On The Side: Blue Cheese Coleslaw

There’s not a lot of middle ground on coleslaw. You either like it all of the time, like it only when it’s homemade, or hate it. This is strictly a take it or leave it side. No one ever says, “I really don’t want the fries,” but you will regularly hear people asking for a substitution for the slaw.


Foodservice coleslaw tastes like crap. It’s sugary and loaded with a mayonnaise-based dressing that sogs the cabbage. Slaw should be crisp. It should have resistance when bitten. It should crunch. It should be good.


I have three slaw recipes on this site that are good (1|2). The third one follows.



Blue Cheese Coleslaw
  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage
  • 4 large carrots, rinsed, peeled and shredded
  • 16 oz. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz. blue cheese crumbles

With a large, sharp knife, cut the cabbage heads in half and remove the cores. Slice the cabbage as thin as possible, or shred with a mandoline. Combine with the carrots in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the mayo, mustards, vinegar, celery seed, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to mix. Add the blue cheese and stir together with the whisk to combine. 

Pour one-quarter of the dressing over the slaw. Toss then add the next quarter, repeating the process until the slaw is dressed but not swimming in dressing. (Smitten Kitchen says that this dressing will keep for weeks in an airtight container). Transfer to your mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate an hour or two before serving to allow the flavors to crossmojolate. 

Before serving, toss the slaw with a spoon. If needed, add more dressing.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Ina Garten

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