Delicious and Easy Deli Coleslaw Recipe

Welcome to my deli coleslaw recipe! If you’re looking for a classic coleslaw recipe that’s not too sweet, not too tangy, and just the perfect blend of creamy and crunchy, then you’ve come to the right place. This coleslaw is based on the famous deli-style coleslaw served in the Jewish delis of New York. It’s made with shredded cabbage and carrots, and dressed with a tangy and slightly sweet dressing that’s made with white vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and mayonnaise.

The recipe is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. You can serve this coleslaw as a side dish or use it as a topping for sandwiches, burgers, or even tacos. It’s perfect for picnics, BBQs, and potlucks, and it’s a great way to add some crunch and freshness to your meals.

So, get ready to make the best deli coleslaw you’ve ever tasted. Follow my step-by-step instructions and tips, and you’ll have a bowl of deliciousness that will impress your friends and family. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Deli  Coleslaw
Deli Coleslaw

Are you tired of the same old boring coleslaw recipe? Look no further, because this deli style coleslaw recipe will blow your taste buds away. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll fall in love with this recipe:

First and foremost, this coleslaw is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. With a combination of sugar, lemon juice, and white vinegar, this coleslaw has just the right amount of sweetness to offset the tanginess.

Secondly, the addition of shredded carrots and cabbage adds a satisfying crunch to every bite. Not to mention, this recipe is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies into your diet.

Thirdly, the creamy mayonnaise and sour cream dressing makes this coleslaw incredibly indulgent. It’s the perfect side dish to balance out the flavors of a savory main dish like pulled pork or fried chicken.

Lastly, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can easily swap out the green cabbage for red cabbage, or add in some sliced apples for a sweet twist. Plus, it’s a great addition to any potluck or summer barbecue.

Trust me, once you try this deli style coleslaw recipe, you’ll never go back to the classic coleslaw again.

Ingredient List

 Crunchy and colorful – this coleslaw is perfect for picnics and BBQs!
Crunchy and colorful – this coleslaw is perfect for picnics and BBQs!

Before you start making the deli coleslaw recipe, let’s make sure you have all the ingredients on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

Cabbage and Carrots

  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional Additions

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

All the ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store. Make sure to use fresh ingredients for the best results. Note that caraway seeds are optional, but they add a unique flavor that’s often found in deli-style coleslaw. If you don’t have any on hand or don’t like the taste, you can skip it. Similarly, you can also add minced onion or sour cream to enhance the flavor and texture of the coleslaw.

The Recipe How-To

Now, it’s time to get down to business and make this delicious Deli Coleslaw! Here’s what you need to do:


  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seeds, salt, and black pepper until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, and minced onion.

  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat.

  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and fresh lemon juice.

  5. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat.

  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

  7. Before serving, give the coleslaw a good stir and taste for seasoning. Adjust with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.

And that’s it, you’ve just made a delicious Deli Coleslaw! It’s a versatile side dish that can be served with anything from pulled pork to a classic Reuben sandwich. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Tangy and sweet, this coleslaw is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Tangy and sweet, this coleslaw is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Don’t be afraid to switch things up with your Deli Coleslaw Recipe. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try to make this dish your own.

– Mayonnaise: If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, you can try using Greek yogurt, sour cream, or even hummus. These substitutes will give your coleslaw a tangy taste and a creamy texture.

– Vinegar: You can use apple cider vinegar in place of white vinegar for a slightly sweeter taste. You can also add some mustard to your vinegar for a tangy kick.

– Carrots and Cabbage: You can add more variety to your coleslaw by using different types of cabbage, such as red cabbage or Napa cabbage. You can also add in some other vegetables such as diced bell peppers, thinly sliced onions or even some chopped apples.

– Sugar: If you prefer a less sweet coleslaw, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe or substitute it with honey, maple syrup or stevia.

– Seasonings: Try adding some caraway seeds, celery seeds, or chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro to your coleslaw for a unique flavor.

– Vegan Coleslaw: To make the coleslaw vegan, substitute the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise or even better, vegan sour cream. You can also use agave nectar or maple syrup instead of sugar.

– Spicy Coleslaw: Add some heat to your coleslaw by adding some hot sauce, chili flakes or even diced jalapenos.

With these substitutions and variations, you can make a coleslaw that perfectly suits your taste buds. Be creative and try out different combinations to make your own unique Deli Coleslaw recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect side dish for sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.
The perfect side dish for sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs.

This deli coleslaw recipe is a classic side dish that can be served with a variety of main courses. It pairs particularly well with barbecue or grilled meats, such as pulled pork or burgers. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of the coleslaw are the perfect complement to the smoky flavors of the meat.

The coleslaw can also be served as a refreshing and healthy side dish for a summer picnic or potluck. It is a great addition to any outdoor gathering and can be easily transported in a covered container.

For a vegan twist, try pairing this deli style coleslaw with a vegan Reuben sandwich. The tangy and creamy flavors of the coleslaw contrast perfectly with the savory flavors of the sandwich.

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful addition to your next barbecue or picnic, try serving this deli coleslaw alongside some classic southern dishes, such as fried chicken or cornbread. The crisp texture and zesty flavor of the coleslaw will balance out the richness of the other dishes.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this deli coleslaw recipe is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Its classic flavor and versatility make it the perfect addition to any meal or gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This coleslaw is a great way to get your daily serving of veggies.
This coleslaw is a great way to get your daily serving of veggies.

This Deli Coleslaw recipe can be prepared ahead of time, making it a perfect dish for picnics, potlucks, or any other gathering. The slaw can be made up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To store the coleslaw, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The coleslaw will stay fresh for up to three days, but it is best to consume it within two days to ensure optimal freshness and taste.

If you have any leftovers, you can reheat the coleslaw in the microwave for a few seconds or in a skillet over medium heat. However, keep in mind that the coleslaw may become slightly watery when reheated, so it is best to enjoy it fresh.

To make the coleslaw ahead of time, you can prepare the dressing up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use. When you are ready to serve the coleslaw, toss the dressing with the shredded cabbage and carrots and mix well.

If you are planning to make the coleslaw for a larger crowd, it is recommended to double the recipe as it is sure to disappear quickly. This is a great recipe for meal prep as well. You can make a large batch and divide it into individual portions for an easy grab-and-go option throughout the week.

Overall, this Deli Coleslaw recipe is a versatile and convenient dish that can be enjoyed fresh or made ahead of time. With its tangy and sweet flavors, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at any event.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make a big batch of this coleslaw and enjoy it all week long!
Make a big batch of this coleslaw and enjoy it all week long!

Making the perfect deli coleslaw takes a little bit of finesse, but with these tips, you’ll be able to make a mouth-watering coleslaw that will have people begging for the recipe.

First things first, make sure to use fresh ingredients. Using fresh cabbage and carrots will make all the difference in the texture and taste of your coleslaw. If you can, buy whole heads of cabbage and shred it yourself, as pre-shredded cabbage can be dry and bitter.

When it comes to the dressing, use a combination of mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, and vinegar for a creamy and tangy flavor. For a little bit of kick, add a teaspoon of mustard to the mix. If you’re looking for a vegan option, swap out the mayonnaise and sour cream for a vegan alternative, like vegan mayonnaise or cashew cream.

To add some extra flavor to your coleslaw, throw in some caraway seeds. These seeds add a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the tanginess of the dressing.

When seasoning your coleslaw, don’t forget to add salt and pepper to taste. The right amount of salt and pepper can make all the difference in bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients.

Finally, when it’s time to serve your coleslaw, make sure to give it a good toss to evenly distribute the dressing. Serve it alongside your favorite deli sandwich or as a side dish to your favorite summer BBQ.

With these tips, you’ll be able to make a deli coleslaw that rivals even the most famous delis in New York City.


Now that you know how to make the perfect Deli Coleslaw, it’s time to answer some frequently asked questions. Here are some common queries that I have received from my customers and friends about this recipe. Let’s take a look!

What is KFC coleslaw made of?

When it comes to the ingredients for KFC coleslaw, simplicity is key. You’ll only need three types of vegetables: green cabbage, carrots, and onions. While pre-shredded coleslaw mix may be convenient, keep in mind that authentic KFC coleslaw only contains these three vegetables. Avoid using packaged cabbage that includes red cabbage or any herbs.

How do you make Bobby Flay coleslaw?

Let’s start by mixing the shredded cabbage and carrots in a big bowl. In a separate bowl, I’ll combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper. Once everything is well whisked, I’ll pour it over the cabbage and carrot mixture and give it a good mix. It’s important to taste the coleslaw at this point and adjust the seasoning to your liking. If you feel like it needs more salt, pepper, or sugar, feel free to add it.

What is Amish coleslaw made of?

If you’re looking for a refreshing and zesty side dish to bring to your next get-together, consider making Amish Vinegar Slaw or Old Fashioned Coleslaw. This slaw is made with shredded cabbage, onion, apple cider vinegar, and dry mustard, giving it a light and tangy flavor that sets it apart from the classic mayo-based slaw. It’s a quick and easy dish that’s perfect for BBQs, potlucks, and family gatherings. So, let’s get started on this recipe!

Is it OK to make coleslaw the day before?

For optimal flavor, I recommend chilling the coleslaw mixture in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. In fact, if you can prepare it a day or more in advance, the flavors will meld together and create a delicious combination. But be careful not to let it sit for too long, as after a few days it may become soggy.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Deli Coleslaw Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves classic coleslaw with a twist of the deli-style. With its creamy texture, tangy flavor, and perfect balance of sweet and sour, this coleslaw is sure to impress everyone at your next summer barbecue or potluck.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional coleslaw, vegan reuben coleslaw, or the famous KFC coleslaw salad, this Deli Coleslaw Recipe is a top-secret recipe that you won’t find anywhere else. So, give it a try and taste the difference for yourself.

With its easy-to-find ingredients, simple preparation, and versatile variations, this coleslaw recipe is perfect for those who want to make a quick and delicious side dish that pairs well with pulled pork, southern coleslaw, or even a simple cabbage salad.

So, what are you waiting for? Try this Deli Coleslaw Recipe today and taste the magic of the New York Deli style coleslaw. Your taste buds will thank you!

Deli Coleslaw Recipe

This is similar to the coleslaw served in my favorite Jewish deli. I got the recipe from a group made cookbook sold for a charitable organization. It is basic and easy to make.

  • 8 cups cabbage
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  1. Mix together and refrigerate it overnight.
Side Dish
< 15 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Weeknight

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