Irish Coleslaw

Irish Coleslaw: A Refreshing Twist on a Classic Dish

Coleslaw is a beloved side dish known for its crisp texture and tangy flavor. While it’s commonly associated with summer barbecues and picnics, this versatile dish can be enjoyed year-round. In this recipe, we’ll put an Irish spin on the traditional coleslaw by incorporating a creamy dressing with a hint of sweetness. Whether you’re serving it alongside grilled meats or as a topping for sandwiches, this Irish coleslaw is sure to be a hit at any gathering.


  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 8 oz shredded carrots (about 3 carrots)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Prepare the Vegetables: Start by shredding the cabbage and carrots using a sharp knife or a food processor. Place them in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Make the Dressing: In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, heavy whipping cream, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated and the dressing is smooth and creamy.
  3. Combine the Ingredients: Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and carrots. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated with the dressing.
  4. Chill and Serve: Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate it for at least one hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the vegetables to become crisp and refreshing. Serve chilled as a side dish or topping for sandwiches.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Adjusting the Creaminess: If you prefer a creamier coleslaw, you can increase the amount of mayonnaise and sour cream in the dressing. Likewise, if you prefer a lighter dressing, you can reduce the amount of mayonnaise and sour cream and adjust the consistency with a little extra heavy whipping cream.
  • Adding Crunch: For added texture and flavor, consider incorporating chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, into the coleslaw. Alternatively, you can add a handful of raisins or dried cranberries for a touch of sweetness.
  • Herbaceous Twist: Experiment with fresh herbs to enhance the flavor profile of the coleslaw. Chopped parsley, dill, or chives can add a burst of freshness and color to the dish.
  • Spice it Up: For a spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a few dashes of hot sauce to the dressing. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

To make a keto and low-carb version of this Irish coleslaw, simply replace the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener, such as erythritol or stevia. Additionally, you can use full-fat mayonnaise and sour cream to keep the carb count low. Serve the coleslaw alongside grilled meats or as a topping for keto-friendly burgers for a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Irish coleslaw is a delicious and refreshing side dish that adds a burst of flavor to any meal. With its creamy dressing and crisp vegetables, it’s sure to become a favorite among family and friends. Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or simply craving a tasty accompaniment to your favorite dishes, this Irish coleslaw is a must-try recipe

Enhancing Flavor Profiles:

  • Experiment with Vinegar: While this recipe calls for white vinegar, you can customize the flavor by using apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for a slightly different taste profile. Adjust the amount according to your preference for acidity.
  • Roasted Garlic Infusion: For a deeper, more complex flavor, roast the garlic cloves before incorporating them into the dressing. Roasted garlic adds a subtle sweetness and mellow flavor that complements the tanginess of the coleslaw.
  • Onion Varieties: Instead of using a standard yellow onion, consider using red onions or shallots for a slightly sweeter and milder flavor. You can also pickle the onions beforehand to add a tangy twist to the coleslaw.

Texture and Visual Appeal:

  • Colorful Additions: To enhance the visual appeal of the coleslaw, add colorful vegetables such as red cabbage, bell peppers, or radishes. Not only will this add vibrant hues to the dish, but it will also provide additional texture and flavor.
  • Crunchy Elements: Incorporate crunchy elements like toasted nuts or seeds, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds, to add contrast to the soft texture of the vegetables. Simply sprinkle them over the coleslaw just before serving for an extra layer of crunch.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Pairing with Proteins: Serve this Irish coleslaw alongside grilled meats, such as barbecue ribs, roasted chicken, or pulled pork sandwiches. The creamy texture and tangy flavor of the coleslaw will complement the savory richness of the proteins.
  • Sandwich Enhancements: Use this coleslaw as a delicious topping for sandwiches, burgers, or wraps. The creamy dressing and crunchy vegetables will add a refreshing contrast to the hearty fillings, creating a satisfying meal.

Keto and Low-Carb Considerations:

  • Carb-Conscious Substitutions: If you’re following a keto or low-carb diet, you can further reduce the carbohydrate content of this coleslaw by using alternative ingredients. Replace the shredded carrots with shredded cabbage or jicama for a lower-carb option.
  • Dressing Modifications: Opt for full-fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream to minimize the carbohydrate content of the dressing. You can also adjust the amount of sweetener used or omit it altogether if you prefer a sugar-free version.

In conclusion, this Irish coleslaw recipe offers a delightful twist on the classic side dish, combining crisp cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing with a touch of sweetness and tanginess. With its versatile flavor profile and customizable ingredients, it’s perfect for any occasion, from casual cookouts to holiday feasts. Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to your plate or simply craving a refreshing accompaniment to your favorite dishes, this Irish coleslaw is sure to impress.

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