This is not the coleslaw of your childhood. This contains the classic cabbage but that’s where its similarity to most coleslaw ends. It’s infused with a unique, unexpected, subtle sweetness from maple syrup. And that’s not a bad thing at all. The rest of the ingredients—including the welcome acidity of rice vinegar and the understated yet distinct brashness of parsley—are a departure from the norm. In the best possible way. And it works just as magnificently with pulled pork sandwiches, smoked ribs, grilled chicken, burgers, and ‘cue as any traditional slaw.Renee Schettler Rossi

*Customized Coleslaw Note

If you’d rather not rely on a bag of packaged slaw mix, simply shred several cups of cabbage and a cup or so of carrots. For added intrigue, julienne a Granny Smith or chop some raw snow peas into matchsticks and toss them into the mix.

Small white ramekin filled with coleslaw with maple syrup

Coleslaw with Maple Syrup

5 / 7 votes
This coleslaw with maple syrup has a touch of maple syrup that infuses it with a unique, unexpected sweetness. Try it with pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, barbecue. Trust us.
David Leite
Servings4 to 6 servings
Calories330 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound shredded coleslaw mix*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, (optional)


  • In a serving bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste until well combined.
  • Add the coleslaw mix and toss evenly until everything is coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to let the flavors meld.
  • Toss the coleslaw well before before serving. If desired, sprinkle a little extra parsley on top just before serving.
Seriously Simple Cookbook

Adapted From

Seriously Simple

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 330 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 2 gFat: 32 gSaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 18 mgSodium: 289 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 8 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2002 Diane Rossen Worthington. Photo © 2002 Noel Barnhurst. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’ve made this recipe about 10 times in the last few months because people keep asking for it. It’s such a simple recipe but the maple syrup adds just enough sweetness and depth to the flavor to make it more special than other slaws. I don’t eat slaw on my barbecue, but people who do say this is great for that, too.

Maple syrup in coleslaw—what a great idea! It was a very nice enhancement in my opinion, offering a little sweetness that wasn’t even close to being cloying. The syrup somehow added depth and character. The maple-y, caramel-y flavour went well with the coleslaw mix. The lemon juice and rice vinegar added the necessary acid for balance. It’s just that little bit of difference that won me over. Perfect for a hot summer day.

This recipe creates a great looking and great tasting coleslaw! It’s faintly sweet yet robust enough to pair with almost any fare.

What I especially love about it is that you buy the vegetables pre-shredded and ready to go. So how long does it take to measure your ingredients? Add another 2 or 3 minutes and your slaw will be sitting in the fridge, making you wait impatiently for that hour resting period to expire.

If you want to sweeten the pot a little, you could add some fresh raisins to the mix just before serving, but it’s perfect as-is.

My family is pretty picky about which coleslaws they’ll eat, and this one was a winner.

It calls for just the right amount of mayo—not too much to make the slaw soupy, which means the cabbage is still nice and crunchy. And the rice vinegar gave the slaw just enough tang without overwhelming the cabbage. I chose to do a combination of dill and Italian parsley as garnish, and then stirred it in right before serving. This added some nice flavor to this dish.

This was very simple to make, especially considering the bag of pre-cut cabbage.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This dressing was good. I had Apple Cider Vinegar handy so I used that instead of rice vinegar. I also added some diced apples for a little extra sweetness. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    This coleslaw is amazing. It’s tangy with just a slight hint of maple syrup. I used the pound of pre-shredded mix the first time I tried the recipe but then made it with even better using 1 pound freshly shredded red and green cabbage and carrots along with 1/4 cup chopped parsley. I combined it with barbecued pulled pork to make fantastic sliders for a recent cocktail party. Perfect!