This super quick coleslaw for pulled pork sandwiches is crunchy, slightly tangy, and has just the right amount of creaminess. With just 7 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time, this tasty homemade coleslaw can be ready to serve with whatever you love eating!
🌟 Why this recipe works
When you want a condiment that's crunchy with a bit of zing and sweetness, coleslaw comes to mind, especially when pulled pork is on the menu. And this coleslaw recipe is a must-try for any home cook on a budget and short on time!
It's made with red cabbage to give it color and crunch, mayonnaise for its thick consistency and creaminess, and a touch of acidity from the lime juice and vinegar.
Unlike the classic coleslaw recipes that use both red and green cabbage and shredded carrots for the coleslaw mix, this creamy coleslaw recipe only uses red cabbage and an onion to give it crunch.
The coleslaw dressing is a sweet and tangy mixture of lime juice, sugar, and apple cider vinegar that balances perfectly with the crunchy coleslaw mix and mayonnaise.
It's brilliant for storing and using for several pulled pork recipes throughout the week as it keeps well without losing texture or flavor.
🍽 Key ingredients
This easy homemade coleslaw recipe for pulled pork contains common house ingredients. Use fresh cabbage instead of a pre-prepared coleslaw mix for the best texture and flavor.
Coleslaw mix - For the coleslaw mixture, you'll need the head of one red cabbage and white onion.
Coleslaw dressing - Lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar are all you need for the dressing, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper for a touch of heat.
If you don't have apple cider vinegar, you could substitute it for white wine vinegar or rice vinegar.
An ideal alternative to lime juice is fresh lemon juice.
Although brown sugar is not as fine as white sugar, you can pulsate it in a food blender for a minute and use it as a substitute for white sugar using the same quantity.
🔪 How to make
This coleslaw for pulled pork recipe is one of the easiest and most flavorful side dishes you'll make all year! And you can learn how to make it with my 2-step instructions and helpful top tips.
Use a food processor with the slicing blade to thinly slice the red cabbage head.
Repeat same process with the onion.
Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and transfer to the fridge covered with plastic wrap.
Serve this crunchy slaw on the side of an oven cooked pork shoulder roast, and enjoy!
💭 Cooking tips
No food processor, no problem!
If you don't have a food processor to slice your cabbage thinly, you can use a knife. Simply cut the cabbage on the chopping board into quarters and slice it lengthways as thinly as possible. Don't worry if some pieces are big and some are small. It will still taste delicious.
Add a touch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper at the end to taste. The salt will help bring out the flavors of the red cabbage and counter the acidic vinegar.
📖 Recipe variations
Upgrade your delicious coleslaw for pulled pork using the same recipe and add in some extra crunch, spice, or juicy fruit.
Add chopped jalapenos
If you love your food spicy, you'll want to add 1 jalapeno or chipotle chili to the mixture. Use the food processor to slice it up and mix it together with the other ingredients. I recommend adding it bit by bit as you don't want it to be overpowering.
Add extra veg
Adding more fresh veggies will give it more crunch and layers of extra flavor. Some good options to add to your coleslaw are shredded carrot (half a cup), sliced celery (¼ cup), bean sprouts (half a cup), or sliced kohlrabi (half a cup).
Adding pineapple pieces to this red cabbage coleslaw gives it a sharp sweetness that tastes amazing. Cut half a cup of pineapple into small pieces and mix it with the slaw.
🥗 What to serve with
The most common way to enjoy coleslaw is on bbq pulled pork sandwiches or as a side dish to other pork butt or shoulder recipes with homemade BBQ sauce. Although, I love to serve pulled pork with tacos or nachos, as well as a fresh baguette sandwich with a dollop of crunchy red cabbage coleslaw.
Here are a few suggestions for you to try:
Nachos - Place corn tortillas on a tray topped with slow cooker pork shoulder, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese under the broiler for two minutes until the cheese melts. Top with diced tomatoes, sour cream, and this crunchy coleslaw.
Tacos - Grab a taco shell and fill it with tender pork, tomatoes, black bean sauce, shredded cheese, and coleslaw. Check my pulled pork tacos recipe for inspiration.
Pulled pork sandwiches - There are two ways to make a tasty pork sandwich. One is with a baguette, and the other is served in a burger bun. Once you have chosen the bread, fill them with loads of pulled pork, easy barbecue sauce, cheese, and fresh coleslaw.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Can I use both white and red shredded cabbage?
Yes, you can use either colored cabbage or both of them for this recipe.
Can you freeze coleslaw?
No. Coleslaw is not good for freezing because the mayonnaise will separate after thawing, and the crunchy texture will be lost.
Coleslaw for pulled pork is perfect for storing, and it stays fresh without losing its crunch.
Fridge - Transfer the coleslaw into an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 1 week.
🍳 Related Recipes
If you like this coleslaw recipe, you must try one of these easy related pork recipes in your next meal.
For more vegetable alternatives as side dish, check how to cook spaguetti squash in four ways; in the oven, microwave, instant pot and airfryer!
👪 Serving size
This coleslaw recipe will provide enough servings for 8-10 people. The recipe is easily scalable to cater to more guests, and any leftovers can be stored for later use.
This is the best coleslaw recipe that is deliciously crunchy with sweet and tangy flavors that tastes amazing on a tender pork sandwich. Give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments.
Red Cabbage "Coleslaw for Pulled Pork"
- ½ head red cabbage
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon vinegar apple
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Use a food processor with the slicing blade to thinly slice the red cabbage head and onion.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and transfer to the fridge covered with plastic wrap.
- Serve this crunchy slaw on the side of a slow-cooked pulled pork, sandwiches and enjoy!