Apple Coleslaw Recipe - A Delicious and Wholesome Dish from the USA

Apple Coleslaw

Apple Coleslaw Recipe - A Delicious and Wholesome Dish from the USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Servings: 6-8


Apple Coleslaw
Apple Coleslaw

Apple Coleslaw is a refreshing and vibrant salad that combines the crisp textures of apples and cabbage with a creamy poppy seed dressing. This dish is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a light side dish for your meals. The unique blend of sweet and tangy flavors makes it a favorite among both adults and children. This recipe takes a classic coleslaw and elevates it with the addition of julienned apples, adding a delightful sweetness and crunch that pairs wonderfully with the creamy dressing.


The concept of coleslaw originated from the Netherlands, where it was called "koolsla," meaning cabbage salad. The recipe evolved over time, especially after being introduced to America, where it became a staple side dish, particularly at barbecues and picnics. The addition of apples to the coleslaw is a more modern twist, aiming to add a fresh, sweet element to the traditional savory and creamy flavors.


How to prepare

  1. To prepare the Poppy Seed Dressing, start by combining all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix them together until well blended. Set the dressing aside.
  2. To prepare the salad, begin by combining the cabbage, carrots, scallions, parsley, and apples in a large bowl. Pour the reserved dressing over the salad and toss it until well blended. Refrigerate the salad for at least 1 hour before serving, making sure to mix it at least once during this time to evenly distribute the dressing.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, consider adding dried cranberries or chopped nuts such as walnuts or almonds for extra texture and flavor. Another variation is to use a different type of apple, such as Granny Smith, for a more tart flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best texture, ensure the cabbage and apples are finely julienned. This not only makes the salad more visually appealing but also ensures that each bite is a perfect blend of flavors. To prevent the apples from browning, toss them in a little lemon juice before adding them to the salad. For a lighter version of the dressing, you can substitute Greek yogurt for part of the mayonnaise.

Serving Suggestions

Apple Coleslaw is best served chilled, making it a refreshing side dish for warm-weather gatherings. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats, sandwiches, and burgers. You can also serve it as part of a buffet spread, allowing guests to enjoy it alongside other salads and sides.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Apple Coleslaw is in the julienning of the apples and vegetables. Using a mandoline slicer can help achieve uniform, thin slices quickly and efficiently. Additionally, allowing the salad to marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving helps meld the flavors together.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you're looking to make substitutions, red cabbage can be used in place of green for a pop of color. For a vegan version, use a plant-based mayonnaise. Honey can be substituted with maple syrup or agave nectar for a different type of sweetness.

Make Ahead Tips

Apple Coleslaw can be prepared up to a day in advance. However, to prevent the apples from browning and to ensure the salad remains crisp, add the apples and toss the salad with the dressing only a few hours before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the coleslaw in a large, clear bowl to showcase the vibrant colors of the ingredients. Garnish with additional parsley leaves or a sprinkle of poppy seeds for an elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

This coleslaw pairs wonderfully with barbecue dishes, such as pulled pork or grilled chicken. It also complements seafood well, especially when served alongside grilled salmon or shrimp.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Apple Coleslaw is best enjoyed fresh and does not require reheating. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. It's not recommended to freeze this salad, as the texture of the ingredients will be adversely affected.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Apple Coleslaw contains approximately 250 calories. The calories mainly come from the mayonnaise and honey in the dressing. For a lower-calorie version, you can reduce the amount of mayonnaise or substitute it with a lower-calorie alternative.


This Apple Coleslaw is relatively high in carbohydrates, primarily due to the natural sugars found in the apples and honey. The total carbohydrate content per serving is approximately 20 grams. However, it also contains dietary fiber from the cabbage and apples, which is beneficial for digestive health.


The majority of the fat in this recipe comes from the mayonnaise, contributing to the creamy texture of the dressing. Each serving contains about 15 grams of fat, most of which is unsaturated. To reduce the fat content, you can opt for a low-fat mayonnaise or substitute part of it with Greek yogurt.


Apple Coleslaw is not a significant source of protein, containing about 2 grams per serving. If you're looking to increase the protein content, consider adding grilled chicken or tofu to the salad, making it a more substantial meal.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, thanks to the carrots, cabbage, and apples. These vitamins are crucial for maintaining good vision, skin health, and immune function. The salad also provides a modest amount of potassium and calcium.


The primary allergen in this recipe is eggs, which are present in the mayonnaise. If you have an egg allergy, look for egg-free mayonnaise alternatives. Additionally, this recipe is gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.


Overall, Apple Coleslaw is a nutritious side dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. By making slight adjustments, such as using low-fat mayonnaise or adding protein, you can easily tailor it to fit your dietary needs.


Apple Coleslaw is a delightful twist on a classic side dish, offering a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and creamy flavors. With its simple preparation and versatile serving options, it's sure to become a favorite at your next meal or gathering. Whether you stick to the original recipe or experiment with variations, this coleslaw is a refreshing addition to any menu.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I discovered this recipe for Apple Coleslaw. It was a crisp fall day, the leaves were turning colors and there was a slight chill in the air. I had just come back from the farmer's market with a bag full of fresh apples and cabbage, and I was feeling inspired to try something new.

As I stood in my kitchen, surrounded by the comforting aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, I began to chop the apples and cabbage with care. I remembered my own grandmother showing me how to make coleslaw when I was just a young girl, and I knew that this recipe would quickly become a family favorite.

As I mixed together the creamy dressing, I thought back to all the different recipes I had learned over the years. Some came from cookbooks, others from friends or family members. But this recipe, this one felt special. It felt like it was meant to be a part of our family's culinary heritage.

I tossed the apples and cabbage in the dressing, adding a handful of raisins and walnuts for extra flavor and crunch. The colors of the dish were vibrant and inviting, a perfect blend of sweet and tangy. I knew that this Apple Coleslaw would be a hit at our next family gathering.

As I sat down to enjoy a bowl of the freshly made coleslaw, I couldn't help but smile. This recipe represented more than just a delicious side dish. It represented a tradition, a connection to the past and a way to bring our family together over a shared love of good food.

Over the years, I have made this Apple Coleslaw countless times. It has become a staple at family dinners, potlucks, and holiday gatherings. Each time I make it, I think back to that crisp fall day when I first discovered the recipe and how it has brought joy and comfort to so many.

I have shared the recipe with friends and neighbors, passing it on to the next generation of home cooks. I have tweaked it here and there, adding different ingredients or adjusting the seasonings to suit my mood. But no matter how I make it, this Apple Coleslaw always brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.

As I reflect on all the recipes I have learned and mastered over the years, I realize that each one tells a story. Each one is a piece of my culinary journey, a memory of a time or a place or a person who inspired me to create something delicious and satisfying.

And so, as I continue to cook and bake and experiment in the kitchen, I know that I am carrying on a tradition that stretches back through generations. I am adding my own chapter to the story of our family's love of good food and shared meals. And I am grateful for each and every recipe that has brought joy and connection to our table.


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