Colorful and Versatile Homemade Coleslaw

If you like to make salads that can be changed up in a blink of an eye (or by adding or substituting an ingredient or two) then the versatility of this colorful coleslaw recipe will soon become one of your favorites.

Coleslaw speaks of summertime, of cookouts, pot-luck dinners, friends popping over for dinner and fresh, garden picked vegetables. Now let’s face it, if you live in the suburbs or city, garden fresh vegetables might be a little difficult to find. Have no fear my friend, we do have farmers markets to shop at. And if you are not lucky enough to have one of those nearby, there are always the good old tried-and-true supermarkets.


Once you read through this recipe you will realize you really don’t need a lot of ingredients, in fact, many you might already have in your house. The first thing you want to think about is what color salad do you want to make. Yes, oddly you get to change up the color of this delicious coleslaw. If it is wintertime you may want to go with the deep purple color of red cabbage, springtime you may want the pure light green color of green cabbage. If you are entertaining or bringing coleslaw to a party, various shades of pink are always a conversation maker. And don’t forget those of us/you who might be pot-lucking it during October, better known as breast cancer awareness month. What better way to show respect for the color pink than to bring along a pink coleslaw to whatever event you are attending.

When I decided to share this recipe with you I chose pink because that is not a color you see too often in a salad. The combination of chopped green cabbage and chopped red cabbage gives this salad it’s beautiful color. Add in specs of chopped carrot, diced onion and celery seed and you have a fresh pallet of artistic colors all mixed up in a beautiful side dish of coleslaw.


I certainly understand that not everyone has a food processor. I have had a Cuisinart Food Processor for years and it is still going strong. If you do own one or can borrow one this recipe will be extremely easy to make. If you don’t then a handheld shredder can be used as can a good kitchen knife. Whatever shredding/dicing tool you have be consistent throughout the recipe. Either shred everything, chop it all or use the food processor. Your vegetables will at least be uniform throughout the salad.

The nice thing about this coleslaw is that it actually becomes more delicious the longer it sits in your refrigerator. When I am serving this as a side dish, I like to make it at least a day before serving. If we are lucky enough to have leftovers, I can assure you they will be gone in just a matter of days.


The tip to changing the color of the coleslaw is obviously dependent on how much of each cabbage you use. The red cabbage provides a much stronger color than the green so add your cabbages slowly to the mixing bowl if you are trying to come up with a pink color slaw. Also, you can add the milk as needed to the coleslaw depending on personal preference. Some people like their coleslaw “wet” while others like it a bit drier. The one ingredient you can play with to change the consistency is the milk. Finally, if you are using really large heads of cabbage or if you are needing to make a large bowl of slaw, you may want to double the ingredients (not the cabbage, just the remaining ingredients). I really hope all of you enjoy this coleslaw for many years to come. Email me and let me know if you tried this recipe!

Colorful and Versatile Homemade Coleslaw

Multiple vegetables are shredded and mixed together to make this colorful coleslaw that can be eaten anytime of the year.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Allow two to three hours in the refrigerator so the flavors can marry. 2 hours
Course Salad, Side Dish
Servings 8


  • 1 Head Green cabbage, small
  • 1 Head Red cabbage, small
  • 1 Carrot, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp Small Onion
  • Cup Sugar
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Whole Milk
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ¼ Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Celery Seed


  • Peel then cut the carrot into large pieces.
  • Peel the onion then cut it in halves and halve again. You will only use one quarter.
  • In the food processor, drop in the cut-up carrot and section of onion. Chop until diced into very small pieces. Remove to a large mixing bowl.
  • Peel off the outer leaves of the green cabbage. Save for another recipe or to use later in the week in a salad. Cut off the stem of the cabbage and quarter the head.
  • Peel off a few of the outer leaves of the red cabbage. Cut off the stem and quarter the head.
  • In the same food processor bowl, working in batches, chop the green cabbage then remove to the mixing bowl.
  • Depending on what color coleslaw you want (green, red, or pink), in the same food processor chop one quarter of the red cabbage. Remove to the same bowl as the chopped green cabbage.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the chopped vegetable mixture in the mixing bowl. Stir well so that all of the ingredients are blended well.
  • Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This will give spices in the coleslaw time to infuse into the cabbage.


***For all green cabbage use a large head of cabbage and omit the red cabbage.
***For red coleslaw, add a second or even third wedge of chopped red cabbage.
Feel free to play with the colors of this Coleslaw. This is perfect for various meals throughout the years. The appearance will change but the flavor will remain the same.

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