So summer is coming and its time to make coleslaw. I wanted some thing with a bit more zing and decided that my summer coleslaw will be cabbage and radish coleslaw with chile lime vinaigrette. This is a bit of a copycat recipe for the Mexican radish slaw that my local taco place sells, I added a few more veggies and my own twist on the dressing. The chile lime dressing has a little kick and a bit of sweet with the prefect tang of lime.

Is coleslaw good with tacos?

Heck yeah! Tacos with almost any spicy meat or seafood go prefect with crunchy coleslaw that has the kick of lime.  I like to sauté some chicken then sever this coleslaw as the only taco topping. It’s so good that my husband has been known to eat his body weight in these simple tacos.

Can I make coleslaw ahead of time?

The best way to make chile lime vinaigrette coleslaw ahead of time is to keep the dressing separate from the slaw until before serving, if you like a crispy coleslaw.  If you want to mellow the heat in the dressing or the crunch of the cabbage, then mix and let the cabbage and radish slaw marinate for a few hours or overnight. Just be aware that the red cabbage will start to turn everything pink the longer the dressing is mixed into the coleslaw.

Ideas to serve Coleslaw with Chile Lime Vinaigrette

Go beyond the taco with this fun rainbow-colored salad. Bring this crunchy salad to any BBQ, it is the perfect side dish to grilled meat or shrimp. If you are going vegetarian add in a can or two of your favorite beans for some extra protein. The hearty cabbage and radishes will stand up nicely to being packed for school, work or picnic lunches too.

Coleslaw with Chile Lime Vinaigrette

Rainbow colored crunchy salad is a Mexican twist on basic coleslaw with cabbage, radishes, green onions and a tangy chile lime vinaigrette.

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cabbage, Chile Lime Vinaigrette, coleslaw, radish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 10


For the Slaw

  • 1/2 medium head of red cabbage shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber thin sliced
  • 3-4 carrots peeled into strips
  • 12-20 radishes thin sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro diced

For the Chile Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 clove garlic microplaned
  • 1/4 cup Cholula or other Mexican hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup champagne or other white vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp agave or sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mild dry red chile
  • optional achiote for color


  1. Start by slicing all the veggies and mixing in a large bowl.Don’t forget the fresh Cilantro.

  2. Set the veggies aside and mix up the dressing ingredients in a bowl or cruet. Taste the dressing and adjust heat, acid and salt to your preference. The dressing can be made days or hours in advance.

  3. Pour about half your dressing over the veggies and toss gently, taste one last time and add more dressing or salt if needed.

Hints and Tips

If you are not the kind to cook that stocks all the dry spices called for in the dressing substitute a good Mexican spice blend, my current favorite is Peruvian Chile Lime from the Savory Spice shop you can get it online. I would skip all the dry spices but salt and just add 3-4 teaspoons of the spice blend for a quick and easy dressing recipe that will taste just as awesome.

Hate to chop and slice? For this salad I get out my trusty mandoline. I have a cheap one with a ceramic blade that works prefect for everything in this salad other than the cabbage, green onions and the Cilantro.  Just watch your fingers!

Loath cilantro? Its not just you. If you are part of the population that thinks cilantro taste like soap just skip it in this recipe or put in some parsley. Don’t blame yourself your dislike is genetic, so blame your parents.

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