When I was growing up, my dad was pretty well known for his cole slaw. Every family gathering, every holiday, every potluck event, they were all met with requests for Dad’s cole slaw. I’ll be honest and say that when I was younger, I was NOT a fan. I didn’t like onion, and I wasn’t a huge fan of cabbage in general. So, I was often one of the first ones to pass on the bowl of cole slaw as it made its rounds. I never would have pictured myself making my own creamy cole slaw, and if anyone said then that I’d make it now, I would have said they were crazy.
As I got older, though, I came to appreciate my dad’s recipe for cole slaw. That being said, I’m not a fan of cole slaw everywhere. Some are too heavy on the vinegar, others are too dry, and others still are more mayo and very little of anything else. For that reason, I don’t usually get cole slaw when we go out anywhere, but I love to have it at home. For a while, I jumped on the bandwagon of having my dad make cole slaw any time he came for a holiday or birthday. I just wasn’t ready to venture into making it myself. But as life got in the way and dad was several states away, I wanted to take the plunge.
I’d watched intently as my father made cole slaw so many times that I figured for sure that I could recreate what he made. I even asked him for his recipe. But, like me, Dad’s always been one of those “a little bit of this, a little bit of that” kinds of cooks. In fact, when I got ready to post this, I had to make a batch and actually measure things out because I had no idea how much of each thing I really used. This recipe isn’t Dad’s cole slaw, but instead it’s my gradually-adjusted-and-customized version of my dad’s original recipe. THIS recipe has even turned my “I don’t like cole slaw” husband into a fan! I will tell you, though, this stuff gets better as it sits – make it the day before for the best flavor.
- 1 pound of tri-color cole slaw mix
- ½ medium sweet onion, diced
- 12 ounces mayonnaise (we tend to favor Duke’s here if we don’t make it ourselves)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons celery salt
- Combine the onion and the cole slaw mix, tossing to mix well.
- Add mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder and celery salt.
- Stir until everything is combined.
- Scoop it into a bowl, then sprinkle the top with paprika.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.