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Hillbilly Cole Slaw

Hillbilly Cole Slaw is dressed with a sweet and tangy vinegar based dressing, It’s a spectacular twist on classic mayonnaise dressed cole slaw. You can serve it as a condiment for grilled hot dogs, pinto beans or alongside barbecue and Southern fried chicken. The vinegar dressing makes it ideal for warm weather entertaining and it’s simple to pack up and take to potluck parties year-round.


Hillbilly Cole Slaw

Easy Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe

I bet you’re wondering, what in the world is hillbilly cole slaw? Well, the short answer is, it’s a fresh vinegar based cole slaw that we fell in love with it at a little gem near our home in North Carolina.  The Hillbilly Hideaway  is a log cabin restaurant featuring country cooking specialties all served family-style. It’s only open on Fridays, Saturday and Sunday which only heightens its appeal. Depending on the day, you may enjoy fried chicken, country ham, ribs or meatloaf  as the entrée. The featured side dishes they serve are things like Southern green beans, home cooked pintos, mashed potatoes, cream style corn and stewed cinnamon apples. To round out the meal, a basket of hoe cakes and cornbread. If that’s not good enough, they keep bringing it to the table until you’re done, or full, whichever comes first. It’s a great place to take teenage boys for supper. Ask me how I know this.

step-by-step pictures how to prepare cole slaw

Homemade Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe

This recipe is my homage to their vinegar based slaw that rotates on their menu with a mayonnaise dressed slaw, depending on the night. I must admit, while I love mayo, this slaw is like a summer version of chow chow. It compliments a bowl of beans and cornbread in a most magnificent way, It’s made with fresh cabbage, shredded carrots, diced green pepper with a sprinkling of red and green onions that are layered and then seasoned to perfection. A hot vinegar dressing is poured on top and then it’s chilled for 24 hours to allow the ingredients to marinate and the flavors to combine. I highly recommend you go the extra mile and make the vegetable mixture from scratch as the fresh flavor from doing so is unparalleled.


Hillbilly Cole Slaw

How to Make the Best Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make Hillbilly Cole Slaw recipe: Chopped green cabbage, chopped carrots, chopped onion, green bell pepper, red onion, green onions, garlic salt, celery seeds, lemon pepper, white distilled vinegar, vegetable oil and sugar.
  • Laying the ingredients is key to this Southern style cole slaw recipe. I have found when making this slaw that the cabbage takes the longest to absorb the flavors of the vinegar dressing hence the reason it’s on the bottom.
  • Please note, once you toss the remaining ingredients with the vinegar, the red onion begins to lose its color. Will this hurt the taste? It won’t, but we do eat with our eyes first so I wanted to mention. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong just a natural part of the process.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to toss the layers together just before serving for the flavor of the dressing to permeate.
  • How long will cole slaw keep in the refrigerator? It’s imperative that you allow it to chill for 24 hours in a shallow dish for the best results.
  • Store leftover cole slaw in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Hillbilly Cole Slaw

Best Southern Style Side Dishes to Serve with Cole Slaw

Cole slaw goes with so many Southern style entrees we love in the South. A few you may like to try:


Hillbilly Cole Slaw

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Hillbilly Cole Slaw Recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Hillbilly Cole Slaw

Prep Time20 minutes
Chill Time1 day
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hillbilly-cole-slaw
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 205kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 2 1/2 lb head green cabbage (About 6 cups chopped) remove core and chop
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 small green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion small dice
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 3/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar


  • Layer cabbage, carrots, green pepper and green onion in a shallow container.
  • Sprinkle with garlic salt, celery seed and lemon pepper.
  • In a small saucepan on the stovetop bring vinegar, oil and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Immediately pour evenly over vegetables.
  • Seal tightly and chill for 24 hours.
  • Toss ingredients well before serving. Will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 246mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2694IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and wasn’t sure how it would turn out..I waited 24 hrs then mixed it up thoroughly..Oh My Goodness is this delicious !!!!! Such an awesome way to make coleslaw..the cabbage was tender and the rest of the were crispy..thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. Hi Mike, You could try it. This particular slaw is just best with fresh due to the amount of time it soaks in the vinegar dressing. Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a whirl but, as noted in the narrative, fresh is best.

    2. Making this slaw for Mondays outing it seems like it has a lot of juice or will that absorb into the cabbage once it sits for the 24 hours.?

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