Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw

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Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw is a great classic recipe!

Bowl of Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw

There are so many ways to make coleslaw, but this creamy buttermilk coleslaw is probably one of the most traditional recipes you’ll find. It’s a simple blend of shredded cabbage and carrots tossed in a simple-to-make buttermilk dressing.

I love to serve coleslaw with pulled pork, and it’s terrific when piled onto pulled pork sandwiches too. Coleslaw happens to be a pretty popular choice when it’s added to a buffet table. This version has an awfully pretty presentation when you opt to use both green and purple cabbage.  It’s delicious!

If you are eating light, this is a good recipe to make. The calories are quite low per serving (included in the recipe below). And if you’re following the WW plan, points are included at the top of this post.

bowl fo Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw

About Coleslaw:

I’ll bet you didn’t know that the word coleslaw originated from the Dutch word “koolsla,” which means “cabbage salad.” And all of these years I’ve assumed it was our American southerners who invented this cabbage dish for our country! Yep, the cabbage salad first appeared in a Dutch cookbook in the 1700’s. It was originally prepared with melted butter, vinegar and oil. It began appearing with mayonnaise as an ingredient in the dressing in the 1800’s.

Nowadays, coleslaw (also referred to as cole slaw) is prepared in so many different ways. It seems that the only consistent ingredient is shredded cabbage. But the ingredients added to coleslaw as well as the variety of dressings that coleslaw is tossed with vary greatly from recipe to recipe.

spoonful of creamy buttermilk coleslaw

How to make Creamy Buttermilk Cole Slaw:

You’ll start by making the slaw. Grab a two pound head of red or green cabbage (or a small head of each), and shred it finely. You’ll also shred two carrots and add that to the shredded cabbage. If you want to make things a whole lot easier, you can substitute the bagged coleslaw mix that they sell in the produce section of your market and skip all of the at-home shredding. The cabbage mix is salted and left in a colander to wilt for one to four hours. Then it’s rinsed and ready to proceed with adding the dressing.

The dressing is made up of buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, shallots, cider vinegar, sugar, Dijon and salt/pepper. It’s tossed with the slaw and then refrigerated for at least 30 minutes before serving.

spoonful of buttermilk coleslaw

Can you make coleslaw ahead of serving time?

Yes!  The great thing about cole slaw is that you can make it ahead of time and it will still be great. Cabbage is a sturdy green that holds up well to the dressing. And it’s delicious when it begins to soak up the dressing and become a little more tender too. You can make this Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw recipe up to three days ahead of serving. Keep it covered and refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Here are a few more recipes made with buttermilk that you might like to try:

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4 from 1 vote

Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw

Just excellent!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Standing Time: 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 78kcal
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Buttermilk coleslaw, Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw



  • 2 pounds red or green cabbage, shredded finely
  • salt
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded on the box grater


  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup regular or light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



  • Toss the shredded cabbage and 2 teaspoons of salt in a colander or large mesh strainer set over large bowl. Let it stand until the cabbage wilts, at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water. Press, but do not squeeze, to drain; pat dry with paper towels. Place the wilted cabbage and carrot in a large bowl.


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, parsley, shallot, vinegar, sugar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper together in small bowl. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to combine; refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. (the coleslaw can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)


  • *For accurate WW points, use light mayo and light sour cream.
  • *To save time, buy the bagged coleslaw mix to use instead of shredding it yourself.
  • *If you are preparing this recipe as GLUTEN FREE, just make sure the brands of Dijon and mayo you're using are designated as GF.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2854IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

Creamy Buttermilk Coleslaw

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  • Erica Pleiness wrote:

    Having this with Root Beer Pulled Pork tonight! Yummy!