Back in my ancestral home of PA (pronounced P-A, better known to non-natives as Pennsylvania), this PA Dutch Pepper Slaw, is a favorite coleslaw recipe. Also sometimes called Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Cabbage, this coleslaw doesn’t contain mayonnaise. Instead, it has a deliciously refreshing sweet and sour vinegar dressing and lots of bell pepper flavor. (And if you’re looking for Pennsylvania Dutch recipes, check out my recipe for PA Dutch Creamed Cucumbers.)
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. So this slaw could really be thought of as a pickled cabbage salad. Anyway 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.
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PA Dutch Pepper Slaw
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 Servings 1x
This Pennsylvania Dutch Pepper Slaw is made without mayonnaise, and instead, has a deliciously refreshing sweet and sour vinegar dressing and lots of bell pepper flavor.
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 hours
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
KathiJune 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.
MelissaJune 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.
Linda KuehlMarch 16, 2023 at 4:19 pm
Kathi. Melissa thanks for your comments. I think I’ll try it both ways but will use my homemade egg salad dressing. However, I think this will last longer without the salad dressing. Since there’s only two of us, this might be the better choice! Blessings to you both! Linda K.
JaniceApril 16, 2023 at 3:28 am
Can I get the recipe for homemade egg dressing
SandraJune 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!
HeatherJune 9, 2020 at 7:54 pm
It was different from regular coleslaw but very good. Will make again.
SamJune 9, 2020 at 7:59 pm
Patricia DietrichJuly 10, 2020 at 9:22 pm
Have you ever tried canning pepper cabbage?
MelissaJuly 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm
No, I have never canned pepper cabbage. If this is something that you do, let me know!
LilOctober 8, 2022 at 7:28 pm
I just made and canned 8 pints. I forgot to add the salt so I am hoping it will still can ok and i can add salt when we open it.
MelissaOctober 10, 2022 at 3:13 am
Lil, I just wanted to say that I have never canned this recipe and can’t guarantee its safety. In our house, we just eat it as a side dish. It seems like it “could” be safe given the amount of vinegar, but I can’t say for sure. Maybe you have experience canning this type of slaw? If not, you can call your county extension office to double-check that this is a safe canning recipe.
Miz HelenMay 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!
Mr COctober 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.
MelissaOctober 9, 2021 at 2:49 am
That makes me very happy to hear. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
AngelaJanuary 27, 2022 at 8:21 pm
This looks delicious. Love cole slaw.
MelissaFebruary 15, 2022 at 6:06 pm
Thank you! I hope you give it a try!
Daphine M VernonMarch 23, 2022 at 4:33 pm
Sounds like a raw version of chow chow. Will try!
MelissaApril 6, 2022 at 5:44 pm
I never thought of it that way, but I think you are right!
SuzanneMay 19, 2022 at 2:27 pm
Do you think I could use a sugar subsitute?
MelissaMay 22, 2022 at 3:10 pm
Yes, I think a sugar substitute, Splenda, or whatever substitute you typically use, would work just fine.
DianaMay 27, 2022 at 8:09 pm
I made PA Dutch Pepper Slaw for the first time this morning and have to say I absolutely LOVE this! It is DELICIOUS! I am sure I will be making this recipe multiple times throughout the summer and beyond.
Would you happen to have per serving nutrition information on this recipe?
MelissaMay 31, 2022 at 2:23 am
I am so happy you enjoyed the recipe! I actually don’t have official nutrition information, but I quickly ran the recipe through an online nutrition calculator to see what it comes up with. Assuming 10 servings it comes in at 114 calories, 0 mg cholesterol, 488 mg sodium, 28 g of carbs, 24.5 g of sugar, 2.8 g of fiber, and 1.6 g of protein. I suspect the actual amount of sugar would be a little lower because a good bit of the brine will remain in the bowl. I hope this helps!
CathyNovember 8, 2022 at 1:07 am
This cans up very well. Water bath method. I call it a pickled slaw after canning it is still crunchy.
MelissaNovember 8, 2022 at 5:34 pm
Thanks for letting me know!
AliceDecember 18, 2022 at 6:12 pm
Cathy……. May i ask how long did you do the water bath process
RandyNovember 26, 2022 at 9:01 pm
I made this to take to work for a potluck featuring Italian beef sandwiches. Big hit! I was nervous about the amount of sugar because I do not like sweet slaw, but I did not alter the recipe. The sugar and the vinegar were just the right balance. Left overnight to marinate, it was incredibe but still crunchy.
AliceDecember 18, 2022 at 6:09 pm
The Recipe I have like this is called Freezer Cole Slaw so when i made it i put it in freezer containers and put in the freezer very very yummy
JackFebruary 18, 2023 at 2:36 am
Made the recipe just as written! Delicious! it’s on my list!
Just for clarification; I was born and raised in Scranton and we never referred to Pennsylvania as anything but Pennsylvania!! 75 years old, now living in Arizona, and it’s still PENNSYLVANIA!!!
HollyMarch 7, 2023 at 6:07 pm
This is the best PA Dutch Pepper cabbage recipe I’ve found. It tastes like what my meemaw used to make. 5 stars.
JoeyMarch 14, 2023 at 3:57 pm
This is very similar to Freezer Slaw and with the ingredients I’m sure you could freeze this. It will also keep quite awhile in the fridge.
Bob ElyMarch 19, 2023 at 12:18 pm
I love this recipe! I once ran a Mennonite restaurant (family cookin style) and this was on of the items on the “Amish dinner” plate. It was slow roast beef, Dutch potatoes, Dutch slaw, schnitzel beans and a roll. Everyone enjoyed the “sweet and sour” flavor of the slaw.
MelissaMarch 23, 2023 at 6:19 pm
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe (especially since you ran a Mennonite restaurant!) I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!
GaryMay 13, 2023 at 2:48 pm
I made this the other week and it was good the day I made it but it was fantastic from the second day onward just needed a little time for the flavors to meld. I live only a few blocks from a farmers market and it was at least as good as any sold there. Now I am trying to figure out a way to add just a touch of heat to it. I’m considering add a small jalapeño or cherry pepper to it.
MelissaMay 16, 2023 at 7:09 pm
I’m so happy you liked the recipe! Isn’t it funny how some things just taste better after a day or two? To make it hotter, you could try substituting some of the bell pepper with a spicy pepper, or you could add some chili flakes to the dressing.
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