This Creamy Cranberry Apple Coleslaw is a flavorful side dish with crispy apples, tart cranberries, and sliced almonds with a sweet and tangy dressing. It pairs perfectly with any main meal for the holidays or cookouts.
Easy Cranberry Coleslaw
After working for a popular fried chicken restaurant in high school, I fell in love with the flavor of creamy coleslaw. And this Cranberry Apple Slaw is definitely one of my favorites with the sweet apples mixing with tart cranberries then adding a little extra crunch with the almonds. It pairs so well with any meal from the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham to a backyard cookout with barbeque ribs or on the side with Sloppy Joes. It’s a versatile make-ahead side dish that you’ll enjoy all year round.
- Coleslaw Mix– I used a premade bag of coleslaw mix to keep it easy but you can also cut and shred cabbage and carrots to make a mix too.
- Dried Cranberries– These add some sweetness and a burst of tart to the dish.
- Apple– I tend to use a sweet and mild apple like Gala or Fuji but you can use any type such as Granny Smith, Red Delicious, or Braeburn.
- Sliced Almonds– Nuts give it a little crunch and a delicious flavor. Pecans or walnuts would also be good to use to switch it up.
- Green Onions– These add just a bit of savoriness to balance out the sweetness.
- Sour Cream and Mayo– This is the base of the dressing that makes it so creamy. Swap out Plain Yogurt for Sour Cream if you prefer.
- Honey– It adds such a nice bit of sweetness to the dressing. Maple syrup would taste good too.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Balances out the flavors and brings the dish together. White vinegar could be used as a similar substitute.
- Ground Ginger– This is a seasoning that has such a strong and distinct flavor and you either love it or hate it. If you are looking for more seasonal flavors then I recommend adding it. If not, leave it out.
- Salt and Pepper
*See the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page for detailed instructions and a list of ingredients.
How To Make Cranberry Slaw
- Prepare the slaw: Stir the coleslaw mix, cranberries, apple, almonds, and green onion in a large bowl. You’ll need a pretty large bowl for this to make sure you can stir it all together.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl until it gets all creamy.
- Mix together: Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix and stir it all together until the dressing is all mixed together. Serve and enjoy!
Make-Ahead and Storage Options
To make-ahead: Coleslaw is such a good side dish to make in advance and eat when you’re ready. I recommend making it the day you will serve the dish for the best results. If using a purple cabbage, it tends to “bleed” when it mixes with liquid so the dressing can turn a little pink/purple. It still tastes great but looks different.
To store: Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prepackaged coleslaw is made up of shredded cabbage and julienned carrots.
Coleslaw can turn pink when it is made with red cabbage. The colors tend to “bleed” or mix with liquid causing it to change colors after a few hours.
More Side Dish Recipes
Creamy Cranberry Apple Coleslaw
- 16 ounces coleslaw mix
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 apple diced
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 3-4 stalks green onions around 1/4 cup
- 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, add coleslaw mix, cranberries, diced apple, almonds, and green onions. Stir it all together and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add sour cream, mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, salt, and pepper and whisk until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the coleslaw and stir until coated. Serve and enjoy!
- If using purple cabbage, it tends to “bleed” and will turn the dressing into a pink color within a few hours of being made. It will not alter the taste.
- The cabbage starts to soften the longer it sits.
- Pecans or walnuts can be substituted for almonds.