Cookout-Ready Coleslaw Recipes

Variations for Barbecue Sides and Sandwiches

There is so much that can be done with coleslaw that most people simply don't think about. Coleslaw is a traditional sandwich topping in barbecue as well as a side dish. This is truly a versatile salad that can be rich and creamy or light and healthy. These recipes provide several ways to try out a great coleslaw.

  • 01 of 09

    Simple Slaw

    Coleslaw Recipe

     The Spruce

    Traditional Carolina barbecue was topped with coleslaw long before anyone thought to put tomatoes and lettuce on a burger—before there were burgers, in fact. This simple slaw recipe is perfect for topping off a barbecue sandwich (or even as a side dish). The classic coleslaw ingredients provide the perfect combination of tangy flavors to make to great barbecue.

  • 02 of 09

    Sandwich Slaw

    Brisket with slaw

    Hungry Dudes /

    This barbecue sandwich slaw is drier than most, making it a perfect topping. You won't get saucy drips that can stain your shirt. The flavors are well balanced, with sweetness and tanginess to highlight the smokiness of barbecue. It makes for a great side dish as well.

  • 03 of 09

    Creamy Mayo-Less Coleslaw

    Creamy Mayo-Less Coleslaw

    Molly Watson / The Spruce

    You can make a lighter version of coleslaw without mayonnaise. Classic creamy mayo-less coleslaw uses a bit of cream and malt vinegar (whose acidic nature naturally thickens the cream to dressing-like consistency) to lightly dress shredded cabbage. If you want it to be creamier, you can double the amount of dressing.

  • 04 of 09

    Blue Cheese Coleslaw

    Blue Cheese Coleslaw

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Serve blue cheese coleslaw on its own or use it as a barbecue sandwich topping. The recipe is simple and begins with a bag of prepared coleslaw mix. You just need to make the dressing with sour cream, mayonnaise, blue cheese, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Everything Slaw

    Everything Slaw

    Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    Not only is this everything slaw colorful, but very flavorful as well. It uses red cabbage, white cabbage, carrots, onions, jicama, and a tart Granny Smith apple. Combine that with honey and Dijon mustard for a memorable coleslaw.

  • 06 of 09

    South Carolina Coleslaw

    South Carolina Coleslaw

    Joe Cicak / Getty Images

    This is South Carolina coleslaw is drier and is perfect for sandwiches. It contains bell pepper and sweet onion for flavors that perfectly accent a pulled pork sandwich. The dressing is both sweet and tart. Make it early so the flavors can blend while the pork is in the smoker.

  • 07 of 09

    Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

    Napa Cabbage Coleslaw

    Brian Hagiwara / Getty Images

    Influenced by Asian-inspired flavors, with sesame oil, Napa cabbage coleslaw includes bok choy and sweet peppers. It lacks the creaminess of many coleslaws and instead has only a vinegar tang. It is a wonderful side for any grilled dish, such as chicken, pork, or beef flank steaks.

  • 08 of 09

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

    Granny Smith Apple Slaw

    Sabrina S. Baksh / Regarding BBQ, Inc.

    This lively Granny Smith apple slaw is half thinly-sliced apple pieces and half shredded cabbage, along with some surprising ingredients such as cilantro and thyme. It's a fun break from the same old coleslaw.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Lexington Red Coleslaw

    Lexington Coleslaw

    Iain Bagwell / Getty Images

    In Lexington, North Carolina, they make a red slaw by adding ketchup to the cabbage and cider vinegar recipe. It is also spiced up with cayenne, chili powder, and hot sauce. Lexington red coleslaw goes perfectly with barbecue pork or chicken, either as a side dish or on a sandwich. Enjoy this regional variation.