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While we all love barbecued meats, it just wouldn’t be a barbecue without a selection of delicious sides. 

overhead view of kale slaw and Alabama white sauce

Why use kale instead of cabbage

When making coleslaw, traditional recipes are made with shredded cabbage, because it holds up really well to sauce. Whereas, lettuces tend to get soggy once you apply dressing. 

Kale is an excellent alternative to cabbage, because its leaves are tender like lettuce, but they have they’re more meaty than iceberg or romaine, so they can take on your favorite sauce and still maintain crunch. 

bowl of kale slaw

There are a few different types of kale. And I’m the first to admit, I am not a kale expert. When I go to the grocery, I just look for a bunch that has curly green leaves. But you can also use the Tuscan kale, which has flatter leaves or the Russian red kale. 

How to prep kale

When making cabbage-based coleslaw, you have to remove the core of the cabbage, because it’s pretty tough. The same principle is true with kale. Each leaf grows on a stem, and the stems themselves are rather tough. 

Separate the kale and rinse it in the sink to remove any dirt or sand. Then, grab the stem at the base and run your knife up and along the stem, allowing the leaf portion to fall off. Discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.

Pulled Turkey Sandwich with Alabama White Sauce

How long can you store kale slaw

Once the slaw is dressed with Alabama White Sauce, the flavors will really start to come together. The slaw will start to pick up the sweet notes from the carrots and a bite from the red onions. 

I like to serve it after 1-2 hours in the fridge, but it can also be made a day in advance. I do recommend eating it all within three days. Otherwise the leaves will get softer as they start to wilt. 

This recipe makes about 4 cups of slaw, which will give you eight 1/2 cup servings. You can eat it as an entree, as a side or served on top of Smoked Pulled Turkey Sandwiches

More Side Dish Recipes

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5 from 2 votes

Alabama White Sauce Kale Slaw

Alabama white sauce kale slaw is a tangy, peppery alternative to sweet coleslaw. It’s great as a side or served on barbecue sandwiches.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp red onion, diced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Alabama White Sauce


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Best if chilled an hour before serving.


Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 110mgPotassium: 140mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 4039IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 89mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
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Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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