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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.

 Mexican Slaw made with purple cabbage, red onion, lime, cilantro

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

Mexican slaw in a bowl.

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”.

Expert Tips

  • 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.

  1. Fish Tacos 
  2. Veggie Enchiladas
  3. Baja Bowls!  
  4. Vegan Portobello Tacos 
  5. Cilantro Lime Rice
  6. Mexican Pinto Beans
  7. Oaxacan Lamb Tacos 
  8. Birria!


More slaw recipes you may enjoy:

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Mexican Slaw with jalapeño and lime

Mexican Slaw


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, 45 cups shredded – purple is pretty, or green or use a mix)
  • 1/41/2 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add the cilantro, onion (see note on soaking), jalapeno, lime zest and lime juice, olive oil,  salt, cumin, coriander and pepper.
  3. 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.
  4. 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,

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  1. Absolutely amazing quick and easy recipe simply bursting with flavour!! And it even gets better as leftovers as the flavours meld so beautifully.

    We used it in the Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps instead of other veggies and it was outstandingly good!

    We’ve made this several times since discovering it last week and every time we’ve served it to friends – often – they have raved about it and asked for the recipe 🙂

    Many thanks again, Sylvia!

  2. I have just discovered you and am THRILLED. I made your Mexican Slaw and it was terrific. Now I find myself scrolling through all your recipes. Can’t wait to try something else.

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