For the rest of us though, we sometimes get bored with the toppings…
Thanks to cilantro lime coleslaw though, that’s not happening anytime soon!
You see, when I first launched my signature course Grocery Budget Bootcamp, I was pretty much glued to the computer for the entire week. Between answering questions and making sure everything was working, I was incredibly busy!
But I had planned ahead and talked to the husband… would it be okay if I made a big batch of slow cooker carnitas at the start of the week and we just eat leftovers each night?
He – and BOTH KIDS – pumped fists in the air as they excitedly said yes!
The first couple nights were fine… the awesomeness of tacos hadn’t worn off. But by day 3, even I was getting tired of the same thing.
That’s where cilantro lime coleslaw comes into play.
In our house, we have a couple different variations for taco night:
- California style: coconut rice, salsa verde and southwestern corn
- Traditional: red salsa, sour cream, guacamole, cheddar cheese
After having these a few times, we added cilantro lime coleslaw to the mix – along with coconut rice and homemade Frank’s hot sauce – and we call these tacos Baja style.
Now we could eat tacos for days!! (which we did!!)
The recipe for cilantro lime coleslaw is incredibly basic, and incredibly flexible.
I used mostly green cabbage, with a little bit of red cabbage just for color. Honestly, pick whatever cabbage works for your budget and/or is on sale.
Napa cabbage is SO good, and great for those who typically don’t like cabbage in general.
Bok choy is also in the cabbage family. I haven’t tried it in this recipe, but if you like bok choy, I’m sure you won’t go wrong.
You can see that I added julienne carrots to my version, partly for color, but also because making cilantro lime coleslaw is an easy way to get the kids to eat more vegetables.
You can add julienne broccoli stems, which is a GREAT way to use those stems up if you tend to favor the florets.
You can also add shaved Brussels sprouts too, like I did in the Costco-copycat Sweet Kale Salad.
Or if the budget is tight and all you can swing is green cabbage, go for it!
It’s hard to attribute the flavor of this cilantro lime coleslaw to just one ingredient, so you’re going to have to trust me when I say everything together makes this amazing. Kind of like Thai peanut sauce.
With that said though, you still have substitution options:
- Green Onions: use white, yellow or red onions
- Cilantro Leaves: there’s flavor in cilantro stems, so if you want to save the leaves for topping, definitely use the stems in the slaw!
- Garlic: fresh will knock your socks off, but if you’re out (or don’t feel like peeling and chopping garlic), granulated garlic will work too
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt means you’re getting a bit of probiotics in your dinner (and you can make Greek yogurt too), which is always a win, but you can substitute sour cream or mayo (my failproof homemade mayo recipe) as well. Note – if you use mayo or even sour cream, you might want to up the lime juice or add a splash of apple cider vinegar for the extra tart.
- Lime Juice: like garlic, freshly squeeze lime juice simply cannot be beat, but I’ve used bottled lime juice as well. The flavor is more muted with bottled, so you might want to add more here too
If you’re not a fan of tacos, we can still be friends. And there’s plenty of other ways to use cilantro lime coleslaw!
- Taco bowls
- With fish sticks (here’s my homemade fish sticks recipe)
- Sandwiches (Instant Pot BBQ Chicken sandwiches or a Rueben sounds good!)
- In lieu of lettuce as a salad
- In a wrap (sub for lettuce)
- Make faux spring rolls
Got leftover coleslaw? This keeps really well for several days in the fridge. I usually add salt and pepper and serve it as a veggie side dish for whatever else we’re having this week (besides tacos!).
Cilantro Lime Coleslaw
We love creamy cilantro lime coleslaw with our tacos, but it’s really good on sandwiches too! If there’s no mayo, use yogurt, or it can be used as a vinaigrette slaw too. Add jalapeno for a kick, or switch up the citrus for a new flavor! Can be made ahead of time and it’s still great the next day!
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Total Time: 5 mins
- Yield: 5-6 cups 1x
- Category: Sides
- Method: Bowl
- Cuisine: American
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- up to 1/4 cup water or apple cider vinegar or lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (4–5 whole green onions)
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch)
- 1–2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 limes, juiced (about 3 tsp lime juice)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, sour cream or mayo (or any combination of these)
- 3–4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup julienned carrot (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage (optional)
- Combine all ingredients except the water and cabbage (and carrots, if using) in a blender. Pulse until the ingredients are combined, yet some green leaves are still visible.
- The consistency should be similar to salad dressing, so if you used Greek yogurt, sour cream or mayo, you might need to thin. Taste first, and thin using either water, apple cider vinegar or lime juice as desired starting with 1 tablespoon. Stir well after each addition and taste.
- When the sauce is ready, place the cabbage (and carrots, if using) in a very large bowl and add sauce.
- Stir well using two forks or a pair of tongs.
- Let the coleslaw sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes for the flavors to develop. Serve cold.