Delicious North Carolina coleslaw – tangy, sweet and creamy


I will say this – first: coleslaw was most definitely an acquired taste for me. By that, I mean that I avoided it like the plague. Then – to my great surprise – I had one that suddenly gave me the epiphany that it is actually really tasty. The ONE.

That special magical coleslow that changed my worldview on this side dish happened to be the North Carolinean version. The tarheal state gave me the joy of a creamy, tangy and slightly sweet delight.

It works like a perfect side-kick for pulled pork, which also happens to be from the beautiful state of North Carolina. Also sweet potatos and moonshine, but that’s another story. Apparently being situated in between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Outer Banks gave its inhabitants the right inspiration to create a whole lot of tasty dishes. I only went there once and since then it’s been part of my bucketlist to go back one day and explore more.

So the next time you have a barbecue and are on the hunt for a great side dish, I wholeheartedly recommend you try North Carolina coleslaw or my Authentic German potato salad.

Looking for the perfect song to listen to while preparing this dish? Check out ‘Country stuff’ by Walker Hayes.

North Carolina coleslaw at a glance

  • Cuisine: American, side dish, barbecue
  • Servings: 8 side dishes – 10 if it’s part of a pulled pork sandwich
  • Calories per serving: 284-355 kcal
  • Preparation time: 5-10 min if you use pre-shredded cabbage, 20 min if you shred the cabbage yourself
  • Fridge time: 6-8, hours (I recommend preparing it in the morning or one day in advance)


  • 32 ounces of white/cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar cider
  • 2 tablespoona of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoona of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

How to prepare North Carolina coleslaw

  • North Carolina coleslaw actually only requires a handful to things to do and only minimal time and effort. So let’s get started: Shred the cabbage and carrot and toss it all in a bowl until it’s mixed.

  • Mix the mayonnaise, cream, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar cider, mustard, pepper, and salt.

  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrot and mix everything.

  • Place the North Carolina coleslaw in the fridge and let the flavors infuse the cabbage for a good couple of hours.

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