A coleslaw recipe that people will actually love. Extra creamy and tossed with candied jalapeños and pineapple for a surprising twist.
5 from 1 vote
bowl of coleslaw with serving spoons.

By Christie Vanover | Published June 30, 2022 | Last Updated July 7, 2022

Home | Recipes | Candied Jalapeno Coleslaw

Don’t make boring coleslaw. You know the kind. The kind that people feel obligated to put on their plate, even though they don’t really want it. And they rarely go back for seconds. This is a recipe that will have people wanting more.

bowl of coleslaw with serving spoons.

Coleslaw Ingredients

  • Shredded Cabbage: I use two 10-ounce bags of the angel hair coleslaw mix. It’s finely shredded green cabbage. You’re welcome to shave a head of cabbage yourself. A cabbage head costs less, but you’ll have to do a little more work, unless you have a food processor.
  • Broccoli Slaw: A blend of shredded carrots, broccoli stalks and red cabbage. This adds color and texture.
  • Candied Jalapeños: These are sweet little nuggets of heat. You can make your own candied jalapeños by cooking down jalapeño slices in sugar and vinegar. Or you can buy them in some grocery stores and online.
  • Crushed Pineapple: Most coleslaw recipes call for apple cider vinegar and sugar, but I like adding crushed pineapple instead, because it’s the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. The juice from the can provides the right amount of liquid, too, so don’t drain it.
  • Mayonnaise: Any brand will work. Choose your favorite.
  • Seasonings: Celery seeds, salt and black pepper.

Substitutions: You can substitute 3 fresh diced jalapeños for the candied jalapeños. The recipe is also great with one diced green apple mixed in.

bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

Equipment Needed to Make Coleslaw

How to Make Coleslaw Dressing

You want to start by making the coleslaw dressing, so you can combine the ingredients evenly.

spoon showing coleslaw dressing.

Place the mayo in a large bowl. Be sure the bowl is really big, because the cabbage will take up a lot of space (at first).

Drain the juice from the can of pineapple into the bowl and add the celery seeds, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. It’s okay if there are a few lumps.

How to Make Coleslaw

You can buy coleslaw mix already pre-shredded. The angel hair type is shred really fine. However, sometimes there are a few big chunks inside that I take out to keep the salad consistency even.

Some pre-made coleslaw mixes also have red cabbage and shredded carrots mixed in. That kind is totally fine, too. Just don’t use shredded lettuce. It’s wilts too fast.

As an alternative, you can buy one head of green cabbage and slice it thinly with a chef’s knife or food processor.

Two 10-ounce bags of shredded cabbage equals 7 cups. You’ll also get about 7 cups of shredded cabbage from one head. If you use a little more or a little less, it’s not a big deal.

For less cabbage, use a bit less mayo. And if you have more, add a little more mayo. You’ll use just under 1/4 cup of mayo per cup of cabbage.

Using a spatula to fold the cabbage in with the dressing.

Add the cabbage one bag at a time and fold it in with the dressing to incorporate it as evenly as possible. Once the first bag is blended, add the second bag. Once that’s blended, add the broccolli slaw.

Now it’s time to mix in the diced candied jalapeños and crushed pineapple.

One of the cool things about making homemade coleslaw is that you can make it your own and add your signature. That’s why I add candied jalapeños and crushed pineapple. I like bringing the unexpected.

Cover the slaw with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then, serve it with your favorite barbecue. It’s really awesome on top of pulled pork or shredded beef sandwiches.

Spoonful of creamy coleslaw.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Save time and use pre-shredded cabbage
  • Mix the coleslaw dressing ingredients first
  • Add the cabbage one bag at a time
  • Let the flavors blend for 30 minutes before serving

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze coleslaw?

No. I do not recommend freezing coleslaw. Thawing it will cause the cabbage to release a lot of liquid and your coleslaw will end up soggy.

How long does coleslaw last?

Coleslaw made with cabbage is only good for a day or two. If you store it longer, it will start to get soggy. When you serve it at your barbecue, only leave it at room temperature for up to two hours. If you need to serve it longer, place the serving bowl on top of a larger bowl with ice to keep the temp below 40F degrees.

How much coleslaw do I need to make?

Most people will eat about 1/2 cup serving of coleslaw. This recipe make 8 cups, which is about 16 servings.

Is it cole slaw or coleslaw?

According to Merriam-Webster, coleslaw is one word meaning cabbage salad. The name derives from the Dutch word Koolsla.

Is coleslaw healthy?

The shredded cabbage, broccoli and carrots are healthy, but once you add all of that mayo, I wouldn’t consider it healthy. However, because it is made with vegetables, it is healthier than macaroni and cheese or macaroni salad.

Bowl of coleslaw.

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bowl of coleslaw with serving spoons.

Candied Jalapeño Coleslaw

A coleslaw recipe that people will actually love. Extra creamy and tossed with candied jalapeños and pineapple for a surprising twist.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
 

  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 7 cups shredded cabbage
  • 12 oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup candied jalapeños

Instructions
 

  • Make the Dressing: In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, juice from the crushed pineapple, salt, pepper and celery seeds.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in half of the shredded cabbage, until it's coated. Repeat with the second half of the cabbage. Repeat with the broccoli slaw. Then, fold in the crushed pineapple and candied jalapeños.
  • Chill: Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Toss just before serving.

Notes

Servings: This recipe makes 8 cups of coleslaw. Each person will eat about 1/2 cup, so this recipe will serve 16. 
Cabbage: It’s easiest to buy pre-shredded cabbage.
Candied Jalapeños: Taste the candied jalapeños before adding them to see how spicy they are. If they’re super spicy, you may want to cut back on the amount you add. But keep in mind the mayonnaise will help cut the heat. 
Crushed Pineapple: This recipe doesn’t use vinegar, lemon juice or sugar, because the juice in the crushed pineapple adds plenty of acid and sweetness. 

Nutrition

Calories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 361mgPotassium: 171mgFiber: 1gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 147IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
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