Mexican Coleslaw in 5 Minutes

(1 vote)
3 minutes
April 18, 2024
Andi GleesonJump to Recipe
This easy Mexican coleslaw is a 5-minute side dish recipe perfect for dinner!

This 5-minute Mexican Coleslaw is just the quick side dish recipe you’ve been looking for it. Perfect for Taco Tuesdays or any other night of the week!

I often serve Mexican food like enchiladas or tostadas with shredded cabbage instead of lettuce because I like the crunch and extra vitamins.  Sometimes, we’re having something that is hard to balance lettuce on top of like taquitos or nachos. Of course we should still eat some sort of vegetable on those occasions, so I came up with this SUPER EASY Mexican coleslaw recipe.  Seriously, this took 5 minutes to make and was really tasty.  This light, crispy, tangy, and slightly spicy side dish is a perfect match with any Mexican fare. It also works great on top of tacos or inside burritos.

If you need a quick recipe, you can make this and eat it five minutes later, but it’s even better if you have time to make it ahead. It’s fresh and crispy immediately, but the flavors come together more after a few hours. When I made it to enjoy with our Salmon Taquitos last week, I made it a full 24 hours ahead of time. It tasted so good after the flavors marinated for a day! (Just be sure to store it in your refrigerator of course.)

Mexican Coleslaw pairs perfectly with taquitos, enchiladas, or any Mexican fare!

Even if you aren’t usually a coleslaw fan, you might like this recipe. I’ve never really liked coleslaw that much. I think I mostly tried it as a kid at church potlucks and Captain D’s. (Is that place still around?) It was always overly mayonnaise-y, watery, sweet, and just kind of yuck. This version is not any of those things. The lime adds tartness, and there’s not enough mayonnaise to make it too creamy. I personally think this is way better than traditional coleslaw. I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

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This easy Mexican coleslaw is a 5-minute side dish recipe perfect for dinner!

Mexican Coleslaw in 5 Minutes

This delicious and easy coleslaw recipe is crispy, tangy, and slightly spicy.

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x





  1. In a large bowl, add mayonnaise, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, and hot sauce. Whisk together until smooth.
  2. Add shredded cabbage and cilantro, and toss to coat. Serve immediately, or store in refrigerator for a few hours before enjoying.


  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Mexican

How to make your Mexican Coleslaw even better

One thing I always appreciate about coleslaw is how easily you can add to it to make it more colorful and flavorful. Here are some additional things you can do to really make your coleslaw shine.

  • substitute 1/3 of the green cabbage for red cabbage to add more color
  • add 1/4 or 1/2 a cup of shredded radish for a little more pepper flavor
  • add 1/4 or 1/2 a cup of shredded carrot to give the coleslaw a slight sweetness
  • substitute the olive oil for sesame oil which gives the coleslaw a really great flavor but will not overpower it
  • substitute the mayonnaise with sour cream or plain greek yogurt

You can do any one or all of these modifications and substitutions and have a great coleslaw! I always think the best recipes are ones that allow you to easily substitute or modify. Just like this Mexican coleslaw recipe.

I think you’ll also enjoy this recipe:

You won't believe how easy it is to make these fun BBQ Chicken Tacos! Your family will love this dinner!

Andi Gleeson


9 months ago

This turned out really well, perfect topper for bean and guac tostadas. Cumin is a strong flavor so I only used half what it called for and it was just perfect, and I also try to reduce sodium where I can so only used half the salt called for and also exactly right for us. The lime gives it a really nice fresh flavor, and I love that there’s only a little mayo but just enough to make it a little creamy. I wouldn’t eat this on it’s own as a coleslaw, but as a topper it’s perfect. Thank you for the easy, no frills, inexpensive recipe. (p.s. I used exactly 8 oz green, well-chopped cabbage.)

Nichole P
4 years ago

Needs a little extra salt and some pepper

4 years ago

This was great. A big A+ from hubby and myself.

5 years ago

this was dreadful, I will not waste time making this again. Lime overpowered everything in this otherwise lack luster recipe.

5 years ago

Delicious! I had red cabbage and a slaw blend ready so I mixed those. I was out of Cholula, so I used Tapatio. I also used a key lime. Zesty and yummy! Will go well with spicy tofu tacos! Thanks for sharing!

Donna Johnson
5 years ago

Give the recipe

6 years ago

What on earth makes this a Mexican Slaw?! There’s not even any color to it. This recipe is ok to have with fish or something along that line but it’s definitely not a Mexican Slaw.

5 years ago

Hi Mary,
It’s very authentic Mexican slaw being there’s cilantro, lime juice, cumin and hot sauce :)

6 years ago

ANDI- Love yr recipes. I will make this using 1/2 red cabbage that I will pulse in the food processor, I am gluten free & I will add 2 tsp green chili pwdr, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp each garlic & onion pwdr, 1/2 cup homemade salsa, 1 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp turmeric pwdr (good for brain & memory function), salt & pepper. I will let you know how it turns out. I am southeast of you. >– waving to Andi…

12 months ago

I love it!! I’m never going back to lettuce!!!

Meghan @ The Tasty Fork
11 years ago

I love an easy side to a Mexican dinner! Sounds really good! Perfect with tacos!

The Weary Chef
11 years ago

Thanks, Meghan! We eat Mexican at least once a week, so I think I will be making this often!

11 years ago

I love this idea. Why not?

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