California Coleslaw

Colorful vegetables and a creamy, lightened up dressing turn a bag of coleslaw mix into this quick and easy California Coleslaw.

A white bowl filled with coleslaw with a spoon.

Coleslaw, in a variety of forms, makes a frequent appearance on my menus all year long. It’s fun to dress it up with different ingredients and dressings to make it unique and interesting. This delicious variation has long been one of our favorites.

In true California style, this coleslaw recipe is laid back and so easy to prepare. It’s bright and sunny with the addition of some colorful veggies and a lightened up creamy dressing makes it easy on the waistline.

Two small wooden bowls filled with coleslaw on a blue a white striped cloth.

Ingredients

Coleslaw mix, bell peppers, onions and all the ingredients on a white surface.
  • I use store bought 3-color coleslaw mix because it makes it so darned easy… and, well, because I don’t want to shred stuff. You’ll find it near the bagged salad mixes in the produce section of your grocery store.
  • Make it even easier by using bagged shredded carrot.
  • Light sour cream along with mayonnaise helps to lower both the fat and calories in the creamy dressing without sacrificing flavor.

Instructions

The coleslaw dressing and salad is combined in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, light sour cream, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.
  • Combine the coleslaw mix with shredded carrot, diced onion, and diced red and green bell pepper in a large mixing bowl.
The coleslaw dressing is added and the salad is tossed with wooden spoons.
  • Add about half of the coleslaw dressing to the salad and toss it well to combine. You may end up adding it all before serving but start with less so you can control the end result.
  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw and remaining dressing separately for 30 minutes or up to an hour while you prepare the other items on your menu.
  • Toss with as much of the remaining dressing as desired just before serving.
A close up of a wooden bowl filled with coleslaw.

Make-Ahead Directions

  • To make it up to 24 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate the undressed coleslaw and dressing separately.
  • Toss with the dressing just before serving.
A white bowl filled with coleslaw with a spoon.

Does this salad say California or what?

Serving Ideas

This recipe was originally published on July 10 , 2012 and has been updated with new text and images.

A white bowl filled with coleslaw with a spoon.
Print

California Coleslaw

Colorful vegetables and a creamy, lightened up dressing turn a bag of coleslaw mix into this quick and easy California Coleslaw.

Course Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine American

minutes

minutes

minutes

minutes

Servings 6 servings

Calories 130kcal

  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 14 ounces 3-color coleslaw (a mixture of green and red cabbage and carrots)
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 small green bell pepper , diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper , diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the 3-color coleslaw, diced onion, chopped bell peppers, and shredded carrot. Pour about half of the dressing over the top and toss to combine well.

  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw and remaining dressing separately for 30 minutes or up to an hour while you prepare the other items on your menu. Toss with as much of the remaining dressing as desired just before serving.

Make Ahead Directions: To make it up to 24 hours in advance, cover and refrigerate the undressed coleslaw and dressing separately. Toss the coleslaw with the dressing just before serving.
Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2582IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

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