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Cilantro Lime Slaw for Tacos and More!

Cilantro Lime Slaw – This fresh bright cilantro lime slaw is perfect with tacos, in burrito bowls, and as a fresh side dish. Paleo, (Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly.)

Close-up view of Cilantro Lime Slaw in a glass bowl

This Cilantro Lime Slaw is one of the most frequently made recipes at my house. It shows up on Meatless Mondays, and Taco Tuesdays, and weekend cook-outs, and busy weekdays. I make it as a side dish alllll the time, and while I’ve posted versions of it in several other recipes on the blog, I decided it was time that it gets it’s own spot to land.

What makes cilantro lime slaw one of our favorites? Well, it’s CRAZY versatile, takes only a few simple, inexpensive ingredients, and tastes fantastic in all sorts of applications.

Here’s all it takes to make this amazing cilantro lime slaw recipe…(your tacos and burrito bowls will thank you!)

Ingredients for Cilantro Lime Slaw, ready to be mixed together Cilantro Lime Slaw in a Glass Bowl

HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO MY CILANTRO LIME SLAW RECIPE

  • GREEN CABBAGE OR COLESLAW MIX. I almost always used bagged coleslaw mix for my cilantro lime slaw. It’s SO convenient, usually inexpensive, and I can always toss leftovers into other recipes (see below for ideas!)
  • SHREDDED PURPLE CABBAGE. Then, I typically mix it half and half with purple cabbage. It’s tough to beat that color, and color that deep and bright actually means it’s packed with good-for-you nutrients. Plus, as this slaw sits, the colors become even more vibrant. So pretty!
  • FRESH CILANTRO. Fresh cilantro gives a lovely pop of bright green and is one of the big flavors going on in this slaw. If you’re one of those folks who hate cilantro, this isn’t your recipe. 😉
  • FRESH LIME JUICE. Then, fresh lime juice brings its citrusy goodness into the picture! I love how light and fresh the lime juice makes this slaw. (I don’t recommend bottled lime juice for this recipe as it tends to run tinny and bitter.)
  • A LITTLE HONEY OR AGAVE (IF YOU WANT). This is optional, but I really love adding a tiny amount of honey or agave to this cilantro lime slaw. It gives it those honey-lime vibes I LOVE and helps break down the cabbage a bit to dress the salad. If you’re avoiding added sweeteners, feel free to leave it out!
  • SALT + PEPPER. Then, you’ll just finish things off with some salt and pepper. (Salt helps soften the cabbage and wakes up all the other flavors!)
  • PS – Prefer your slaw to be creamy? Check out the FAQ for our suggestions!

Black Bean Tostadas topped with Cilantro Slaw and Mango Salsa from One Lovely LifeChipotle Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl with green rice, black beans, honey lime slaw, avocado, and jalapeno

NOW, LET’S USE IT! TRY USING THIS CILANTRO SLAW LIKE THIS!

SPOONED INTO TACOS. I developed this cilantro lime slaw for my INCREDIBLE Fish Tacos recipe. The fresh, bright slaw is SO GOOD next to the spice-rubbed fish, avocado, and my tomatillo ranch. But it also works like. a charm with other tacos–Shrimp Tacos, Beef Carnitas, Honey Lime Shrimp, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos, etc.

AS A TOPPING FOR TOSTADAS. One of our family’s favorite easy dinners is tostadas. They’re like open-faced hard shell tacos and we find them easier to eat. You can top them with all kinds of things, but these Black Bean Tostadas with Mango Salsa are our go-to.

FOR BURRITO BOWLS. I love building burrito bowls with seasoned rice, beans, veggies, and more. This fresh slaw is SO GOOD in burrito bowls, whether you use it as a garnish or as a base. (It’s AMAZING as a base for Fish Taco bowls!)

WRAPPED INTO BURRITOS. Or, wrap all those same goodies up into a flour tortilla or grain-free wrap for an amazing burrito. So good.

AS A FRESH SIDE DISH. All that fresh flavor makes this cilantro lime slaw the perfect side dish to things like Honey-Lime Tilapia, seasoned grilled chicken, steak, chicken sausages, and more. It’s SO easy to toss together, which makes it great when you’re short on time.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Tomatillo Ranch Dressing. Plated with sliced jalapeños and lime wedges.

FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST CILANTRO LIME SLAW:

THE EASIEST WAY TO SHRED CABBAGE. If you are shredding your own cabbage, you can shred it with a knife fairly quickly, but using a food processor fitted with a shredding blade will do the job in a FLASH. We’re talking seconds. You simply cut sections small enough to feed into your food processor and the shredder blade does the rest. SO FAST.

HOW FAR CAN I MAKE THIS IN ADVANCE? Once you’ve mixed the cabbage and cilantro with the lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper, it’ll start to soften. For the best texture, it works best if you make this slaw within a few hours of eating it, though it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Just know it’ll continue to soften as it sits.

MIX IT UP! TRY ONE OF THESE YUMMY VARIATIONS ON OUR CILANTRO LIME SLAW.

  • ADD A SPOONFUL OF YOGURT OR MAYO. If you prefer your cilantro lime slaw creamy, add a spoonful or two of mayo or plain yogurt to the mixture.
  • ADD A PINCH OF CHILI POWDER. A little pinch of chili powder adds a smoky note that’s really nice with the cilantro and lime!
  • ADD A LITTLE GREEN ONION. For another savory note, you can add some thinly sliced green onion to the slaw.
  • ADD SOME JALAPEÑO. Or, try adding a bit of kick with a bit of minced or thinly sliced jalapeño!

Freshly mixed Cilantro Lime Slaw in a Glass Bowl

LOVE THIS SLAW RECIPE? HERE’S WHAT TO MAKE WITH THE LEFTOVER CABBAGE!

HELPFUL TOOLS + INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING THIS SLAW:

Print
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Close-up view of Cilantro Lime Slaw in a glass bowl

Cilantro Lime Slaw for Tacos and More!


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 cups slaw 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This yummy cilantro-lime slaw tastes amazing as a side dish, or spooned into tacos, burrito bowls, and more! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups coleslaw mix or shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/41/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 12 tsp. honey or agave (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper (more or less, to taste)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix (or green cabbage), purple cabbage, 1/4 cup cilantro, lime juice, 1 tsp. honey (if using), salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir to combine well. (The slaw may still look a bit dry. Don’t add more liquid yet!)
  3. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes on the counter or in the refrigerator. (The cabbage will soften, and the mixture will get “juicier”)
  4. Stir again and taste. Add additional cilantro, salt, pepper, honey, or lime juice to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days. (Slaw will continue to soften in the refrigerator.)

Notes

MIX IT UP! TRY ONE OF THESE YUMMY VARIATIONS ON OUR CILANTRO LIME SLAW.

  • ADD A SPOONFUL OF YOGURT OR MAYO. If you prefer your cilantro lime slaw creamy, add a spoonful or two of mayo or plain yogurt to the mixture.
  • ADD A PINCH OF CHILI POWDER. A little pinch of chili powder adds a smoky note that’s really nice with the cilantro and lime!
  • ADD A LITTLE GREEN ONION. For another savory note, you can add some thinly sliced green onion to the slaw.
  • ADD SOME JALAPEÑO. Or, try adding a bit of kick with a bit of minced or thinly sliced jalapeño!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: cilantro lime slaw, honey lime slaw, slaw for tacos, cilantro lime slaw for tacos, taco slaw, burrito bowl slaw, fish taco slaw

with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" Cilantro Lime Slaw in a Glass Bowl with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" Freshly mixed Cilantro Lime Slaw in a Glass Bowl with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!" Close-up view of Cilantro Lime Slaw in a glass bowl with text overlay that reads "Vegan + Paleo Cilantro Lime Slaw. Perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more!"

5 Comments

  1. Love this! So very pretty! Bright and fresh and accompanied BBQ ribs and fresh picked sweet corn perfectly. Will consider playing with the other additions but it is scrumptious exactly as it is. I opted to include the honey.

  2. This looks incredible. I only have dried cilantro. Do you think it will work, or should I just omit completely?

    1. Hi Amy! Since cilantro is one of the big flavors in this dish, you’ll have the best results if you can wait until you get a chance to pick up some fresh cilantro. I wouldn’t recommend dried cilantro for this slaw, so if waiting isn’t an option, I’d omit it all together.

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