Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

This easy Mexican coleslaw recipe is deliciously fresh and tangy, featuring cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. Perfect as a side or on tacos!

Mexican coleslaw recipe

You can’t have too many coleslaw recipes, right? Alex and I rediscovered our love for the stuff after creating our famous Best Creamy Coleslaw recipe. It’s just the right balance of tangy, savory, and sweet, perfect on our Swiss Melts with Russian dressing. But for a healthy spin that’s little lighter and fresher, here’s another delicious coleslaw recipe for you. This Mexican coleslaw has no mayo, and instead focuses on fresh flavors: crunchy cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. It’s got both cumin seed and ground cumin for a double hit of flavor. Oh–and it doubles as a taco topping. Keep reading for the recipe!

Mexican coleslaw

How to make Mexican coleslaw

This Mexican coleslaw is a fantastic summer side dish, and perfect on tacos too. We created it for our Grilled Shrimp Tacos, but it truly works on any taco (see below!). It’s very simple to whip up, and requires no wait time in the refrigerator either! Many coleslaw recipes require melding in the fridge for an hour or so, but this Mexican coleslaw is perfect right away. A unique feature of this recipe is that it has both cumin seed and ground cumin: to really bring out that cumin-y flavor! It’s very easy to make: the hardest part is the knife skills to chop up all the veggies.

Here’s how to make Mexican coleslaw:

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage.
  2. Shred the carrot, thinly slice the red onion onion, and chop the cilantro.
  3. Mix the vegetables together with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, cumin seed, ground cumin, kosher salt and pepper. Serve immediately!
Mexican coleslaw

Storing leftovers

An important note on this Mexican coleslaw: it does taste best right away. If you want to make it in advance, we’d recommend slicing up the veggies and keeping the olive oil, vinegar and spices separate. Then mix them up directly prior to serving.

If you do have leftovers, you can store them refrigerated. The coleslaw may lose a little flavor over time, you could refresh the flavor with another splash of vinegar, drizzle of olive oil, and pinch of kosher salt.

How to cut cabbage

How to cut cabbage

Since one of the most time-consuming parts of making this Mexican coleslaw is cutting the cabbage, here’s a trick that makes it much easier! I used to cut it in half and then hack at it until I got some “shreds.” Sometimes my knife would slip and they’d be super uneven. (Is this you, too?) This new method changed the game for me. Here I am in our home kitchen demonstrating the best way to cut cabbage: it makes cutting up the cabbage for coleslaw a breeze!

How to serve Mexican coleslaw

And that’s it: all you need to know about how to make coleslaw! Let us know if you try it out in the comments below.

Now, this Mexican coleslaw is a perfect side dish for summer, and it also works fabulously on tacos. We recently served it for a patio party with our grilled shrimp tacos and it was a huge hit! Tacos are perfect for entertaining, especially accompanied by some frozen alcoholic drinks (am I right?!). Here are a few different ways we’d serve this coleslaw:

What else would you serve it with? Let us know in the comments below: and go forth and COLESLAW!

Mexican coleslaw

Looking for side dish recipes?

Outside of this Mexican coleslaw recipe, here are a few more side dish recipes we love:

This recipe is…

This Mexican coleslaw recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, vegan, and refined sugar free.

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Mexican coleslaw

Mexican Coleslaw Recipe


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x

Description

This easy Mexican coleslaw recipe is deliciously fresh and tangy, featuring cabbage, red onion, cilantro, and cumin. Perfect as a side or on tacos!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 cups shredded cabbage (1/2 large or 1 medium head green cabbage; or do half red cabbage and half green)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (1 large or 2 medium carrots)
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the cabbage. Shred the carrot. Thinly slice the red onion. Finely chop the cilantro.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately. (Make ahead: slice the veggies in advance and store refrigerated. Mix together with the vinegar, olive oil, cumin seed, ground cumin, salt and pepper directly before serving. Store leftovers refrigerated; if you find the flavor needs refreshing, add a splash of vinegar, drizzle of olive oil and pinch of kosher salt to taste.)

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired

Keywords: Mexican Coleslaw, Coleslaw Recipe, Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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