Sweet Vidalia Onion Slaw

Brat with Sweet Vidalia Onion Slaw --- yum!

Sweet Vidalia Onion Slaw is an utterly simple, utterly brilliant side for your next picnic, barbecue, or potluck  — the famously mellow onions are sliced paper thin and tossed with a cool buttermilk dressing — it’s a little bit of heaven on a paper plate!

*This post is in association with O Olive Oil. I’m a huge believer in this company, their oils and vinegars are stars in my kitchen — thank you for supporting them, and my other brand partners, they help keep TVFGI up and cooking!

Overhead photo of a bowl of sweet vidalia onion slaw in a white bowl.

Vidalias are super mild, sweet onions that were only discovered by accident in Vidalia Georgia in the 1930s — something about the soil in that particular area resulted in their unusual mellow quality, and  they’re so darned sweet and delicious that they eventually became trademarked. The only onions that can call themselves Vidalias are from those certain counties in Georgia. Vidalias are mild enough to eat right out of hand, like an apple, but I think this slaw is an even better idea. Serve it as a side, or on hot dogs, brats, burgers, sandwiches, etc. It goes with anything and everything and couldn’t be simper…

Photo of two vidalia onions for sweet vidalia onion slaw.

I made an appropriately Southern style slaw dressing to complement these Georgian gems. It’s a blend of buttermilk, mayo, and a lovely crisp O Citrus Champagne Vinegar.  With a recipe this simple it makes sense to go with good quality, and O’s vinegars are light and refreshing enough to drink on their own, or in a cocktail. A bit of salt, pepper, and a good dash of celery seeds completes this dressing. The buttermilk and the champagne vinegar work together to elevate even a homey slaw into something special.

Photo of a bowl of sweet vidalia onion slaw next to a bottle of Citrus Champagne vinegar.

If you’re like me and generally avoid eating too many raw onions, I think you’ll be amazed at how you can tolerate these without any problems at all. The flavor is sweet and mellow, and there’s none of the harsh sharpness we associate with regular onions. Unlike regular onions, sweet onions can be stored in the refrigerator.

Photo of sweet vidalia onion slaw in a wooden bowl, with a bottle of Citrus Champagne vinegar.

Onions are so tightly packed that when you slice one of them paper thin and separate all the strands it’ll fill a pretty good sized bowl. I love this recipe because with just one onion you can have this sweet Vidalia onion slaw on the table in no time. Most people don’t know it but onions are really healthy — they can help prevent everything from heart attacks and strokes, to ulcers and cancer. This delicious slaw might just put cabbage out of business!

A bowl of sweet vidalia onion slaw, and a sausage in a bun topped with sweet vidalia onion slaw.

tvfgi recommends: a sturdy mandoline slicer

I couldn’t do without my mandoline slicer, I use it all the time for salads, French fries, gratins, and tarts like this one. It’s earned its place in my kitchen countless times, I won’t be without one.

I recommend buying a sturdy steel mandoline, this one is currently $99.95 on Amazon Prime.

Vidalia Onion Slaw
4.08 from 14 votes

Sweet Vidalia Onion Slaw

Sweet Vidalia Onion Slaw is an utterly simple, utterly brilliant side for your next picnic, barbecue, or potluck  --- the famously mellow onions are sliced paper thin and tossed with a cool buttermilk dressing --- it's a little bit of heaven on a paper plate!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 Vidalia onions or other sweet variety

buttermilk dressing

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp O Citrus Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper


  • dill parsley, thyme, or chive


  • Peel and slice the onions into 1/8 inch slices. This is best done on a mandolin slicer. Cut the slices in half or thirds.
  • Put the onions into a bowl, carefully separating the strands as you add them.
  • Whisk together the dressing and be sure to taste to adjust any of the ingredients.
  • Pour enough dressing over the onions to saturate them, but don't drown them. Toss well and refrigerate for several hours before serving.
  • Garnish with just a bit of green before serving, it could be dill, thyme, parsley, or chive.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

make it your own ~

  • make it creamy ~ this dressing is on the thin side…if you’d like it thicker and creamier, use half the amount of buttermilk.
  • make it with a kick ~ I almost added a bit of horseradish, I think that would be nice. Or a bit of grainy Dijon mustard…depends on your mood.
  • make it light ~ to lighten the dressing try using Greek yogurt in place of the mayo. Don’t worry about the buttermilk, despite its name, it’s super low in fat. If you don’t have buttermilk you can use regular milk, but the flavor won’t be as good.


Thanks for pinning!



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    What a wonderful way to showcase those delicious Vidalia onions, Sue! I love the sound of a bit of Dijon mustard in the dressing too. Delicious!

    • Reply
      May 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Yeah, mustard would be nice for sure…I kept it light this time to let the onions really shine, but there are lots of other directions to take that dressing.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Sue, only you could make an sweet onion slaw and I find myself pinning it. It’s inventive and looks amazing.

  • Reply
    Liz @ I heart vegetables
    April 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    I love onions but I’ve never made an onion slaw! This would definitely be a perfect topping on a veggie burger 🙂 Might have to give this a try!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen
    April 30, 2016 at 7:56 am

    This has me drooling thinking about all the summer grilled things I could put it on! delicious!

  • Reply
    April 30, 2016 at 5:19 am

    Oh my, I love Vidalias and this slaw looks fantastic! Great use of a seasonal ingredients.

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    April 30, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I’m such an onion fan and so is everyone else in the house so this will be a big hit. I love this recipe, Sue, and it’s going to find a place on the table many times this summer. My head is swimming with all the things you could pair it with!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 29, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Love this and I spotted Vidalias in the store today! I can think of a bunch of uses for it in the summer time!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Wow, wow, wow and wow! Love this and my husband is going to flip! I could put this on everything and anything. Love the white on white photos too – so pretty! Have a wonderful weekend – sharing!

  • Reply
    Tracy | Baking Mischief
    April 29, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    You’re blowing my mind here with this slaw! I’m usually not a raw onion person, but I’ve also never tried vidalias, so I’m very intrigued, and it sure does make a beautiful and unique looking side dish.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    April 29, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I know this is a side but I’m sure I could eat it for a meal! YUM!

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