South Carolina Slaw

This South Carolina slaw recipe makes a sweetly tangy cole slaw with apple cider vinegar and mustard—no mayo required.

South Carolina Slaw Recipe

This South Carolina slaw may not be recognizable as coleslaw to those who haven’t spent time in the south seeing that it contains no mayonnaise. Instead it boasts a sweet tanginess thanks to apple cider vinegar and two types of mustard. We consider it a must alongside ‘cue of any sort.–Rebecca Lang

South Carolina Slaw Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head (about 1 pound or 454 grams) cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shaved carrot (from 2 to 3 carrots; just grab a veggie peeler and run it lengthwise along the carrot to form long, lovely ribbons)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) mild olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. Place the cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
  • 2. 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.)

Quicker South Carolina Slaw Variation

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

Darci Becker

May 21, 2016

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.

Angie Zoobkoff

May 21, 2016

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.

Tammori Petty

May 21, 2016

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.

Heather Lang

May 21, 2016

My fiancée is a fanatic when it come to coleslaw so anytime a new recipe comes my way I make sure he tries it first. This was had a lovely tang to it and perfectly accompanied the pulled pork I had made with it. Perfection! The recipe was quick and easy to put together though I would warn people that making long carrot ribbons isn't as easy as it seems. I would try combining green and red cabbage next time.

Amy B.

May 21, 2016

This South Carolina slaw recipe won me over! I had my doubts whether I would like this coleslaw because I'm a diehard mayo-based "cold" coleslaw fan. One bite and all I could think was, "That's lovely!" I liked it served both cold and warm, but I must confess my preference was warm. My recipe came very close to the picture, but my carrot ribbons did not curl at all (it must be in the wrist technique). However, I did have some nice carrot snacks as I attempted to make the curl.

Angela Reynolds

May 21, 2016

I really like this slaw! We have two kinds of slaw in this house: regular, which has a mayonnaise base; and BBQ slaw, which is vinegar based. The mustard in this BBQ slaw is outstanding and really drives home the theme of South Carolina slaw. I love South Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, and this gives the same flavor in slaw form. I did prepare the slaw mix and dressing separately and let it chill in the refrigerator, combining them about an hour before serving. Slaw was crisp and delicious. It was still great the next day—the slaw remained crisp without being watery. Just toss lightly to redistribute the dressing before serving. A very unique flavor to liven up an old favorite!

Jackie G.

May 21, 2016

This South Carolina slaw is a nice alternative to a mayonnaise-based slaw. The long strands of carrot make for a very attractive dish. The dressing on its own is delicious and I'm hoping to find other uses for it. My carrots really looked beautiful.

Helen Wang

May 21, 2016

Generally I'm not a fan of heavily-mayonnaised coleslaw, so this recipe fit the bill. It was a bit sour for my taste, so next time I'll bump the apple cider vinegar down to 1/3 cup. To make the recipe even easier I'll just grate the carrots in the future. At first I debated scaling down the mustard as it seemed like a lot, but in the end I used the written amount and I'm glad I did. I followed the recipe exactly, which involved pouring the piping hot dressing over the cabbage. This way the cabbage wilted a bit, and I actually prefered the taste compared to completely raw cabbage. I will be making it again as an accompaniment to summer barbecues.

Comments

  1. 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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