Ranch-Flavored Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)

This entry is part 48 of 55 in the series Food Network

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

This week for the Food Network’s #SummerSoiree we are all sharing our favorite ways to make slaw. Some call it coleslaw, and some just slaw, but no matter what name you give it, I love it. 

When I was little, I would go to picnics, Girl Scout dinners, or church socials and there was always a huge bowl of slaw on the table. No matter how many times I tried it or who made it, I hated it. It was slimy to me without much flavor. I was much happier with a big helping of macaroni salad. And then I grew up.

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

One day I decided to make it from scratch; slice a whole head of cabbage, grate in other vegetables and make a mayo-based dressing. It tasted amazing to me. Nice and crunchy with bold flavors from the fresh vegetables. This was nothing like the salads I had been served before. It was actually edible!

Because it was my first attempt and I didn’t know better, it really was cabbage swimming in a sea of dressing. I hadn’t learned to salt the cabbage yet to release some of the water before dressing the salad. Consequently, the dressing was thoroughly diluted. But even with that, it was still the best I’d ever had.

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Since then I have tried many versions with different kinds of vegetable combinations. I always seem to come back to a fairly classic blend of cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers. With that base you can create a wide variety of flavor profiles to suit your tastes and to complement your other dishes.

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Today’s version uses a homemade Ranch-style dressing – one of my favorites. I love the creamy goodness blended with thyme and dill, shallots and green onions, and kissed with a touch of fresh lemon juice. I could eat this every day!

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

I call this kind of slaw “Confetti” because the finely chopped vegetables look like pieces of confetti in the slaw. It is a party in a bowl!!

I hope you enjoy this salad and that it takes its place on your table soon!

Ranch Confetti Coleslaw; 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook

Jane’s Tips and Hints:

If you to make your cole slaw easier for your family and guests to eat, cut the longer shreds of cabbage in half or thirds, more bite-sized. They will not need a knife and that will make it much simpler, especially when you are eating outdoors.

Gluten-Free Tips:

This recipe is naturally gluten-free!

Ranch-Flavored Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)
Yields 8
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  1. Dressing:
  2. 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  3. 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  4. 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. 1/2 tsp sugar, optional
  6. 1/4 tsp very finely minced fresh garlic
  7. 2 tsp minced fresh chives or very finely minced green onion
  8. 1/2 tsp dried mustard
  9. 1-1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  10. 1/4 tsp dried dill weed
  11. Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  12. Slaw:
  13. 1 small head green cabbage, cored, quartered and each piece very thinly sliced
  14. Kosher salt
  15. 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
  16. 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
  17. 3 carrots, peeled and shredded
  18. 2 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
  19. 1/2 small red onion, peeled and very finely chopped
  1. Make the Dressing:
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. Add sugar, garlic, chives, mustard, thyme and dill. Whisk again until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to give flavors a chance to blend. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. The dressing can be used right away, but for the best flavor, return it to the refrigerator and leave overnight. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings if needed. Dress the slaw the following day.
  4. Prepare the Cole Slaw:
  5. Place the cabbage in a colander and liberally sprinkle with salt. Toss lightly and sprinkle on a little more salt. Set the colander over a large bowl and set aside for 30 to 45 minutes. The salt will leach out most of the water from the cabbage, leaving it crispier.
  6. Rinse the cabbage very well under cool running water, making sure that all the salt has been removed. Set the colander aside again to drain thoroughly, shaking it occasionally.
  7. Assemble the Cole Slaw:
  8. In a very large mixing bowl, combine the cabbage and prepared vegetables. Toss to evenly mix everything together. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat all the vegetables evenly. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more dressing if desired. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. If any extra liquid accumulates while it is resting, drain before serving.
  1. Yield: about 6 to 8 servings
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Create a New Tradition Today!

This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Sensational Sides. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes and see our Pinterest page for more fun!

Feed Me Phoebe: Healthy Broccoli Slaw with Yogurt-Mint Dressing
The Heritage Cook: Ranch-Flavored Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: Grated Vegetable Slaw
Daily*Dishin: Pineapple Jalapeno Coleslaw
Virtually Homemade: Sweet and Spicy Mexican Slaw
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Apple Cider Coleslaw
Red or Green: Purple Cabbage Slaw with Honey/Chipotle Vinaigrette
Devour: Coleslaw Around the World
Sweet Life Bake: Cumin-Lime Coleslaw
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Vegan Coleslaw
Swing Eats: Thai Coleslaw
Taste With The Eyes: Spicy Rainbow Slaw
FN Dish: 4 Tricks for Shredded Slaw Glory

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  1. says

    I’m a big coleslaw fan because it is the perfect topping for burgers, hot dogs, and pulled pork sandwiches. I like it diced, shredded, and sliced. I like vinegar and mayo based. I an am equal opportunity slaw eater, I guess :)

    I like the ranch spin on this one, this would go great on a taco seasoned burger.


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