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.
Stephanie E Waye
This slaw is soooo good! I made it last night as a taco topper and it made my regular ground beef tacos something special. I'll definitely be making it again for fish/shrimp tacos!
So happy to hear Stephanie!
Wonderful! My husband is NOT a coleslaw fan, and not a person who normally raves, but this one got a big WOW. It's our go-to side now every time we have tacos, and I've shared it with everyone I know. He just harvested an enormous cabbage (wish I could upload the picture to show you), so we'll be making a lot of this. Thanks for the sparkling, zingy combination of flavors!
I am so so happy I can turn the non coleslaw person into a fan!! Thank you so much for the wonderful review! And I wish I could see the cabbage. Tag me on Instagram or share it in my closed FB group if you are a member!!! Heck, even email me!! LOL
100% deliciousness! Bursting with flavor. The only downside is when I went to sneak another bite it was all gone! I’ll be making this frequently. Too delicious not too keep on hand.
Haha!! Now that is a downside I can live with! So happy you liked it! Thank you so much for the great review!
I love that this can be used in so many different ways from salads to sides to burger toppings! I love a good slaw that has some crunch to it.
This sounds lovely. Do you use cumin seeds or ground cumin?
Hi Julie! Thank you! I use ground cumin.
What am I missing?? Why are some mentioning broccoli? Or broccoli slaw? I dont see it.... ????
Hi Marna! I updated the recipe and forgot to put that back as a note. I added it now! It's just an option to use some broccoli slaw with the cabbage.
Marinating the onions in the dressing is a genius move. Red wine vinegar and lime, so fresh! I didn't have all the ingredients, added some avocado, skipped the broccoli and carrots, just didn't have any. Love the cumin, used a bit less. Adding a touch of avocado oil because it blends. Salted cabbage to wilt it as onions marinate.
Thank you so much Michele! Sounds delicious. I hope you liked it in the end!
Yeah cumin is a spice that should be used sparingly as it takes over the whole dish. People either love it or hate it so Less is more for this salad I think lol
We definitely all have different likes and dislikes! This is fully adaptable to what you like.
I made this for a work event and it was exactly what I was hoping it would be. Made it very close to the recipe, but used a bag of cole slaw mix and no broccoli slaw. I also marinaded the onions in the dressing overnight in advance and I think that totally helped. I will definitely be keeping this recipe for use in the future!!
So happy to hear Marcelle!! Thanks so much for the great review!
We made this and it was outstanding!
I am so so happy to hear it Sal!!! Thanks for letting me know!
Wow! My whole family loved this (I have a 6 and an 8 year old). We had it in our fish tacos and boy did it kick them up a notch! Thanks Sophia!
So happy you loved it Kristie!!! And thank you for the sweet text!
This looks delicious and easy, what a great summer side dish!
I make this recipe almost weekly. We eat a lot of Mexican food in our house and I almost always make this as a side for our Mexican dishes to make sure that we get even more vegetables. I absolutely love the dressing, and the fact that it isn't mayonnaise-based.
We love Mexican food too! Always a go to around here. Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to let me know. What a great idea to always have some on hand!
Tiffany @ Triple Crème Decadence
I love the name of your blog! This crisp and refreshing slaw would be delightful on a hot day.
Thank you Tiffany! It is very refreshing for sure!
Sounds terrific, but for the (aarrggh !) coriander. Yesyes, I shall indeed use parsely. 🙂
Thanks! Adapt as works best, my mom isn't a cilantro fan either 🙂
Wot a sensible woman is your revered ma ! 🙂
She sure is! Lol.
Jo from yummyvege
Wow that sounds really different - and delicious of course. I've never seen broccoli slaw before but I'm going to make it myself. I love any idea that uses up broccoli stalks, in winter I put them in stews and soups but in summer I never know what to do with them!
It's a great way to use them! Thank you! Let me know how it works.