Mrs. R's Coleslaw

Coleslaw makes for the perfect barbecue party side.

Mrs. R’s Coleslaw
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke
Active Time:
20 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

It's not a barbecue without coleslaw. A bowl of homemade coleslaw adds a welcome, refreshing note to the barbecue spread, which might be otherwise dominated by heavier items like Potato Salad or Baked Beans.

This side dish is reminiscent of the slaw you'll find at basically every Southern fried fish restaurant. Made with a medley of bell pepper, onion, celery, and green cabbage, this coleslaw is bright and colorful. Apple cider vinegar brings a touch of tang to the silky, mayo-based dressing, which is accented with two tablespoons of mustard. Allow the slaw to chill for at least one hour, at which point the cabbage begins to wilt and break down.

This simple but special coleslaw recipe comes from the Southern Living Party Cookbook, which was published in 1972, but is anything but outdated. Mrs. R's Coleslaw is proof that some recipes really do stand the test of time. Serve this homemade coleslaw along with any summer cookout spread, atop pulled pork sandwiches or hot dogs, or with any dish that needs a lively side dish.


  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped (about ½ cup)

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded (about 8 cups)


  1. Stir together chopped bell peppers, onion, celery, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in cabbage. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour or up to overnight (12 hours). Stir well before serving.

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