Bacon & Ranch Coleslaw!
My Bacon Ranch Coleslaw is a healthy mix of crisp red and green cabbages loaded with bacon and dressed in a deliciously creamy ranch dressing. This cold salad recipe would make the perfect side dish at your next cookout this summer.
Despite summer still being about 28 days away, the temperatures here in Arkansas have already soared over 93 degrees so like it or not the summer heat is here. So enter the recipes that help me avoid more cooking over a hot stove!
I’ve always shared my disdain for the killer heat and humidity that we have here in my beloved state of Arkansas, but often times I forget to share the things I enjoy about summer, like grilling out at all the beautiful state parks and lake we have in our area.
So each summer we spend many of our off days at those state parks with our low carb picnic foods and this Bacon Ranch Coleslaw has always been one of side dishes we always have in our packed coolers!
I love how the creamy cold salad pairs so well with our low carb favorites like bunless burgers, grilled sausages, and even low carb deli meat wraps.
How about you, do you have a favorite summer side dish that you always take along on your picnics or cookouts?
What is Coleslaw and Where did it come from?
As I was working on this recipe post I wanted to provide a few fun facts about coleslaw and where it comes from. Why, would you do that you ask? Well, that’s simple, because I’m a homeschool mom, and we are a sucker for research and sharing facts with anyone that will stop long enough to listen..or in this case, read!
So let’s start with a few educational facts about the dish and its origin, shall we? If you’re not into fun facts and just prefer to get more info on the recipe, then you’ll find the full recipe at the bottom of this post. But be sure to scan through for some great Ranch Dressing Recipes before making this coleslaw.
In doing my research on coleslaw I learned that the word came from the Dutch term koolsla. It basically translates to cabbage salad. Broken down, even more, the kool part or the term comes from the Dutch word for cabbage and the sla part is short or salad. The dish is said to have been brought over to America in the late seventeenth century by the Dutch settlers in New York.
Like many other words in our history, the term koolsla gradually morphed into the word coleslaw that we use today. I’m sure the term is not the only thing about this salad side dish that has changed over time, but there is still some things that remain the same like that cabbage is the main ingredient and usually dressed with something.
Making the Bacon Ranch Coleslaw
I’m all about easy recipes, so this coleslaw is no exception. My recipe comes together super quickly thanks to some time-saving ingredients. I use the bagged coleslaw mix instead of shredding my own cabbage, and I love subbing a bag of real bacon bits for bacon I have to fry myself.
I find using these two simple store-bought ingredients saves me a ton of time when making this recipe, but if you would feel better doing the extra work with the cabbage and bacon, then feel free to make your own. Either way, I promise you will love this recipe and so will your guests.
There is one ingredient that I don’t take a short cut on and that is the Ranch Dressing Mix. I make my own instead of using the store bought packets like Hidden Valley Ranch. Those mixes taste good enough and would work in this recipe if you want to go that route but I prefer to make my own and avoid all the added carbs and mystery ingredient.
If you want to make your own ranch mix as I do, then be sure to check out the tips at the bottom of this post for some links to low carb homemade options!
Here’s What You’ll Need for this Coleslaw:
16 oz bag of Coleslaw Mix
3/4 cup of real mayonnaise
1/2 cup of real bacon bits
2-3 Tablespoon Ranch Mix
2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
2 Tablespoons of Dry onions
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp low carb sweetener, optional
These ingredients, when combined, create such a delicious salad that can be tweaked to your family’s liking. For instance, my family enjoys a slight sweetness to our coleslaw so I add a tiny bit of low carb sweetener to get the coleslaw to our preference.
Don’t like it sweet, simply leaves that sweetener out. It is easy to taste as you go with recipes like this so taste and adjust as you are mixing.
To make this recipe add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine well. Once you have the Bacon Ranch Coleslaw mixed and the flavors adjusted to your desired tastes, cover the slaw tightly and chill before serving.
Tips for Making My Bacon Ranch Coleslaw
- I like to use a prepared bag of coleslaw mix found in the cooler section of your produce department to save time. These mixes typically have a few shredded carrots in the mix so if you want to avoid the carrots you can also use the bags of finely shredded cabbage that can be found in that same section. Just note that those bags of finely shredded cabbage come in smaller 10-ounce bags so you may need two bags for this recipe.
- Crispy fried bacon is delicious in this recipe but to save more time and a step use a small bag of store bought bacon bits. These are often found on the grocery aisle next to the salad dressings and croutons. Just make sure you grab the “real” bits and not those old artificial red bits.
- To avoid the premade Ranch mixes at the store try making your own dry mix to keep on hand. This is what I do and love it. Just a couple tablespoons of your homemade mix are equal one store-bought packet. These recipes below are delicious and work great for this coleslaw recipe and dips.
- If you like a drier coleslaw start with 1/2 to 2/3 cups of real mayo instead of the 3/4 cups called for in this recipe. You can always add more if needed. The cabbage will release some moisture of its own and that will loosen up the coleslaw as it chills. We like our coleslaw heavier on the dressing so we use the 3/4 cup as listed in the recipe card.
- This recipe is easily doubled to serve a crowd and just gets better and better the longer it chills.
A creamy chilled salad with crunch mixed cabbage, bacon, and a creamy ranch dressing. A perfect side dish for any cookout or picnic.
- 1 bag (16 oz) of coleslaw mix
- 3/4 cups of real mayo
- 1/2 cup of real bacon bits
- 2 Tablespoons of low carb Ranch Mix
- 2 Tablespoons of Dry Onion
- 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon low carb sweeter, optional
- Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine until all the cabbage mixture is coated well.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to your preferred liking.
- For best results chill for 1 to 2 hours.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!