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This lightly dressed coleslaw is crunchy, creamy, and cool. It takes the idea of traditional coleslaw and adds the zest of lime, pop of cilantro, and zing of hot sauce to really take things up a notch.
Ingredients for this recipe
- Cabbage – green and purple
- Fresh Lime
- Full Fat Yogurt
- Hot Sauce
- Kosher Salt
I used to not like coleslaw. I thought it was weird and slimy and didn’t have much of an affinity for cabbage. Then, when I realized coleslaw could be more than sad, tiny shreds of cabbage bogged down by a heavy and overpowering dressing my whole world changed. Enter – cilantro lime coleslaw!
Coleslaw without Vinegar
Coleslaw is traditionally made with a dressing that is equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise with a heavy splash of vinegar thrown in. Now, there definitely needs to be something acidic in the dressing to cut down on the richness of the mayo and sour cream, but, for me, it’s not vinegar.
Vinegar is often overpowering and too strong of a flavor that ends up competing with the cabbage instead of complementing it. Enter – citrus juice! It’s the right amount of acidic without being overpowering and the flavor of lime is so delightful with the other ingredients of this recipe.
Coleslaw without Sour Cream
Another traditional component of deli coleslaw is sour cream. Lots of it. While I do have an affinity for sour cream, I find it to be too heavy for this recipe. Substituting full fat yogurt offers that same rich, creamy dairy component but cuts down on calories and weight. Whole Milk Greek Yogurt can also be used, if desired.
How to make this Cilantro Lime Coleslaw Recipe:
- Make the dressing. Whisk everything for the dressing together at the bottom of a big bowl. Using a large bowl means this is a one bowl recipe and that’s absolutely divine. (Pro Tip – mix the whole thing in a large Tupperware container with a lid to save on doing even more dishes.)
- Slice the veggies. With a sharp kitchen knife or a large vegetable peeler. We want to get those really thin cabbage ribbons for this dish. Cut with the grain of the cabbage, so that when you’re looking down at the cabbage the outer most leaves are facing up toward you and where the core was is facing down on the cutting board.
- Mix and adjust. This recipe comes together in no time at all! It’s just a matter of mixing the dressing, preparing the vegetables, and then mixing it all together. Always taste and adjust the seasoning after it’s been mixed.
Ways to serve coleslaw
My favorite way to serve this cilantro lime coleslaw is piled high on a pulled pork sandwich. But it’s also great on top of tacos (think shrimp or fish) and nachos! It’s great when paired with ribs or bbq chicken, too!
Storing Leftover Coleslaw
Coleslaw does not have a long shelf life. It can be made a day in advance if you’re preparing it for a gathering or backyard barbecue, but after the first day, the colors from the purple cabbage and the carrot will start to bleed into the dressing and discolor the whole dish.
It is still edible, but not just as pretty. Store leftovers for up to three days but be sure to discard if the slaw begins to turn brown, becomes slimy, and/or smells sour.
Watch the recipe video!
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
For the dressing:
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup full fat plain yogurt
- 2 limes zested and juiced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Hot sauce to taste
For the slaw:
- 10 ounces green cabbage (about ¼ of a large head)
- 4 ounces red cabbage (about ¼ of a small head)
- 1 large carrot (or two small ones)
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
For the dressing:
- In a large glass bowl, whisk together the mayo, yogurt, lime juice, zest, salt, and hot sauce until smooth. Be sure the bowl is large enough to accommodate the veggies, we’re doing all our mixing in this one bowl!
For the slaw:
- Prepare the veggies for slaw. Using a very sharp knife, or large vegetable peeler, shred the cabbages into tiny ribbons. Shred the carrot on a large box grater. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves.
- Toss all of the prepared vegetables into the bowl with the dressing. Stir to combine and be sure the slaw is evenly mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning – adding more salt or hot sauce if necessary. Chill until ready to serve.
- Slaw can be made up to one day in advance and will last in the refrigerator for up to three days. Any longer and the color from the carrot and purple cabbage will leak out into the dressing and the whole thing will be a muddy and unpleasant looking mess.
- Sour cream or whole milk plain Greek yogurt can be used in place of the plain yogurt in this recipe, if desired.