Grandma's Cole Slaw Recipe: You Won't Believe How She Made It by Donna John

Salads Side Dishes
a year ago

Grandma's Cole Slaw Recipe: You Won't Believe How She Made It

My grandma made her cole slaw in a very interesting way. My grandpa had trouble chewing certain foods, so when she made cole slaw, she blended the cabbage. Yep, she put it into a blender with water and pulsed until it was super fine. (OK, stay with me here...)

She also used grated dill pickles and lots of dill pickle juice, grated carrots, chopped green onion, mayonnaise, salt and lots of black pepper. And she added a pinch of sugar. I'm still not sure if the sugar is needed, but I do it because grandma did. The cole slaw basically marinated in this mayonnaise dill pickle mixture. She liked to make it early in the day so it got a good soaking, then taste and adjust the seasonings. I do the same, but sometimes make it the night before.

One bite of this cole slaw takes me back to my grandma's house. She liked to serve it with brisket, fried chicken, barbecued chicken, baked ham ... anything really. While my husband prefers my copycat Chick-fil-a cole slaw recipe, my grandma's cole slaw recipe will always be my favorite. Serve this cole slaw with a slotted spoon unless you want a plate of cole slaw juice (I never minded that!).

Note: Be careful with high-powered blenders. I made that mistake before and ended up with cabbage water. No good! 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus time to "marinate")
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10+


  • green cabbage, washed and cored
  • jarred dill pickles
  • pickle juice
  • green onions, chopped fine
  • carrots, grated
  • mayonnaise (Grandma only used Hellman's Real Mayonnaise)
  • pinch of sugar (optional)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Cut the cabbage into large chunks. Fill the blender about halfway with water. Put a colander in the sink. Add a few chunks of the cabbage to the blender and pulse until fine. Pour into the colander. Repeat with the remaining cabbage.
  2. Once all the cabbage is in the colander, use a spoon or your hands to mash it and remove as much of the water as possible. Pour the cabbage into a bowl.
  3. Add finely grated carrot and dill pickles (use a fine cheese grater) and chopped green onions. Then add mayonnaise and pickle juice. You may use 1/2 cup or more of mayonnaise and pickle juice, depending on amount of cole slaw you have. You want it juicy so the cabbage soaks. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar, if using. Taste and add more of whatever ingredient you think it needs. Cover and refrigerate as long as you can. When about to serve, taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.

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Blenders $30 & Up
Colanders $8 & Up
Mayonnaise $3 & Up
Dill Pickles $3 & Up
Black Pepper $2 & Up

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Donna John
Made this for Christmas Eve dinner as a side dish for my ham. Love how food can take us back...
Food definitely brings back memories. Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe.

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