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Here’s a fast and easy fish taco slaw! Make this simple recipe to go with any type of shrimp or fish tacos: it takes just 5 minutes to throw together.

Fish taco slaw

Making fish tacos and need a slaw topping? Here’s a quick and dirty recipe to have slaw in no time! This fish taco slaw is all about speed. Some slaw recipes take lots of time to chop all the vegetables and mix up a vinaigrette. But who wants to spend 20 minutes on a slaw when you’re also making tacos! This fast slaw recipe pares it down to the essentials so you can whip it up in a flash. We’ve also got even more shortcuts for saving time. Ready to get started?

Ingredients for fish taco slaw

Slaw can become more time consuming the more vegetables you add. This fish taco slaw is just the bare essentials so you can make it in a flash. Why add slaw to a taco? Slaw adds a crunchy texture and tangy flavor. Here’s the easiest way to get that fast! The ingredients in fish taco slaw are:

  • Red cabbage: You can also use a mix of red and green cabbage if you have it! More on that below
  • Carrot: Carrot is used mainly for color! You can skip it if you’re running low on time
  • Green onion: Adds just the right savory flair
  • Lime juice: All you need is a little lime juice for a tangy pop
  • Celery salt: This is not required, but the intrigue of the celery flavor adds just the right nuance to this slaw! But you can use plain old kosher salt and it’s still good.
Fish taco slaw

Use a mix of red and green cabbage if you like

Many slaw recipes use two varieties of cabbage: both red and green. But we find using two cabbage varieties makes things more complicated, so we like using just red cabbage here. When we buy both varieties, always end up with two half unused cabbage heads in the fridge. Of course you can use leftovers for this amazing sauteed cabbage…so all is not lost.

How to cut cabbage…the fast way!

Here’s a trick for how to cut cabbage: the fast way! We spent too many years not knowing this trick. When I’d try to cut cabbage, I’d hack at it and get lots of uneven pieces and my knife would always slip. (Not so safe, really!) Then we researched best practices for cabbage, and this method works like a charm. Here it is, plus a quick video to show you how it’s done:

  1. Slice off the root: Remove any tough outer layers of the cabbage and discard them. With a large chef’s knife, slice off the root of the cabbage.
  2. Quarter it: Slice the head in half through the stem. Then cut it into quarters.
  3. Slice out the root: Remove the root of the cabbage by cutting it out with two diagonal slices.
  4. Slice crosswise: Thinly slice the wedge in the short direction, using a circular motion with the knife.

Serve it with a slotted spoon (really)

Chop those veggies and combine them with lime juice and salt. It will make a quick, fresh slaw that has huge flavor! You’ll be surprised at how well it works. You barely need a recipe for this one, so once you’ve made it once, just memorize it and use this concept for all your tacos! Here are a few tips for serving this slaw:

  • Freshest is best. It’s actually at its peak limey flavor right away! No need to let it sit for the flavors to meld. At this point, it’s not too watery either.
  • Serve with a slotted spoon. As the slaw sits, it picks up moisture. If you want to make it ahead, you can. Just know there will be more liquid! Make sure to serve it with a slotted spoon so that moisture doesn’t end up in your taco.
Fish taco slaw

How to make it into fish tacos

Need a fish taco recipe too? We’ve got all the components you need to make the best tacos out there:

  • Fish Taco Seasoning Add this seasoning blend as a dry rub to any white fish: tilapia, cod or mahi mahi
  • Fish Taco Sauce Then dollop with this creamy fish taco sauce starring lime and hot sauce. Delicious!

More taco slaw recipes

Want a few more ideas outside of this fish taco slaw? We have a few more slaws we like to make for tacos so you can change it up. Here are some ideas:

  • Mexican Coleslaw This slaw is full of big flavor! It has a few more ingredients, but it’s worth the time.
  • Shrimp Taco Slaw This one is even easier: it’s barely even a slaw! Just slice green cabbage and red onion and add lime over the top.
Fish taco slaw

This fish taco slaw recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free (without the fish, that is!).

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Fish taco slaw

Fish Taco Slaw (Fast & Easy!)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 cups, enough for 8 tacos 1x


Here’s a fast and easy fish taco slaw! Make this simple recipe to go with any type of shrimp or fish tacos: it takes just 5 minutes to throw together.


  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage (or a mix of red and green cabbage)
  • 1 shredded or grated carrot (optional)
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt (or substitute kosher salt)


  1. Thinly slice the cabbage. Shred or grate the carrot (we used a handheld julienne peeler). Thinly slice the green onion.
  2. Place the cabbage, carrots and green onion in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, salt and celery salt. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon. (The slaw picks up moisture as it sits; if you plan to let it sit, make sure to serve with the slotted spoon to strain out the moisture.)
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Fish taco slaw

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. I found the lime juice made it too sour, despite the sweetness of the cabbage and carrots. I added rice vinegar and it made it a lot more balanced, but still with plenty of acid. I’ll use rice vinegar only going forward. Thanks for the recipe!