Mexican Coleslaw | Dinners, Dishes & Desserts

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

One of the best things about summer is the amazing barbecue. Grilled burgers, corn on the cob and this Mexican coleslaw are some of my favorites. This spicy coleslaw recipe is a cut above your usual old school 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 side dish to accompany my Chili-Lime Grilled Chicken Drumsticks. Or make a batch to use as a filling for tender BBQ pulled pork sandwiches. You’ll love the layers of Mexican-inspired flavor in this coleslaw and how quickly the entire recipe comes together.

Why this recipe works

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

What you will need

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for full measurements and instructions!

  • shredded cabbage – Green cabbage is best for this recipe, but you can also use a mixture of green and red cabbage for color. Savoy and Napa cabbage will produce a less crunchy (but more tender) coleslaw.
  • Grated carrots – These add color and crunch to coleslaw.
  • Coriander – Cilantro adds bold, fresh flavor and color to the dressing.
  • Mayonnaise – Creates the dressing base. To make vegan coleslaw, use Veganaise or another vegan mayonnaise instead.
  • Lime juice – Fresh lime juice creates a tangy citrus dressing.
  • Jalapeño – Add just the right amount of spices to coleslaw to keep things interesting.
  • Salt and pepper
toss everything together for the coleslaw

How to Make Mexican Coleslaw

  1. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir or whisk until the dressing is completely smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, then toss everything together until evenly coated. Season to taste, then store the coleslaw in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe tips

  • To grate cabbage and carrots, you can grate them by hand using a box grater or a mandolin. 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 best taste, refrigerate this salad for at least an hour before serving.
  • As this salad contains mayonnaise, it should be kept in a cooler or on ice if serving it outside.
  • To easily wash cabbage, cut it into quarters before rinsing and draining it thoroughly.
mexican coleslaw in a mixing bowl

Should I use Jalapeno

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

Can I make mexican coleslaw without mayonnaise

If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise, try this recipe using plain yogurt instead. Choose thicker, unsweetened yogurt for best results. You can also use a vegan mayonnaise, without eggs or dairy.

white bowl with coleslaw in a lime wedge

How to serve

Serve this tangy and spicy coleslaw with one of the following taco or burger recipes for a complete and flavorful meal.

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

How to Store Mexican Coleslaw

  • Ambient temperature – If you serve this coleslaw and leave it at room temperature, it is best to put it on ice because the mayonnaise contains eggs.
  • Refrigerate – Store Mexican Coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep in mind that the longer it sits, the less crispy it becomes.
close up mexican coleslaw for pinterest

Yield: 4

mexican coleslaw

close up mexican coleslaw in white bowl

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

Preparation time 5 minutes

Total time 5 minutes


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


  1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, 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 to taste.
  4. Store in the refrigerator until use.


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

Nutrition information




Amount per serving calories 274Total fat 11gSaturated fat 2gtrans fat 0gUnsaturated fats 9gCholesterol 6mgSodium 231mgCarbohydrates 44gFiber 15gSugar 22gProtein 10g

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

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