Southern coleslaw. Just be prepared for requests for the recipe – because once they taste it, they will want to know your secret!

Thank you for considering this recipe from Southern Living. We hope it becomes a staple in your kitchen and brings joy to your table. Happy cooking!

Southern Sweet Potato Slaw

Southern Sweet Potato Slaw Recipe

A healthy and tasty summer side dish, unique to all coleslaws. This is an easy one! I got the recipe from a Florida friend who originally clipped it from a local newspaper.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 152.1 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups sweet potatoes (fresh, peeled and shredded)
  • 1/2 cup broccoli stem (raw, peeled and shredded)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu (or, plain yogurt)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly milled


  • Combine all slaw ingredients (but not dressing ingredients) in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the slaw, toss and refrigerate covered.
  • Serve when cold.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 84gCalories: 152.1kcalCarbohydrates: 22.9gProtein: 2.4gFat: 6.6gSaturated Fat: 0.8gCholesterol: 2.5mgSodium: 104.2mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 9g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Brunch, Easy, Inexpensive, Potato, Savory, Summer, Vegetable, Yam/Sweet Potato
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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