5 from 1 votes

Salsa Coleslaw

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Mexican Salsa coleslaw, full of incredible flavor, is a beautiful, bright, bold, and spicy side dish recipe perfect for summer BBQs, Cinco De Mayo, and weekly Taco Tuesdays. 

All the flavors of fresh salsa, the combination of vegetables, and traditional coleslaw mix pair perfectly with a no-mayo homemade dressing base.

While we love a classic coleslaw recipe, there are a million reasons you will want to make this incredible variation. 

huge bowl of coleslaw side dish recipe.

Why you will love making Mexican Coleslaw!

  • This perfect side dish is easy to make. All you need to do is shred some cabbage (or purchase premade like us!), chop vegetables, and mix everything with a simple homemade dressing.
  • A homemade recipe that is affordable. The ingredients are inexpensive, so you can make a large batch of salsa coleslaw to suit a BBQ, potluck, or picnic for a reasonable price.

  • These simple ingredients are customizable. For example, add diced jalapeño pepper to the dressing if you like spicy food. Or, if you prefer a sweeter tangy flavor, add a diced mango or pineapple (see Hawaiian Coleslaw recipe here) to the dressing.
spicy coleslaw dressing.

Salsa Coleslaw Ingredients

  • coleslaw mix (shredded fresh cabbage & carrots)
  • grape tomatoes
  • finely chopped red onion
  • jalapeno
  • lemon juice

How to make Salsa Coleslaw

  1. Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl and add tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno. Mix fresh veggies well.
  2. Make Salad Dressing – Combine lemon juice, garlic, tajin, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and whisk well. Pour coleslaw dressing on the coleslaw mixture and mix well to coat evenly.
salsa coleslaw with mexican ingredients.
  1. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight for bold flavors to mingle.
  2. Stir the Mexican coleslaw recipe well, and top the coleslaw with chopped fresh cilantro before serving. Salsa coleslaw can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
bbq potluck recipe.

Coleslaw Variations

Here are some variations on salsa coleslaw:

  • Add a diced jalapeño pepper, taco seasoning, or/and fresh lime juice to the dressing for a spicier version.
  • Add a diced mango or pineapple to the dressing for a sweeter version.
  • Add cooked and crumbled bacon or shredded cheese to the green cabbage coleslaw for a more substantial version. Other veggies like fresh corn, bell peppers, or even rinsed black beans are easy to add.

Prepping fresh cabbage for coleslaw

To prep a cabbage for fresh coleslaw, you will need:

  • One head of cabbage
  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • medium bowl
shredded cabbage and carrots.


  1. Wash the cabbage thoroughly under cold water. Remove any loose outer leaves.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half through the stem. Cut each half into quarters.
  3. Remove the core from each quarter. Thinly slice the cabbage quarters into strips.
  4. Place the cabbage strips in a bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

More Tips for Delicious Results:

  • For a more shredded cabbage, use a mandoline or a food processor.
  • If you do not use the cabbage immediately, store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To prevent the cabbage from becoming soggy, you can salt it and let it sit for 30 minutes before dressing it.
serving salsa on chips.

Serving Mexican Slaw

  • Serve it as a dip for homemade tortilla chips.
  • Use it as a topping for your favorite tacos or burritos.
  • Add it to a salad for a refreshing and flavorful twist.
  • Serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish – like our air fryer salmon.

No matter how you serve it, salsa coleslaw will surely be a hit with your family and friends. So next time you’re looking for a delicious and healthy side dish, be sure to give salsa coleslaw a try!

5 from 1 votes

Salsa Coleslaw (No Mayo!)

Prep Time 6 minutes
Salsa coleslaw is a quick and easy side dish that is perfect for busy weeknights. It is made with just a few simple ingredients, and it can be prepared in minutes. This dish is sure to become a family favorite.


  • 14 oz. coleslaw mix cabbage and shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

Salsa Coleslaw Dressing

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tajin Seasoning
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper


  • Place bagged coleslaw mix in a large bowl and add prepped tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, minced garlic, tajin seasoning, and cayenne pepper and whisk well.
  • Pour oil-based dressing on top of the salsa coleslaw mixture and mix well to coat all vegetables evenly.
  • Cover coleslaw and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight for flavors to mingle.
  • Stir coleslaw well and top with chopped fresh cilantro before serving. 


How to serve Salsa Coleslaw
  • Serve it as a dip for tortilla chips.
  • Use it as a topping for your favorite tacos or burritos.
  • Add it to a salad for a refreshing and flavorful twist.
  • Serve it as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 1 votes

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