Coleslaw to Can or Freeze

4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 54 votes, average: 4.50 out of 54 votes, average: 4.50 out of 54 votes, average: 4.50 out of 54 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5
Coleslaw to Can or Freeze

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 3 to 4 pints


1 medium head cabbage

1 large carrot

1 green pepper

1 small onion

1 tsp. salt


1 cup vinegar

¼ cup water

2 cups sugar

1 tsp celery seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds


Shred together vegetables. Add the salt and toss well. Let stand 1 hour. Drain water from vegetables. Rinse thoroughly and drain well again if you desire to reduce the salt content. Boil syrup ingredients together for 1 minute. Cool to at least lukewarm/room temperature. Add vegetables to cooked syrup/brine; mix well. Pack into pint (or quart) jars, adding more syrup as needed (as you debubble the jars) to cover the veggies, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 15 minutes, or put into freezer containers and freeze. Leftovers may be frozen. This slaw may be drained before use and mayonnaise added, or used as is.

04/19/08 used 6 bags coleslaw mix with carrots. Added one large red bell pepper, diced, and one medium sweet onion, diced. Tripled the syrup, but double may have been enough. This made 9 pints.

Categories: Canning, Low-Fat, Vegetables

Submitted by: wvhomecanner on April 20, 2010


  1. David says:

    As Dede says good stuff!

  2. debbie says:

    Does the cabbage stay crunchy when you can it?

  3. debbie says:

    ok…I love the taste of this! I think I may have messed up though and would like your opinion. I misread the directions, packed the cabbage in the jars, then poured the liquid over the cabbage. When it finished processing, the cabbage was “floating” about 1/2-3/4 inch from the bottom. (Guess it wasn’t packed as tight as I thought.) Now, I’m concerned that the cabbage will get soggy as it sits. Suggestions?

  4. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Debbie, it’s fine, just less of it in the jar. After the jars cool for 12 hours, just give each one a vigorous shake and they’ll look better LOL.
    I have done it both ways. When I packed the jars first I poured a bit of syrup in, then ran a butter knife down through the cabbage mixture several times to get the syrup to distribute well, repeat.
    And yes it retains quite a bit of crunch.
    If you want to add mayo to serve, you may have to drain yours an extra minute or two.

  5. debbie says:

    Thanks Dede! Next time I promise to drink 2 cups of coffee before I attempt a new recipe 🙂

  6. debbie says:

    hmmm…I posted a pic of my finished product 🙂 but it is floating around somewhere out in CIRland with no caption. I thought it would give me the option “after” I uploaded to write a description. Sheeesh…computer illiterate here!

  7. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    It’s here Debbie – it just needed approved. All recipes and pics are subject to approval to keep Spam OUT of FBR. You should be able to see it now.


    • psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

      Hi Dede – I posted a question on this recipe yesterday and since then, I have been thinking that perhaps it wasn’t how tightly I packed the jars, but rather that I didn’t leave enough actual space at the top of the jar and the liquid kinda got boiling and that’s why the bottoms came off the two jars. The two broke right @ the bottome “seam” of the jar. Just a thought. Any advice would be really appreciated cause I do want to do at least another batch of this recipe. Thanks for any help. Tammy

  8. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    Helllllppppp! I’m a relative newbie BWBer. I thought this recipe sounded great and I read the reviews and read the one about the jar not being full enough, so packed mine very tightly. I doubled the recipe and ended up PACKING 3 quarts and 1 pint and THEN putting in the syrup (guess I didn’t read that part). Anyway, I tried to keep my jars warm, but with all that packing, they weren’t HOT but the syrup was still warm (although it did cool some). Put the jars into HOT water bath and put lid on to get boiling. When I checked to see if they were boiling yet, 2 of the quart jars were broken (bottom of each jar just came off!) and the 3rd quart had a huge vertical crack. My question – what did I do wrong? a) Not keep jars hot enough or b) Pack them too tightly or c)I’m just not smart enough to figure out even what possibly when wrong? Another thing was that I was at my friends house and she has an electric stove and all of my previous canning was done on my gas range – could that have something to do with it? If anything, I think it would slow down the heatup process. My friend and I decided that this was only a failure if we failed to learn, so if anyone has any advice, we would REALLY appreciate letting us know where we went wrong. Cause I want to try this recipe again – I love the idea of being able to just drain and add mayo. Thanks for any advice.

    • Patrice says:

      I always try to can jars at their temperature. In other words, if I have made something and can it immediately, I use very warm water. If I have been busy and things don’t get in the canner right away, I feel the jars. If they are a little warm, I use water that is also a little warm. If they have totally cooled, I use room temperature water.

      Hope this helps! I’ve cleaned lots of broken glass before learning this!!

  9. kellyb says:


    My guess would be thermal expansion of your jars. If you put cool jars into boiling water the temperature change probably cracked them. The other possibility is that the jars were old and had cracks to begin with. I’d bet that since you had three in one batch the jars were just too cool to add to the boiling water. Next time, and promise there will be a next time, just make sure the temperature of your jars and their contents is close to that of the water in your canner. Keep us posted on your successes. We all learn from each other. Thanks for asking this important question.

  10. Patrice says:

    I just replied to your question of broken jars and it got placed three comments back. Computers have a mind of their own!

    • psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

      Thanks – the water wasn’t “boiling” when I put the jars in, but it was defintly HOT – this was the second batch of items we had waterbathed, so I think you are all right and I appreciate you tip on how to tell. I also pulled out my Ball Blue Book and they had handy guides on what a half inch and inch is on the jars for guidance on how full to load them and I think that contributed too.

  11. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Tammy, I think most of us have this hard lesson in thermal shock somewhere along the way. And sometimes a jar bottom will crack off and we’ll just never know what caused the flaw in the glass even though we were so careful about the temps. This IS a common problem when loading a second or third batch. I solve the problem by dipping some of the very hot water out of the canner and adding cool water until the temp is down closer to the temp of the load going in. It’s worth the extra effort as well as the time it takes to slowly heat these canner loads back up to boiling. Been there, done that on the busted jars 🙁


  12. psmflowerlady/Tammy says:

    Thanks everyone for the replies. I did another batch last night and no breakage thanks to your great advice. I can’t wait to try it – I kinda wish one wouldn’t have sealed ;(

  13. sharon says:

    This was another trial this summer. I made it when my local grocery had coleslaw mix on sale for 99 cents a pound bag. Plain…it’s like a marinated cabbage salad. Drained and with mayo added, it’s like a great coleslaw. The cabbage does NOT get mushy. It stays rather crisp. I LOVE THIS RECIPE, and so does my husband!

  14. emmaline555 says:

    This recipe sounds awesome! Do you have to let this recipe sit for a few weeks after canning (like pickles) or can it be eaten right away?

  15. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    Emmaline, you can eat it right away.


  16. Mom2EthanB says:

    I was hoping you could clear up a little bit of confusion for me. At the top of the recipe it says pints, in the recipe it says quarts and at the bottom it says pints again. I WB’d quarts for 15 minutes and am hoping that that was the correct time and not actually time for pints. Thank you! LOVE the recipe and blog 🙂

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