German Coleslaw

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Andrea Meyers - German Coleslaw

Oktoberfest in Munich began over the weekend, and we are a little sad that we couldn’t be there. Since this is the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest, the excitement and revelry must be at a high pitch, and of course it would have been a lot of fun to return for our 10th anniversary. We’re just happy to be together with our boys and we’re finding ways to celebrate at home. Last week I shared our recipe for cheese spaetzle, which goes so well with many types of German meats, and today I want to share our German style coleslaw, which has a white wine vinaigrette rather than a mayonnaise dressing. It’s really simple to make and you can serve it warm or chilled. The white wine vinaigrette is cooked to dissolve the sugar, then the sunflower oil is added just before pouring over the shredded cabbage. We play around with the texture of the cabbage, sometimes shredding it fine and other times going for a rough chop, and either way works.

Cabbage is a cool season crop and thrives in temperatures in the 60s, so autumn and spring are perfect times of the year for growing it. If you haven’t started any yet in your garden, there’s still time. Cabbage will keep for months in a cool root cellar or you can make your own sauerkraut.

I specifically mention sunflower oil in the recipe because I’ve found sunflower oil in many German recipes over the years and we have started using it in our kitchen. It has a neutral flavor and is considered a healthy oil for cooking. Some of our local grocery stores have started carrying organic sunflower oil, and I think it’s a great alternative for people who have sensitivities to other oils.


Serves 8.


large bowl
small saucepan


16 ounces (454 g) green cabbage, shredded
3 green onions, white and green part, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) sunflower oil


In the large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage and onions. In the small saucepan, mix the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the oil and stir. Pour over the cabbage and toss gently. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.

More German Recipes

Andrea Meyers - Cheese Spaetzle (Kaesespaetzle, Käsespätzle)

More Coleslaw Recipes From Around the Blogs

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East Village Kitchen – Crack Slaw, an Asian Coleslaw Recipe

FatFree Vegan Kitchen – Spicy Grapefruit Coleslaw

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