This creamy, classic coleslaw tastes just like the one you’ll find at Cracker Barrel. A super easy side dish that goes great at summer BBQs.

close up of creamy coleslaw

Creamy Coleslaw

Serve this coleslaw as a side dish alongside Arabic Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, or my favorite Potato Salad.

I recently made this coleslaw (is it cole slaw or coleslaw?…I think it’s one word but my eyes like two better) for Rosie’s birthday party with BBQ chicken made in the slow cooker. We piled the coleslaw on top and it made great sandwiches.

Do you prefer vinegar based or mayo based slaw? It just depends on my mood, because I like both. If you like the Cracker Barrel version, you’ll love this one.

It also makes a great side dish with slow cooker sloppy joes.

overhead shot of coleslaw in green cup

Cracker Barrel Coleslaw Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Shredded Cole Slaw Mix – Either buy the pre-shredded slaw mix (easy) or buy cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage and shred it yourself.
  • Miracle Whip – Or you can use mayo, but I used Miracle Whip.
  • Celery Seed
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sugar
  • White Vinegar
  • Buttermilk
  • Milk – I used 2%
  • Lemon Juice

shredded cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage in glass bowl

Equipment you’ll need

How to make Cracker Barrel Coleslaw

Do you know how easy it is to make coleslaw? SO EASY.

  1. First, if you’re looking for a shortcut like me, buy the bag of shredded coleslaw mix. If not, shred your own cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage thinly (or use a mandoline).
  2. Next, add in the rest of the listed ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Finally, let chill for at least 3 hours in the fridge to let the flavors come together.
  4. Give it a toss when you’re ready to serve and enjoy!
mixing bowl with shredded cabbage, sugar, and miracle whip

Why does coleslaw go watery?

Because cabbage releases water, sometimes you end up with watery coleslaw.

To prevent that from happening, take a little extra time to sweat out your cabbage. Put it in a colander, over a bowl, add salt, mix, and let it sit for at least an hour.

It will weep out excess water that you can press out with paper towel. Then you’re ready to make coleslaw.

How long can I keep coleslaw in the fridge?

Keep coleslaw in the fridge for 3-5 days safely. Don’t let it sit out for more than 2 hours!

coleslaw in mixing bowl

How far ahead can you make coleslaw?

I know when you’re prepping for a BBQ or get-together, you usually like to make as much as you can ahead of time, but coleslaw is one of those dishes that are best when made and served within 24 hours.

Otherwise, you risk it getting watery and limp.

What to serve with it

Coleslaw pairs beautifully with slow cooker hot honey chicken sandwiches, chicken bacon ranch sandwiches, copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets, or boneless wings.

creamy coleslaw in green bowl

Need more BBQ side dishes? Try these:


cracker barrel coleslaw in green dish

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close up of creamy coleslaw
4.50 from 24 votes

Cracker Barrel Cole Slaw

Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
This creamy, classic coleslaw tastes just like the one you'll find at Cracker Barrel. A super easy side dish that goes great at summer BBQs.


  • 5 cups coleslaw mix shredded cabbage/carrots/purple cabbage
  • 1 cup Miracle Whip
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • cup granulated white sugar
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup milk I use 2%
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Pour cole slaw mix into a large bowl.
  • Add in miracle whip, celery seed, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, buttermilk, milk, and lemon juice.
  • Mix and toss until well combined.
  • Chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days but it is best served the day it is made as it wilts.
If not using a bag of coleslaw mix, you can use a mandoline to chop the cabbage, carrots, and purple cabbage.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 83kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 416mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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4.50 from 24 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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    1. DIRECTLY ABOVE THE COMMENT BOX YOU JUST LEFT THIS IN =) There is a “jump to recipe” button at the top of the page that takes you directly to the recipe card if you don’t need the tips.

    2. Again, the ‘JUMP TO RECIPE” button is the first thing you see, if you can’t be troubled to scroll a bit through tips and questions that I will inevitably be asked. Happy holidays to you.

  1. 5 stars
    I ALWAYS use the “jump to recipe” button! It’s so easy!!!!!! I find your site very easy to navigate.

  2. 5 stars
    Made it for 1st time & really enjoyed it.
    Recipe is easy to follow.
    I used Miracle whip, too.
    Thanks for the tip!