Looking to impress at your next BBQ, potluck, or game day party? Our apple coleslaw recipe is a crowd-pleaser! Tangy, creamy, and refreshing, it’s the perfect side dish for your social gatherings.

bowl of Apple coleslaw


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Apple coleslaw is the perfect dish to serve at BBQs, potluck gatherings, and game day parties! Its crisp texture and refreshing flavors contrast with grilled meats and simple sandwiches, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing side dish.

The combination of tangy apple flavors, creamy dressing, and crunchy vegetables creates a harmonious balance that complements various flavors and adds a vibrant touch to any spread.

Whether enjoyed as a side dish, a topping, or a standalone salad, apple coleslaw is sure to be a hit at any social gathering.

ingredients for Apple coleslaw

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Coleslaw mix – This simple mix is a combination of thinly sliced green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots.
  • Fuji Apple – Fuji apple are sweet so they are perfect for this dish but you can substitute with any apple you like including a combination of sweet red and sour green.
  • Mayonnaise – this makes a delicious, creamy, coleslaw dressing.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – this is a slightly sweet vinegar. We don’t suggest substituting with any other vinegar as it will change the flavor profile of the dish.
  • Honey – this adds extra sweetness to the dressing that complements the apple.
  • Seasoning – Let the coleslaw marinate in the dressing for an hour or so and then add salt and pepper to taste.

Want to change things up a little? Bring our traditional homemade coleslaw or keto avocado coleslaw to your next potluck or game day party.


Step 1 – Prepare apple. Wash apple and cut into thin matchstick-sized pieces.

how to cut apple into matchsticks for Apple coleslaw

Step 2 – Add ingredients. Combine Coleslaw and apple sticks in a large bowl.

glass bowl of Apple coleslaw without dressing

Step 3 – Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and honey.

Apple coleslaw dressing

Step 4 – Toss together. Pour dressing over coleslaw and toss everything together until it is thoroughly coated. Cover the coleslaw and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Apple coleslaw mixture in glass bowl

Step 5 – Season. Once the coleslaw has marinated for an hour a remove it from the refrigerator and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Apple coleslaw on a fork

Frequently Asked Questions

Which vinegar for coleslaw?

When it comes to making coleslaw, the choice of vinegar plays a crucial role in enhancing the flavor profile of the salad. For apple coleslaw, we highly recommend using apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice, giving it a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that pairs beautifully with the natural sweetness of the apples in the coleslaw. It adds a pleasant acidity that balances the creaminess of the dressing and brings out the refreshing flavors of the ingredients.

In addition to its flavor benefits, apple cider vinegar offers potential health benefits. It is believed to have properties that aid digestion, support weight loss, and promote overall gut health. So, not only does it contribute to the deliciousness of apple coleslaw, but it may also provide some added health advantages.

When choosing apple cider vinegar for your coleslaw, opt for high-quality, organic varieties that are raw and unfiltered. These vinegar types retain more beneficial enzymes and nutrients compared to processed versions.

Will apple go brown in coleslaw?

Yes, apples have a tendency to turn brown when exposed to air due to a process called oxidation. When the flesh of an apple is cut or sliced, enzymes in the fruit react with oxygen, resulting in the browning effect.

However, there are steps you can take to prevent apples from turning brown in coleslaw and keep them looking fresh and appetizing. Here are a few techniques you can try:

Lemon Juice: Tossing sliced or diced apples in lemon juice can help inhibit oxidation and prevent browning. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which acts as a natural antioxidant. It is best to use freshly squeezed lemon juice for optimal results.

Immediate Mixing: Once you cut the apples, mix them with the other ingredients in the coleslaw dressing or salad immediately. The dressing or the presence of other ingredients like cabbage can create a barrier between the apple flesh and the air, reducing the exposure to oxygen and slowing down the browning process.

It’s worth noting that even with these preventive measures, some minimal browning may still occur over time. However, by following these tips, you can significantly slow down the oxidation process and keep your apple coleslaw looking fresh and vibrant for a longer period.

So, don’t let the fear of browning deter you from enjoying the delightful combination of apples and coleslaw. You can ensure that your apple coleslaw remains visually appealing and appetizing with a few simple tricks.

holding a black bowl of Apple coleslaw

What to Serve It With

Apple coleslaw is a versatile side dish that complements a variety of main courses and sandwiches. Here are some delicious serving suggestions, including the classic pairing with pulled pork sandwiches:

  1. Pulled Pork Sandwiches: Apple coleslaw and pulled pork sandwiches are a match made in culinary heaven. The tangy and crunchy coleslaw perfectly balances the rich and savory flavors of the pulled pork. Top your pulled pork sandwich with a generous scoop of apple coleslaw for a delightful combination of textures and flavors.
  2. Barbecue Ribs: Apple coleslaw is an excellent accompaniment to barbecue ribs. The crispness of the coleslaw provides a refreshing contrast to the tender and smoky ribs. Serve a generous portion of apple coleslaw alongside your favorite barbecue ribs for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
  3. BBQ Chicken Sliders: Add a fresh and vibrant element to your BBQ chicken sliders by topping them with apple coleslaw. The combination of juicy, flavorful meat with the crisp and tangy coleslaw creates a mouthwatering experience. It adds a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor to each bite.
  4. BBQ Chicken or Pork Chops: Apple coleslaw pairs wonderfully with grilled or barbecued chicken or BBQ pork chops. The cool and creamy coleslaw cuts through the richness of the meat and adds a burst of flavor. Serve it as a side dish or place a generous scoop directly on top of the grilled chicken or pork chop for a beautiful presentation.
  5. Picnic and Potluck Favorites: Apple coleslaw is a popular choice for picnics and potlucks due to its refreshing nature and versatility. It can be served alongside other picnic favorites such as fried chicken, grilled sausages, or even as a topping for hot dogs. Its crispness and tanginess make it a crowd-pleasing addition to any outdoor gathering.
bowl of Apple coleslaw with one apple in background

How to Store It

Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness and flavor of your apple coleslaw. Here are some guidelines on how to store it:

  1. Refrigerate: Apple coleslaw should always be stored in the refrigerator. The cool temperature helps slow down bacterial growth and keeps the ingredients fresh. After preparing the coleslaw, place it in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  2. Keep it Chilled: It’s essential to keep apple coleslaw chilled at all times, especially if you’re serving it outdoors or during warm weather. Avoid leaving it at room temperature for an extended period, as this can promote bacterial growth and compromise food safety. If you’re bringing the coleslaw to a picnic or event, pack it in a cooler with ice packs to maintain its freshness.
  3. Consume Within a Few Days: While apple coleslaw can be stored in the refrigerator, it’s best to consume it within two to three days for optimal quality. As time passes, the cabbage and other ingredients may become less crisp, and the flavors can start to diminish.
  4. Mix Before Serving: Before serving the stored apple coleslaw, give it a good toss to redistribute the dressing and ensure that all the ingredients are well combined. This step helps refresh the flavors and textures.
  5. Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended for apple coleslaw, as it can affect the texture and crispness of the vegetables. The dressing may also separate and become watery when thawed, resulting in a less desirable consistency.

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy this dish for a few days after preparation. Remember, always prioritize food safety and discard any coleslaw that shows signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, unusual texture, or discoloration.

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Apple Coleslaw

This apple coleslaw recipe is made with crisp apples for a sweet flavor that is perfect for tailgating, game day parties, and as a Thanksgiving side dish recipe.
bowl of Apple coleslaw
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes


  • 6 cups Coleslaw mix
  • 1 large Fuji Apple
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Wash apple and cut into thin matchstick-sized pieces.
  • Combine Coleslaw and apple sticks in a large bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and honey.
  • Pour dressing over coleslaw and toss everything together until it is thoroughly coated. Cover the coleslaw and let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Once the coleslaw has marinated for an hour remove it from the refrigerator and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 125mg, Potassium: 86mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 56IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American