Home World Recipe: Creamy cilantro-lime taco slaw

Recipe: Creamy cilantro-lime taco slaw


I firmly believe every Taco Tuesday needs a solid taco slaw. Yes, there will always be fresh salsa and classic guacamole on the assembly line for taco night, but I always want something with crunch to make the whole situation come together. This crisp, refreshing, and slightly creamy taco slaw works with any filling you have on the roster for the night.

Crunchy red cabbage and sweet carrots combine with spicy jalapenos and chopped fresh cilantro. Everything is tossed with just a bit of mayo for creaminess and a big squeeze of lime juice for tang. Here’s how to make easy slaw for your next taco night.

One simple trick

The key to the best slaw is salting the shredded cabbage— so don’t skip this step. Salting it and letting it rest in a colander for 15 minutes first, before tossing everything together, allows for it to release some of its liquid, which results in a crunchier slaw that holds up better in the fridge.

Why you’ll love it

  • It’s perfect on tacos. Serve this crunchy slaw with your favorite type of tacos for an easy weeknight dinner. The slaw is especially good on crispy fish tacos and shrimp tacos.
  • You can make it ahead. Salting the shredded cabbage helps release some of its liquid. This means you can throw the slaw together the night before you need it, making taco night a breeze.

What to serve with taco slaw

Taco Slaw

Serves 4 to 6; makes about 4 cups

4 cups shredded red cabbage (from 1/2 small head)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1 small carrot, grated

2 medium scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

1 clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place 4 cups shredded red cabbage in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage with your hands to help it release its liquid and begin wilting. Set aside to drain for about 15 minutes.

2. Place 2 tablespoons mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage of its excess liquid one handful at a time and place in the bowl of dressing. Add 1 small grated carrot, 2 thinly sliced scallions, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, minced jalapeno (if using), and 1 clove minced garlic, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe notes

Make ahead: The slaw can be made up to one day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

(Sheela Prakash is the senior contributing food editor for TheKitchn.com and Jan Veldez is a contributor to TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to [email protected].)

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