Memphis Mustard Slaw

Down in Memphis, we prefer a tangy mustard cole slaw with our barbeque rather than the traditional mayonnaise variety.

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous Ribs makes the best in town.  To me, their slaw should be just as “World Famous” as their ribs! Their tangy mustard dressing is perfectly balanced by a hint of vinegar. This slaw’s bold flavors perfectly compliment their legendary dry ribs.

When I was writing my cook book Simply Salads, I knew I needed to include a version of my hometown’s famous slaw.  I couldn’t get the secret recipe from the Vergos family … but I did learn that the base is good old French’s® Yellow Mustard. Nick Vergos told me that the Rendezvous has been using only that mustard since day one.

So with that tip as my start, I started playing around with the recipe.  After a few trials (and errors!), I am happy to say that my bright yellow slaw is pretty close to what’s serve at the Rendezvous.  Sometimes, I even give it a dash of the Rendezvous’ Dry Rub Seasoning just like they do at the restaurant.

So whether you are grilling ribs or chicken at your next barbecue, consider whipping up a batch of this tangy Memphis Mustard Slaw.

Enjoy!

Memphis Mustard Cole Slaw
From Simply Salads by Jennifer Chandler

For the dressing:
1/4 cup French’s® yellow mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ cups sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
1 bag (16 ounces) Classic Cole Slaw blend
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons celery seed
Hot sauce, to taste

For the dressing:
In small bowl whisk together the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad:
In a large salad bowl toss together the slaw, green bell pepper, and celery seed.  Add the dressing to taste and gently toss until well combined. Season with the hot sauce to taste.

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7 Responses to “Memphis Mustard Slaw”


  1. 1 The ArachNerd July 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I love the Rendezvous slaw too (along with everything else there) & this was very very close. We used broccoli slaw instead which was really good, but I think next time I will go traditional.

    I think I just found my new “go-to” slaw recipe.

  2. 3 John Wagner January 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

    1-1/2 cups of sugar? Is that a misprint?

  3. 5 Robert February 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Can’t wait to try it! Sounds perfect….I can’t stand mayo, so this is just what I was looking for. Cooking a Boston Butt for the Super Bowl tomorrow, and this slaw is gonna go very well along side it. We know how to barbeque over here in N.C. too, haha. I’m sure you know all about it. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. 7 Sarah June 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Is it really 2 tablespoons of celery seed? I made it the way you said but the celery seed seems a little heavy. Otherwise pretty close. Thanks!


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Jennifer Chandler

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