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Your tacos will thank you for this Mexican Slaw! Fast and easy, this taco slaw with cabbage, jalapeno, and lime can be whipped up in just 15 minutes and keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days. Serve it with our fish tacos or as a delicious vegan side. Love cabbage? Check out 25+ Amazing Cabbage Recipes.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right. ~Henry Ford
Here’s a simple recipe for Mexican Slaw that comes in handy during the week. It can be used on all sorts of things like fish tacos, black bean burgers, wraps or burrito bowls and keeps for several days in the fridge. I love using purple cabbage, because it is higher in polyphenols than green cabbage and makes for prettier topping for tacos. But feel free to use green.
I love the crunchy texture and zesty flavor Mexican Slaw adds to meals as well as all the healthy nutrients and of course, fiber. It adds an element of freshness that I crave- even in the cold months.This version contains no mayo- keeping it light, healthy and totally vegan. Plus, it is cabbage season, so why not take advantage of all the beautiful cabbages right now?
Mexican Slaw | 45-sec video
Mexican Slaw Ingredients
The Mexican Slaw is made with shredded purple cabbage, but what I love about his recipe is how you can add all sorts of other crunchy veggies to the mix- like grated radishes (yummy!) jicama, kohlrabi or carrots (so pretty!).
- Shredded cabbage: Purple or green or use a mix. Purple cabbage is high in polyphenols and looks great in tacos, but feel free to substitute green cabbage or other shredded veggies!
- Red onions (or sub 1/2 cup green onion)
- Fresh Cilantro (use the thin stems)- if you absolutely hate cilantro, add green onions and Italian parsley. Lime juice does help mitigate the soapy flavor.
- Fresh Chilies- a must! Use serrano chilies or jalapenos. Jalapenos are milder in heat.
- Fresh Limes – you’ll need both fresh lime juice and lime zest. Use ripe limes for the best flavor, ones that are not super hard but rather soft and juicy.
- Olive oil- just a little adds a nice richness.
- Salt, Pepper, Mexican spices
How to make Mexican Slaw
Combine ingredients in a bowl. Adjust salt and lime juice to taste. Limes vary in acidity to best to add to taste. See notes for soaking the onions to remove bitterness. You want the slaw slightly salty and slightly limey to give tacos a little “punch”.
- If you are sensitive to onions, soak them in a bowl of salted water for 15 minutes before draining and adding to the salad. This will remove the bitterness. You can also sub green onion for the red onion.
- If you are not a cilantro fan, no problem; simply leave it out and sub-Italian parsley.
- The Mexican Slaw will keep up to 4 days in the fridge!
Serve Mexican slaw with:
You’ll find so many ways to serve up this tasty slaw! I hope you enjoy the slaw as much as we do! It’s on regular rotation at our house and we never tire of it.
- Fish Tacos
- Veggie Enchiladas
- Baja Bowls!
- Vegan Portobello Tacos
- Cilantro Lime Rice
- Mexican Pinto Beans
- Oaxacan Lamb Tacos
More slaw recipes you may enjoy:
- Lebanese Slaw
- Curtido -Cultured Salvadoran Slaw
- Easy Crunchy Asian Slaw
- Kale Slaw
- Cabbage Mango Slaw
- Kohlrabi Slaw with Cilantro, Jalapeño and Lime
- Warm Red Cabbage Slaw
- Prep Time: 20
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: salad, vegan
- Method: tossed
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
Mexican Slaw with jalapeño and lime- perfect for tacos or a vegan side to your Mexican Feast. Fast and easy and Vegan!
- 1 pound thinly sliced or shredded cabbage ( 1/2 a large head, 4–5 cups shredded – purple is pretty, or green or use a mix)
- 1/4– 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion, more to taste ( or sub 1/2 cup green onion)
- 1 cup chopped cilantro (packed, thin stems ok!) or sub Italian parsely
- 1/4 – 1 whole jalapeño, finely chopped, more to taste, or use serrano chilies for more heat.
- 1 tablespoon lime zest (zest from 1 lime)
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, more to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- pepper to taste
- Shred the cabbage by very thinly slicing or use a mandolin. If making an extra-large batch using your food processor with a grater attachment! See notes for adding other veggies.
- Add the cilantro, onion (see note on soaking), jalapeno, lime zest and lime juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, coriander and pepper.
- Toss well. Taste and adjust salt and lime juice to your liking. Limes vary in acidity, so adding to taste is always best. Add extra jalapeno if you like. If serving inside tacos, I always bump up the salt and lime a little.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days.
Veggies: Feel free to add other shredded or thinly sliced veggies: red bell pepper, carrots, kohlrabi, radish, etc.
If you are sensitive to onions, soak them in a bowl of salted water for 15 minutes, before draining and adding to the salad. This will remove the bitterness. You can also pickle the red onions!
Limes: If unripe, they can be overly acidic- always try to buy limes that feel soft and not rock hard.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 108
- Sugar: 5.2 g
- Sodium: 189.3 mg
- Fat: 7.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 11.6 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 2.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Mexican slaw, taco slaw, Mexican salad, cilantro lime cabbage slaw,
A lovely “fresh” addition to a Mexican themed meal!
Awesome! Thanks so much!
This dish is gorgeous and a deliciously unusual flavor profile! Super easy and quick. Stores well for make ahead party dishes and weekly meal prep— Maybe even better after a couple days. Friends are asking me for the recipe!
Great to hear Maggie!
My husband spent most of dinner commenting on all of the different things he would be willing to place this slaw on – anything Mexican, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers. It really is the perfect mix of crunchy, spicy, and tangy. It was even great the next day. Definitely a recipe that I’m placing in my favorites folder.
We love this one too!
This was a great addition to my Taco Bar.
Oh great! Glad you liked it!
This is a great slaw. I ended up adding a little agave to balance it which, I think really brightened it up…
Perfect, glad you adjusted to your taste!
Quick to make and just a small list of ingredients, but absolutely delicious, bright, zingy and colourful . Adds a boost to all sorts of dishes.
So happy you enjoyed this Ali!
Really loved this and can’t wait to use it with so many things. It’s been lasting in the fridge so long. Love cabbage, love cilantro, love limes. My first use was inspired by your blackened white fish tacos. I didn’t use the oil and it was still great. Thank you!
Oh good! Great to hear Amy!
I made this exactly as written and despite 3 stars I will make this again but with adjustments to better suit our family. My husband said it was like eating crunchy lime, he wasn’t wrong. I made this almost an hour before dinner so the flavors could meld a little. My future adjustments will be to use half the amount of lime juice and zest. I can always add more. Add in a little more onions. BTW, soaking the onions worked well. I weighed the cabbage to get an exact pound and while the recipe says that is a serving for 4, I will use half that next time as a pound shredded was probably enough for 6-8. I used 1/2 an jalapeno, I might use more next time. Although it could have been the jalapeno flavor just got lost in the lime juice.
Hi Dawn, thanks for the feedback. Limes can vary in acidity greatly- and if they are not ripe, can be overly acidic. I wonder if that could have been it. Also if there is not enough salt, it can seem overly lime-y.
Made as written except I had to leave out the jalapeno and the lime zest as I didn’t have those on hand. Used bottled lime juice. Still excellent! I can only imagine it would be even better with the jalapeno and real lime juice and zest.
great to hear Dani!
Made it – simple and delicious!
Didn’t know if the dressing would be enough for this slaw, but was pleasantly surprised that it was plenty. This is spicy, light, and refreshing. Will definitely be making again!
This is easy and so good. Light and refreshing. We use it on tacos of all varieties. It’s great on its own too. Thanks for such a great recipe!
We love this one too Margaret!
Great slaw. I was so tempted to add some yogurt or sour cream to make it creamy but I didn’t. It’s light,crisp and fresh just the way it is. Lovely side to the enchiladas.
Glad you enjoyed.
Perfect with pork tacos
This is one of my favourite recipes of yours! It has a lot of components but they work so well together 🙂
Great to hear!
So fresh and delicious with a little spice! I like my slaw a little sweeter and slightly creamy so I added not quite a tablespoon of sugar and some plain yogurt. Yummy!
Sounds great Anne, love that you adapted to your taste!
Looks so yummy, i have made something similar in the past, can’t wait to try this one. I plan on taking it to a BBQ potluck, with another side. Happy to bring something tasty and affordable. People really enjoyed it the last time, it is different, not the normal same old thing.
Sylvia, this Mexican slaw is delicious. I topped off my short rib tacos with it and everyone loved it. Thank you for another great recipe!
Made it with recc’d ingredients, super with tacos, thanks! I did put the salt directly on the sliced cabbage and let it drain in colander, then dabbed with paper towel. Did mix liquid and spice/zest together separately to pour over the cabbage/cilantro/jalapeno. Oh, did add a carrot for nice contrast to the purple cabbage. Thanks for your efforts
Glad you enjoyed this Julie!
This is PERFECT!!! So excited to have this with carnitas tonight.
I’ve made this a few times, and it’s consistently so good! Thanks for the quick recipe that brightens up our week.
Great to hear Amyu!
Very clean, fresh slaw. I made it with super fresh Purple Cabbage and the presentation was lovely. Will make this again, while being careful to cut half-moon onions, and smaller bits of shredded cabbage. Rather eat with a fork then a fork and knife
Glad you enjoyed it!
First time making this tonight along with the cilantro lime rice (I swapped cilantro for fresh parsley) I am not dissapointed and neither was my partner. So fresh tasting and full of goodness. A lovely change from salad.
We had this with chorizo chicken with tomatoes and peppers in tacos. Will definitely be making this again. Benefit made this all on a work night and didnt take long. Also goes nice with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Thanks Amy, sounds perfect!
Love it, I make a half recipe that we can eat at one sitting. I use just a bit of oil, (1/2 teaspoon,) but add all the rest, like to make with scallions, or like trick of soaking onion to take the bite out of it, had some pickled jalapeno, and added just a teaspoon chopped, pumpkin seeds raw shelled too. So pretty and complements any Latin type dish.