Summer Slaw is a deli-style coleslaw recipe loaded with fresh summer ingredients of cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions in a creamy cole slaw dressing that is lighter than most slaw recipes. This slaw recipe was created after I tried my local deli’s summer slaw salad, it’s light and refreshing with a semi-sweet creamy dressing perfect for summer!  summer-slaw-recipe Slaw recipes are perfect for fish tacos, pulled pork, tacos, or Shrimp Tacos! You can enjoy this summer slaw recipe as a side salad or in your favorite summer sandwiches! For vinegar slaw (cabbage slaw without mayo) try our Cucumber Cabbage Salad

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Summer Coleslaw

I was inspired to make this recipe for summer slaw after trying the deli version of this salad at my local grocery store. I experimented with a batch and wanted it to taste and look like theirs. With a successful trial, I would like to say this is very close to the store version. I really like that it’s not too sweet or too heavy–perfect for the summer months over all the BBQ grilled favorites!

Make ahead of time for potlucks or picnics and if in a rush just use a coleslaw mix as the base! It’s simple to make from scratch but if you own a food processor, chopping it that way makes it much quicker! Make this coleslaw in minutes and keep it refrigerated until serving.

Best Equipment For Making Coleslaw:

A food processor or rotary food grater is ideal for shredding cabbage. It is an easy way to make uniform cabbage pieces and stretch the servings. You can also use a mandoline, the large side of a box grater, or a sharp knife to cut the cabbage. Commercially made slaw is run through heavy-duty equipment however, a home cook can replicate the same effect using simple equipment.

  • Box Grater- is the best way to finely chop cabbage (use the big hole side.)
  • Food Processor- a quick alternative to grate a bunch of cabbage.
  • Mandoline Slicer– comes with different attachments and is very easy to use.



Cold Summer Slaw is crunchy and fresh! Use an English cucumber and Roma tomatoes for best results, meaty tomatoes and cucumbers with lots of pulp can tend to get the salad super wet and runny.

  • Slaw: fresh green cabbage, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, and sliced scallions come together for a quick summer side!
  • Dressing: creamy dressing ingredients of mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, milk, and salt make the perfect tangy and mildly sweet topping.

  summer slaw ingredients

How To Make Coleslaw: 

  1. Chop cabbage. Finely grate the cabbage using a box grater or if you prefer longer shreds use a knife or mandoline. I like slaw on the finer side so I will use a food processor or box grater for the cabbage. You can also use a sharp knife to make thin shreds. Use a vegetable chopper to dice the cucumbers and tomatoes, the scallions can be sliced with a sharp knife.
  2. Make The Coleslaw Dressing: by whisking all the ingredients together.
  3. Combine the dressing with the cabbage mixture. Serve or refrigerate for at least one hour. Salad can be kept for up to 2 days.

Cabbage Salad Variations:

This coleslaw can be made with other vegetables! 

  • Add 3-4 radishes for extra crunch.
  • Red cabbage slaw is a mixture of green cabbage and purple, use any cabbage coleslaw blend.  
  • Different herbs can be added such as fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley.
  • Make an Asian slaw dressing for an Asian twist.
  • Grate a carrot using a box grater for additional color and sweetness.
  • Broccoli and cabbage can be mixed together for broccoli slaw.

How To Make Summer Slaw With Vinegar Dressing:

To make a perfectly balanced vinegar dressing with the perfect tang and touch of sweetness but without the mayo use, this vinaigrette dressing from my Cucumber Cabbage Salad. The key to this cabbage dressing is to use a lot of garlic and to mellow out the zing from the vinegar with sugar. For a healthier take on this dressing use a healthy oil and honey for the sugar in equal amounts. 

What To Serve With Summer Slaw:

An Asian or Ramen Cabbage Salad isn’t the only way to make a delicious salad at home! This crisp green cabbage salad pairs nicely with grilled chicken, steaks, or Boiled Baby Potatoes and Braised BBQ Ribs. It’s perfect for a bbq dish or chicken. Think of it as a classic coleslaw in a creamy dressing like KFC coleslaw, it’s delicious with fried chicken!



Is Cabbage Good For You?

The benefits of cabbage are many. Cabbage is packed with Vitamin C and other nutrients. Aside from the benefits, it’s a cheap vegetable easily available to most people. It can be eaten raw like in this cabbage salad recipe or cooked down in a Cabbage Roll Casserole. There are so many ways to eat cabbage healthy!

How To Cut Cabbage For Salad?

To chop cabbage for a salad you’ll want to thinly slice the cabbage using a mandoline slicer, food processor, box grater, or sharp knife. To easily grip the head of the cabbage when slicing, cut the cabbage in half with the core intact. Then work with half of the head to shred for either method of cutting. (Note: a food processor will require smaller chunks of cabbage to process.) 

Do You Cook Cabbage Salad?

You do not need to cook green cabbage to prepare this cabbage salad recipe. You can eat green cabbage raw and it’s actually the main ingredient in coleslaw recipes. However, if you wish to make cabbage soft then simply soften the cabbage in the dressing for at least 1 hour.

What Kind of Cabbage to Use?

The most popular variety of cabbage is green cabbage. It is a heavy round head of cabbage with tightly packed leaves. The outer leaves typically have medium to light green leaves and sometimes pale areas closer to the center. You want a head of cabbage with tightly packed leaves. Green cabbage is ideal, however red cabbage can be used as well. Romaine lettuce, Napa, or Savoy cabbage are tender varieties and will wilt too soon once tossed in the dressing. This raw cabbage recipe is best with densely packed cabbage leaves.

How To Store?

Store summer slaw in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Keep in mind fresh cucumbers and tomatoes won’t be that fresh in a coleslaw after day 3 so to retain a crunchy cabbage salad keep the dressing separately from the cabbage mixture and dice up the veggies the day of serving. To wilt, the slaw let the cabbage sit in the dressing for at least 1 hour.  This cabbage salad will not freeze well and is best fresh.

BEST Cabbage Salad Tips:

  1. Use pre-shredded green cabbage or a coleslaw mix for an easy shortcut.
  2. If serving this salad at a potluck or summer event, try to keep this cool under the sun by placing the bowl of salad in a larger bowl filled with ice to keep it chilled.
  3. When shredding the cabbage always keep the core intact, it helps the cabbage from falling apart when slicing.
  4. To make ahead salad and keep slaw crunchy prep the dressing separately from the cabbage and keep it in the fridge until the next day.


How To Make Summer Slaw:

Summer Slaw Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Summer Slaw is a deli-style cole slaw recipe loaded with fresh summer ingredients of cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions in a creamy cole slaw dressing that is lighter than most slaw recipes. This slaw recipe was created after I tried my local deli's summer slaw salad, it's light and refreshing with a semi-sweet creamy dressing perfect for summer! 


  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 box grater or knife to shred the cabbage
  • 1 vegetable chopper (or dice veggies with a knife)


Summer Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds finely shredded)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 English cucumber (diced)
  • 3 sprigs of scallions (sliced)


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt



  • summer coleslaw
    In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, and scallions. Set aside.
  • creamy coleslaw dressing
    To make the dressing whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • summer slaw
    Pour dressing over the slaw and toss everything together. Keep refrigerated and stir before serving.


  • Notes: This side dish can be served immediately or refrigerated in the dressing for up to 2 days. It softens as it sits in the dressing. 
  • Vinaigrette Coleslaw Dressing: omit the creamy dressing and add 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 269mgPotassium: 179mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 185IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg

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4.69 from 16 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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    • Irene B.

    Forgot to add to my comment, that I added the scallions too.

    • Irene B.

    You hit the nail on the head. This duplicated my favorite Summer Slaw from Stop and Shop. I used the mandoline and my chef knife for the cabbage, cucumber, chopped my own cherry tomatoes up, added some chopped carrots grated finely, For the dressing, I use Vegenaise and Swerve for sugar as I can’t use regular sugar. Used everything else you said except salt. This is fantastic. Thank you.

    • Jill Lowell

    My husband loves Hannaford’s (east coast) Summer Slaw. It’s out of our budget at over $5lb. He says this isn’t exactly the same, but he loved it! It came in at just under $2lb, so I’d call that a win considering it is fresh, homemade and delish. Thanks for the recipe!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, Jill!

    • G1

    Nice taste. I liked the addition of cucumber to the salad. I omitted the tomato.

    • Patti

    I LOVE this recipe! Safeway has their “Summer Slaw” salad in the deli, but it is seasonal. My husband and I fell in love with it. When I realized it was a “seasonal” recipe at the Safeway Deli, I went in search of a copycat recipe and here you are!

    In lieu of the head of cabbage, I did use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage and carrots.

    I also love the feature on the recipe that allows for the change in number of servings and adjusts the quantity of the ingredients accordingly.

    I have fixed this a few times now; it’s a keeper!

    Great recipe! Thanks!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, Patti so glad you’re using our serving adjustments!

    • Jeannie PALERMO

    I tried this today in the deli at my local grocery store. Got home and googled the ingredients. Thank you very much for the recipe. I will make it for New Years Day, because my husband will eat coleslaw, but will not eat cooked cabbage.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      I’m so glad you found this recipe, Jeannie! I hope you love it!

    • Terry Warner-Hurst

    I’m going to try it. Sounds good but I can’t have sugar. Can you use a sugar substitute like Splenda? If so, how much.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Terry, it’s safe to use a one-to-one ratio with Splenda to Granulated sugar for this recipe.

    • Charlie

    This was so good! This is one of the best slaw recipes I’ve tried and tasted. Thank you for sharing it.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wow, what a great review! Thank you for the feedback, Charlie!

    • Debbie

    What kind of vinegar?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Debbie, it would white distilled vinegar.

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