How to Make the Best Memphis Coleslaw Recipe

Are you ready to learn how to make the best Memphis Coleslaw recipe? Look no further, because we’ve got you covered! This classic southern dish is a must-have at any backyard barbecue or potluck gathering. With its creamy yet tangy flavors and crunchy texture, it perfectly complements any grilled meats or sandwiches. Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, this recipe is simple, delicious, and sure to impress your friends and family. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

How to Make the Best Memphis Coleslaw Recipe | 101 Simple Recipe
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Understanding Memphis Coleslaw

Discover the origins and unique flavors of Memphis coleslaw, a popular Southern side dish.

The History of Memphis Coleslaw

Memphis coleslaw has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. Originally a German dish, coleslaw made its way to America through European immigrants. As it made its way to the Southern region, particularly to Memphis, it underwent various adaptations to suit local tastes and ingredients.

Memphis coleslaw is known for its tangy and slightly sweet flavor profile. It pairs perfectly with barbecue dishes, adding a refreshing and crunchy element to balance out the richness of the meats. Over the years, it has become a staple side dish in Southern cuisine and is often enjoyed at picnics, cookouts, and family gatherings.

The secret to the popularity of Memphis coleslaw lies in its versatility. Its flavors can be customized to suit individual preferences, ranging from mild and creamy to tangy and spicy. This adaptability has made it a favorite among both locals and visitors alike.

Traditional Ingredients of Memphis Coleslaw

The traditional ingredients of Memphis coleslaw include cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and various seasonings. Cabbage forms the base of the dish, providing a crisp and refreshing texture. Carrots are often added for additional color and crunch.

Mayonnaise serves as the creamy and binding element in Memphis coleslaw. It adds richness and a smooth mouthfeel to the dish. Vinegar and sugar are essential components of the coleslaw dressing, providing the characteristic tangy and slightly sweet taste that sets it apart.

Seasonings such as salt, black pepper, mustard, and celery seeds are commonly used to enhance the flavor profile of Memphis coleslaw. These ingredients add a depth of flavor and complement the other components of the dish.

Secrets to the Perfect Memphis Coleslaw Dressing

The key to achieving the perfect Memphis coleslaw lies in mastering the dressing. The dressing is what elevates the flavors and brings the dish together harmoniously. Here are some secrets to creating a fantastic dressing:

  1. Vary the vinegar: Experiment with different types of vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, to determine your preferred level of tanginess.
  2. Balance the sweetness: Adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste. You can also use alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup for a unique twist.
  3. Add a kick of spice: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, incorporate ingredients like hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or jalapenos to give your coleslaw a spicy kick.
  4. Let it marinate: Allow the coleslaw to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste.

Remember, the perfect Memphis coleslaw dressing is all about finding your personal balance of tanginess, sweetness, and spice.

By understanding the origins, key ingredients, and secrets to a great dressing, you can now confidently embark on creating your own delicious Memphis coleslaw. Whether you’re enjoying it alongside smoky barbecued meats or as a refreshing standalone dish, this Southern classic is sure to impress.

Add a burst of flavor to your Memphis coleslaw recipe with this delicious peanut butter cup recipe. The combination of creamy peanut butter and rich chocolate will take your coleslaw to a whole new level of deliciousness. Just imagine the sweet and salty flavors melting together in your mouth. It’s the perfect indulgence to satisfy your dessert cravings after enjoying a bowl of coleslaw.

Choosing the Right Cabbage

When it comes to making the best Memphis coleslaw, choosing the right cabbage is essential. The type of cabbage you use will greatly affect the texture and flavor of your coleslaw. There are several varieties of cabbage to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. By understanding the different types of cabbage and how to select the best one, you can ensure that your Memphis coleslaw turns out delicious every time.

Overview of Cabbage Varieties

Before diving into the selection process, let’s take a quick overview of the common cabbage varieties you’ll come across:

  • Green Cabbage: This is the most widely available variety and is known for its crisp texture and slightly bitter taste.
  • Red Cabbage: With its vibrant purple color, this variety adds a beautiful pop of color to your coleslaw. It has a more peppery flavor compared to green cabbage.
  • Napa Cabbage: Also known as Chinese cabbage, it has a mild and slightly sweet taste. Napa cabbage is great for adding a delicate crunch to your coleslaw.
  • Savoy Cabbage: This variety has crinkled leaves and a mild flavor. It is tender and perfect for creating a more delicate coleslaw.

Identifying Fresh and Quality Cabbage

Now that you have an idea of the different cabbage varieties, it’s important to know how to identify fresh and high-quality cabbage:

  • Appearance: Look for cabbages that have crisp, firm leaves with vibrant colors. Avoid those with wilting or discolored leaves.
  • Weight: A good cabbage should feel heavy for its size. This indicates that it is packed with moisture and freshness.
  • Texture: Gently squeeze the cabbage to check for firmness. It should feel dense and not too soft.
  • Smell: Fresh cabbage should have a clean and mild odor. Avoid cabbage with a strong or unpleasant smell.

Preparation Tips for Cabbage

Now that you’ve selected the perfect cabbage, it’s time to prepare it for your Memphis coleslaw:

  • Remove Outer Leaves: Remove any damaged or wilted leaves from the cabbage head.
  • Rinse: Rinse the cabbage under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Dry: Use a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to pat the cabbage dry.
  • Shred or Chop: Depending on your preference, shred or chop the cabbage into thin strips or bite-sized pieces.

By following these preparation tips and selecting the right cabbage variety, you can ensure that your Memphis coleslaw has the perfect texture and flavor. Experiment with different cabbage varieties to find your favorite combination and enjoy the deliciousness of homemade coleslaw!

Looking for a refreshing beverage to pair with your homemade Memphis coleslaw? Try this cream soda recipe. The creamy and bubbly concoction is the perfect balance of sweet and fizzy, making it a delightful companion to the crisp and tangy coleslaw. It’s easy to make and will add a touch of nostalgia to your meal. So grab a glass and savor the delicious combination of flavors!

Enhancing Flavors with Additions

When it comes to making the best Memphis coleslaw, it’s all about finding creative ways to elevate the taste and texture. While the classic recipe is delicious on its own, adding a few extra ingredients can take it to a whole new level of flavor. Ready to enhance your coleslaw? Let’s get started!

Exploring Flavorful Herbs and Spices

To add a burst of flavor to your Memphis coleslaw, consider incorporating some flavorful herbs and spices. One popular choice is fresh cilantro, known for its bright and citrusy taste. Finely chop a handful of cilantro leaves and mix them into your coleslaw for a refreshing twist.

Another herb that pairs well with coleslaw is dill. Its delicate and tangy flavor complements the creaminess of the dressing perfectly. Simply chop up some fresh dill and sprinkle it over your coleslaw for an extra layer of taste.

If you’re looking to add a hint of spice, consider using cayenne pepper or smoked paprika. These spices can add a subtle kick to the coleslaw without overwhelming the other flavors. Just remember to start with a small amount and adjust to your personal preference.

Adding Crunch with Nuts and Seeds

Crunchy elements can make your coleslaw more interesting and satisfying. Including nuts and seeds is a great way to achieve that desired texture. One delicious option is toasted almonds. Toast a handful of almonds until they become golden and fragrant, then chop them up and sprinkle them on top of your coleslaw. The nutty flavor will provide a delightful contrast to the creaminess of the dressing.

For a slightly different taste, try adding roasted sunflower seeds. They are packed with nutrients and add a subtle nuttiness to the coleslaw. Sprinkle a handful of these seeds over your coleslaw to bring that extra crunch.

Experimenting with Fruits and Vegetables

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not experiment with adding fruits and vegetables to your Memphis coleslaw? One popular choice is grated apples. Their natural sweetness and crisp texture can add a refreshing twist to the coleslaw. Leave the skin on for added color and fiber.

Another interesting addition is thinly sliced red onions. They provide a subtle sharpness that complements the creaminess of the dressing. Soak the sliced onions in cold water for a few minutes to reduce their pungency, then mix them into your coleslaw for an extra burst of flavor.

To add a touch of tanginess, try incorporating pickles or pickled jalapenos. These briny and zesty ingredients can add a delightful bite to your coleslaw. Simply chop them up and mix them in for an exciting flavor combination.

In conclusion, enhancing the flavors of your Memphis coleslaw is all about creativity and experimentation. By adding herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, you can take your coleslaw to new heights of taste and texture. So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen, and enjoy the delicious results!

If you’re looking for a tasty side dish to accompany your Memphis coleslaw recipe, why not try this ranch oyster crackers recipe? The savory and crunchy crackers are the perfect complement to the coleslaw’s creamy and tangy flavors. Plus, they’re super easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Give it a try and take your coleslaw game to the next level!

Mastering the Dressing

Unlock the secrets to making a tangy and creamy dressing that perfectly complements Memphis coleslaw.

Classic Mayonnaise-Based Dressing

When it comes to making the best Memphis coleslaw, a classic mayonnaise-based dressing is a must. This creamy dressing provides the perfect balance of tanginess and richness to elevate your coleslaw to another level. To make this dressing, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the dressing, simply whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste, adding more vinegar for tanginess or sugar for sweetness. Once ready, pour the dressing over your shredded cabbage and other coleslaw ingredients, tossing until everything is evenly coated. Chill the coleslaw in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Vinegar-Based Dressing with a Kick

If you prefer a tangier and slightly spicy dressing for your Memphis coleslaw, a vinegar-based dressing with a kick is the way to go. This dressing adds a zesty flavor to the coleslaw and pairs well with barbecue dishes. To make this dressing, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce ️
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper ️

In a bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste, adding more hot sauce for extra heat. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw ingredients and toss until well coated. Refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Healthier Alternatives to Traditional Dressings

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to the traditional mayonnaise or vinegar-based dressings, there are a few options you can try. These alternatives provide a lighter and fresher taste to your Memphis coleslaw. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Greek Yogurt Dressing: Replace the mayonnaise in the classic dressing with Greek yogurt for a tangy and protein-rich option. Add lemon juice, garlic, and herbs for extra flavor.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: Create a refreshing dressing by combining fresh lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt. This dressing adds a citrusy zing to your coleslaw.

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find the dressing that suits your taste buds best. Whether you prefer the classic mayonnaise-based dressing, a tangy vinegar-based option, or a healthier alternative, the key is to balance the flavors and enhance the taste of the Memphis coleslaw.

Techniques for Mixing and Serving

When it comes to preparing and serving a delicious Memphis coleslaw, there are a few techniques that can take your dish from good to great. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your coleslaw is perfectly mixed and served for maximum enjoyment.

Proper Mixing and Tossing Methods

One of the keys to a successful Memphis coleslaw is properly mixing and tossing the ingredients. Start by shredding fresh cabbage and carrots into thin strips. For added flavor and crunch, you can also include shredded red cabbage and thinly sliced red onions. The combination of these ingredients will provide the perfect balance of textures and flavors in your coleslaw.

Once you have your shredded vegetables prepared, it’s time to mix in the dressing. A classic Memphis coleslaw dressing typically consists of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and mustard. To ensure that the dressing is evenly distributed throughout the coleslaw, it’s important to toss the vegetables and dressing together using large salad tongs or two forks.

Tip: To add a hint of tanginess to your coleslaw, you can replace some of the vinegar in the dressing with fresh lemon juice.

Optimal Chilling and Serving Time

After your Memphis coleslaw is mixed to perfection, it’s crucial to let it chill in the refrigerator before serving. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste of the coleslaw. Ideally, you should refrigerate your coleslaw for at least one hour before serving.

When it comes to serving your chilled coleslaw, it’s important to keep it at the optimal temperature. You can achieve this by serving the coleslaw on a bed of ice or using a chilled serving bowl. This will help to maintain the freshness and crispness of the coleslaw, making it even more enjoyable for your guests.

Tip: For an extra refreshing twist, you can add a few drops of chilled hot sauce or a sprinkle of fresh herbs on top of your coleslaw just before serving.

Creative Presentation Ideas for Coleslaw

In addition to mastering the mixing and serving techniques, you can also impress your guests with creative presentation ideas for your Memphis coleslaw. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Serve the coleslaw in individual mason jars for a charming and portable presentation.
  • Garnish the coleslaw with a sprinkle of paprika or smoked paprika for added color and flavor.
  • Create a coleslaw bar where guests can customize their own coleslaw with toppings like crispy bacon, diced avocado, or toasted nuts.

Tip: To add a touch of sweetness and crunch, you can sprinkle some crushed pineapple or candied pecans on top of your coleslaw.

By following these techniques for mixing and serving your Memphis coleslaw, you can create a dish that is not only delicious but also visually appealing. So gather your ingredients, get mixing, and elevate your coleslaw game to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for reading our article on the Memphis coleslaw recipe. We hope you found it helpful and informative. If you have any further questions, please refer to the FAQs below.

No. Questions Answers
1. How long does it take to make Memphis coleslaw? The total preparation and cooking time for Memphis coleslaw is approximately 30 minutes.
2. What are the main ingredients for Memphis coleslaw? The main ingredients for Memphis coleslaw include cabbage, carrots, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and celery seed.
3. Can I make Memphis coleslaw ahead of time? Yes, you can make Memphis coleslaw ahead of time. It is recommended to store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
4. Is Memphis coleslaw suitable for vegetarians? Yes, Memphis coleslaw is suitable for vegetarians as it does not contain any meat or animal by-products.
5. Can I customize the flavors of Memphis coleslaw? Yes, you can customize the flavors of Memphis coleslaw by adjusting the amount of sugar, vinegar, and mustard according to your taste preference.
6. What are some serving suggestions for Memphis coleslaw? Memphis coleslaw is a versatile side dish that pairs well with barbecue, fried chicken, sandwiches, and burgers.

Thank You for Reading!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our article on the Memphis coleslaw recipe. We hope you found the recipe easy to follow and the coleslaw delicious. If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to visit our website for more recipes and cooking tips. Remember to bookmark our site and check back regularly for new and exciting recipes. Happy cooking!

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How to Make the Best Memphis Coleslaw Recipe | 101 Simple Recipe

Memphis Coleslaw Recipe

Discover the authentic Memphis coleslaw recipe that is tangy, creamy, and packed with flavor. It is the perfect side dish for your barbecue gatherings or family meals.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 180 kcal


  • 1 small head of cabbage finely shredded
  • 2 carrots grated
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed


  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage and grated carrots.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Dijon mustard, and celery seed until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Before serving, give the coleslaw a good toss to redistribute the dressing.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy your delicious homemade Memphis coleslaw!
Keyword Memphis coleslaw, coleslaw recipe, southern coleslaw, BBQ side dish, creamy coleslaw