Mexican Coleslaw

by KetoFocus.com

Mexican Coleslaw is an easy, flavorful, and side dish made with coleslaw mix, jalapenos, garlic, fresh lime juice, cumin, red onions, and cilantro. This Mexican cabbage slaw tastes delicious with your favorite main meals.

If you are looking for something to pair with tacos or homemade enchiladas, this easy Mexican slaw is the perfect side dish.

A plate with coleslaw and jalapenos next to chicken covered in mole sauce.

This zesty take on traditional coleslaw uses fresh ingredients and is great with other Mexican recipes. For the best flavor, allow the dressing to sit for a few hours up to overnight to get the maximum jalapeno flavor. Control the spice level by taking out the jalapenos before serving or chopping them up and adding them in! Toss in shredded cabbage and your favorite salad fixing and this easy Mexican coleslaw is ready!

The tangy flavor of the dressing is the best part of this side dish recipe and makes the perfect burger or taco topping for summer cookouts or Taco Tuesdays.

What is Mexican coleslaw

These simple ingredients make up a tangy, fresh cabbage salad and homemade dressing.

  • Avocado oil: This oil is a great addition to a healthy coleslaw and serves as the vessel for our coleslaw dressing.
  • Jalapeño peppers: Use these whole peppers to infuse the oil to make a spicy cilantro lime dressing.
  • Garlic, minced: Garlic is a classic addition to Mexican cole slaw.
  • Lime zest and lime juice: Lime juice adds the necessary acid to break down the bag of coleslaw mix and infuse flavor.
  • Cumin: This classic spice adds Mexican flavors to fresh coleslaw.
  • Coleslaw mix: Buy a bag of this mix or a whole head of green cabbage or purple cabbage and shred it yourself.
  • Red onion, thinly sliced: Red onions provide bold flavors to this delicious recipe.
  • Cilantro: A little green touch of fresh cilantro right at the end elevates this perfect side dish.

A bowl of spicy mexican coleslaw in front of a dressing boat.

How to make Mexican coleslaw

There are only a couple of quick steps to make this easy Mexican coleslaw recipe.

  1. Combine the ingredients: Add avocado oil, jalapeno slices, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, ground cumin, and salt to a small bowl.
  2. Let sit: Cover and put the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes up to overnight to allow time for flavor to combine.
  3. Toss with dressing: Remove the jalapenos and toss with the dressing.
  4. Serve: Add in the sliced red onions and cilantro and serve.

Mexican Coleslaw Recipe Video

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Mexican Coleslaw Ingredients

  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • ½ whole jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2-3 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (14 oz) bag coleslaw mix or 1 head cabbage, sliced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

Mexican Coleslaw Directions

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Sliced jalapenos top a coleslaw mix of cilantro, cabbage and red onion.

Creamy Mexican slaw

This Mexican coleslaw recipe is naturally dairy-free; however, if you had your heart set on a creamy Mexican coleslaw, this recipe can easily be turned such by adding in an additional ingredient to make it close to the classic creamy  version.

Any of the following can be added to the coleslaw dressing. Add 1-2 tablespoons.

  • Greek yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise

Variations

There are a few different variations of this recipe you can try based on what you like best. Here are some delicious options to try:

  • Use other seasonings like taco seasoning, adobo chiles, adobo sauce or corn (if low carb).
  • This recipe uses a bag of shredded cabbage as a shortcut, but whole green or purple or red cabbage can be used instead.
  • Change up the oil you use to olive oil, sesame oil, or sunflower oil.
  • Substitute the red onions with celery, red bell pepper, carrot or green onion for the same crunchy texture without the spice of onions.
  • Leave out the jalapenos altogether if you don’t like spice.
A large bowl of coleslaw topped with jalapeno slices near some gold tongs.

Storage information & meal prep tips

Refrigerate: Keep leftover coleslaw in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Make in advance: You can also make this delicious side dish up to one day in advance of when you need it. This allows the flavors to get to know each other. You’ll have the added benefit of getting some of your cooking done in advance.

The dressing for the coleslaw can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Mexican Coleslaw: FAQS

Can I add mayonnaise to this coleslaw recipe?

This recipe uses a blend of lime juice, spices, and avocado oil, you can use mayo instead especially if you want a creamy salad dressing.

Do I need to remove the jalapenos before serving Mexican coleslaw?

If you like the extra spice in your coleslaw, you don't need to remove them. If you plan to do this, chop them up into smaller pieces, so you don't get a huge chunk of jalapeno.

How long should I let coleslaw sit before serving?

This salad is best when it's given time to rest. It should sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to overnight to get the full flavor impact.

Nutritional information & Macros

Nutrition Information

Mexican Coleslaw

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 107
Fat 9.4g
Protein 0.9g
Total Carbs 5.1g
Net Carbs 3.4g

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