coleslaw recipe

A couple of generations ago, Kilbourn Gardens was the fanciest, schmanciest restaurant near our part of Racine County. It’s been gone a long time, but old-timers still talk about their Friday fish-fry, especially the coleslaw.

For provenance: GreatGrandma got this recipe from a neighbor, Mrs. Jeri McBryde – who (the story goes) asked the chef for it and received it from his kitchen! This was typed up 50 years ago or so.

I’ve added red cabbage and apples, but the dressing recipe is the same as Mrs. McBryde wrote down. I’ve tested various vinegars and found apple cider to be the tastiest.

Dress it up or down, this is a wonderful taste of Wisconsin history.



Crunchy and creamy, this coleslaw compliments most family dinners. We serve it with fish or pork. Great for potlucks and picnics.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Let stand 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 184 kcal


  • 3 cups cabbage chopped fine
  • 1 cup red cabbage sliced fine
  • 1 apple chopped coarse
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seed
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Chop cabbage, onion, and apple and put in large bowl.
  • Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl stir well or mix in a small jar and shake until blended.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage mix, toss.
  • Let stand in fridge for about 4 hours.


Original dressing recipe from Kilbourn Gardens in Racine, WI


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 1gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 126mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 2gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 64IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg
  1. This recipe is perfect as written but everything is better if you add marshmallows. Seriously, if you add 1/2 cup of marshmallows it won’t last to the end of a buffet line. This recipe is one of my favorites to take to a church pot luck or family BBQ. Any picky eaters will gravitate immediately to this salad. Admittedly it’s a sneaky way to get kids to eat their veggies but that’s a Grandma’s privilege.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of chopped chicken and 2 cups of ChowMein noodles for an easy family dinner salad. You can serve with freezer spring rolls or with carrot sticks for the crunch value.