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Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw

Looking for an easy coleslaw recipe that pairs perfectly with Mexican food? This easy slaw recipe is the one!

I love BIG flavors when I make Mexican food at home! My family loves taco night, and this Cilantro Lime Slaw is a staple at our house. It's a great side dish for tacos, burritos or enchiladas!

an overhead photo of cilantro slaw in a white bowl

As a bonus, this Cilantro Lime Slaw recipe is super easy to make! Just grab a bag of coleslaw mix, a bunch of cilantro and some limes and you are on your way to a tangy coleslaw in just about 5 minutes.

"I’ve made this many times and love it. It also makes a great bed for fish tacos."

Linda S, Yummly User
ingredients for cilantro lime cole slaw in a clear bowl

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve on top of spicy shrimp tacos or your favorite fish taco recipe
  • On pulled pork sandwiches, or barbecue chicken sandwiches
  • Mixed into burrito bowls with smashed avocado

If you're looking for a super sweet, vinegar slaw, try my Southern Coleslaw recipe.

a close up photo of cilantro lime slaw


If you do not have lime juice, you can substitute white vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Use any type of cabbage. You'll need roughly 3 cups.

"This was great for my pulled pork tacos. I added ½ cup of diced fresh pineapple and increased the sugar to two tablespoons. Shame on us but we like sweet."

Johnson, Yummly User

Recipe Additions:

  • Spicy Coleslaw Recipe: Add ½ of a fresh jalapeno (diced) to the dressing ingredients, and let it sit for 5 minutes before combining with the coleslaw mix.
  • Garlic Cilantro Lime Slaw: Add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder to the dressing for garlicky flavor.
  • Creamy Cilantro Lime Slaw: To make a creamy dressing, add ½ cup of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to the dressing and whisk vigorously.
  • Zesty Cilantro Lime Slaw: Add a teaspoon of taco seasoning to the slaw dressing.
  • Other ideas: Diced red bell pepper, fresh corn kernels, fresh chopped pineapple
a photo of cilantro slaw in a bowl

Storing Leftovers:

Store leftover coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

an overhead photo of cilantro lime cole slaw in a bowl


an overhead photo of cilantro lime cole slaw

Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Looking for an easy coleslaw recipe that pairs perfectly with Mexican food? This easy slaw recipe is the one!


For the Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • ¼ red onion or yellow onion, sliced into very fine strips
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or Splenda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

For the cabbage slaw mix:

  • 8 ounces coleslaw mix (green cabbage with carrots)
  • 4 ounces shredded red cabbage
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped green onion
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, add coleslaw mix, purple cabbage, onion, cilantro and green onions. toss to combine.
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the coleslaw dressing. Add onions, lime juice, olive oil, sugar/splenda, salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes to allow the lime juice to mellow out the onions.
  3. Pour dressing onto slaw mix, stir and cover. allow to rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Stir again, and serve.


For this recipe, I used coleslaw mix that had green and red cabbage as well as shredded carrots. You can absolutely shred your a head of cabbage (either color) instead using a sharp knife or grater. You'll need roughly 3 total cups of packed, shredded cabbage.

For extra lime flavor, add a bit of lime zest to the mix.

Make it spicy with a few shakes of hot sauce, a pinch of red pepper flakes or ½ of a diced jalapeno pepper.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 186Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 5mgSodium 200mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 10gProtein 2g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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Cilantro Lime Coleslaw Recipe: A super healthy and easy side dish, perfect substitute for heavy rice or beans! #mexican #salad #vegetarian #vegan
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw Recipe: A super healthy and easy side dish, perfect substitute for heavy rice or beans! #mexican #salad #vegetarian #vegan
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw Recipe: A super healthy and easy side dish, perfect substitute for heavy rice or beans! #mexican #salad #vegetarian #vegan

Laura Magdaleno

Monday 4th of July 2016

Thank you!!! Great recipe!! Kid approved!! My picky eater child loved it!!! She asked for more!!! ???? Surely making it again!!


Wednesday 6th of July 2016

Fantastic! I am so glad to hear your kiddo loved it! Mine is going through a "nothing green" phase right now and it's slowly killing me. ;) Thanks for dropping a note to let me know!

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Wednesday 21st of October 2015

I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I have a serious aversion to mayonnaise, as well as store bought salads of any kind.

I gained 55 pounds with my pregnancy, lost all but 20 of it in maybe a year. Takes 10 months to put it on, give another ten to take it off. I was normal for BMI before, but seemed really tiny for my 5'10" height in a size 4. In my new size (still 5 years later) I look healthy with a size 12 hip, and people are very surprised I could have ever been 20 pounds lighter because I still look small on top and for my height. So I continue to eat very healthy, and don't sweat the extra pounds post pregnancy. My body is just different now. So let me ask, do you feel healthy? Why try so hard to take off the pounds?

Sounds like you and I have similar reactions to the standard side dishes on Mexican dinner night. Here's how I lighten up the meal, our house favorite! I simmer shredded chicken with chili , onion, and garlic powder. I shred zucchini and carrots to make up half the meat mix in the same pan. On the side (or beneath for a nice taco salad) I make a wild rice and a can of while black our pinto beans. We top our tacos with lots of lettuce, but with coleslaw is really amazing too! We'll have to try out your recipe on tacos some night soon. :) thanks!


Wednesday 21st of October 2015

Thanks so much for your response! It sounds like we have very similar body types! I'm 5'11'' and now a 14. Prior to pregnancy I was an 8 and very fit. I think a lot of the struggle for me is what you suggested; accepting that my body probably won't look like it used to. But, I am slightly over a healthy BMI right now, so I do need to drop some weight to get back within a healthy range. I'm doing moderate low carb and weight training to get there, and it's happening slowly (VERRRYYYY SLOWLY, like a half pound per week) but I am starting to look more toned, and I feel a TON better than when I wrote this post! LOVE your suggestion to add zucchini and carrots into your chicken taco meat. That is brilliant! I am definitely going to give that a try!

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