My Mom's Classic Coleslaw Recipe With Pineapple Bits


Mickie is a retired librarian who loves to tinker around the house. Everywhere she looks, she sees possibility!

Mom's Pineapple Coleslaw

My mom's coleslaw recipe as made by me. The carrots and pineapple tidbits make this recipe delicious.

My mom's coleslaw recipe as made by me. The carrots and pineapple tidbits make this recipe delicious.

My Mom's Coleslaw Recipe

My mom used to make pineapple coleslaw salad every Thanksgiving (or at a family BBQ) and serve it in the green "coleslaw bowl" that belonged to her mother. I make her coleslaw every month, and I am always being asked for my recipe. So, as a tribute to my mother (who passed away in 2003), I am presenting it here. My slaw recipe is based on one from a Hellmann's (Best Foods) mayonnaise.

The coleslaw in the photo above looks good, doesn't it? I especially love the green depression glass bowl that used to belong to my grandmother. This "coleslaw bowl"—as my mom called it—was passed down to me, and I will pass it to my oldest daughter in good time.

Serve coleslaw in majolica serving pieces that look like cabbage!

Serve coleslaw in majolica serving pieces that look like cabbage!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

5 min

10 min

12 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

My Mom's Pineapple Coleslaw Recipe

My pineapple coleslaw recipe is very easy, and you could make it even easier by using prepared foods that are readily available in the markets. I still prefer to make my coleslaw salad from scratch, but I have been known to take a few shortcuts every once in a while. My recipe is adapted from the Classic Cole Slaw recipe from Hellmann's mayo. It is the closest recipe to the one my mom used to make.


  • 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise (Hellmann's, Best Foods, or Dukes)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (may use smaller amount)
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup pineapple, canned (drained) or fresh (chopped)


  1. Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and salt for the coleslaw dressing.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage, carrots, and pineapple.
  3. Cover and chill.

Why Is It Called "Cole" Slaw?

"Cole" refers to any plant belonging to the Cruciferae or mustard family. One of those plants is cabbage! Broccoli and Brussels sprouts are also cole crops.

  • According to Wikipedia, the term "coleslaw" arose in the 20th century as an Anglicization of the Dutch term "koolsla," a shortening of "koolsalade," which means "cabbage salad."
  • According to Common Errors in English Usage, "Because it is served cold, Americans have long supposed the correct spelling to be "cold slaw"; but if you want to sound more sophisticated go with the original."
Use green and red (purple, really) cabbage for a colorful slaw! Cabbage is good for you!

Use green and red (purple, really) cabbage for a colorful slaw! Cabbage is good for you!

My Secret Tool for a Great Slaw: Grater

Even though there are scads of expensive kitchen tools that can make your slaw making a breeze, I recommend you use a quality grater in your kitchen toolbox. By "quality," I mean a grater that can go in the dishwasher, come out clean, and doesn't rust. Make sure it has a good handle for gripping, too.

If you have the extra cash, a mandoline slicer and protective glove are ideal. I love the fine shreds of cabbage (aka "angle hair") it is able to produce in a short time. I put my mandoline in the dishwasher, too.

© 2010 Mickie Gee

Guestbook: Do you have favorite family recipes that you hand down?

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on July 29, 2015:

Must be in the mood for coleslaw. Thanks for sharing this one Mickie! I've always thought that besides being tasty, that coleslaw is a great way to get healthy fiber and vegetables all at one time.

Edith Rose from Canada on August 19, 2014:

Going to make this for sure. Thanks for sharing

Mickie Gee (author) on August 15, 2014:

@Susan Zutautas: This is a very popular recipe at my house.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 06, 2014:

Pinning your recipe so that I can try it in the near future. I make coleslaw all the time and adding pineapple sounds delicious!

asereht1970 from Philippines on July 10, 2014:

Looks delicious.

Paula Hite from Virginia on May 19, 2014:

Sounds perfect for BBQs! I shared it on our G+ page today!


Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on May 17, 2014:

I love coleslaw almost any way I can get it, but I especially love a sweet and sour dressing with a fairly sharp vinegar accent. Your recipe looks very good, and I know I would love it too. Pineapple always makes coleslaw so good. Thank you for sharing it, and for sharing your pretty serving bowls and the story of your grandmother's bowl.

I don't have any favorite family recipes to hand down. My grandmother on one side wasn't much of a cook and I did not receive any of the recipes from my grandmother on the other side. She was secretive about them, although she was a very good cook.

I don't believe I ever once saw my mom cook with a recipe. I used to watch her cook in hopes of learning her secrets. Then I would go home and experiment, trying to get the same taste in my food.

Ruthi on May 15, 2014:

Keep serving up your momma's coleslaw in your inherited green depression glass bowl! It certainly shows off the brightness of this slaw recipe in a most delightfully delicious way.

CherylsArt on May 15, 2014:

I think the addition of pineapple would be a nice touch. Thanks for sharing. : )

laurenrich on March 23, 2013:

This is a wonderful lens. I love these recipes. I have added this lens to my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 07, 2012:

We've been having cole slaw more this summer. So refreshing plus good for us. Your variations are new to me.

piedromolinero on July 12, 2012:

I am sure I will try all three of your coleslaw salads, but first one will be for sure your mom's pineapple coleslaw.

Marilyn Thompson from Washington State on May 30, 2012:

need to try the sweet vinegar slaw

anonymous on May 26, 2012:

Now your red cabbage peanut coleslaw would probably look real nice in the pink cabbage bowl..Moms do make the best coleslaw for sure and here we have a bonus of three great and very different recipes, very nicely done! What a time to be out of cabbage, time to make a grocery list. Congratulations for being on the Summer Festival of Food monster board!

AJ from Australia on May 26, 2012:

The Purple Peanut Coleslaw looks fantastic! Blessings and congratulations for being featured in the Summer Foods selection.

julieannbrady on May 24, 2012:

I'd love to try all three of your coleslaw recipes as I am really into slaw!

clouda9 lm on May 23, 2012:

I gotta say I'd like to try all three coleslaw recipes! Congrats! you are featured on the Summer Festival of Food monsterboard!

KateHonebrink on May 23, 2012:

While each and every slaw recipe looks amazing, my all-time favorite is the pineapple coleslaw - it's refreshing, crunchy and delicious! Congratulations on being featured on the summer festival of food monsterboard!

Mark Shearman from Alicante Spain on May 23, 2012:

They look delicious.

Blackspaniel1 on May 20, 2012:

Salads are always great.

agoofyidea on March 26, 2012:

I have too much red cabbage right now so I'll be trying your red cabbage peanut slaw. Plus I like vinegar slaws much better than mayo slaws. Thanks for the recipe.

Lorna from USA on February 20, 2012:

Pineapple coleslaw sounds good! Thanks!

mumsgather on January 30, 2012:

Yummy yummy. Pineapple sounds very nice and so does peanut.

dannydeu on January 25, 2012:

Thank you for your good work on this lens. I loved the pineapple coleslow.

lesliesinclair on January 03, 2012:

The first one - it's closest to that served by my mom. I'll try adding fresh pineapple chunks

moonlitta on August 28, 2011:

I have always wandered, why does a cabbage salad need to be referred to as coleslow? Now I guess it just makes it sound American, and not-so-European! Otherwise, I love cabbage salad which makes me thing I'd love coleslaw too:)

Jeanette from Australia on August 17, 2011:

Mmmm. These look so good!

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2011:

Thanks for presenting these 3 recipes of coleslaw salad. I love most salads and this coleslaw is one of my favourites. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

SacredCynWear on August 17, 2010:

Sorry, I was referring to the Vinegar coleslaw salad ;)

SacredCynWear on August 17, 2010:

Here in El Paso Tx they have something similar, with carrots and cucumber, served with rolled tacos..

kimmanleyort on August 05, 2010:

Coleslaw is amazingly beautiful, isn't it? Gorgeous lens. I like the way you provided 3 recipes, with one being the more traditional slaw. The peanut coleslaw looks really interesting to me. I have never seen peanuts in coleslaw.

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on August 04, 2010:

Your pineapple coleslaw looks delicious! Thanks for featuring my tossed salad lens...I'm returning the favor. :)

Canela Ajena from Houston on August 03, 2010:

I've never had coleslaw like this. Making this a favorite.

Indigo Janson from UK on August 03, 2010:

These all look very tasty! Hard to decide between them but I do like pineapple so it would have to be that one.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on August 03, 2010:

They all sound wonderful, but I think I will have to try the Pineapple Coleslaw recipe. We love pineapple and it sounds like a great addition to coleslaw

callinsky lm on August 03, 2010:

Man, my boyfriend would love this. He and his girls are cuckoo for coleslaw. Thanks for sharing Mickie I might surprise them one of these days. (O;

Mickie Gee (author) on August 03, 2010:

@KathyMcGraw2: The Pineapple coleslaw is easy! No way to mess it up! You can buy pre-shredded coleslaw mix, coleslaw dressing in a jar or bottle and canned pineapple tidbits! Mix it all together and Voila!--there you have it!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on August 02, 2010:

Your coleslaw looks real yummy!

Kathy McGraw from California on August 02, 2010:

I think I will just be looking as I am sure I would find a way to mess it up :) But if I was to try one...it would be the pineapple coleslaw.

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on August 02, 2010:

Your coleslaw recipes sound interesting; I've never done one with purple cabbage.

LadyFlashman from United Kingdom on August 02, 2010:

The peanut one looks really interesting, and I like the 'healthy' slaw too. Yummy!

aishu19 on August 02, 2010:

They all look yummy!

ohcaroline on August 01, 2010:

I still make my mother's cole slaw. It's actually a cross between the first recipe and the third one. I only sometimes put a little pineapple in it. I'm big on carrots though.

Leanne Chesser on August 01, 2010:

I like the healthy coleslaw recipe. It's funny. I started scrolling down your lens and thought to myself, "I wonder where the word 'coleslaw' came from?" And then you answered the question! Great lens.

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