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Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro (Video)

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro is a perfect low-carb side dish for Mexican food, and this is salad I make over and over. 

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Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro!


Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this weekend, and if you’re making any kind of Mexican dinner to celebrate I want to remind you about this Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro thats absolutely perfect for a low-carb side dish for Mexican food.  I’m not sure I could ever pick my number one favorite salad recipe, but Spicy Mexican Slaw is a salad I’ve been crazy over for years.

This recipe has so many of my favorite ingredients that when I first tried the salad (in 2008!) after one bite I knew I’d be making it over and over again. Since then this has become a regular offering for family parties and wedding showers, with one bowl with cilantro and another bowl for the cilantro-haters with lots of thinly sliced green onion replacing the cilantro. And I always use plenty of Green Tabasco Sauce for a spicy kick, although any hot sauce you like can be used. If you like cabbage salads at all, I urge you to try this salad; I bet you’ll love it just as much as I do.

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

How to Make Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro:

(Scroll Down for complete printable recipe.)

  1. Whisk together the mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce to make the dressing. (Start with smaller amounts of lime juice and hot sauce and taste it until it seems perfect to you.)
  2. Thinly slice the green and red cabbage. (This is easiest and you’ll get best results with a mandoline slicer (affiliate link).
  3. Chop green onions and cilantro and mix with the cabbage, then stir in just enough dressing to moisten the slaw.
  4. Season with salt or Vege-Sal to taste, and devour!

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

This is best freshly made, but I’ve eaten leftovers for breakfast many times after they’d been in the fridge overnight, not minding at all that the red cabbage turns the salad pink when it sits. And I wouldn’t mind a bit having this in the fridge for a quick lunch!

Going Crazy Over Cabbage Salad:

Ridiculously Easy Blue Cheese Coleslaw ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Vietnamese Cold Chicken Salad ~ A Spicy Perspective
Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Bacon and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Hoisin Snap Pea and Red Cabbage Slaw ~ Cookin’ Canuck
Red Cabbage and Chicken Asian Salad with Tangy Cilantro Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crunchy Asian Cabbage Slaw with Peanut Dressing ~ Little Ferraro Kitchen
Puerto Rican Spicy Cabbage Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week! If you want to make this for Weekend Food Prep, you can store the leftover cabbage and dressing separately and add dressing to each serving right before you eat it.

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

This Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw is a salad that I make all the time, and I think this is a perfect side dish.


Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (You can use all green or all red cabbage.)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, or more
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or more (If you’re not a cilantro fan just use more green onion.)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 4 T mayo (or a little more if you like your salad with lots of dressing)
  • 3 T fresh lime juice; more or less to taste (see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste (See notes.)
  • salt to taste (I used Vege-Sal which I greatly prefer over regular salt for this salad.)


  1. In small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together, mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce. (Start with less than the full amount of lime juice and hot sauce and keep adding until you have the desired blend of sour/hot flavor.)
  2. Thinly slice cabbage, using a mandoline slicer  if you have one.
  3. Slice green onions.
  4. Wash, dry and chop cilantro. (I use a Mini salad spinner to wash herbs and spin them dry.)
  5. Combine cabbage, green onions and cilantro in large salad bowl.
  6. Use a wooden spoon to mix dressing into cabbage mixture.
  7. Season to taste with salt or Vege-Sal (affiliate link) and serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.
  8. This salad will keep well overnight in the refrigerator, but the lime juice will cause the red cabbage to bleed color and turn the salad slightly pink. If you’re making extra you might want to use all green cabbage, although I didn’t mind the pink color at all when I ate the leftovers!
  9. Another good strategy if you’re not cooking for many people is to chop the cabbage and green onion and mix the dressing for the full amount and store in the fridge, then chop cilantro and stir salad together in smaller amounts as you’re going to eat it.


If you’re not crazy about sour and hot flavors, start with a smaller amount of lime and hot sauce and add more to the dressing until it tastes good to you. I like this best with Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link), but I’ve made it with Sriracha Sauce (affiliate link) many times. Any hot sauce will work, but hot sauce that’s orange will turn the cabbage pink if it’s refrigerated overnight.

Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual 2008.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro is a perfect side dish for most any low-carb eating plans, including any phase of the South Beach Diet, and it’s also gluten-free, meatless, vegan, and can be Paleo or Whole 30 with approved mayo and hot sauce. South Beach would prefer low-fat mayo; other low-carb diets would prefer full-fat, so take your choice on that.

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

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    106 Comments on “Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro (Video)”

  1. Yum, this sounds so good! I have everything that I need except lime juice. I know this is probably crucial, but I hate to make a run to the store. Is there any substitution you think I could make or just omit?

  2. Lara, thanks. And you really can do it for the rest of your life. (Of course every so often you will go off the wagon and eat things that aren’t really allowed, but then just start right back again!0

  3. I am a new reader and I just love your blog! It has become my go-to source for encouragement and recipes (I’m in week 2 of Phase 1). Thanks for another great recipe! Even my picky 11yo loves this coleslaw 🙂 You make me feel like I can really do this for the rest of my life!

  4. yum, i’m such a cabbage fan and this slaw looks great!

  5. Your slaw looks so colorful. Love those combination

  6. I have to try this one some time with fish tacos as everyone seems to be suggesting. Here is a good, healthy fish taco recipe http://www.chefmd.com/recipe_display.php?id=44 Like you said cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse; it’s been associated with a 40% reduced risk of ovarian cancer. Pretty good for colorful cabbage and tacos. If you are interested, you should look at more of the information on the ChefMD site.

  7. Jhonie, I’m guessing you mean the calorie or carb content? I don’t count carbs or calories so if you want to know that you will have to calculate it yourself.

  8. mmmm yummi …. what the content is?

  9. Never tire of cabbage. I need to use more of it. I like the idea of just having it on hand and tossing it in whenever…
    I wouldn’t salt/wilt it either…
    Crunchy is always best.
    I’m going to plant my cilantro soon…We’ll see….

  10. Gorgeous coleslaw! As my father was recently diagnosed with diabetes so I can see myself trying a lot more of your healthier and low GI recipes for him 🙂 This may be the start as he adores coleslaw!

  11. Lime and cilantro, my two favorites! Can’t wait to try this!

  12. I’m a big fan of cruciferous veggies also! But I don’t have a lot of time to cook, so every week or so I buy a bag of red and green shredded cabbage and a bag of shredded broccoli. I mix the two together and dump a bit of Marazetti coleslaw dressing on top. Then I’m ready to eat lunch or fast snacks for the rest of the week!

  13. I love this, there can never be enough slaw recipes in my opinion. It sounds fresh, crunchy and delicious.

  14. KBo, thanks for the feedback. I think hot pepper flakes is a great idea!

  15. You are so right about every ingredient being perfect! I made this last night and also added some red pepper flakes in addition to a few drops of hot sauce…it was perfect!

    I will definitely make this again, thanks for the recipe.

  16. I enjoyed visiting your blog– wonderful flavors!

  17. Stephanie, so glad to hear you liked it, and thanks for the nice feedback!

  18. thanks so much– i made this straightaway last night with some blackened chicken breasts– it is my new favorite! i love your site!!!! i am on SBD and you inspire me everyday. thanks!

  19. Oh Kalyn, the ingredients are also favorites of mine especially lime & cilantro (coriander). Yum & colorful to boot! Cheers!

  20. You know… I never, ever make slaw because my hubby doesn’t like to eat it, but maybe if i try something different like this! It looks so good!