I often think of coleslaw as the quintessential side dish. When I’m having fried chicken, I want coleslaw. When I eat barbecue, I want coleslaw. When we have burgers and dogs, I want coleslaw. And my favorite sandwich of all time, a Turkey Special, wouldn’t be special at all with the coleslaw. There are so many different types of coleslaw, and I’ve experimented with lots of variations over the years. From crisp and vinegary, heavy on the celery seed to no celery seed at all, to sweet and tangy, there is a slaw out there for any palette. This Sweet Southern Slaw that I’m sharing with you today is my family’s favorite, and it’s the one I make whenever I’m making my Best Ever Fried Chicken. It reminds me of the coleslaw you’d get at a fried chicken restaurant – creamy and just sweet enough to balance the salty chicken.
Now, this isn’t the slaw that I lived on for many years when I was super strict with my diet. But Jackie, you might ask, how is coleslaw a health food? Omg – are you kidding? This stuff is amazing for when you’re watching your calories and carbs. First off, an entire head of cabbage only has about 300 calories. And when you only use enough mayo to coat, and leave out the sugar, you can literally pile a big heap of slaw onto your plate, top it with some grilled chicken and veggies, and have very filling, satisfying meal. In fact, this slaw and chicken combo was my dinner most nights for many years (except on cheat days, of course). Cabbage can be your own personal superfood if you use it in the right way.
But we’re not talking about that today. This Sweet Southern Slaw isn’t about dieting (although it will still come in lighter than any other sides you’ve got on the table). This slaw is all about supporting the main meal. It is THE slaw you’re going to want at your barbecues this summer. It’s tangy, mellow and crisp. Oh, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. Even easier when you purchase a bag of pre-cut coleslaw mix. Just whisk all of the ingredients together in one bowl, dump in the cabbage and you’re all set to impress your guests. And for me, when I say “guests” I mean The Prince, who turned his nose up at many iterations of this slaw before giving it his enthusiastic seal of approval.
We recently tried this Sweet Southern Slaw on my Hot Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches with Crispy Onion Strings, and can I just tell you? No words. Just yum. But try it on anything really. Or next to anything. It just works, and I promise you’ll love it. Enjoy!
- 1 head of green cabbage, washed and diced (or two 14 oz. bags of pre-cut coleslaw mix)
- 2-3 handfuls of matchstick carrots (omit if using a pre-cut bag mix)
- 2 Tbsp. diced yellow onion
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 5 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
Whisk all ingredients except the cabbage together in a large bowl. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.