Apple and Beets Coleslaw

Crisp and fresh apple and raw beets slaw with a touch of zesty lemon.
apple and beets slaw

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You have people coming over for another BBQ. You can master the flame like no one’s business but your side choices are left up to soggy green salad, an old potato salad recipe that no one really likes, and tired looking slaw from the supermarket.

Fear not, as this apple and beets slaw recipe is that good, it can become the hero of your next backyard BBQ gathering.

Yes, it really is that good.

I’m a barbecuer, not a salad maker

Yeah I’ve heard that plenty of times over the years from family and friends. That is until they taste one of my side dishes. I love nothing better than creating the perfect pairing for the proteins I’ve slaved over flame for years to perfect.

apples, beets, lemons and other slaw ingredients on a wooden board

When people come over for a BBQ, they are expecting savory, sweet, and sometimes spicy foods hitting their lips.

Most expect the side dishes to be a very distant second thought. My thinking is, if I’m going to the trouble of making anything, I want it to be packed full of flavor and I want everyone to enjoy every mouthful.

You can see me making this exact apple coleslaw in this video I did on smoked pork chops.

Apple and Beets Slaw

This slaw recipe a great side dish for adding that extra crunch, flavor, and color into burgers, and also goes nicely with pulled pork or bbq chicken.

My friends and family request it all the time as it’s super tasty and really crisp and fresh. 

Start by peeling and coarsely grating the beets and put into a large bowl.

grated raw beets

Then cut the apples into matchsticks, and then cut the sticks in half. You can peel the apples first but I actually prefer the texture the skin adds to the slaw. 

sliced apples on a wooden board

Finely slice up the cabbage and add to the bowl as well. Followed by the parsley.

sliced red cabbage on a wooden board

Now that all the chopped ingredients are ready, it’s time to add the rest of the ingredients.

With all of the other ingredients measured out, add them all into the bowl and mix thoroughly. I prefer to always make this slaw up ahead of time, it just allows the sugars to dissolve and the flavours to properly mix, about an hour is usually enough. Although it isn’t 100% necessary.

apple and beets slaw in a container

When serving it up, I like to freshen it up with a little lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Trust me, it makes all the difference and worth doing.  

Serving suggestions

As a side dish, this pairs perfectly with any BBQ food. It even goes well with seafood. Where it does shine though is with pork. Pork chops, pulled pork, ribs, and burgers.

Apple and pork are just made for each other, so it really comes as no surprise a slaw made with apple is going to compliment any pork dish wonderfully. 

smoked pork chops with apple and beets slaw and apple sauce

In saying that, I have been known to eat this on its own. That’s right, a side dish becoming the main dish. It is seriously that tasty you will be grabbing an extra helping at your next BBQ.

Just remember to give it that hit of lemon before eating, it just freshens up the palate and brings it all together.

apple and beets slaw

Apple and Beets Slaw

Crisp and fresh apple and raw beets slaw with a touch of zesty lemon.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Author: Dean “Schuey” Schumann

Ingredients

  • 2 large beets, coarsely peeled and grated
  • 2 green apples, cored, then cut into matchsticks then cut in half (you can peel if you prefer)
  • ½ head red cabbage, very finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp  brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 lemon (for zest and juice for serving)

Instructions

  • Start by peeling and coarsely grating the beets and placing them into a large bowl.
  • Core the apples and cut into matchsticks. You can peel them but I like the texture of the skin. Once in matchsticks, cut in half again and add to the bowl.
  • Finely chop up the cabbage and add this to the ingredients in the bowl.
  • With all of the other ingredients measured out, add these to the freshly chopped ingredients and stir up well.
  • I suggest making it an hour in advance as it also allows the sugars to dissolve and the flavors to mix a little longer. Adding some lemon zest and lemon juice is a great way to freshen it up.

To Serve

  • If used as a side dish for chops, steak or poultry. I like to start by placing the slaw side dish on the plate first; I’d put down a large helping. Then adding some lemon zest and squeeze of juice.
  • When pairing it in a burger, as is and no lemon needed, it will add the perfect crunch factor to your next pulled pork burgers.
  • On its own, yes that’s right, it is a side dish that can be the main dish. It is that good.

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