Cilantro Lime Coleslaw is deliciously light and refreshing. This twist on your traditional coleslaw is perfect for tacos, barbecues, or as a salad.

a bowl of coleslaw being tossed together.

This Cilantro Lime Coleslaw is an easy coleslaw recipe made with red and green cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and limes, proving that cabbage can be the star of any meal. Whether you are serving this up for an outdoor barbecue, a quick, easy meal, or at a fiesta, everyone will love this coleslaw.

So, I can’t even begin to tell you how much our family loves this Cilantro Lime Coleslaw recipe. It is a big deal for me even to post a coleslaw recipe on my blog because I wouldn’t typically like coleslaw. My personal opinion is that it tends to be overdressed.

It is way too creamy that it takes away the crispiness of the cabbage. It is like a watered-down drink that just isn’t right. Don’t get me wrong, I love the dressings on coleslaw, that is, if it isn’t too much and has a big flavor.

Best Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

This coleslaw recipe was first published in May 2014, and every time I make it, I am amazed by how much I love it.

It’s not your average store-bought coleslaw; you can thank me later.  It’s packed with flavor, thanks for adding lime and cilantro; of course, salt and pepper help out too!

Stunning – I love the color that the purple “red” cabbage brings to the dish, and the dark green contrast of the cilantro and green onions to the green cabbage is just gorgeous.

I love to play around with the amount of dressing – I can make it a little more dry or creamy depending on what I am making.

close-up shot of the coleslaw.


  • Thinly sliced green cabbage
  • Chopped purple cabbage
  • Scallions
  • Roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sugar
  • Lime juice and zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

How to Make It

Combine the green cabbage, purple cabbage, scallions, and cilantro in a large salad bowl.

Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and zest in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.

You can serve it right away or chill it to serve later.

Coleslaw Recipe Tips

  • Make-Ahead: You can make the salad a day before and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Serving Tip: Because this salad has mayonnaise, don’t leave it at room temperature for over two hours. If you serve it outside during the summer, you will want to refrigerate it sooner.
  • Leftovers: If you have leftover coleslaw, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
close-up shot of cilantro lime coleslaw.

This Cilantro Lime Coleslaw is a must-make for the spring and summer months. Whether you’re hosting a party or having dinner with your family, whip up a batch of this coleslaw, and you will have everyone oohing and aahing. Enjoy friends!

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collage image of coleslaw with green and red cabbage with cilantro

Cilantro-Lime Coleslaw

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 140 kcal
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw – deliciously light and refreshing, this twist on your traditional coleslaw is absolutely perfect for tacos, barbecues or as a salad.


  • 1 head green cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1/4 purple cabbage chopped
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 limes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Cut the green cabbage using a sharp knife or I used my mandolin to make thin ribbons. Roughly chopped the purple cabbage until you have 1 cup. Chop the scallions Toss the green cabbage, purple cabbage, scallions and cilantro in a large salad bowl.
  • Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar and the zest from one of the limes in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a squeeze of lime juice from the remaining lime. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
Serving: 10gCalories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 1gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 103mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 465IUVitamin C: 50.1mgCalcium: 66mgIron: 0.8mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!

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  1. This looks really good and refreshing – Especially for summer! I might have to replace the cilantro, but I’d love to try this.

  2. I just made a cilantro lime rice yesterday and this would have been a perfect pair! I just love lime on almost anything

  3. I am also very picky when it comes to cole slaw. I am feeling quite certain that I would love this recipe.

  4. Oh my goodness, this sounds amazing. My MIL loves cilantro, so this would be great as a side on Mother’s Day. Thanks so much

  5. This looks delicious! I don’t know if I’ve ever made my own, but if I were to attempt, I know now what I’m going to try!

  6. I generally stay away from cole slaw because of the mayo–I am not a big fan of mayo! This recipe sounds great-I do happen to love cabbage and cutting that mayo with sour cream is a really great idea.

  7. My son is a big Cole slaw fan- I never make it- but I’ll have to try this recipe- look like the kind he would like. Thanks!

  8. This looks fantastic and so refreshing. I love everything with cilantro in it! Never can have too much. 😉 I’d love to try this along side our fajitas. Yum!

  9. This Coleslaw sounds like the perfect side dish for summertime grilling! Love the fresh flavors paired together! I’d be thrilled for you to share this at my all new Creative Ways Link Party that’s live right now. I hope to see you and your slaw there! 😉 Have a wonderful rest of the week!

  10. This looks and sounds delicious. I have a bunch of cilantro in my garden and have been making lots of homemade salsa with it – this gives me something new to try. I might half the recipe though since I am the only coleslaw eater in my family. Pinning this.

  11. Hmmmm I have 3/4 of a bag of slaw cabbage mix left from another recipe and everything else needed. Since it would just be my husband and I eating it, I think I will make 1/2. Recipe of everything and figuer out how much cabbage Inneed as I god 🙂 looks great and will go great with out refried bean, mushroom, chicken quasidillas I’m planning on serving 🙂

  12. Great looking recipe! Going to make it tonight with my shredded BBQ beef slow cooker sandwiches. I am going to sub the mayo with non fat greek plain yogurt for a healthier twist, hoping it’s just as good!

  13. Hate it when people say that they are going to change the recipe, but here I am saying that I am adding something to this amazing looking recipe! I was looking for a coleslaw to go with my shrimp tacos and cilantro rice and black beans tonight. this looks perfect! but!!! here we go! I am going to kick it up a notch by adding some jalapenos. Hope you don’t mind and I promise to let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. This is a great coleslaw! I will definitely be making this again. The lime and cilantro are a great addition and it really is crisp and not overdressed. I too have a husband that isn’t a fan of coleslaw and he really enjoyed this, thanks for a great recipe!

  15. Did you use “traditional” mayonnaise? Or “salad dressing” (aka M.W.) Just wondering because both have very distinct flavors. We love slaw and you definitely had me at cilantro and lime!

  16. You just made my day! My family loves tacos and my side dishes are always a little plain jane 🙁 This sounds absolutely the opposite!!

  17. 5 stars
    I made this for Taco Tuesday, and it was so perfect with our tacos. The cilantro and lime are such a great Tex-Mex twist on an old favorite.

  18. 5 stars
    Cilantro lime coleslaw is a refreshing side that I can’t get enough of! The zesty lime and the freshness from cilantro—it’s the perfect accompaniment to so many dishes!

  19. So sorry to bother you with this…VERY picky coleslaw eaters in my family, so I want to get this right…you zest 1 lime, but juice the other lime into the dressing? Can’t I just juice the 1st lime into the dressing…or do I juice both limes into the dressing?


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