Cilantro lime slaw is easy to make and seriously delicious! Make this spicy coleslaw recipe to serve on fish tacos or BBQ sandwiches, or as a side dish with your favorite grilled meats.
If you’re looking for a fresh way to add flavor to your favorite barbecue foods, coleslaw is a simple solution. Not only great as a flavorful side dish, slaw adds the perfect crunch to an otherwise soft sandwich.
Types of Coleslaw
The base ingredient for any slaw is usually a simple vegetable like cabbage or broccoli. What really makes a difference in the overall flavor is the coleslaw dressing. The ingredients can vary but there are three basic types of dressing; sweet, tangy, and spicy.
The base ingredient of many sweet coleslaw recipes is often white or brown sugar, combined with mayonnaise. This isn’t always the case though!
Using fruit as the key ingredient allows for natural sweetness, eliminating the need for additional sugar. For example, I use apples in the slaw for my chipotle chicken tacos..
Instead of mayo, recipes for tangy coleslaw usually use an acid for the dressing. Using buttermilk, citrus juice, or vinegar adds a delicious tangy flavor.
This is the case with my southern coleslaw recipe, making it the perfect topping for sandwiches with sweet sauce, like root beer pulled pork.
Spicy coleslaw recipes are my favorite kind! The dressing can be either sweet or tangy, and the heat comes from a spicy ingredient like chili peppers.
This type makes a fantastic fish taco coleslaw because it adds a kick of heat to flavor up the bland fish.
Ingredients in cilantro lime slaw
- Shredded vegetables– For this recipe, I keep things quick and simple, using a basic coleslaw blend of green and purple cabbage, plus shredded carrots. I just buy the premade blend from the produce section of the grocery store.
If you’d like to use homemade coleslaw mix, it’s simple to make. You’ll just need to shred whatever vegetables you want to include in a food processor.
Another option is to use a chef’s knife to chop the vegetables into thin, julienne-cut strips. You’ll need a total of 8 cups of shredded veggies.
Coleslaw dressing ingredients
- Plain Greek yogurt– Yogurt gives the dressing a nice tangy favor, without needing to use vinegar. If you’ll be serving it as a fish taco coleslaw, feel free to kick up the citrus flavor by using lime flavored Greek yogurt
- Mayonnaise– Feel free to use any variety; full-fat, light, or non-fat
- Fresh cilantro
- Green onions (also known as scallions)
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Limes– You’ll need at least 2 limes, to zest and to squeeze for 1/4 cup of fresh juice
- Chile peppers– One jalapeño or serrano chile will give the cilantro lime slaw a nice, feisty bite. If you want a spicier coleslaw, use more than one chie, or use a pepper that’s higher on the Scoville scale
- Spices– One of the best ways to make coleslaw taste better is to add spices! Just a bit of salt, black pepper and cumin make a big difference
- Toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds– The seeds add a nice salty crunch to the slaw dressing. You can certainly substitute and use a different type, like sunflower seeds
There are plenty of way to use coleslaw other than on bbq sandwiches or fish tacos.
Try it on grilled chicken tostadas or as the base of a chicken taco salad. It’s even great without the vegetables; coleslaw dressing is a fantastic substitute for mayo in tuna or egg salad!
Just like cucumber salad, after a few days of marinating in the dressing, cabbage starts to break down and become mushy. It tastes best within the first 4 to 5 days.
Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw
- 8 cups coleslaw mix (See Note 1)
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves packed
- 3 green onions cut in thirds
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 limes zested and juiced (See Note 2)
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, stem removed
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds (See Note 3)
- Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, cilantro, green onions, garlic, 1/4 cup lime juice plus zest, jalapeño, cumin, salt, black pepper and pumpkin seeds in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until the mixture is blended (See Note 4).
- Place the cole slaw mix in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the cole slaw, tossing until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Season with extra salt and or pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- I often times will use coleslaw already mixed in bags from the grocer. You can also shred green cabbage with a little purple for 7 cups and add 1 cup shredded carrot if you prefer.
- You will need 2 limes at least to get 1/4 cup lime juice. Use the zest from 1/2 of 1 lime.
- You can substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds as well. It is a really good substitute flavor and texture wise.
- A hand held immersion blender (stick blender) work wonderfully as well.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.