Spicy Lime Coleslaw is a delicious easy side dish and everyone who likes lime will love this spicy coleslaw. I love the small amount of carrots for color, but just omit carrots if you want fewer carbs!

PIN this spicy lime coleslaw to try it later!

Spicy Lime Coleslaw in serving bowl on green-white napkin

Back in April I mentioned that people on social media were telling me that famous lecturer and author Brené Brown had given a shout-out for my Spicy Lime Coleslaw in one of her podcasts. That recipe was back in the archives with really old photos, so of course I immediately added it to my list to take better pictures, and now I’m happy to finally be updating this coleslaw recipe that’s also one of my own favorites!

And taking new photos has re-kindled my love for this recipe; I’ve been keeping the mixture of chopped cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a container in the fridge with a jar of the spicy dressing mixed up, and I just mix up up a bowlful when I get a craving for that spicy lime flavor!

This lime coleslaw recipe is easy and tasty, but it almost didn’t make an appearance on the blog! Years ago I made it at least three times before it ever occurred to me that it might be a recipe people would like to see here. I first made it as a variation of Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro on a day when I didn’t have cilantro. The next time I made it as a quick side dish, I had shredded carrots in the fridge so I threw some of those in.

And when I loved this combination with the carrots so much and realized I didn’t miss the cilantro, that’s when I decided I had to post the recipe! I know there are some people who (gasp) don’t like cilantro, so this spicy lime coleslaw is great if you’re one of those cilantro-averse people, but everyone who likes lime is probably going to like this salad! 

What ingredients do you need?

  • green cabbage
  • red cabbage
  • grated or shredded carrots (optional, but good)
  • sliced green onion
  • mayo (see notes)
  • fresh squeezed lime juice, I used my fresh-frozen lime juice
  • Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), or use other hot sauce of your choice
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

How to keep lime juice on hand for this recipe:

One of my best cooking tips ever is to squeeze the juice from fresh limes and lemons and freezer it. And that fresh-frozen lime juice is what I always use for this recipe.

Will this lime coleslaw Keep in the Fridge?

This is a perfect recipe to chop up the cabbage, carrots, and green onions on the weekend and keep a container of it in the fridge, but don’t mix on the spicy dressing until just before you serve it or the red cabbage will make the whole salad turn pink. If I was making this ahead for lunches, I’d have a container of the cabbage mixture in the fridge with separate containers of dressing to mix in right when I ate the salad.

process shots collage for Spicy Lime Coleslaw

How to Make Spicy Lime Coleslaw:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe, including nutritional information.)

  1. Finely slice and then coarsely chop 1/2 head green cabbage (about 4 cups green cabbage.) I used a Mandoline Slicer (affiliate link) with the 3mm blade, but you can slice with a big knife if you don’t have a mandoline.
  2. Finely slice and then coarsely chop 1/2 head red cabbage (about 2 cups red cabbage.)
  3. Grate 1/2 cup carrots (or use pre-shredded carrots like I did and give them a few chops.) Omit carrots and use a bit more cabbage if you want less carbs.
  4. Slice 1/2 cup green onion.
  5. Whisk together the mayo, lime juice, and Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) or other hot sauce of your choice.
  6. Right before you’re going to serve the coleslaw, stir in the dressing and season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper. Enjoy!

Spicy Lime Coleslaw shown in serving bowl with fork and dish of cut limes

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

This Spicy Lime Coleslaw would be tasty served with Air Fryer Fish Sticks, Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil or Low-Carb Baked Chicken Nuggets for a low-carb meal any day of the week. 

More Tasty Recipes for Coleslaw:

Napa Cabbage Asian Slaw

Blue Cheese Coleslaw 

Val’s Sweet Cabbage Slaw

Spicy Cilantro-Peanut Slaw

Kalyn’s Low-Carb Coleslaw

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Spicy Lime Coleslaw square image of finished salad
Yield: 4 servings

Spicy Lime Coleslaw

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Spicy Lime Coleslaw is so easy and interesting for a low-carb side dish.


  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage, thinly sliced then coarsely chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced then coarsely chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded carrots, lightly chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 4 T mayo (see notes)
  • 3 T fresh squeezed lime juice (see notes)
  • 1 tsp green Tabasco sauce (or use other hot sauce of your choice)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Thinly slice and then chop the 1/2 head of green cabbage and the 1/2 head of red cabbage and place in bowl.
  2. Grate and chop the carrots (or use matchstick carrots like I did and coarsely chop them.)
  3. Slice green onions and put carrots and green onions in the bowl with cabbage.
  4. Whisk together the mayo, lime juice, and Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link). Taste the dressing to see if you want it a bit more sour or spicy.
  5. Salad can be prepared to this point and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. (It will keep in the fridge for a few days if it’s in a sealed container or bag with the dressing in a separate container.)
  6. Just before serving, mix desired amount of dressing into the cabbage mixture, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and serve.


I used almost 4 cups green cabbage and about 2 cups red cabbage. I like matchstick carrots in a bag, which are a bit thicker than grated carrots, or omit carrots and use a bit more cabbage if you prefer. Use light or regular mayo, or a combination, whichever you prefer. I used my frozen fresh lime juice.

This recipe can easily be doubled and was adapted from Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro that was originally found in Fine Cooking Annual 2008.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

square image of Spicy Lime Coleslaw in serving bowl

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Due to the carrots included in the mix, Spicy Lime Coleslaw would be for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet, and you may want to omit the carrots if you’re wanting to keep the carbs as low as possible. South Beach Recommends light mayo, but other low-carb plans will prefer full-fat mayo!

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This lime coleslaw recipe was first posted in 2011. It was updated with better photos in 2020 and was updated again with more information in 2022.

Pinterest image of Spicy Lime Coleslaw

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