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Make This Easy Deli-Style Coleslaw At Home

grated carrot and cabbage make coleslaw

If you’re a fan of traditional deli coleslaw, then you’re going to love this homemade version.

This is the slaw you can only get at delis and diners. Creamy, slightly sweet and sour, wet, but not too runny. The secret is that it uses sour cream and mayo. It’s a great accompaniment that will put out the fire of hot barbecue sauces, a great counterpoint to vinegar based sauces, it makes the perfect topping for pulled pork sandwiches, especially the vinegary East Carolina type, and West Virginia Slawdogs. First, read my article on The Science of Slawsome Slaw.

Deli Slaw With Sour Cream And Mayo Recipe


grated carrot and cabbage make coleslaw
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.1 from 62 votes
Here's the recipe for the great creamy cole slaw that they sell in the delis, complete with the secret ingredients. Use this slaw as an extinguisher for your next fiery barbecue.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Easy

Makes:

Servings: 8 servings

Takes:

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour

Ingredients

Dressing

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt)
  • ½ teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt

Slaw

  • 1 pound green cabbage (about half a medium cabbage)
  • ½ bell pepper, green, red, yellow, or orange, your choice
  • 1 large carrot
  • ½ small onion
Notes:
 
About the sour cream and mayo. If you wish, you can substitute one for the other, or vary the ratios to your heart's content.
Optional additions. Add 2 tart apples, like Granny Smith. This gives it a fun hidden flavor that people will sense, but not be sure what it is. In Florida a lot of places put about 1 cup of fresh (not canned) pineapple chopped to about pea size. It's wonderful. If you want, try substituting about three tablespoons of concentrated apple juice for the sugar. I also like to add a fennel bulb occasionally. A minced jalapeno gives a nice contrast, and horseradish, just a tablespoon in the background, is a surprisingly good addition.
 
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients from sour cream to salt to make the dressing.
  • Remove the cores from the cabbage and pepper, and peel the carrot. Shred the vegetables with a food processor using the grating attachment, or use a box grater. When you're done, you want a fine hash, like a fine confetti. Dump the solid into the wet and mix thoroughly. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
  • Serve. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

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Published On: 5/15/2015 Last Modified: 4/16/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


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