South Carolina Slaw

This South Carolina slaw is made with cabbage and carrots and a sweetly tangy dressing based on apple cider vinegar and mustard is a summer must. No mayo required, so it’s safe for those with egg allergies.

A wooden bowl filled with South Carolina slaw with a spoon beside it.

This South Carolina slaw may not be recognizable as coleslaw to those who’ve never experienced slaw minus the mayo. Instead it boasts a sweet vinegary tanginess that we consider a must alongside any sort of ‘cue. Originally published May 21, 2016.Renee Schettler Rossi

South Carolina Slaw

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan off the heat, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, celery seeds, kosher salt, and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately remove from the heat and either pour it over the cabbage mixture right away if you prefer slightly wilted coleslaw or let it stand for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to cool before pouring it over the cabbage mixture if you prefer a crunchy coleslaw. Toss to coat. Serve immediately. (If you want to make the slaw ahead of time, refrigerate the cabbage and carrots separate from the boiled dressing and toss just before serving.)

Print RecipeBuy the The Southern Vegetable Book cookbook

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    Quicker South Carolina Slaw Variation

    • Instead of creating those gorgeous carrot ribbons simply julienne or shred the carrots and toss them with the cabbage.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This South Carolina Slaw was fantastic! We could not stop eating it until it was completely gone. The salad was crunchy and the dressing light and tangy. This will be my go-to salad for potlucks and summer barbecues. I did cool the dressing to room temperature before adding it to the salad. We just kept eating it until it was gone.

    The slaw was nice and tangy and crisp. The dressing was just enough to coat the slaw so that it was not too soggy. I did let the liquid cool for 10 minutes before tossing everything so as to not wilt the cabbage. The next time I make this I will add another teaspoon sugar.


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    1. This South Carolina slaw was the perfect companion to my pulled pork made with Vinegar Barbecue Sauce. As opposed to traditional mayo-based slaws that often fall short on flavor pop, this slaw is fresh, crunchy, and tangy. I love the way the dressing almost acts like a pickling agent within minutes of dressing the slaw. This may be a personal preference, but I found it even better on the second day once all the dressing was absorbed by the cabbage. My only tip is that I think there is enough dressing to do a full head of cabbage; when I did only half, I felt there was a bit too much dressing pooling at the bottom of the bowl.

    2. This is very similar to my mother’s recipe but hers used double the amount of sugar. I always reduced it. But you don’t have to wait to toss together as this dressing keeps the cabbage crispy for days. I am always amazed at how long this lasts in the refrigerator.

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