Discover the Secret to Primanti Bros Coleslaw Recipe: A Taste of Pittsburgh Tradition

Are you a fan of hearty sandwiches stacked high with meats, cheese, and fries? If so, you’re probably familiar with Primanti Bros, the iconic Pittsburgh eatery famous for its colossal sandwiches served with a unique side of coleslaw. But did you know that you can recreate the magic of Primanti Bros Coleslaw Recipe right in your own kitchen? In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Pittsburgh cuisine and uncover the secrets behind this beloved coleslaw recipe.

The Story Behind Primanti Bros

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the history and legacy of Primanti Bros. Established in the Strip District of Pittsburgh in the 1930s, Primanti Bros quickly became a local institution known for its no-frills atmosphere and generous portions. The hallmark of Primanti Bros sandwiches is the addition of French fries and coleslaw right in the sandwich—a tradition that has captured the hearts and appetites of Pittsburghers for decades.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Now, let’s gather the ingredients to recreate the signature Primanti Bros coleslaw at home. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cabbage: Start with a head of fresh cabbage, which serves as the base of the coleslaw. Opt for green cabbage for its crisp texture and mild flavor.
  • Carrots: Grate some carrots to add color and sweetness to the coleslaw. Carrots also provide a subtle crunch that complements the cabbage.
  • Mayonnaise: Creamy mayonnaise serves as the base of the coleslaw dressing, lending richness and tanginess to the dish.
  • Vinegar: A splash of vinegar adds acidity and brightness to the coleslaw, balancing out the richness of the mayonnaise.
  • Sugar: A pinch of sugar helps to mellow out the acidity of the vinegar and enhance the natural sweetness of the cabbage and carrots.
  • Salt and Pepper: Season the coleslaw to taste with salt and pepper, enhancing the flavors of the other ingredients.

Preparation Steps

Now that we have our ingredients assembled, let’s get cooking! Follow these simple steps to make your own delicious Primanti Bros coleslaw:

  1. Shred the Cabbage: Start by finely shredding the cabbage using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Grate the Carrots: Peel and grate the carrots using a box grater or a food processor. Add the grated carrots to the mixing bowl with the cabbage.
  3. Make the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and carrots, tossing to coat evenly. Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more salt, pepper, or vinegar if desired.
  5. Chill and Serve: Cover the coleslaw and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve chilled as a refreshing side dish or piled high on your favorite sandwich.

Serving Suggestions

Primanti Bros coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, adding a refreshing crunch and tangy flavor to your plate. Serve it alongside your favorite sandwiches, burgers, or grilled meats for a taste of Pittsburgh tradition. You can also enjoy it on its own as a light and flavorful side dish for picnics, barbecues, or potlucks.


In conclusion, Primanti Bros coleslaw is a simple yet satisfying dish that pays homage to the rich culinary heritage of Pittsburgh. With just a few basic ingredients and a little bit of preparation, you can recreate the magic of Primanti Bros right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re a native Pittsburgher or a curious food lover looking to explore new flavors, this coleslaw recipe is sure to become a favorite in your repertoire.

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FAQs About Primanti Bros Coleslaw Recipe

1. Can I use pre-shredded cabbage and carrots?

While pre-shredded cabbage and carrots are convenient, I recommend shredding them fresh for the best texture and flavor. Pre-shredded vegetables may be too dry or finely shredded, altering the consistency of the coleslaw.

2. Can I adjust the sweetness of the coleslaw dressing?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar in the dressing to suit your taste preferences. Start with a small amount and add more as needed, tasting as you go until you achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

3. How long will Primanti Bros coleslaw keep in the refrigerator?

Primanti Bros coleslaw will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving to redistribute the dressing and flavors.

4. Can I add other ingredients to the coleslaw?

Certainly! Get creative and customize your coleslaw with additional ingredients like chopped apples, raisins, or celery for added flavor and texture. Experiment with different herbs and spices to make the recipe your own.

5. Can I make Primanti Bros coleslaw vegan?

Yes, you can easily make this coleslaw recipe vegan by using a plant-based mayonnaise instead of traditional mayonnaise. Check the label to ensure the mayonnaise is vegan-friendly, and adjust the seasoning to taste as needed.