The BEST Sweet & Tangy Coleslaw with Jalapeño and Lime

A recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated showcases their Best Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw. Although I’ve never met a coleslaw I didn’t like, I couldn’t resist the suggested southwestern variation. Coleslaw with a KICK??!  Heck YEAH!  Here, classic elements – celery seed, carrot and mayo, are forsaken in favor of minced jalapeño, thinly sliced red bell pepper and a citrus vinaigrette. It’s a tantalizing twist on tradition, as pretty as it is lip-smacking-ly tasty. And lest I forget to mention, it’s also super duper low in sodium. (But when something tastes this good, you may forget to mention it, too.)

Yields 6 servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 28 mg per serving


1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 T. vegetable oil
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and shredded (about 6 cups)
1/4 c. sugar
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded if desired and minced
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced thinly
2 scallions, thinly sliced (green and white portions)


Measure the vinegar, lime juice, oil and black pepper into a large mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Cover bowl and place in freezer to chill 15-30 minutes.

Place the shredded cabbage into a microwave safe bowl. Add the sugar and toss to combine. Cover the bowl and microwave on high 1 minute. Remove bowl, stir briefly and recover. Microwave another 30 seconds or so, until cabbage is slightly wilted and has reduced in volume by roughly a third. Carefully drain excess liquid.

Remove vinaigrette from freezer. Place the drained cabbage into the bowl, along with remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes before serving.

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15 Responses to The BEST Sweet & Tangy Coleslaw with Jalapeño and Lime

  1. what a salad-y looking cole slaw! sounds great and i’m sure ant would love it!

  2. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family says:

    What a great twist on a classic!
    It looks beautiful and delicious from your photos

  3. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

    My husband loves oil and vinegar slaws. The jalapeno and lime would be a great twist, I am sure he would love!

  4. shambo says:

    I’m like you — I love all kinds of coleslaw. This looks really good.

  5. I read foreskin instead of forsaken. It’s been a long day. I need a fresh snack like this!

  6. briarrose says:

    I’m not normally a coleslaw fan, but I could be a convert with this recipe. Looks tasty.

  7. Ann says:

    I love coleslaw and this one looks AMAZING! I love it! Thank you for the Food Buzz friendship request – you’ve been buzzed and I look forward to your next post!

  8. Christy says:

    Thanks for the comments all — I really hope you try this. I’ve made it twice now and both times we gobbled it up.

    PS: Katie, you are too funny.

    And Ann, thanks so much for the buzz!

  9. This looks wonderful, Dishy!
    I’m a big fan of even the most mystery looking coleslaw, so I know that this would be out of this world! 🙂

  10. Susan says:

    Great cooks think alike; there isn’t a coleslaw I don’t like, either. ; ) This sounds very snappy, the kind of dish that makes a far better pick-me-up than a candy bar would. Love it.

  11. Meghan Cassidy says:

    This looks delicious and beautiful! Love the colors!

  12. Tan says:

    I love colorful coleslaw, the taste of Jalapeno and lime make me drooling, beautiful photos. All these just once I can say “DELICIOUS” ^^

  13. Kate Howard says:

    I have been reading about all your salads and finally took a little something from several to try this. I loved the result and neighbors raved about all the textures and subtle flavors:
    Sweet Potato & Fruit Salad

    4 lrg Sweet Potatoes, peeled & cut into 1″ or smaller cubes, roughly
    Bunch of Scallions(sold in a sm bunch), sliced in discs, using all but top 1/3 of the green
    Sm Bunch of Parsley (I used package from fresh herbs), chopped
    1 bag Red Grapes, seedless
    5 Peaches, peeled & cut into verticle sections
    5 Purple Plums, skin on, cut into verticle sections
    2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled & cut into bite size pieces
    1 Lime
    1 c Walnuts, chopped
    1 T Cinnamon
    2 t ground Allspice
    2 t Tarragon
    1/2 c each Lite Mayonnaise (I like CAINS) & Lo Fat, plain Greek Yogurt
    Fresh Spinach

    Boil (I want to try steaming them) Sweet Potatoes ’til just tender (maybe 10 mins), remove from heat & fill pan with cold water. Sear potato chucks over high heat for 5 mins. For this searing I used lightly greased vegetable grate on the grill but I suppose you could use frying pan or baking sheet in hot oven. In large bowl place Grapes, Scallions, Parsley, & Sweet Potatoes(taken fresh from heat source). Add Peaches, Plums, Apples, & Walnuts. Squeeze Lime juice over mixture & toss. Add spices & toss, again. Cover & let marinade in refrigerator for several hours. In sm bowl blend Light Mayonnaise & Lo Fat Greek Yogurt; stir a light amount into mixture in bowl enough to add tang but not ‘gloppiness’ to your salad. Cover bowl & chill until ready to serve on plate of fresh Spinach.

  14. Kate Howard says:

    Add to list of fruit, 3 Nectarines, cut into verticles sections. Hope you enjoy, Kate

  15. ila(MyWayToCook) says:

    Nice clicks..! I am new to food photography…going to learn many things from you…

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