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Mexican Coleslaw

4.67 from 6 votes

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This Mexican Coleslaw is a perfect side for your favorite Mexican dishes, or your burgers and sandwiches. We actually like this easy chipotle coleslaw dressing so much, we put it on everything!

Bowl of coleslaw in front of cutting board with knife and vegetables

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My Mexican coleslaw recipe is based on a Mexican Slaw recipe from Healthy Girl’s Kitchen. We’ve been making this recipe for years, but I’ve changed it over time. My changes include using walnuts instead of cashews for higher Omega-3 fatty acids. I also swapped out chipotle chili powder for the canned chipotle chilies, and I left out the cilantro (not all my family members care for it) and jalapeno.

This dressing is so easy to make, and comes together in just minutes!

The Mexican slaw is absolutely delicious on tacos and tostadas, or inside burritos and wraps. We like to use the dressing on other dishes, too! It’s my favorite oil free condiment for drizzling on corn on the cob. And it’s been a perfect sauce for my quinoa and veggie bowls.

Chipotle can be quite spicy, so I give a range of measurement for the chipotle chili powder. Feel free to increase or decrease the chipotle powder to meet your flavor preference.

Ingredients for this recipe

Ingredients for Mexican coleslaw
  • Cabbage – I used a combination of green and red cabbage. You can use any type of cabbage you like – red, green, savoy. If you’re short on time, purchase bagged shredded cabbage.
  • Carrots – I love the color and touch of sweetness the carrots add to this slaw
  • Walnuts – the blended walnuts add the creaminess to the dressing. Cashews or slivered almonds could be used instead.
  • Lime juice – fresh squeezed is best, but you can also used bottled lime juice
  • Chipotle chili powder – I’ve opted to use the chipotle chili powder because I always have it on hand, and it makes the dressing quick and easy
  • Maple syrup – a touch of sweetness to offset the tart lime juice
  • Garlic – to add a bit more zest to the dressing
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cilantro – optional. Some people love it, others hate it. In my household we have one who doesn’t mind it, and three who don’t care for it, so I leave it out.
  • Jalapeno – optional. If you want the jalapeno, you can chop it finely and add it to the slaw.

How to make Mexican coleslaw

Bowl of cabbage with small dish of dressing, limes, garlic, and walnuts beside it

This is a super easy recipe to make. Begin by shredding your cabbage and carrots. You can use a food processor or a mandolin to get thin, even slices, or slice by hand. Peel and grate your carrots. I use a salad shooter for grating my carrots. Place the shredded vegetables in a large bowl.

Then just place all of the dressing ingredient, in a blender and blend until the dressing is smooth. I love my Vitamix for blending smooth salad dressings, but the walnuts are soft enough to blend with a less powerful blender.

Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage and stir to combine.

How to serve this chipotle coleslaw

Bowl of coleslaw with limes beside it and cutting board with cabbage in the background
Can I make this vegan Mexican coleslaw ahead of time?

I would begin by making the dressing. It can be refrigerated for up to a week. The vegetables can be shredded a day or two in advance, but I wouldn’t mix the dressing in until you are ready to serve the coleslaw. The dressing will wilt the cabbage if it sits for very long.

What else could I add to this Mexican slaw?

Add more spice with a minced jalapeno. If you’re a cilantro fan, some chopped cilantro is a great addition. Chopped green or red onions, or corn could also make nice additions.

Can I use canned chipotle peppers in this recipe?

Certainly! I would start with just a quarter to a half of a pepper, since the amount of dressing is small. I opt for the dried chipotle powder to I don’t have to store the rest of a can of chipotle chili peppers.

Can something be substituted for the walnuts in this dressing?

Yes! Cashews would make a nice creamy dressing. Almonds would also work. If you need a nut free dressing, try using sunflower seeds. Any of these substitutes will change the flavor of the dressing.

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Bowl of coleslaw with limes beside it and cutting board with cabbage in the background

Mexican Slaw

Teresa Sklenicka
This Mexican Coleslaw is a perfect side for your favorite Mexican dishes, or your burgers and sandwiches. We actually like this easy chipotle coleslaw dressing so much, we put it on everything!
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 62.8 kcal


  • 4 cups shredded cabbage green,, red, and/or savoy
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • dash black pepper


  • Shred the cabbage and grate the carrot, and place the vegetables in a medium bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage, and stir together until well combined.


Use as little or as much chipotle powder as you wish. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more until the flavor is to your liking.
If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, store the dressing and the vegetables separately and mix them together shortly before serving. Once they are mixed together, the leftovers will keep for a couple of days, but the cabbage will become wilted.


Calories: 62.8kcalCarbohydrates: 7.9gProtein: 1.8gFat: 3.4gSodium: 145.9mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3877IUVitamin C: 26.71mgCalcium: 39.4mgIron: 0.54mg
Keyword Cabbage, Quick & Easy, Salad, Side Dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Nutrition calculations are approximate.

By on July 8th, 2021

About Teresa Sklenicka

I love creating tasty, oil-free, vegan recipes that everyone will love (even non-vegans)! Here you'll find vegan versions of your favorite comfort foods, as well as some new tastes! Join me on a path to improving your health, helping the planet, and saving animals.

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3 thoughts on “Mexican Coleslaw”

  1. I made this coleslaw as a sidedish to our homemade burgers (from Will Yeong) and our homebaked burgerbread. We loved the coleslaw and it was perfect as a sidedish to our burgerdinner. Thanks for sharing your recipe!


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