Lime Cilantro Slaw

Fresh, bright Lime Cilantro Slaw tastes good any time of the year.  The perfect side to rich and fatty mains, spicy food, and anything barbecued!

cilantro slaw in large bowl with two smaller bowls

I love coleslaw.  I love the vinegary kind and I love the mayo-y kind.  When it comes to coleslaw, I don’t discriminate.  I love them ALL.

If you don’t know yet, I grew up eating kimchi (almost) every day.  Kimchi is the national food of South Korea.  Kimchi is also a fermented food and amazingly good for you.  But what I love most about kimchi is the way it makes EVERYTHING taste better. It’s really the perfect side.

I think that’s why I love coleslaw so much. Coleslaw has that crunchy, tangy, pickled thing going on. Tastes great with BBQ. Cuts through the richness of fatty meats. Or anything fried. That acidic, crunchy bite makes everything tastier! Just like kimchi. 😉

My slaw contains lime, lime zest, cilantro, and minced jalapeño.  Honestly, what wouldn’t taste good with this?  

Lime Cilantro Slaw is the perfect side to jerk chicken, burgers, ribs, hot dogs, and fried chicken. Basically, anything that is fatty or fried or spicy will taste good with a side of this fresh and crunchy salad!

My slaw also serves a lot of people.  If you’ve ever hosted a gathering, you can feed a lot of people with one head of cabbage.  Slaw, in general, is a very cost-effective party food. 

Make Lime Cilantro Slaw one of your standard salads during barbecue season this summer!  It’s not just another boring coleslaw. Fresh and bright, crunchy and herbal-y. It’s the secret star of the meal that everyone will love, including you.

Lime Cilantro Slaw

Fresh, bright Lime Cilantro Slaw tastes good any time of the year.  The perfect side to rich and fatty mains, spicy food, and anything barbecued.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cilantro, Lime, Slaw
Servings: 8 people
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam


  • 6 cups cabbage finely shredded (1 small head)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup lime juice about 2-3 limes
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 jalapeño minced (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Pour the dressing over the shredded cabbage. Mix thoroughly. Add cilantro. Mix again.
    Lime Cilantro coleslaw with dressing and juiced limes and juicer on the side
  • Let the coleslaw sit in the fridge (covered) for about 1 hour. During that time, the cabbage will wilt and the flavors will meld together.
    lime cilantro coleslaw in bowl with tongs
  • When you are ready to serve, bring out of the fridge. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lime juice, salt, and pepper, if needed.
  • There may be additional liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Do not be alarmed, this is quite normal. Liquid is released because of the added salt to the cabbage. To avoid this pool of liquid that collects at the bottom of your coleslaw, you can either pour it out or transfer to a clean serving bowl, leaving the additional liquid behind.


Note: Not all jalapeños are the same; some are spicier than others. You can remove the seeds from the jalapeño if you’d like a milder version, or leave it out entirely.
Also, I’ve included 15 minutes in the prep time for shredding the cabbage.

More Side Inspiration:

Spicy Soba Noodles

Spicy soba noodles in a bowl with tongs

Asian Slaw

ingredients for asian slaw on sheet pan

Gochujang Roasted Carrots

Gochujang Roasted Carrots, platter
30 minutes, All Recipes, Potluck, Salad, Side


  1. Looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing! I made a fantastic New York style cheesecake which you can check out here if you’re a fan of cheesecakes like I am 🙂

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