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Coleslaw for 100

Creamy coleslaw for 100 is one of the easiest dishes to make when cooking in large quantities. Crunchy cabbage and creamy dressing highlight this light and refreshing slaw that is neither drenched in mayonnaise nor overly wet. With just a couple ingredients, this coleslaw for a crowd of 100 is easy to make, scalable to fit your crowd size, can be made in advance, and will fit any budget.

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coleslaw in metal bin

Why you will love this recipe

I first made this slaw at home for my family. This is one of those where I kinda knew what I wanted, so I looked around my kitchen and in the pantry and made it happen. And now THIS is how I will make slaw forever more especially when I am cooking for large numbers of people.

See, there is mayonnaise, but not much. There is ranch, but not too much. There is sweet cabbage crunch, a pinch of salt, and a little nutty flavor from poppy seeds. All together, these flavors sing together to complement any meal you like.

And the best part is that even though we are making coleslaw for 100, this recipe comes together in just minutes. Yes, you heard that right – MINUTES. Cooking in large quantity isn’t hard, but it is more time-consuming dealing with the sheer volumes. But this coleslaw recipe? Nah. It doesn’t take me much longer to make this for 25, 50, 100 people than it does for my family at home.

How much coleslaw per person

The easiest way to make coleslaw is to buy the bags of shredded cabbage slaw. I get 16 ounce bags from Walmart, Kroger, or Publix. These bags give 1-1/2 or 2 cups as the amount per person serving size, which is nonsense. No one is going to eat That Much slaw.

Instead, a generous 1/2 to 3/4 cup is a good serving size when feeding a crowd, especially if serving with, say, pulled pork sliders when the slaw is essentially a condiment. So one 16 ounce bag will feed 10 people. On the occasion I made this and took the photo for this post, I fed 50 with 5 bags slaw, with the slaw served alongside pulled pork sliders, corn, and macaroni and cheese.

If the slaw is intended to be served like a side salad, add a bit more. So for 100 people, I use 12 bags of slaw for an accoutrement but would add 2-4 more bags if serving as a full-on side dish. Make that determination based on who you are serving: if serving younger families with hearty appetites, add 2-4 more bags and a bit more ranch. If serving an older group with smaller appetites, stick to 10-12 bags.

Suggested additions

The humble coleslaw is quite versatile, making it literally a perfect dish in your repertoire for quantity cooking.

  • Pineapple
  • Onion, especially green onion
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Shredded apple
  • Cilantro and lime
coleslaw in metal bin

If you are new to quantity cooking, my 12 Essential Tips to Cook for a Crowd is a great place to start for all my best tips.

coleslaw in metal bin

Coleslaw for 100

Creamy coleslaw for 100 has crunchy cabbage and creamy dressing for a light and refreshing slaw. Easy to make, scalable, and affordable!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Gluten-Free, Recipes, Salads, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Side Dish
Keyword: coleslaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories: 35kcal
Author: Erica
Servings: 100 servings




  • Put the slaw in a very large bowl or hotel pan.
  • Add enough ranch to just coat the slaw, tossing in with gloved hands.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and toss with gloved hands to mix.
  • Add more ranch to desired creaminess. You may not use all the ranch.
  • Taste for seasoning. Store in an air-tight container or topped with plastic-wrap or foil if making in advance.
  • Store in the refrigerator until service.


  • As written above, this recipe yields ~1/2 to 3/4 cup servings per person, which is appropriate for serving as an accompaniment. If serving a crowd that may have heartier appetites or as a full side dish, add 2-4 more bags slaw and a bit more ranch. Taste for seasoning and adjust the other ingredients if desired to taste.
  • For the ranch, go with a quality ranch (I like Bolthouse or Ken’s Steakhouse ranch dressings). Bolthouse is available in 22 oz bottles; Ken’s is available in 24 oz bottles.
  • Note that as written, this is a light and loose slaw. If you want the consistency to be more traditional, then double the amount of mayonnaise.
  • Nutrition

    Calories: 35kcal

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    1. Does this coleslaw keep well after making it or will it get “watery”. Wanting to make it for a church dinner, approx. 90 adults & sm. vhildren.

      1. It will keep well for a bit but leftovers will eventually get watery as the cabbage releases moisture which is unavoidable. If you make it 1-2 hours in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving, it is perfectly fine.

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