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Carolina Style Red Slaw

This Carolina Style Red Slaw also know as barbecue slaw, is commonly served with Eastern North Carolina chopped pork barbecue. It features a sweet and tangy red vinegar based dressing making it the ideal side dish to enjoy with any barbecue entree.

Carolina Style Red Slaw

Easy Carolina Style Red Slaw Recipe

This style of barbecue cole slaw is very different from classic slaw dressed with a homestyle mayonnaise dressing. North Carolinian’s have a two-pronged approach to barbecue. Western North Carolina most commonly serves a sweet tomato based barbecue sauce with smoked pork, beef or chicken. Eastern North Carolina barbecue is most well known for smoked pork made with a spicy and tangy vinegar based mop or “dipping” sauce. There’s usually  extra on the side for serving, too. Both are delicious, and it really boils down to your personal taste. Read more about the two styles of North Carolina barbecue here on Our State.

Carolina Style Red Slaw

How to Make the Best Carolina Style Red Slaw Recipe

North Carolina pork barbecue calls for a side of slaw. This red slaw or barbecue coleslaw is the kind that always seems to thrill the people who don’t care for mayonnaise based coleslaw dressings.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Carolina Style Red Slaw: Green cabbage, onion, carrots, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, red pepper flakes, salt and hot sauce.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: Mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and cutting board or a food processor to chop the cabbage and vegetables, a large spoon for stirring and a whisk for whipping together the ingredients for the dressing.
  • This type of slaw is typically made with finely chopped cabbage. Doing so, allows the flavor of the dressing to really permeate the cabbage.
  • The dressing can be made sweeter or spicier, according to your personal taste. Feel free to make those adjustments.
  • Give ample time for the slaw to chill so the flavors will mellow and marry. Preferably chill overnight, if possible.
  • This recipe easily doubles and triples according to the size of the group you’re feeding.
  • Store leftover Carolina Red Slaw chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Carolina Style Red Slaw in a bowl

More Southern Style Coleslaw and Salad Recipes to Make

Coleslaw comes in many forms making it ideal as a side dish to serve with everything from Southern comfort food to barbecue and tacos. More homemade coleslaw recipes you may like to try:


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Carolina Style Red Slaw
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5 from 2 votes

Carolina Style Red Slaw

Prep Time5 minutes
Chill time8 hours
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq-slaw, carolina-style-red-slaw, north-carolina-red-slaw
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 57kcal


  • 6 cups finely chopped green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp salt `
  • 1 tsp barbecue seasoning
  • 1 tsp hot sauce adjust to taste
  • sliced green onion or chives for garnishing


  • In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together cabbage, onion and carrot.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together ketchup, vinegar, sugar, pepper flakes, salt, barbecue seasoning and hot sauce.
  • Pour dressing over slaw, mix well. Place into an airtight container and chill for several hours or overnight.
  • Garnish with green onion or chives and serve with chopped pork barbecue or your favorite barbecue entrees.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 962IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    I see green onions in the picture but no mention of them in the recipe – can you update the recipe with amount and when to add? Thanks.

    1. There are literally 1000’s of barbecue-seasoning blends. Many well known brands sell them at your local grocery store on the spice aisle. Use your favorite.

    1. There are literally 1000’s of barbecue seasoning blends available online. You’ll find them on the spice aisle of grocery stores made by many different brands or use a regional favorite.

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