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Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw

Meet Barbecue’s best friend! I started making this Apple Cabbage Coleslaw recipe years ago and have adapted it to perfection! It is a summer and football grilling-season favorite in my household. I’ve been asked for this recipe more times than I can count! It is perfectly sweet and creamy, yet tangy.

Finished Apple Cabbage Coleslaw
Finished Apple Cabbage Coleslaw

I recommend pairing Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw as a side with BBQ of all types from BBQ chicken, pork, ribs, brisket, sausages as well as a topping for your favorite sandwich! It really goes great with anything, but this girl loves her BBQ and fresh apple mixed in coleslaw just pairs so well with it! It adds a refreshing side to balance what can be a heavy meal.

Apple Cabbage Coleslaw served with BBQ chicken.
Apple cabbage coleslaw served with smoked BBQ Chicken.

Prepping Fresh Ingredients

Always start by washing and drying your fresh produce.


Thinly slice 1 medium to large sized head of cabbage. If you have a mandolin, it will come in handy slicing the ingredients. I will slice by hand today.

Tips for easily cutting cabbage: Place the cabbage on your cutting board with the stem side facing UPWARD. It is the toughest part to cut through, so start with it and your knife will glide through the rest of the cabbage.

Slice the whole head of cabbage in half.
Slicing the whole head of cabbage in half.

Then, cut the halves in half to make fourths.

The cabbage head cut into fourths.
The cabbage cut into fourths.

Next, you will want to remove the core of the cabbage from each piece. With a cabbage head cut in fourths, it is very easy to slice the core right out.

Cut the core out of each section of cabbage easily.
Cut the core out of each section of cabbage easily.

Turn each cabbage fourth on its side and thinly slice. This is also the point where you can use a mandolin to help slice.

Cabbage on side and sliced thinly.
Cabbage on side and starting to slice thinly.

Green Onions

Thinly slice the green onions on an angle. There is no need to separate the green tops and white bottoms, as the whole onion is thrown into the apple cabbage coleslaw at the same time to marinate.

Sliced green onions.
Sliced Green Onions.


You will need 3 apples. I typically use Gala apples for this recipe. The apples will need to be cored and thinly sliced. Leave the peel on.

Slice the apples as the last step in your fresh ingredient prep, as apples will brown easily. The rice vinegar added in the coleslaw dressing prevents them from browning, but make sure you prep the other fresh ingredients first so they have less air exposure time between cutting and tossing with the dressing.

Prepping the apples for Apple Cabbage Coleslaw
Prepping the Apples

I recommend using an apple corer, slicer and divider tool for this step, as you can press the apples through it easily to provide large slices that are easy to work with.

Then slice your thick apple slices very thinly with a knife or you can use your mandolin for this step as well.

Finished prepped apple slices for the coleslaw.
Finished thinly sliced apples ready for the coleslaw!

Ingredients for the Coleslaw Dressing

Apple cabbage coleslaw dressing ingredients.
Apple cabbage coleslaw dressing ingredients.


Duke’s “Real” Mayonnaise is the only mayo permitted in my home. Apparently, it’s not mayo unless it’s Duke’s according to my husband. Please use your mayo of choice. You can use reduced fat or light mayonnaise if you are health conscious.

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar amplifies the sweet, tangy flavor of this coleslaw. You can substitute white wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar is my favorite in this recipe.


Use granulated sugar for this recipe. You can also use a granulated sugar substitute for low carb.


You will need Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, and Kinder’s “The Blend” Seasoning and/or Nature’s Seasoning.

Seasoning up the apple cabbage coleslaw dressing.
Seasoning up the apple cabbage coleslaw dressing.

Kinder’s “The Blend” Seasoning and Nature’s Seasoning are both great all purpose seasoning blends. Kinder’s blend is more coarse, where Nature’s Seasoning is more fine in consistency.

You can use one or the other, or throw some of them both into the dressing. These two seasonings are staples in several recipes I make! Also, both are fantastic toppings for corn on the cob!


Cutting board and sharpened knife.

Mandolin- This is optional, but great if you want help thinly slicing your fresh produce. A mandolin does make for more uniform slices and can save prep time.

Cut resistant glove- This is not mandatory but highly recommended for safety anytime when thinly slicing or dicing! The apple peel can be a little tough to cut through, especially thinly, so please protect your fingers!

You can order a great, inexpensive cut resistant glove right off Amazon.

Slicing apples thinly with cutting glove.
When slicing the apples thinly please protect your fingers!

Large mixing bowl with lid or a large Tupperware container.

2 Large spoons- I use 2 wooden spoons to toss the coleslaw.

Small mixing bowl and whisk- This is to mix up the dressing for the coleslaw.

Measuring cups and spoons.

How to Make the Apple Cabbage Coleslaw

Prepare the fresh ingredients as described above. Add the sliced cabbage, apples and green onions to the large mixing bowl.

Sliced fresh ingredients in mixing bowl.
Adding the sliced ingredients to the large mixing bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and Kinder’s and/or Nature’s Seasoning.

Whisking the coleslaw dressing.
Whisking the coleslaw dressing.

Pour the dressing overtop the cabbage, apples and green onions in the large mixing bowl and toss until fully coated. If your mixing bowl has a lid or if you are using a large Tupperware container with a good, tight seal, you can simply put the lid on tight and shake well to coat everything well with the dressing.

Adding the dressing to the sliced fresh ingredients.
Adding the dressing to the sliced fresh ingredients.

Let the tossed coleslaw marinate covered in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour. I like to make the coleslaw in advance to give it more like 3-4 hours to marinate. I do recommend tasting the coleslaw and seasoning with additional salt and pepper to taste prior to serving.

Fully tossed coleslaw and ready to cover and marinate in the refrigerator.
Fully tossed coleslaw and ready to cover and marinate in the refrigerator.

And, it’s ready to serve! I highly recommend serving Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw with barbecue! It is also great as a topping or side for sandwiches, hotdogs and hamburgers.

Here it is on top of Cheddarwurst Smoked Sausage, which is one of my favorite combinations!

Apple cabbage coleslaw served.
Apple cabbage coleslaw served.
Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw

Amazing Apple Cabbage Coleslaw

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

This Apple Cabbage Coleslaw is a summer and football grilling-season favorite in my household. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, yet tangy. This fresh coleslaw is a great side to balance out a BBQ meal.


  • 1 head of cabbage (medium-large in size)
  • 3 apples (gala)
  • 4 Green onions
  • 7 TBSP Rice vinegar
  • 6 TBSP Mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP Sugar
  • 2 teaspoon Kinder’s “The Blend” Seasoning or Nature’s Seasoning (You can mix and match)!
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce.
  2. Core and thinly slice the cabbage.
  3. Thinly slice the green onions on an angle.
  4. Core and thinly slice the apples, leaving the peel on.
  5. Add the sliced fresh ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  6. To make the coleslaw dressing, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and seasoning(s) of choice.
  7. Then, pour the coleslaw dressing over the fresh ingredients in the large bowl. Toss thoroughly to combine.
  8. Marinate the coleslaw for at least 1 hour prior to serving. I highly recommend marinating for 4 hours in the refrigerator for the best flavor.
  9. Enjoy!


Store apple cabbage coleslaw covered in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 4-5 days, but note that the apples may not remain as crisp the longer it is kept.

Additional Recipes

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

Easy and Delicious Apple Chicken Salad

Easy Homemade Cherry Limeade

Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!

Still hungry for more? Then discover our other fruit recipes to stock up your kitchen with nature’s healthy and tasty goodies!

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