Summer Slaw with Tomatoes | The Perfect Zesty Side Dish

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Kick up your BBQs with this cool summer slaw with tomatoes recipe! Bring out the flavor by adding fresh diced tomatoes to this summer side dish staple! For more recipes like this one see my Salad page.

This recipe is one of our family’s favorite BBQ staples. I am a total slaw fanatic and I’ve tried a lot of slaw recipes in my day. This recipe is the one we always fall back to for summer grilling.

I can’t take the credit for this flavorful “cool’ slaw. That credit goes to my father-in-law Carl! He made this side dish for us some years ago and wow it was incredible. There really is nothing like it!

There are literally a million recipes out there for coleslaw. For us, this slaw with tomatoes recipe never fails to taste the same time after time. It has just the right balance of flavor. The tomatoes make give it a cool fresh flavor pop and the other secret ingredient, diced Bread and Butter pickles add the perfect zing!

slaw with tomatoes and pickles

Summer Slaw with Tomatoes

Fresh Cabbage or Bag Mix?

You can make it either way and it still tastes great! My father-in-law likes to cut his own cabbage. If you opt to do it his way, cut off the cabbage core stem, cut the cabbage in half, and slice the cabbage into thin slices.

Mayonaise? Does it really Matter What Brand I Use?

Ha! Most southern cooks will argue that Hellmann’s or Duke’s are better. When I lived in the south I loved Helmann’s but now that I am on the west coast I use Best Foods ( I swear it’s the same thing). I also like the Whole Foods brand mayonnaise. My advice, use what you love and it will taste good to you!

Tomatoes? Should I use Vine Ripe or Roma?

I like to use Roma tomatoes because they have fewer seeds and less water content. To me they are easier to dice than vine ripe tomatoes but use what you have it will taste the same.

You added Pickles? Really?

Yes! Most slaw recipes have sugar and vinegar in their ingredient list. The bread and butter pickles add just that! It’s so good! Really, no joke!

zesty slaw with pickles and tomatoes

What do you mean when you say you “eyeball the recipe ingredients”?

This recipe really has no measurements. I use 1/2 diced onion, 2-3 tomatoes, about 10-15 diced bread & butter pickle slices, salt & pepper, and mayonnaise to taste. If you have a large head of cabbage you may need more ingredients. If you have a small bag of cabbage you may need fewer ingredients. Just go slow when adding in ingredients. Add the mayonnaise in last. Here’s the recipe

What do you serve this Slaw with?

We love this slaw when grilling in the summer. It goes great with almost any meat. To me, it goes best with BBQ pork. My personal favorite way to eat this slaw is on top of hot dogs!

Try this recipe with:

MAKE AHEAD: Mix all of the ingredients place in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. 
FREEZER: Not recommended.

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Summer Slaw with Tomatoes

Cool zesty summer slaw with tomatoes and bread & butter pickles.
Servings: 8 -10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 90


  • 1 head of fresh cabbage, sliced and chopped or 1 bag of precut cabbage mix
  • ½ of a sweet onion, diced
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced (1-2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced)
  • ½ cup Bread and Butter pickle slices, diced (about 15-20 slices)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise (you may need more depending on the amount of cabbage. See post for details.


  • In this recipe, I "eyeball the ingredients" depending on the amount of cabbage used. If you use a fresh cabbage head you may need more ingredients. If you use a bag mix you may need less of the ingredients. The amount of the ingredients listed are a starting point.
  • Add the cabbage to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the diced onion, tomatoes, pickles in with the cabbage.
  • Start with a 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, add it to the mix and blend thoroughly.
  • If it is too dry, add in a little more mayonnaise until it has a creamy consistency.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cool refrigerated for 30 mins before serving to further blend the flavors.


I make my slaw in a large sealable plastic storage container. When I add it to the refrigerator to cool it off, I give it a good shake every 10 minutes to blend it. Pour into a bowl to serve for guests or serve it in the storage container.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 110mg | Potassium: 251mg | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition info provided is only an estimate. See my nutrition disclaimer for more info on how the data is collected for recipes.

CUISINE :American
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