German Horseradish Cole Slaw

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish

By Alicia Ghio

One of my favorite fall traditions is Oktoberfest. The original 16-day festival held in Munich, Germany is the world’s largest folk festival and since its origins, this tradition has morphed into a giant celebration across the world of German food, beer and culture.

Oktoberfest meals are focused predominantly on delicious German meats and beer, but let’s not forget to eat our vegetables. Other than potatoes, the one other vegetable I associate most with German food is cabbage. Cabbage is a cool-weather crop so autumn is the perfect time of year for growing and enjoying it.

A few years ago, I discovered recipes for krautsalat, a German variation of coleslaw. Traditionally, it is made with finely shredded cabbage marinated in oil and vinegar and oftentimes, with onions and apples. This recipe is my spin on those traditional ingredients. It’s the perfect Oktoberfest side dish. You can make this coleslaw the day before you plan to serve it. It will only last in the refrigerator for a day or two before becoming soggy.

German Horseradish Cole Slaw

Serves 6-8 as a side dish


  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 1/4 head green cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple (preferably Granny Smith)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2-3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Using a food processor with the grating blade or a box grater, shred the cabbages, carrots and apple.
  2. Scrap the shredded ingredients into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, lemon juice, sour cream, horseradish and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the shredded ingredients and toss to coat.
  5. Sprinkle on the caraway seeds and crumbled bacon.
  6. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors marry; then serve.


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