An easy to make Mexican coleslaw that pairs well with anything! Eat it in tacos, as a side salad or even as a main dish piled with toppings.
I'm not generally into creamy mayo filled coleslaw. But I love the texture of crunchy cabbage, especially when it's on other food, so I had to create a coleslaw recipe I would love.
Are you surprised that I gave this a Mexican twist? You shouldn't be. Tacos and burritos are life around here. I did write a cookbook all about burritos...
I paired this coleslaw with cilantro lime dressing to add a little tang with the Mexican theme of the salad. It tastes amazing and there is a trick I use to get the onion flavor into the dressing.
I add the chopped onion into the dressing with the vinegar instead of adding it in with the cabbage. This marinates the onion a little and cuts the sharpness, plus gives the dressing some onion undertones.
Is bagged or fresh cabbage better?
The answer to this really depends on what you are looking for in terms of better. Fresh cabbage is great, and in general fresh veggies are best, but if you're looking to save time then preshredded bagged cabbage is a big time saver.
However, if you are buying the cabbage the week before you plan to serve it, then the bagged variety may go bad quicker. Fresh cabbage tends to last a really long time in the fridge.
The other issue with bagged cabbage, is that it's more expensive. A head of cabbage can be found very cheap so if you are looking to save money then go with the fresh.
Can I make this Mexican coleslaw ahead of time?
There are definitely steps you can take to prep this cabbage slaw ahead of time. The first thing I would do is make the dressing. It keeps well for up to a week in the fridge.
If you are using fresh cabbage, you can also slice it the day before and keep it in the fridge. Then when you are ready, toss it with the dressing and the coleslaw is ready to go within a few minutes.
You could make the whole Mexican coleslaw ahead of time, but the cilantro lime dressing may wilt the cabbage a little and soften it. So I wouldn't make it too far in advance unless you don't mind a softer coleslaw.
How can I serve this Mexican coleslaw?
The great thing is how versatile this coleslaw is. It pairs well with a variety of things, and can be eaten in so many ways. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- put it in a sandwich
- add it to your taco or burrito
- make it a main salad with any toppings you like
- eat it as a side salad
- serve with chips as a quick snack
- put it on a vegan burger
- make it creamy by tossing it in this cilantro cream sauce or my vegan sour cream
How To Make Mexican Coleslaw
This recipe is super easy to throw together, especially if you are using preshredded cabbage. Here are the few simple steps it takes to have this ready in no time;
- Mix the dressing ingredients.
- Put the cabbage and red pepper in a bowl and pour the dressing on.
- Mix well.
You might also enjoy:
Mexican Coleslaw With Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 4 cups shredded cabbage mix , I like a mix with red and green cabbage and shredded carrots (you could also use some broccoli slaw)
- 1 red pepper , medium sized
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ - ½ cup red wine vinegar , or vinegar of choice (adjust for tang preference)
- ¼ cup olive oil , or veggie broth for oil free
- 2 tablespoons lime juice , about one lime
- 1 - 3 teaspoons cumin , adjust for taste preference
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Extra veggie broth to thin out dressing if needed , I used ¼ cup
- Place all dressing ingredients in a mason jar or container and mix well. After mixing, allow dressing to sit while prepping the rest of the salad so that the flavors can combine. You can also do this the day before.
- Thinly slice the red pepper.
- Place it in a bowl with the cabbage.
- Combine dressing and coleslaw ingredients and serve.
- Recipe makes about 8 cups, serving size is 1 cup
- I put the red onion in the jar with the dressing to allow it to “marinate” a bit and it cuts the bite of it a little. This doesn’t have to be done but it gives it a nice flavor.
- I have used apple cider vinegar here too and although it gives it a slightly different taste, it works well.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.
Nutrition and metric information should be considered an estimate.
I'm half Mexican and I'll be the first to say it if someone else already hasn't. THAT'S ALOT OF CUMIN. LOL Just made some but no way did I put that much cumin. Tastes pretty good.
Haha!! Give me all the cumin!! Totally add less if you prefer, but glad you liked it!!
I made this, family wants more tonight!!! I did add about 3 tablespoons of my jalapeño jelly, gave it a little kick.
Yay! So happy you like it! I am loving that jalapeno jelly addition!!
Really liked this slaw. I made half the recipe but I’m sorry I didn’t make more.
I’m so happy you liked it Barbara!!
Sorry for all the negative comments you received. Some people can be really mean. I guess people don’t understand that everyone is not going to like everything. I have made this twice now and I love the red wine vinegar and even added a touch more. One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town makes something like this but with shredded chicken and jalapeños. I threw those in the first time I made this and it worked great! Thank you for this delicious recipe!
Awe, thank you! I am used to it hahaha. Not everyone has to love everything that's for sure! I am thrilled you loved this though and I love your addition of jalapenos! YUM!
I am so glad I found this! I used some cabbage I grew in my Winter garden in Texas. I loved the tang! The Only thing I changed was adding some pumpkin seeds & extra green onion tops from my garden. I will be making this regularly! Thank u so much. 😋
I am so happy you like it!!!
I wished I had found this sooner. So very good with anything. You made an explosion of flavor with this one. Thank you!
So happy you like it Wes!!
Definitely did not like the red wine vinegar. Next time I'll use a white one, and a greater ratio of lime to vinegar. Added dried coriander and toasted cumin and coriander seeds. Much better!
We all have our different preferences with flavor, my husband LOVES this recipe especially the red wine vinegar which is why I created it as is. Make sure if you use white vinegar you are careful how much you put as white vinegar is much stronger in flavor and has a bigger zing to it.
I agree, the red wine vinegar did not sit right with me, nor did the ground cumin. I should have gone with my instinct and done rice wine/white vinegar with whole cumin seeds. I added serano chilis also
Hi Hailey! Glad you made it work for your tastes. My husband loves red wine vinegar so that's why the recipe was created that way and we love it. If you prefer whole cumin seeds, make sure you taste as you add more since the flavor will be very different and not as flavorful. Good luck!
As written it's ok. It IS tart but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I used cider vinegar (because it's what I had) and after tasting I decided the slightly sweet note of the vinegar could be brought out a little more by adding a tbsp of honey which worked wonders. I also cut the salt a little.
You can definitely use any vinegar you choose as I say in the recipe. I created this to be tangy with red wine vinegar, just like my husband likes it. So I didn't add any sweetness to it on purpose, but I do have another slaw recipe that does use ACV and has that hint of sweetness added: https://www.veggiesdontbite.com/apple-cider-vinegar-coleslaw-recipe/
Made this for my in-laws last night and it was a hit!! I'm definitely going to add this to my repertoire. I'm trying to bring everyone over to the plant-based side with delicious meals like this!
I am so happy you liked it Hayley! Thanks for the great review!
I use a 12 bag of broccoli slaw, one red pepper and cut all the dressing ingredients in half (which is plenty of dressing for our tastes). A perfect recipe that’s not only delicious but healthy!
So happy you liked it Brenda!
It was easy and tasty. Backed off the vinegar by just a little bit and then added a little more lime juice! We ate it on burritos and it was delightful!
So happy you liked it Margo! We definitely love the tang, but you can adjust any of the ingredients to match your flavor preferences!
Red wine vinegar overwhelmed the dressing. Tossed it.
Hi Linda, we love it tangy as do many others that have made it but if you aren't a big vinegar fan then you can always lower it. Thanks!
Oh, YUM. The cilantro and the cumin really put this over the top. Perfect side with our tacos and beans tonight!!!
So happy you liked it!!
Well just wasted an entire bag of coleslaw mix. Did not like this at all- it was wayyyy too sour. If I try it again I would cut the vinegar by half or more and the lime juice. So disappointing.
Hi Jen, we all have different tastes! I'd suggest trying the dressing before you add it to the cabbage next time you try a recipe to make sure it's something you like. This is a hugely popular recipe and loved by many so perhaps you are sensitive to tartness. You may have accidentally measured wrong too, happens to me sometimes!
Really good. Made a tomato/avocado salsa as well and had pinto bean tacos with this. The vinegar and lime really enhanced the beans
That sounds delicious William! So happy to hear you liked it!