This Old Fashioned Coleslaw with Vinegar recipe will change the way you thought coleslaw could be made. Serve this vinegar-based coleslaw as a side dish at your next potluck or picnic!
I'll be honest, the first time I pulled this recipe out of my recipe box I had to do a double take. Pour hot liquid over cabbage to make coleslaw? Something about it just didn't seem right, so I had to test it out. The result was a tangy, crunchy coleslaw that was the perfect side dish for a BBQ meal or potluck.
I love when a recipe surprises me or opens my eyes to doing something in a way I'd never thought of before. I like to think of the term "old fashioned" when it comes to recipes as another way to say "well tested and approved for generations". Has a nice ring to it doesn't it?
Creamy Vs. Vinegar Coleslaw
I enjoy coleslaws made with a creamy, mayo based dressing as well as the oil & vinegar version. In my world, I think both coleslaws have a time and place. I love a creamy coleslaw served on a good BBQ pork sandwich or on my yummy Rachel Sandwich. At the same time, I love the oil & vinegar version like this Old Fashioned Coleslaw as a side to fried fish, or on top of grilled hot dogs or sausages. This kind of coleslaw tends to be more tangy and a little messier than the creamy kind. Both versions can be used interchangeably for most things, and both make a great side dish option for a meal or potluck.
How to Make Old Fashioned Coleslaw with Vinegar
The ingredients for this coleslaw are fairly basic and this recipe is made even easier by using store-bought coleslaw mix that includes shredded cabbage and carrots. Sure you can shred your own in which case you'll need 7-8 cups of cabbage and about one small carrot, but I find the store-bought just as good and a great time saver.
Other veggies included in this coleslaw are green pepper and onion. They both add some more crunch as well as great flavor. Cut the green pepper into a small dice and slice the onion thinly. You don't want to get a bite with a huge piece of either, and you want them to blend in with the cabbage & carrot mixture.
For the boiled dressing, heat oil, vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper in a small saucepan. I like using apple cider vinegar as it gives the dressing a little more tang. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for about 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. Immediately pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture and toss to coat. Allow the mixture to cool on the counter before covering and refrigerating it for at least 24 hours.
Why Does It Chill For So Long?
Refrigerating the Old Fashioned Coleslaw with Vinegar for at least 24 hours before serving allows the flavors to really develop as well as creating more liquid. When you initially stir the dressing into the coleslaw, you may think that there is not enough and that it is too dry. Don't fear! The longer the coleslaw sits in the fridge, the more liquid will be released creating a nice, saucy coleslaw. The coleslaw could be eaten as soon as 12 hours after making, but keep in mind it may be drier. It's best to plan ahead for this recipe and allow the coleslaw to chill for a full day.
Pouring the hot liquid over the cabbage, carrots and onion then chilling it in the fridge mimics the process of pickling. If you have ever made homemade pickles or anything "pickled" you follow a similar process. Since this is a vinegar not mayo-based coleslaw, it will keep for longer. This Old Fashioned Coleslaw will get better the longer it sits and can be kept for up to 5 days. The issue is that the coleslaw will become more soggy during this time so for that reason, I would recommend consuming it within that timeframe.
Other potluck recipes:
Old Fashioned Coleslaw with Vinegar
- 2 14 oz. bags coleslaw mix w/ cabbage & carrots
- 1 green pepper diced small
- 1 small white or yellow onion sliced thin
- ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Place coleslaw mix, green pepper and onion in a mixing bowl.
- In a saucepan bring oil, vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper to a rolling boil. Immediately pour mixture over the coleslaw and mix thoroughly.
- Once cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. Coleslaw can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Keep in mind the longer the coleslaw sits in the fridge the more liquid will be released, making the coleslaw soggier. This is why I recommend consuming the coleslaw within 5 days.
- The coleslaw could start to be eaten after about 12 hours, but keep in mind it will be drier. It is best to plan ahead for this recipe and let it sit for a full day.