The Best Coleslaw

The perfect side to any barbecued meat.

Look at the colours! It has to be good for you.

This coleslaw couldn’t be much simpler to make, with just two main ingredients. And who expects much from a side, anyway? But this bad boy might end up stealing the show.

You’ll think, Coleslaw? Oh, red cabbage, that’s new, but coleslaw? Well, I guess I’ll put some on my plate to be polite. Then you take just a bite, again, out of politeness. Wow, that’s so good. That garlic and parmesan gives just the right kick. Then before you know it, you’ve cleaned your plate. And you go for more.

This is adapted from a recipe in the greatest barbecue cook book ever, Weber’s Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance. I’ve made this so many times, I no longer consult the recipe.

Garlic chopped and ready to be pasted. User kosher salt, it's best.

I also used to make this with a food processor to shred the carrot and cabbage, but as my confidence grew, I’ve since moved to cutting it by hand with a knife. There are many problems with the food processor. If you manage to cut the cabbage into small enough chunks to fit down the tube, you have to push the cabbage through evenly so you can get consistently-sized pieces. Then you have to clean the food processor when you’re finished. I find I can get a finer cut with my knife and there’s less to clean up. Win win!

The only other note is that all measurements are approximate. I eyeball measure everything in the dressing because life is too short to bother with measuring cups (which I’d also have to clean up). So start with the measured amounts but then try to gradually move away from them. You’ll find cooking more enjoyable the less you measure.

IMG_2482 (900x600)

Adapted from Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Creamy Caesar Dressing in Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance

Serves lots

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded or finely sliced
  • 2-3 carrots, grated


  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 5 splashes worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan; or 1/4 cup pre-grated
  • Pinch black pepper

Put the sliced cabbage and grated carrots in a large bowl. Set aside.

Roughly chop the garlic. Sprinkle the salt on top of the garlic. With the side of your knife, press the salt into the garlic, over and over until you have a paste. Place the paste in a small bowl.

Add the remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl. Stir to combine.

Add the dressing to the cabbage and carrots. Fold the cabbage and carrots into the dressing to coat.

Let sit on the counter for 1 hour before serving.

Jason Kemp is a geek trapped in a cool guy's body. He hand crafts software for the web and mobile devices. He excels at user interface design, the deadlift and barbecue. He is @ageektrapped across the internet.

3 thoughts on “The Best Coleslaw

  1. This really is the best coleslaw recipe! From now on this will be my go-to caesar dressing. So, so good. I’m going to have to pick up ‘Real Grilling’ to see what other great recipes I’ve been missing out on. Thanks much!

  2. Oh my. I’m not a huge fan of store-bought coleslaw but homemade is fantastic. I’m happy this one doesn’t have sugar added! Next BBQ, I’m breaking this bad boy out!

    A fellow Canadian blogger :)


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