How long does coleslaw last?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “how long does coleslaw last?”. We are also going to discuss in detail, the storage and shelf life of coleslaw along with the homemade recipe of coleslaw.


How long does coleslaw last?

Coleslaw should be consumed as soon as possible due to the lack of preservatives in it. Over time, the overall quality of the coleslaw would decline, leaving you with a serving of rotten coleslaw that also smelled extremely foul.

What is the shelf life of store-bought and homemade coleslaw?

Coleslaw is not the same as sauerkraut or kimchi. It has a very limited shelf life, whether you purchase it at the shop or make it yourself.

Store-bought coleslaw

Only use the best-by date specified on the packaging for store-bought coleslaw. Within a day or two beyond that date, the salad will be spoiled. Salads are perishable, and it is not advisable to store them for an indeterminate length of time.

It is also important to state on the label how long the coleslaw will stay fresh once you open it. It typically takes two to three days, but double-check the expiration date on the label. The salad will get more watery and unattractive over time.

Homemade coleslaw

You should expect homemade coleslaw to last between 3 and 5 days. The only thing that truly matters is the recipe, and the preservation and texture levels it will yield. Consider the shelf life of your recipe if you have found it online. This is something you should keep in mind if your coleslaw gets watery within a day or two.

For your convenience, these expected durations are shown below.

Store-bought coleslaw (unopened)Best-by date
Store-bought coleslaw (opened)2 – 3 days (check label)
Homemade coleslaw3 – 5 days

What Is the Best Way to Store Coleslaw?

Whichever dressing you select, keep your coleslaw in the fridge. It is important to make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent aromas or the salad from drying out.

If you have a large container or prepared a huge quantity, scoop only what you need and immediately refrigerate the remaining.

You will not have to worry about the salad going bad if you leave it out for the entire meal, or even for two hours (USDA). Even if that is the case, sitting out longer increases the risk of germs proliferating, making the coleslaw go bad before it is supposed to.

Scoop the coleslaw using clean spoons at all times. For the sake of simplicity, you should get a salad-specific spoon.

How Can You Tell If Your Coleslaw Is Bad?

Once the coleslaw has been preserved for a significant time, the slaw’s texture starts to degrade. This will result in the veggies losing their crunch, which will, in turn, make the salad as a whole watery. Although watery coleslaw is not spoiled, it is not as appetizing as creamy coleslaw. But it is edible, but it does not look very good, and the taste is so-so at best. Your decision whether or not to ingest wilted coleslaw is completely up to you.

Keep your eyes open for the following indications of spoiled coleslaw:

• Mould 

Surprisingly, if there is mold on the salad, it is doomed

• Discolorations and other visual modifications. 

Any black areas indicate that deterioration has begun, and it is advisable to toss the salad.

· A sour or off-smelling odor

The salad must be discarded if the aroma has drastically altered. Since the dressing contains lemon juice, you should know that this does not indicate that the coleslaw has spoiled.

• Long-term storage

Though the salad has been sitting in storage for much longer than the recommended times, it should be discarded, even if it appears to be perfectly OK.

• Bad taste

If everything else appears to be in order, let your taste sensations determine whether or not to consume the salad.

Other FAQs about Vegetables which you may be interested in.

How to tell if eggplant is bad?

Can cabbage cause gas?

Can cabbage be frozen for later use?

How to make coleslaw at home?

Coleslaw is a simple dish to make at home. This does not have to be purchased pre-packaged. To save money, make your homemade coleslaw from scratch.

You may customize it any way you would like. You can also add more onion if you prepare it from scratch. To complement the main course, shredded carrots or shredded apples may be included.


Here’s a list of what you need:

·      green cabbage

·      white onion

·      celery

·      mayonnaise

·      white vinegar

·      sugar

·      ground black pepper

·      heavy cream

Steps to be followed.

  1. 1.Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, cream, sugar, salt, and black

pepper altogether.

  1. Arrange the cabbage, celery, and onion in a large bowl.
  2. To blend, just add dressing to the cabbage mixture and mix.
  3. To make sure the food is safe to eat, refrigerate it within a single hour prior to serving.


In this brief article, we answered the question, “how long does coleslaw last?”. We also discussed in detail, the storage and shelf life of coleslaw along with the homemade recipe of coleslaw.