Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

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Sweet apples and cranberries are combined with crunchy cabbage and then tossed together in a tangy lemon dressing to make this Apple Coleslaw.

We make this salad through the year, but even more often as the weather begins to heat up here in Phoenix. I shot the video last week when I was making this once again. (And because so many of you have asked, these are the bowls I used in the video. I love them!)

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

It is definitely the season for side salads. We’ve been grilling almost every night for a couple of weeks and I’m craving all kinds of simple salads for side dishes. I’ve made this Cranberry Apple Coleslaw a couple of times over the past month and I’m loving it.

Apple Coleslaw

Crisp sweet apple slices are a natural addition to a cabbage coleslaw. The dried cranberries in this recipe add a tartness and pop of flavor that everyone in my family loved.

While other coleslaw recipes use mustard or vinegar, this recipe calls for lemon juice. The lemon pairs well with the cranberry adding a bright citrusy note to the slaw.

Not to mention how nice these colors all look together in the bowl. Okay, no one eats coleslaw for its looks but the combo of green cabbage, white dressing and red apples and cranberries is just about as pretty as a coleslaw can get.

I think you’ll find that this apple coleslaw is just the right blend of tangy and creamy. I love the way the creamy mayo dressing and chopped cabbage provide a simple backdrop for the sweetness of the apples and cranberries. 

If you live somewhere (like Phoenix) where summer grilling weather lasts well into the fall, the fall flavors in this coleslaw are a great way to celebrate the season even without chilly temperatures and falling leaves.

Even my kids who aren’t usually big fans of coleslaw ate this with enthusiasm.

I served the coleslaw with Hawaiian Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and Roasted Potato Salad. The whole meal disappeared in minutes and my youngest son (typically a non-coleslaw-loving kid) even requested a second serving of the apple coleslaw.

Coleslaw Recipes

Love apple coleslaw? Try Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslawn for another spin on this recipe you won’t be able to get enough of.

For more great coleslaws and salads, check out our Southern-Style Memphis Coleslaw (you’ll want this one with your pulled pork sandwiches). These spicier slaws, Jalapeno Corn Coleslaw and Sriracha Coleslaw, are two more easy side dishes that always get rave reviews.

When we grill for dinner, everyone looks forward to the main dish, of course, but I find myself getting just as excited about the sides. Coleslaw is a favorite and I also love all kinds of  Pasta Salads and Potato Salads, too.

My friend Sandy’s Best Potato Salad recipes (with fresh corn, bacon, peas, and chives) is on my meal plan for next week. And this Best Ever Boozy Fruit Salad is filled with cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple, then soaked in Limoncello and garnished with fresh mint. I’ll be making that one soon too!

You might also enjoy our Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw and this Cucumber Tomato Salad with your next picnic or barbecue.

Sweet and Tangy Cranberry Apple Coleslaw - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

 

Kitchen Tip: I use this set of mixing bowls to make and store this salad. (Those are the bowls you see in the video.)

Cranberry Apple Coleslaw is one of the easiest side dishes ever. It’s a fantastic option for last minute cooking or whenever you’re pressed for time. Since it doesn’t require any time on the stove or in the oven, I never have to worry about timing everything to be done all at the same time.

When I’ve been busy focusing on prepping a main dish to grill, bake or roast, I love being able to just toss the ingredients in a bowl, mix and go.

Even if you choose to slice your own cabbage instead of buying a prepared coleslaw mix, you’re still looking at just 15 minutes top to make this slaw.

I’ve used a variety of different types of apples to make apple coleslaw and they’ve all worked just fine. A sweeter apple is usually better than the tarter varieties for this recipe, in my opinion, but whatever apples you have on hand will work just fine.

This coleslaw is delicious served right away. It’ll also taste good after being stored in the fridge until it’s ready to serve. Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. To keep the apples at their crispest, wait to add them to the coleslaw until just before serving.

Apple Coleslaw Recipe

  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the coleslaw and toss with tongs to coat, add the apple slices and cranberries. Toss once more to combine.
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Cranberry Apple Coleslaw

5 from 1 vote
Tangy, sweet, crunchy and absolutely perfect, this Apple Coleslaw is an instant favorite!
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 16 ounce bag coleslaw mix or 1 small head of green cabbage sliced very thin
  • 2 medium apples sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup dried sweet cranberries or Craisins
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 large lemon about 3 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the coleslaw and toss with tongs to coat, add the apple slices and cranberries. Toss once more to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal · Carbohydrates: 23g · Protein: 1g · Fat: 10g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 5mg · Sodium: 288mg · Potassium: 201mg · Fiber: 4g · Sugar: 18g · Vitamin A: 111IU · Vitamin C: 32mg · Calcium: 36mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

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{originally published 5-23-2015 – recipe notes and photos updated 10-1-2019}
Sweet apples and cranberries are combined with crunchy cabbage and then tossed together in a tangy lemon dressing to make this Cranberry Apple Coleslaw. - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Anonymous says

    what are your thoughts on making this a day before a party? Or is it better off making just a few hours before needed? I am concerned with the apples going brown. thanks!

    • Mary says

      The apples shouldn't go brown. (At least mine didn't!) The lemon / mayonnaise dressing helps prevent that.

    • Elizabeth Pettitt says

      It is so much better the second day. I used pink lady apples diced and doubled the dressing and while it was amazing last night, it was 10x better today. This is from someone who isn’t fond of Cole slaw.

  2. Lynne says

    Had to let you know that I just made this for the 4th and it was a huge hit. It really is so refreshing!

  3. Sherry says

    This is the best coleslaw I have ever made. I have made it several times as it is my renal diet & goes with many things. Thank you for posting , it is hard to find renal receipts.5 stars