PA Dutch Pepper Slaw

Back in my ancestral home of PA (pronounced P-A, better know to non-natives as Pennsylvania), this is a favorite coleslaw recipe. Instead of a mayo-based dressing, it has a deliciously refreshing sweet and sour vinegar dressing and lots of bell pepper flavor.

PA Dutch Pepper Slaw | My Homemade Roots

I do love a good creamy coleslaw, but this slaw is just right for hot summer days and backyard BBQs. It’s crisp and, with all of those yummy bell peppers, just tastes garden-fresh. In fact, it is a perfect dish to make in the summer or early fall with produce fresh from the garden.

Now you may notice that the recipe contains rather a lot of sugar, but trust me, it’s totally needed because it also contains rather a large amount of vinegar. Hence, the sweet and sour. But if you prefer your slaw a little more sour than sweet, just use a bit less sugar.

And actually, the dressing for this recipe is like the kind of brine you would use for a sweet pickle, and this slaw could really be thought of as a pickled cabbage salad. Any way you want to look at it, though, it’s absolutely delicious. For the best results, make it a few hours ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.


My Homemade Roots

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PA Dutch Pepper Slaw

PA Dutch Pepper Slaw

Yield: 10-12 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 2 bell peppers (any color will work, but I prefer to use at least 1 green pepper)


  1. In a saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, celery seed, mustard, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Chop cabbage in half and remove the core. Using a food processor, finely chop the green cabbage, carrot and bell pepper. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can chop them finely by hand, or use a box grater). Place the finely grated vegetables into a large bowl, and set aside while you make the dressing.
  3. Combine the vegetables and the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve. This slaw tastes best if it is made at least a few hours ahead.
Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Cabbage Slaw

Visit my friends for more great recipes:

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Meal Plan Monday at Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate

Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook


  • […] PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH PEPPER SLAW by My Homemade Roots […]

  • Kathi
    June 8, 2020 at 2:19 am

    It was okay but a bit dry for my taste so I added 1/2 Best Food Mayo and now it’s just fine for me. Sorry.

    • Melissa
      June 8, 2020 at 2:58 am

      No worries. I understand that some people prefer a creamy coleslaw. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  • Sandra
    June 8, 2020 at 2:47 am

    We don’t like coleslaw with mayonnaise in our house, so this was perfect for us. We had it with out grilled chicken this weekend and there were no leftovers. Thank-you!

  • Heather
    June 9, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    It was different from regular coleslaw but very good. Will make again.

  • Sam
    June 9, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Very good!

  • Patricia Dietrich
    July 10, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Have you ever tried canning pepper cabbage?

    • Melissa
      July 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm

      No, I have never canned pepper cabbage. If this is something that you do, let me know!

  • Miz Helen
    May 20, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate Thursday,537 and we just pinned it to our features board! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and hope you come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  • Mr C
    October 3, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Delicious slaw! Reminded me of my Grandmother’s, and unfortunately I never got her recipe. Will make again and again.

    • Melissa
      October 9, 2021 at 2:49 am

      That makes me very happy to hear. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!


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