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.
Maybe this is generally obvious, but I wonder if the tablespoon of cumin means seeds or ground cumin. It sounds great and I don’t want to spoil it or leave it bland. Thanks.
No wrong questions! It's ground cumin. Thanks for asking!
Loved it! Topped it with some fresh avocado chunks to make it a little heartier. Will def make again! And again!!
I love that idea Kristin! Sounds delicious!
This recipe is my favourite find of the year so far! Made it the first time to take to a dinner party, to pair with fish tacos, and everyone raved. I’m asked for the recipe every time I serve it. I have also made additions here and there - it’s really excellent with chopped kale in it as well. I also did a version which included the kale, radishes and sprinkled with cotilla cheese and pumpkin seeds. Delicious!
I'm so happy you liked it Dana!! Thanks for the great review!
All we had in the house was balsamic vinegar. It worked wonderfully and added a touch of sweetness. Really wonderful recipe!
So happy to hear Gary! I have two more slaw recipes coming over the next month!
Oh this a a new winner/keeper recipe. I made this with chicken, and tomorrow, I'm going to mix leftover chicken with the leftover slaw. I only used 1t ground cumin, and it seemed perfect.
I am so happy you liked it Hibber!!! Thanks for the great review!
I just made this slaw to go with chili's delle is. The tart component of the slaw cuts the fried heaviness of the chilis. Mas perfecto!
Was also wondering why mushrooms are not a very popular in Mexican food?
I'm not a big fan, but it seems strange. Perhaps because Mexico is too arid?
So happy you liked it! I actually love using mushrooms in my Mexican food!
Made this tonight as a side for coconut shrimp - good recipe but next time I will definitely half the red wine vinegar - we found it too acidic.
Hi Ginette! Yes, decrease the vinegar if it's too tangy for you, we love the tang!
Perhaps you could add another very important con to bagged cabbage? While that one tiny plastic bag may you purchase when you didn't need to may seem insignificant, multiply it by the trillions of times people have thought the same and you get a very long list of environmental problems that choice causes, ranging from energy wastage (plastic is made from fossil fuels + energy is used to make bags), to climate change (due to uselessly wasted energy) to ocean pollution, etc. I don't mean you need to include all these details, I am just suggesting that you acknowledge that unnecessary waste is as important as the desire to shred cabbage.
Thanks for your input. While I totally understand what you are saying, I am not going to shame anyone that uses bagged cabbage to make life easy sometimes. I definitely take the easy road when I feel I need it and that's ok. We are all just trying our best in life.
Well, that sounded like you might believe that those of us who are really quite concerned about single-use plastics aren't concerned about making life easier for ourselves, too? Perhaps you could have been more generous in your response, and mentioned the ways that you are personally responsive to the environmental plastics crisis, which we know as one example is a plastics reef the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. If you like bagged cole slaw, that's your choice, but how then are you choosing to make a positive response? If this isn't in your personal playbook, this may be a nice recipe site, but it's not an ethical one and I probably wouldn't follow it much based on that.
Hi George, thank you for your input. Like I said before, we all do the best we can. My website is here to help real life busy people get more plants into their diet in a way that helps both their physical and mental health. I do not feel that I need to defend myself or my choices, if you choose not to follow me then that is your choice and I wish you the best.
Made this tonight to as a topping for black bean nachos! So yummy!! I will be keeping this in our dinner rotation. Thank you!
I'm so happy you liked it Julie!
Just made this dressing with red ice wine vinegar... what a pop!
Awesome Gregg!! So happy you liked it!
We like it with about 1/2 tsp cumin vs 1 TBSP, but absolutely LOVE this recipe and make it often. We put it in pork and shrimp tacos and eat the rest as a side throughout the week. So very good
I'm so happy you like it Chelsea!!
needs some chilis
We created this to be as is since that's how we like it and I wanted it family friendly, but you can always add some spice if you want!
This recipe as written had too much acid an no sweetness to balance it out. I added some agave.
It's definitely a personal taste. We don't like sweetness in it so created it to be nice and tangy, but feel free to do what works for you!
What is the name of this in Mexican words?
Hi! I'm not sure! Maybe another reader here knows!
Ensalada de col Mexicana. (The x is pronounced like an h.)