North Carolina Coleslaw 3 Ways

In North Carolina, rich pork dishes reign supreme. Regional BBQ sauces and cooling side salads cut through the richness of the meat. Crunchy cabbage coleslaw is dressed in different ways: vinegar, creamy mayonnaise and yes, ketchup. Here are classic recipes for each: creamy Tidewater “Slaw,” Lexington Red, and vinegary Piedmont coleslaw.

North Carolina Piedmont coleslaw

North Carolina Coleslaws

These easy-to-make coleslaws have a cool crunch that compliments any rich or spicy meat, seafood, or vegetable dish. Coleslaw is a picnic favorite everywhere in the country. Even hot dogs in North Carolina are topped with coleslaw!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: BBQ, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, American South, North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large bowl, wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Food processor


Tidewater Creamy Coleslaw

  • cups Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup White vinegar
  • cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Celery seed
  • 1 head Cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium Carrots, peeled and finely grated
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Lexington Red Coleslaw

  • cup Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 tsp Hot sauce (Tabasco or Texas Pete's)
  • 1 medium Head Cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and chopped with cabbage
  • cup Sugar
  • cup Kosher salt

Piedmont Vinegar Coleslaw

  • 1 medium Cabbage, cored and chopped
  • ¼ cup Ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Hot sauce


Tidewater Creamy Coleslaw

  • Shred cabbage and carrots in a food processor with shredder attachment. Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt and pepper to taste. Add shredded cabbage and carrot to bowl with dressing. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lexington Red Coleslaw

  • Chop cabbage and carrot until small squares in a food processor. In a large bowl, toss cabbage/carrot with ⅔ cup sugar and ⅓ cup salt. Let stand 5 minutes, then rinse in colander. Layout a kitchen towel and spread cabbage over it to dry. Pat top with paper towels.
    In the same bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, ketchup, black pepper, and hot sauce. Add cabbage and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Piedmont Vinegar Coleslaw

  • In a large bowl, whisk everything together except the cabbage. Add the cabbage to the dressing and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.


  • Store bought bags of shredded cabbage work well. A medium head of cabbage equals 5-6 cups of shredded. 


Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 25g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 7195mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 2044IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2mg

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