Whip up this easy Mexican slaw for a weeknight side dish, topper for tacos, burgers, and more. Sweet, subtly spicy, with a nice crunch factor. This cilantro lime dressing really elevates the flavors of this Mexican coleslaw recipe.
It takes only 30 minutes to chill down the coleslaw once it is made, so it is a really great recipe to throw together right before you are ready to serve. Crunchy purple cabbage, carrots, cilantro, and all the sweet and savory flavors from the dressing.
You will taste flavors of the rainbow in this slaw recipe. Also, try out my fennel coleslaw, or check out my other coleslaw recipes.
This Mexican Cabbage Slaw Recipe Is...
- A Vegetarian Side Dish
- 10 Minute Prep
- Slightly Sweet with a Little Kick of Spice
- Great Make Ahead Side Dish
- Family Friendly
How to Make Mexican Cabbage Slaw
Full steps and directions on how to make Mexican cabbage slaw are in the printable recipe card below. This is a visual walk through on how it is made.
- In a bowl you are going to combine all the ingredients for your dressing.
- Whisk well and set it aside.
- Then you will take another bowl and add in your cabbage, carrot, and cilantro. Then pour the dressing over the veggies.
- Toss well, cover and refrigerate. Then after 30 minutes dish up and serve.
Helpful Tips For Mexican Cabbage Slaw
Thinly Slice Veggies
The key to cabbage is making sure you thinly slice your cabbage, carrots, and cilantro. Having smaller pieces will be best for bite size eating, but also it will soak in the dressing better.
Use A Slicer
I used a slicer to shred the cabbage so I got even sliced pieces. You could also use a knife if you would like. You can also buy pre-sliced but those tend to be green cabbage not red cabbage based.
Allow Salad to Marinate
Allowing the salad to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes is going to allow all the spice and dressing to help flavor the veggies. If you serve it right away, it will lack flavor.
Variations For Mexican Cabbage Slaw
Feel free to do a mix of green and red, or even all green if you prefer. I loved the red with the dressing it offers a gorgeous presentation value and the flavor was delicious. But green would be a great addition.
I used red wine vinegar for this salad dressing. You can easily swap with a white wine vinegar if you would like. Or even a white distilled. If you use apple cider vinegar it will offer a lot tangy flavor.
Sweet And Spicy Components
So you can control the flavoring of this salad. If you want less sweet or more sweet adjust honey in the recipe. For less sweet maybe do just a tablespoon. If you want more sweet opt for 3 tablespoons. To ramp up the spice. add more cumin. Adding some cilantro can ramp up the heat factor.
Mexican Cabbage Slaw FAQs
How long will this cabbage slaw store for?
You can store the salad in the fridge for around 2 days. You will find that the salad is going to become softer as the days go on. Toss the salad before each serving, as it will incorporate the dressing.
Do you need to cut the cilantro really small?
I personally leave some of the cilantro larger. I find it allows the herb to stand out more in the slaw recipe.
Can I leave out the cilantro?
Cilantro is one you either love or hate. If you despise cilantro you can indeed leave it out. It will of course alter the flavor a bit but it will still taste delicious without it.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Juice of one lime
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste ¼-½ teaspoon each
- 6 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, lime juice, cunin, coriander, garlic powder, salt and pepper
- Whisk until fully blended; set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, carrot and cilantro
- Pour the dressing overtop and toss again.
- Cover, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mix.
- This coleslaw is subtly spiced, slightly sweet, and super tasty of course!
- I recommend leaving the cilantro pieces larger rather than mincing
- You can store in the fridge for up to 2 days before it gets too soggy
- The longer it sits before serving the more flavorful the cabbage - but it can be eaten right away as well
- As it sits the cabbage will wilt a little bit, so it looks like a lot at the start but becomes less voluminous
- I used a slicer to shred the cabbage but you can also slice with a knife, or buy a pre-made bag of cabbage coleslaw mix (it likely won't be all purple if you buy premade but that is fine too!)
- You can make it in advance by stirring together the dressing and tossing the salad ingredients, then topping with the dressing 30 minutes to one hour before serving
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