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Old Fashioned Amish Overnight Coleslaw Recipe

Y’all get ready for my delicious tangy Old Fashioned Amish Overnight Coleslaw Recipe! That is what this post is all about and you’re gonna love it!

Welcome to my kitchen, friend! You’re gonna love this easy recipe for Amish slaw. I am going to take you through all the steps for making it so that your dish turns out perfectly. You can also hit that “jump to recipe” button up top if you don’t want to visit with me a minute and walk through the steps.

Now, if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s making dishes that’ll make you smack your lips and ask for seconds.

That comes from watching my favorite grands, aunts, and other beloved cooks in the kitchen while growing up. It also comes from my own many years in the kitchen doing what I love, which is feeding people good food.

Let’s head into the kitchen and prepare this great side dish, y’all! It is sure to become a favorite coleslaw recipe for you to add to your collection of cabbage salad options.

Old Fashioned Coleslaw with Vinegar

Vinegar coleslaw served on a platter with lemon garnishes, fish, french fries, and hushpuppies

Y’all, back when I was growing up, air conditioning wasn’t a common thing like it is now. Honey, let me tell you, I don’t know how we did it with our hot and humid Southern summers. Just used to it I guess.

Well, thought had to be put into what you were preparing according to how and when it would be served.

We loved the classic mayonnaise coleslaw recipe back in the day just as we do now, but that was more fitting for family meals when you were inside and had the refrigerator to pop it back into so it keeps.

For those outdoor gatherings where family and friends came together for fish fries or cook outs, the overnight icebox slaw was more fitting. That is because of the vinegar-based dressing, which sorta pickles the cole slaw and you didn’t have to worry about it spoiling.

Icebox Slaw

cutting board with ingredients to prepare Amish coleslaw with vinegar dressing, a no mayo side dish

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare the Best Amish Coleslaw:

The Vinegar Coleslaw Dressing Ingredients…

  • Water – use distilled or purified water for the best flavor in your dressing without the additives of tap water.
  • Vinegar – I used white vinegar because I like the tang and had plenty on hand. Apple cider vinegar is also used for vinegar coleslaw dressing.
  • Sugar – regular ole white sugar.
  • Kosher Salt

The Cabbage Mixture…

  • Green Cabbage
  • Green Peppers – sweet green bell peppers.
  • Carrots
  • Red Onion
  • Diced Pimentos
  • Celery
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Celery Seed

Other tools you’ll need: food processor with the grating attachment or a box hand grater, large bowl for mixing, plastic wrap or an airtight container for storage, a small saucepan, and a spatula.

Prepare the dressing first and allow to cool

In a small saucepan add the distilled water, vinegar, sugar and salt then bring to a simmer over medium-high heat stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Once simmering, remove the pot from the heat, cover, and allow to cool before dressing the slaw mixture.

Pepper Slaw

Freshly grated green cabbage in a stainless mixing bowl

Y’all, if you have a food processor it sure makes the work go a lot faster. Start by cutting your raw cabbage into wedges that will fit into the processor and shred (grate) in batches until done.

Transfer the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl. 

Next, peel and trim the carrots then shred and add to the coleslaw mix. Continue by slicing the green bell peppers and removing the seeds and ribs then shred and add to the mixing bowl.

I prefer to finely dice the celery before adding it to the slaw mixture. Drain the jar of pimentos and add those as well along with the black pepper and celery seeds.

Pennsylvania Dutch Good ‘N Plenty Amish Slaw

Cabbage, peppers, carrots and other ingredients in a mixing bowl for making Amish coleslaw

Once you have everything in your mixing bowl and ready to go, check on the dressing to make sure it has cooled down before adding it to the freshly shredded cabbage mixture.

Coleslaw Recipe without Mayo

Vinegar-Based Dressing being poured over coleslaw vegetables

The Vinegar-Based Dressing is the key to this overnight pickled coleslaw! It is delicious! The dressing is what makes this the best coleslaw that is perfect for a hot summer day.

Drizzle the vinegar solution over the slaw mixture.

Tangy Cool and Delicious

Stainless mixing bowl with combined Amish pepper slaw

Give everything a good stir to combine in that tangy dressing then sort of press it down so everything can marinate really well.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator to hang out overnight.

4 Hours Later OOOPS I Forgot Something

Adding red diced onion to the Amish coleslaw mixture

Lawdy, y’all! I forgot to add the red onion! I was sitting around a few hours later and it just came to me that I forgot to add the onion.

So, off I went into the kitchen to dice up the onion and mix it into the Amish slaw then getting it back into the fridge to do its thing.

Amish Coleslaw Recipe

Amish overnight coleslaw recipe, also known as pepper slaw, with a no mayo vinegar dressing in a serving bowl

The next day your beautiful batch of Amish coleslaw if ready to be enjoyed. Give it a stir and transfer all, or in portions as needed, to a serving bowl.

Due to the nature of the dressing for green pepper slaw, the pickling effect keeps the coleslaw fresh for a while when properly stored in your refrigerator. Up to three weeks, in fact, although it never lasts that long.

Below if the printable recipe card with all of the key ingredients as well as steps for how to make the best Amish overnight coleslaw with its tangy vinegar dressing.

Yield: 1 Side Dish

Easy Old Fashioned Amish Over Coleslaw Recipe: a must try no mayo slaw

Old fashioned Amish overnight coleslaw recipe in a serving bowl with a seafood platter with fish, fries, and hushpuppies

Immerse your taste buds in the wonderful flavors of a classic icebox slaw with this Amish overnight coleslaw recipe with a vinegar dressing. That's right, now mayo in this pepper slaw salad. It is the perfect side for those hot summer days for picnics, cookouts, family reunions, and other social gatherings. It takes just a few simple ingredients to put this delicious cabbage slaw together before popping it in the fridge to marinate overnight. A great side for fish fries, chicken, pulled pork and more.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes


The Vinegar-Based Dressing

  • 1¼ cup Water - distilled or purified preferable
  • 1 cup Vinegar - White Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar (I used white vinegar in this recipe)
  • 1½ cup Sugar (white granulated sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt

The Coleslaw Mix

  • 3 pound Green Cabbage, chopped or shredded
  • 3 Green Bell Peppers, diced or shredded
  • ½ cup Shredded Carrots
  • 4 ounce Jar Diced Pimentos, drained
  • 1 Red Onion, diced or shredded (optional, if you don't like onion then leave it out)
  • ½ cup Celery, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Celery Seed


  1. Prepare the Dressing: in a small saucepan; combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat white stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to cool completely.
  2. The coleslaw mixture: in a large bowl; add the shredded cabbage, peppers, carrots, pimento, onion, celery, pepper, and celery seed.
  3. Next; pour the cool vinegar dressing over the vegetables then use a spatula to stir everything together until combined.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to allow the coleslaw to marinate overnight.
  5. When ready to serve; transfer the coleslaw to a serving bowl.


See the full post for more details in preparing the Amish slaw as well as serving suggestions.

A food processor makes quick work of shredding the vegetables, but a box grater can also be used.

Since this is a no mayo slaw and the pickling nature of the vinegar-based dressing, the coleslaw will lasts up to 3 weeks when properly stored in the refrigerator.

This Icebox slaw is great with most any meal and perfect for sharing at gatherings among family and friends.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/3 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 2g

Nutrition values may vary according to serving size

What to serve with Amish Coleslaw?

If you’re looking for some ideas on what to serve your Amish coleslaw with, I’ve got a few suggestions:

  • Fried Fish – y’all, some of my best memories growing up are the fish fries with coleslaw, fried, hushpuppies, corn, potato salad…oh my I could go on and on.
  • Chicken – slaw is a great side with chicken cooked up just about any way.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  • Hot dogs or Burgers
  • A veggie plate of prepared fresh summer veggies with a side of cool coleslaw is so good y’all.

With any of these down home dishes, your Amish slaw will fit right into the mix to be enjoyed perfectly.

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Old Fashioned Amish Overnight Coleslaw Recipe

So there you have it, folks! My Old Fashioned Amish Overnight Coleslaw Recipe, a dish that’s as timeless as it is delicious.

You can call it Amish slaw, pepper slaw, pepper cabbage, pickled slaw, or like us…icebox slaw, but be sure to add this great side dish to your must make sides for your next get-together.

Whether you’re serving it up at a backyard barbecue, church social, family reunion, or packing it for a picnic, this coleslaw is sure to steal the show.

Next time you’re craving a taste of tradition, remember this recipe straight from the heart of Amish country.

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Until next time, y’all keep cooking and sharing the love through good food and good company. Happy eating!

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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