Captain D’s Cole Slaw

Captain D’s coleslaw is an incredible indulgence due to its perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. Even though this copycat recipe is easy to make, it has an exceptional creaminess that perfectly matches Captain D’s classic coleslaw. Don’t pass up the opportunity to make it yourself!

a bowl of homemade cole slaw

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Easy coleslaw recipe

The summer begs for picnics and cool and refreshing salads. Are you looking for an easy coleslaw recipe? This is the one to make. This Captain Ds Cole Slaw recipe is made simply with chopped cabbage, chopped carrots, and a tangy, slightly sweet creamy dressing that is drizzled over these freshly chopped vegetables. It is hard to resist.

I am a huge fan of Captain D’s. This is one of the few chain fish and chip places around. I love fried fish when done in this style. While you shouldn’t enjoy it too often, it can be a nice treat.

Whenever I go to Captain D’s, the cole slaw is what I go for first. This is a creamy coleslaw, and I personally love the note of celery seed in this recipe. It adds something that most coleslaw does not have.

I love this side dish, it is an inexpensive recipe to make. So this classic coleslaw recipe is perfect for when you have a large crowd to serve. Homemade coleslaw tastes so much more than any store-bought version.

Yes, you can buy a large tub of coleslaw in the store, but I often find the crunch of the cabbage gone. Since this isn’t difficult to make, you should give this cabbage salad a try at home.

This creamy, crunchy homemade coleslaw is great for a BBQ or to take to potlucks.

Why Captain D’s cole slaw is so delicious

This coleslaw hits the mark when it comes to texture and flavor. It’s a dreamy comfort food, to say the least. The fresh and crispy cabbage and the silky dressing make it a great accompaniment to heartier dishes like batter-dipped fish or fish sandwiches.

This copycat Captain D’s coleslaw strikes the perfect happy medium between sweet and tangy, thanks to the ideal combination of sugar and vinegar. The recipe also includes celery seed, which adds a unique flavor to the dish.

Why you’ll love the recipe

Having a go-to coleslaw recipe is essential for everyone. If you’re tired of trying to find the perfect balance of flavors every time you make coleslaw, this recipe can be the one for you! It’ll help you achieve the same flavor as Captain D’s coleslaw.

This coleslaw recipe is a terrific side dish option for any occasion, whether you’re making a weeknight dinner or hosting a gathering. It only takes 15 minutes to prepare, and if you need to make a smaller or larger batch, it’s super easy to adjust the recipe accordingly.

Also, don’t feel limited to only eating it with seafood. There are plenty of other scrumptious ways to make use of it!

For example, you could use it as a topping for your burgers or add it to your chicken tacos. You can also incorporate it into salads, wraps, and various types of sandwiches. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it!


Here’s what you need to make Captain Ds cole slaw at home:

  • Green cabbage (you can use prepared coleslaw mix that is already chopped)
  • Carrot
  • White onion
  • Mayonnaise
  • White Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Celery seed or celery salt
  • Salt (omit if using celery salt)

If you don’t have white vinegar, you can use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Just note it will change the flavor slightly.

Captain D's cole slaw ingredients

How to Make Captain Ds Cole Slaw

  1. Chop cabbage, carrot, and onion with a sharp knife. This is so the cabbage and veggies will have the same texture as Captain D’s. You can use a mandolin or food processor but it will produce a different cabbage cut.
  2. Place the shredded cabbage mixture in a medium bowl.
chopped cabbage and carrots in a bowl
  1. To make the cole slaw dressing, place mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt in a small bowl.
Captain D's cole slaw dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl
  1. Stir until dressing ingredients are combined.
  2. Add dressing to the bowl with chopped vegetables.
  3. Stir to combine vegetables with the dressing.
  4. Refrigerate coleslaw for at least two hours before serving.
A bowl of cole slaw next to a basket of hush puppies

What to serve with Captain D’s coleslaw

There’s no better way to enjoy this coleslaw than to make Captain D’s battered dipped fish and hush puppies! Create your own delicious Captain D’s feast in the comfort of your home.

Another option is to make butterfly shrimp or breaded chicken tenders. In either instance, the balance of the fried food with the creamy coleslaw is always such a delicious dining experience.

How to store leftover coleslaw

You will want to keep your leftover coleslaw, it goes great with sandwiches, especially on a pulled pork sandwich. It’s also great on fish tacos. I recommend storing it in an airtight container and placing the container in the fridge for up to five days.

I do not recommend freezing this due to the creamy coleslaw dressing. If you want a type of coleslaw you want to freeze, I have you covered. Try my best coleslaw recipe for freezing.

How long does it last?

When properly stored, this refreshing coleslaw lasts approximately five days!

a bowl of homemade Captain D's cole slaw and hush puppies

Love Captain D’s? Check out these Copycat Recipes

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Be sure to take a look at more of the best copycat restaurant recipes and easy side dishes.

a bowl of homemade cole slaw

Captain Ds Cole Slaw

Love coleslaw? You have to make Captain Ds Cole Slaw.
4.59 from 12 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Captain Ds Cole Slaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 160kcal


  • 2 pounds cabbage chopped fine
  • 1/4 pound carrots chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white onion chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt and omit celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed


  • Chop cabbage, carrots, and onions and place into a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, and celery seed. Whisk dressing together and drizzle over the chopped vegetables.
  • Stir to combine dressing and vegetables until the cabbage is well coated. This recipe is best when allowed to rest in a covered dish in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.



Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 503mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7680IU | Vitamin C: 36.1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 0.6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Gregory C Buehrer

    5 stars
    Sounds very good. The instructions say to chop the ‘celery.” along with the cabbage and onions. guessing carrots too, but not mentioned. The ingredients don’t list “celery”, only seeds or salt. Is there celery in this and how much. Thank you.

  2. Suellen Dalton

    4 stars
    I love Captain D’s Cole slaw so was excited to find this recipe. Only one little suggestion and this comes from an amateur.
    The recipe calls for 2 pounds cabbage, 1/4 pound carrots, 2 teaspoons sugar, etc.
    So when I saw the amount of salt being 1 1/2 teaspoons, I though it meant
    1-1/2 teaspoons. I would delete the “1” and just say 1/2 teaspoon of salt because reading it wrong made mine too salty. I was able to fix it somewhat by adding more sugar.
    So…..don’t be like me and read that wrong.

  3. jennifer

    5 stars
    i love captain d’s cole slaw, and i find this recipe to be absolutely legit, and there is definitely celery seed in it. i just got a family pack of fish with 2 family size cole slaw, and you can see all the celery seed all over it.
    i was curious because i never made cole slaw before.
    i had to make a few changes though, because i didnt have any onion, but thought i did.
    secondly after i made the dressing and i added it to the cole slaw, i found that i wanted more dressing though.
    also i used the pre-bagged 16 ounce cabbage and carrots from kroger.
    since i only had 1 bag, i halved the entire recipe, but then found that i wanted more of that dressing as it was a bit drier than im used to. but the flavor was spot on, so i just made another batch of the halved recipe, and i used half of that. to put it simpler i think that the dressing should be an extra 1/2 batch (2 batches of it would be too much). but this cole slaw is fantastic!!! thank you so much, it couldnt have been more simple!!! i read a recipe i googled for kfc cole slaw, and it was way more complicated, so i stuck with yours, and im glad i did!! its great!! unfortunately i couldnt wait the 2 hours you said to wait, i tasted it and ate a serving right away, i am excited if it will taste even better later, but already its fantastic!!! the cole slaw at the grocery store has some type of spice in it that i dont like, like horseradish or something. every grocery store i try always has that same taste, and i like it the way captain d’s and kfc tastes, but im not going to get so complicated as the recipe on google is for the kfc one. i was wondering what the differences are between the two and was going to try both recipes until i saw how much more complicated the recipe was for the other. i will stick with your recipe, and im already sharing it with my mother!!!

  4. Bob

    I was the manager of two different Captain D’s for close to fifteen years. I made from 50 to 250 pounds of Coleslaw daily, depending on the day of the week. It had no celery or celery salt. To this day, it is still my favorite.

    • Theresa

      Agreed. I was also a manager at Captain D’s for several years and no never used celery salt or celery seeds.

  5. Nursemom17

    Back in 1980 I was a prep cook at Captain D’s and made the coleslaw. It did not have celery seed or celery salt in it. The rest of the recipe looks about right. But it also needs salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Angela

    My mom has been making coleslaw this way for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure even before Captain D’s ever opened. This is actually a very basic coleslaw recipe, but the flavor is phenomenal, and no mustard required….thank you very much! We quarter the cabbage, and then we slice each quarter very thinly, so it looks a little different than your photo. Nevertheless, I can vouch for the fact that this is a very delicious coleslaw recipe.

    • Stephanie Manley

      Thank you for your comment. I really like this simple cole slaw. I think it really highlights the crunchy texture of the cabbage and carrots. The flavor isn’t complicated, and it has a really nice note of celery seed that isn’t clouded by other flavors. I think the celery seed flavor it a very under utilized flavor. I’ll have to try shredding the cabbage next time.

4.59 from 12 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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