Super-Simple Tangy Buttermilk Coleslaw Recipe

Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Why This Recipe Works

  • Tossing the shredded vegetables with a pinch of salt before you form the dressing helps them break down just enough to soften while retaining plenty of fresh crunch.
  • A combination of buttermilk and mayonnaise gives the dressing fresh buttermilk tang, but enough thickness to coat the vegetables.

This is one of the easiest recipes I've ever published. No big secret techniques, no strange ingredients, in fact, without counting salt and pepper, you only need seven extra things from the supermarket aside from the buttermilk you probably already have in your fridge and been wondering how to use up.

Recipe Details

Super-Simple Tangy Buttermilk Coleslaw Recipe

Active 10 mins
Total 40 mins
Serves 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds green or red cabbage, cored and finely shredded in a food processor or mandoline (about 10 cups of shredded cabbage)

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced in a food processor or mandoline (about 1 cup)

  • 1 medium carrot, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 3/4 cup)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Combine cabbage, onion, and carrot in a large bowl and toss with a large pinch of salt. Set aside.

  2. Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and sugar. Pour over cabbage and season generously with black pepper. Toss to combine and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to refrigerator and let rest for 30 minutes or up to 3 days before serving.

Special equipment

Food processor with shredding dish or mandoline (both optional but recommended)


I like to use a mix of red and green cabbage, though either on its own is fine. This coleslaw will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
90 Calories
6g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 309mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 33mg 166%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 253mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)