Sweet Apple Celery Coleslaw


What kind of coleslaw do you like? Only when I moved to Tennessee did I realize that there is actually a big debate over whether coleslaw should be creamy or vinegary. Frankly, I never really ate coleslaw in California. I had it here and there at potlucks or Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I never loved it. I always had the creamy, mayonnaise based coleslaws and they never really flipped my lid. They were only ok. And why eat something that is only ok? If I’m going to spend my calories, it’s going to be on something lip-smacking irresistible! So when I discovered this Sweet Apple Celery Coleslaw, I was an instant fan. It’s a teeny bit sweeter with a tiny kick of cayenne. It’s basically a salad, but let’s call it coleslaw, because I’m in Tennessee now and “When in Rome…”

apple celery coleslaw

In a large bowl, combine a bag of premixed coleslaw with 3 chopped celery stalks. Add in one diced sweet apple. I used a Pink Lady apple, but I think a Fugi, Gala, or Granny Smith would be great as well.

coleslaw dressing

For the dressing, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then add in 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon each of Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

coleslaw dressing

Emulsify the mixture by whisking quickly. Did you know they have mini whisks that fit into small bowls? They are so much easier to work with for dressings and small liquid mixtures.


Drizzle the dressing over the salad and use tongs to toss it all together.


Now you’re ready to eat it or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. How’s that for a 5 minute side dish?! But you know what? It works really well on top of burgers, crab cakes, and pulled pork sandwiches too.


Apple Celery Coleslaw is so easy a 5 year-old can make it! My little Nevaeh made this all on her own while I worked on the Crockpot Baby-Back Ribs we made to go with it. It was such an easy but delicious meal she could feel apart of. She loves to help me in the kitchen and says that one day she wants to be a “cooker” too.

Need some other side dish ideas? If you like the apple idea, you may like my Apple Blue Cheese Salad, but if you want to go the vegetable route, I would highly suggest 10 Minute Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts. There are even more ideas on my Recipe Index and Scrumptious Sides Pinterest Board. Happy Cooking y’all!

Sweet Apple Celery Coleslaw

Heidi Davison
Apple Celery Coleslaw is a lighter, sweeter twist on the classic American coleslaw. This can act as a salad, but it works great on burgers and pulled pork sandwiches as well.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8


  • 14 oz bag prepared coleslaw
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 sweet apple diced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp each Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Place the coleslaw, celery, and apple into a large bowl.
  • Put the remaining dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisk quickly.
  • Drizzle the dressing on top of the coleslaw and use tongs to toss.
  • Serve immediately or cover and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve.


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  • Mimi Chang says:

    Refreshing idea for every season. Thanks 🙏

    • You are so welcome! Glad you enjoyed it.

  • B. kaercher says:

    This is very good. I added an extra apple & used a small green cabbage instead of the bag & adjusted seasonings to taste afterward. My company loved it and asked for the recipe!

    • I’m so glad to hear! And thank you for your feedback on how you adjusted the recipe for your needs. I know other readers find that helpful.

  • Julie Ann E Hartman says:

    4 stars
    Saved recipe and it looks and sounds delicious! Thank you

    • Thanks Julie! Please let me know what you thought of it!

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