Red Cabbage Slaw, Mexican

Mexican Red Cabbage Slaw - make it cool to serve with something spicy or make it spicy to serve with something plain!

I love red cabbage to freshen up a lot of dishes; it’s great in tacos, tostadas for instance. But Red Cabbage  Slaw takes this idea to a whole new level. A little spicy, a little sweet and just a hint of fire make this a perfect side for anything Mexican!

Mexican Red Cabbage Slaw
Mexican Red Cabbage Slaw

Because I never use a whole head of cabbage in this slaw, I like to look for recipes that also have red cabbage as an ingredient. Two that come to mind are the Vietnamese “salad” Pork Larb, and my most marvelous Mexican shredded chicken, Tinga de Pollo.

A little red cabbage goes a long way, and while it keeps well (even after it’s been cut) you’ll need ideas to use up the rest, lest it languish while taking up room in the fridge. An advantage of pre-planning for the extra cabbage is it can be shredded all at once..

This recipe isn’t very particular – you can vary amounts and ingredients as you wish. When serving something spicy I make this mild and cooling. If serving something that needs a little zing, I make this more flavorful and a little hot. While I sometimes use red onion in this, I only add to any portion that will be eaten; left over it becomes overly strong in the dish.

Mexican Red Cabbage Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/4 to 1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • A few radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 jalapeno, minced or red pepper, to taste, optional
  • 1 orange, freshly squeezed
  • 1 lime, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (more to taste, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix cabbage, radishes and carrot in a bowl. In a small bowl or jar add the rest of ingredients. Whisk or shake. Combine with cabbage mixture, toss.

Best refrigerated 30 minutes before serving. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.


  • This dressing may support a bit more oil, if desired.
  • The dressing may be done in the blender, giving a thicker emulsion. Add in all the dressing ingredients except oil, blend, and with blender running, slowly add the oil.