Ready in 15 minutes and ultra easy to prep, this zesty and fresh Mexican slaw is the perfect topping for tacos, or as a aside dish for enchiladas, chilis, and More. It’s a versatile coleslaw veggie side dish made without mayo, featuring crunchy cabbage, grated carrots, and a smokey-sweet dressing that’s fast and easy.

Closeup image of a bowl of cabbage and carrot slaw.

5 star review

“This salad is so nutritious with a fresh, delicious crunchy and great for lunch or dinner. Simple to make. I give this coleslaw recipe a 5 out of 5. The best!”

– Jacqueline

Visual Guide: How to Make Mexican Slaw

Jump to Recipe Instructions

Testing Notes from Robyn

If you’re looking for a simple side dish for enchiladas and chilis, or even a Mexican slaw for fish tacos or carnitas, this simple coleslaw recipe is it!

While not an authentic Mexican recipe, this cabbage slaw leans on Mexican-inspired flavors and ingredients, and pairs perfectly with Mexican-inspired dishes.

I used the best (mayo-free!) Mexican-inspired honey chipotle dressing for this simple coleslaw, with some small tweaks to the original recipe.

And the great thing about this dressing is that you can mix it up ahead of time to have on hand (it lasts in the fridge for 1-2 weeks), so this recipe is even easier to throw together for any meal.

Enchiladas and enchilada skillets really are excellent one-pot meals, but this slaw is tangy, slightly sweet and savory, and has a little kick from the chipotles that livens up and brightens any Tex-Mex dish.

It is also a refreshing side to any warm and cozy bowl of chili. I especially love it with my vegetarian chili, white chicken chili, and chicken chili – it just adds such a fresh touch.

What to Do With Extra Chipotle

If you have leftover chipotle in adobo after making this recipe, freeze it for the next time you make this recipe in a small zip top bag. Bonus, you don’t even have to defrost next time you use it – just slice off what you need!

Closeup image of a bowl of cabbage and carrot slaw.

Make it Even Easier

Similar to my creamy cabbage slaw, this crunchy coleslaw comes together in just 15 minutes even with all the chopping.

However, if you want to save even more time and make prep ultra simple, use a bagged coleslaw mix (look for a bag without the dressing included) as well as pre-shredded carrots.

Ingredient Substitutions

Feel free to customize this recipe based on your preferences and what you have on hand.

Red onions can sub for green onions, and purple cabbage can sub for green cabbage, or do a mix of red and green cabbage for a more vibrant slaw!

Also, the cilantro is totally optional.

While I think it adds a lot of flavor to the slaw, I know it’s not everyone’s favorite, and it can be left out.

Overhead image of a bowl of carrots and cabbage slaw with two serving spoons sticking out of it.

How to This Slaw Ahead of Time

The perfect fresh vegetable side dish for so many meals (especially if you like Tex-Mex food like me, this slaw is a great dish to have ready in the fridge. 

To keep the salad fresh and crunchy, simply prepare the cabbage, carrots, green onion, and carrots in a bowl and cover for up to 3 days.

Prepare the dressing, separately, and cover (this will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks). When ready to eat, toss and serve. 

This Recipe Is…

Closeup image of a bowl of cabbage and carrot slaw.
5 stars (5 ratings)

Mexican Slaw (for Tacos & More!)

Ready in 15 minutes and ultra easy to prep, this zesty and fresh Mexican slaw is the perfect topping for tacos, or as a aside dish for enchiladas, chilis, and More. It’s a versatile coleslaw veggie side dish made without mayo, featuring crunchy cabbage, grated carrots, and a smokey-sweet dressing that’s fast and easy.

Ingredients

For the Honey Chipotle Dressing

  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced chipotle peppers , from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup avocado oil, or other neutral flavored oil such as canola

For the Mexican Slaw

  • 6-7 cups thinly sliced cabbage, or 1 (16-oz) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 cups shredded or grated carrots
  • ½ cup sliced green onion
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, add the garlic, salt, chipotle, and honey, lime juice, and whisk to combine. Slowly stream in the avocado oil and whisk until well combined.
  • Add the cabbage, carrots, green onion, and cilantro, tossing to coat. 
  • Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes for the dressing to absorb, then serve.

Notes

See blog post for ingredient substitutions, serving suggestions, storage, and more.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 132kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 335mg, Potassium: 298mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 7373IU, Vitamin C: 32mg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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