Can You Microwave Coleslaw? – Quick Informational Guide

The dish (usually composed of shredded cabbage, diced vegetables, and mayonnaise or vinaigrette-binder) varies greatly from region to region or household to household.

Sweet or savory, simple or sophisticated, coleslaw is a great snack and a celebrated side-serving.

Though traditionally served cold, YES, coleslaw is safe to reheat in the microwave.

However, you make it, be sure to follow our tips below for safety and success:

What You’ll Need:

Microwave Safe Dish(es): Often served as a restaurant side or sold in bulk, it’s always a good idea to remove any packaging if the coleslaw hasn’t been made at home from scratch.

  • Ceramics/glass dishes/designated plastics (like Tupperware) are safe!
  • Single-use plastics are safe for holding a food’s temperature but not for reheating.
  • Do Not: Microwave Styrofoam containers, and avoid take-out containers when possible.

Serving Utensils (use your own judgment here, but they are recommended!):

Contents will be hot, especially the dressing/mayonnaise base of the coleslaw, which may release excess steam!

How to Prep:

After preparing the coleslaw or removing it from its temporary container:

  1. Place desired amount in/on the microwave-safe plate; note that necessary heating time will increase with amount!
  2. Be sure not to cover or close the microwaveable plate.

Cooking and Heating: Note that “cooking” will just be heating in this case, as all coleslaw components should, by definition, be cooked already. The components are of no risk if not heated at all.

To warm properly: We suggest starting with 15 seconds, then testing carefully with a utensil for desired warmth.

Additional heating time may take up to 30 seconds in a conventional microwave, but we don’t suggest exceeding this, as it will cause the vegetables to soften, become limp, and likely be unpleasant!

By now, you’re slaw-good to go!

Additional Notes: Though we’ve noted everyone prepares this a little differently, some components may change how long coleslaw can safely be kept:

  • Recipes including mayonnaise or any dairy components should not be left at room temperature for more than a few hours, as they are more prone to bacteria growth.
  • Vinaigrettes (dressing prepared with vinegar) may refrigerate for longer or be safer left out, as their acidity will preserve the dish.

To each their own, but we hope we’ve helped you safely microwave coleslaw at home.