Mexican Coleslaw

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Mexican Coleslaw – Creamy coleslaw with a lime and cilantro dressing, plus just a little kick from the jalapeno. Make for a great side dish, topping for burgers or perfect on tacos!

One of the best things about summertime is the amazing barbecue food. Grilled burgers, corn on the cob, and this Mexican Coleslaw are some of my favorites. This spicy coleslaw recipe is a cut above your regular old coleslaw.

creamy mexican coleslaw in a white bowl with a slice of lime


Mexican Coleslaw

With a hint of lime, cilantro, and jalapeño, it’s the perfect zingy side dish to accompany my  Chili Lime Grilled Chicken Drumsticks. Or make a batch to use as a topping for tender Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches. You’ll love the layers of Mexican-inspired flavor in this coleslaw and how quickly the whole recipe comes together.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This is an ideal side dish to serve alongside spicy and summery dishes and at barbecues. 
  • It’s incredibly easy to make with a list of only 6 ingredients. 
  • The crunchy salad and simple dressing can be tossed together in just a few minutes. 
  • You can make it a day ahead if you’re pressed for time (it also develops more flavor this way). 
  • It will last for several days in the fridge.
mexican coleslaw ingredients

What You’ll Need

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the FULL PRINTABLE recipe card.

  • Shredded Cabbage – Green cabbage is best for this recipe, but you could also use a mix of green and red cabbage for color. Savoy and Napa cabbages will produce a less crunchy (but more tender) coleslaw.
  • Shredded Carrots – These add additional color and crunch to the coleslaw.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro adds a bold, fresh flavor and color to the dressing.
  • Mayonnaise – Creates the base for the dressing. To make vegan coleslaw, use Veganaise or another vegan mayo instead. 
  • Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice creates a zingy citrus dressing.
  • Jalapeño – Adds just the right amount of spice to the coleslaw to keep things interesting. 
  • Salt and pepper
mixing everything together for coleslaw

How To Make Mexican Coleslaw

  1. Combine the mayo, lime juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir or whisk until the dressing is completely smooth. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, then toss everything together until it’s evenly coated. Season to taste, then store the coleslaw in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

Recipe Tips

  • To shred the cabbage and carrots, you can grate them by hand using a box grater or mandoline. It’s even easier if you have a food processor with a shredding attachment. 
  • Save time by using 1 bag of coleslaw mix in place of shredded cabbage and carrots. 
  • For the best taste, refrigerate this salad for at least an hour before serving. 
  • Since this salad contains mayonnaise, it must be kept in a cooler or over ice if you serve it outdoors. 
  • For an easy way to wash the cabbage, cut it into quarters before rinsing and draining it thoroughly.
mexican coleslaw in a mixing bowl

Do I Have To Use Jalapeno

No, you can make this a completely mild coleslaw without it. It gives it just a little kick, and if you use less or remove the seeds it is more mild. If you want a milder coleslaw, you can use green bell pepper or poblano pepper instead of jalapeño.

Can I Make Mexican Coleslaw Without Mayo

If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, try this recipe using plain yogurt in its place. Choose a thicker, unsweetened yogurt for best results. You could also use a vegan mayonnaise, which is egg and dairy-free.

white bowl with coleslaw in a lime wedge

How To Serve

Serve this tangy, spicy coleslaw with any of the following taco or burger recipes for a well-rounded and tasty meal. 

  • Easy Fish Tacos – Make these easy tacos with cod for a light and satisfying summertime meal. 
  • Skirt Steak Street Tacos – Tender grilled steak gets wrapped in a charred corn tortilla and drizzled with a creamy cilantro lime sauce. Yum!
  • Baja Shrimp Tacos – Shrimp tossed in a chipotle lime sauce makes for some seriously good tacos.
  • Buffalo Chicken Burger – Burgers made from ground chicken, buffalo sauce, and spices are packed with bold flavor. 
  • BBQ Pulled Pork Hot Dogs – This easy spin on the classic summer hot dog makes them a little sweet, a little spicy, and way more substantial.

How To Store Mexican Coleslaw

  • Room Temperature – If you’re serving this slaw and leaving it out at room temperature, it’s best to put it over ice since the mayonnaise contains eggs. 
  • Refrigerate – Store Mexican Coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep in mind the longer it sits, the less crunchy it becomes.
close up mexican coleslaw for pinterest

More Easy Mexican Recipes

Yield: 4

Mexican Coleslaw

close up mexican coleslaw in a white bowl

Mexican Coleslaw - Creamy coleslaw with a lime and cilantro dressing, plus just a little kick from the jalapeno. Make for a great side dish, topping for burgers or perfect on tacos!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 4-5 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup cilantro,finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl combine mayo, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until smooth and combined.
  2. Add shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro and jalapeno and toss until well coated.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Store in the fridge until ready to use.


Can use 1 bag of coleslaw mix in place of shredded cabbage and carrots

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 274Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 6mgSodium 231mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 15gSugar 22gProtein 10g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. STAR Red Wine Vinegar Single-Serving Portion Packs
    STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil Single-Serving Portion Packs
    Any idea how many tablespoons or tablespoons are in these packs?
    This is not an idem we have in this area.

    1. I think probably 1 or 2 in the olive oil, and about that amount in the vinegar. I don’t have any in the house to check right now – sorry!! But you want a 2 part olive oil to 1 part vinegar with the recipe. Hope that helps!

  2. Oh, yum! This is such a great take on a classic side. The weather is going to be here for grilling soon, and I’ll be serving this up with my burgers and dogs!