Looking for the best coleslaw recipe? This low carb coleslaw recipe has a crunchy texture and has the perfect amount of dressing. Originally called Copycat Coleslaw recipe because it mimics the tastes you love from your favorite restaurants only made with healthier, real food ingredients. Learn how to make low carb coleslaw with only 1g net carbs per serving making it Keto Friendly too!
This is the easy side dish recipe that started this whole blog and that’s no exaggeration! After countless requests for my Coleslaw recipe, my husband suggested I started an online blog to share my recipes in a much easier way than writing them out for friends each time they asked…
“Easier” is the key word in that paragraph – LMAO but yes he had a great idea and I will be forever thankful that he pushed me to create this space to share recipes with you!
I have been making this recipe since I was in college, I don’t recall where I found the base recipe that I adapted and at this point it really doesn’t matter. My main focus was creating a coleslaw recipe that mimicked the flavors we all love at fast food restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Long John Silvers, the Colelslaw that when you get it out to eat that you HAVE to proclaim out loud “this is the GOOD coleslaw” much like my quest for creating the worlds best ranch dressing and dip mix! And heck, I’ve adapted this recipe into one of the key components of my How to make a West Virginia Style Hot Dog Recipe as the Best Hot Dog Coleslaw Recipe.
When I originally shared this recipe back in 2012 when HSITK first started, this was called Copycat Coleslaw Recipe, there was no fluff to this post and just a photo with a recipe card. Since I’ve updated it a couple times but never focusing on optimizing it, like I am today in 2023. I hope you find value in all the extra information I’m sharing with you!
What is Coleslaw?
Coleslaw (from koolsla in Dutch meaning ‘cabbage salad’) dates back to the 18th century from the Netherlands. Also known as cole slaw, or simply as slaw, is a side dish consisting primarily of finely shredded raw cabbage with a dressing, commonly either vinegar or mayonnaise based.
According to The Joy of Cooking, raw cabbage is the only entirely consistent ingredient in coleslaw; the type of cabbage, dressing, and added ingredients vary widely. Vinaigrette, mayonnaise, and sour cream based dressings are all listed; bacon, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple, pickles, onions, and herbs are specifically mentioned as possible added ingredients.
When making the best Low Carb Coleslaw recipe, we are keeping things very traditional with a slightly tangy yet sweet and creamy dressing.
Is Coleslaw Keto or Low-Carb
Unfortunately, restaurant style coleslaw, store bought coleslaw and store bought coleslaw dressings are not suitable for a keto diet because they are too high in carbs! The dressings that they use often has added sugar in them, and the amount of carrots that they use can throw someone out of ketosis!
Luckily, you can easily make your own keto-friendly version with this Low-Carb Coleslaw Recipe!
How many carbs in Coleslaw
According to the USDA 1 cup of coleslaw contains an average of 28 grams of carbohydrates, which puts it way too high on the carb scale to classify as a low-carb food and definitely not keto friendly. But don’t worry!! I’m going to to teach you how to make the BEST COLESLAW you’ve ever eaten and per cup there is only 4 grams of carbohydrate!
This Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe isn’t ONLY for those who are reducing their carbohydrate intake, it’s truly for everyone. Simply swapping sweeteners is what determines the carb content, so obviously using sugar will be higher carb and my recommended golden monk fruit sweetener greatly reduces the carbs to a more healthful level. I encourage you to experiment with using the sweetner(s) that fit your healthy lifestyle best, for a long time I used honey which was delicious and healthier than sugar.
Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe Ingredients
To make the best low carb Coleslaw you only need 9 very common ingredients:
- bag of Coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
- Sour Cream
- Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener
- lemon juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
You’ll notice that there are a few ingredients that are NOT in this recipe like dijon mustard, celery seed, red onion, olive oil, avocado oil etc.
Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe Substitutions
- Cabbage vs Bagged Coleslaw Mix: Even though I enjoy cooking, I also like to keep my recipes as easy as possible with simple ingredients and in the case of this traditional coleslaw, I prefer to grab a bog of pre-shredded coleslaw mix (all varieties work well, the angle hair plain finely shredded cabbage has the lowest carb count, but the colorful mix including red cabbage, purple cabbage and shredded carrots have a tiny bit more but also more nutrition). What my local grocery store carries is what I buy, I don’t shop around. If you’d rather shred your own whole head of green cabbage, that’s great too. I’ve done that many times as well. I personally find that using my food processor works best with the fine shredding blade, instead of a sharp knife. This keto coleslaw dressing is also divine on broccoli slaw mix as well!
- Regular mayonnaise will work great in this recipe, there is no specific requirement to source a specific brand of this homemade coleslaw recipe. IF you are eating low carb and/or keto, there is no reason to reach for low fat mayonnaise since we embrace healthy fat in our diet, but if you would; it is perfectly fine to use in this recipe as well.
- Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener
- is the best tasting replacement for real sugar, however you can use any keto-friendly sweetener that you prefer. I will say that for me stevia (even though it has the lowest grams of net carbs) is just not the best sugar-free sweetener substitution in the dressing ingredients, the aftertaste is just too ‘obvious’ but again I encourage you to do what works best for you!
- Apple Cider Vinegar (preferably with the mother) is what I suggest in this recipe however distilled white vinegar or white wine vinegar works to make this creamy dressing as well.
How to make Low Carb Coleslaw
This low-carb Coleslaw is so easy to make and makes the perfect side dish!
In a separate bowl (small bowl) combine the ingredients for the sweet dressing.
Mix the dressing well.
In a large mixing bowl, add your shredded cabbage mix & Pour the dressing over top of the shredded low-carb vegetables.
Mix well to combine. (just like when you mix potato salad)
For the Best keto coleslaw recipe, do not… I repeat DO NOT eat or serve this creamy coldslaw immediately!! Just like any healthy coleslaw recipe or regular coleslaw, this easy keto coleslaw recipe needs a little bit of time for the flavors to come together. The salt in the dressing will help to soften the cabbage slightly and it will release liquid that makes the tangy flavor even better the next day! At a minimum let your keto slaw hang out in the fridge for a couple hours.
I don’t know about you, but I love coleslaw! I worked to perfect a wonderfully sweet-tangy coleslaw recipe that’s similar to what you’ve had our chain restaurants and kept it full of healthy real food ingredients!
What to serve with this Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe?
While it might seem a little backwards to pick a side dish THEN look for options to serve with it, but that’s Ok! I got you covered!
Here’s a few of our favorite low carb main dishes to pair with this Low Carb Coleslaw recipe:
- Easy Oven Baked BBQ Pork Chops Recipes
- Grilled Dry Rub Hot Wings
- Slow Cooker Venison Neck Roast Recipe
- Instant Pot Keto Corned Beef Brisket
- Smoked BBQ Chicken Wings
- Easiest Way to Cook a Whole Chicken
If you like this Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe, try these other Low Carb Salad Recipes next:
- EASY Keto Broccoli Salad Recipe
- The Best Ham Salad Sandwich Recipe (just ditch the bread)
- The Best Spicy Crab Kani Salad
- Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing and Doritos (low-carb subs included)
- Confetti Egg Salad
The Best Low Carb Coleslaw Recipe
- mixing bowl
- plastic scraper
- 1 bag bag of Pre-shredded cole slaw mix or 8 cup shredded cabbage + 1 shredded carrot
- Combine all the dressing ingredients and toss with coleslaw mix
- You can eat it immediately but it does taste better if you refrigerate for at least 2 hours /overnight before eating.