Mexican Coleslaw

Mexican coleslaw is a fresh, crunchy, slightly spicy take on standard slaw.

We love Mexican-inspired food. Tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas are on steady rotation. Taco Tuesday is alive and well at our house! This coleslaw is a light, crunchy side dish that goes well alongside tacos or enchiladas.


Cabbage: Use either a head of green cabbage or a bag of shredded cabbage. The bagged variety may contain carrots or purple cabbage. They do add a little more color and texture.

Red Onion: You could use white or yellow onion, but red is my absolute favorite for Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes.

Cilantro: Cilantro adds a great fresh flavor.

Jalapeño Pepper: Adds spicy flavor. You can use a little or a lot depending upon how spicy you want your coleslaw to be.

Lime Juice: The acidity of lime juice adds a nice brightness to the coleslaw.

Olive Oil: The oil helps meld all the ingredients together.

Sugar: Just a bit to balance out the spicy and acidic flavors.

Light Mayonnaise: Gives the slaw a little creaminess, if desired.


The mayo is optional. When I serve this slaw with saucy, cheesy enchiladas, I elect to leave out the mayo. This results in a crispy, crunchy coleslaw. When I served it with shrimp tacos, as pictured below, I added the mayo to give it just a touch of creaminess. It’s all a matter of personal preference.

Once combined, the dish is ready to serve immediately. You can also make it ahead and let it sit for 15-30 minutes and let the flavors meld. I love a make-ahead side for nights when we grill. This chipotle marinated chicken would be excellent with this coleslaw.

Mexican coleslaw is a great addition to your next Mexican-inspired dinner. If you are looking for other great sides check out these roasted veggies, corn, and rice dishes.

Mexican Coleslaw

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 2


  • 2 cups green cabbage thinly sliced (you can also used the bagged shredded cabbage)
  • 1 Tbsp red onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 Tbsp jalapeño pepper chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise optional


  • Combine the cabbage, onion, cilantro and jalapeño pepper in a medium bowl.
  • Combine the lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, sugar, and mayo if using, and stir to combine. Add to the cabbage mixture and stir to thoroughly combine.
Keyword Crunchy, Quick, Spicy

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