This lime coleslaw recipe may not be your grandma’s coleslaw recipe, but we think you’re going to like it quite a lot nonetheless. The only improvement we can conceivably consider, actually, is the addition of thin strips of seeded jalapeños if you’re the sort who likes things hot.–Rebecca Lang


We have a confession. Author Rebecca Lang calls for Napa cabbage in her original version of this lime coleslaw recipe, but we pulled a switcheroo and opted for good old green cabbage instead. Primarily because, unlike Napa cabbage, green cabbage tends to withstand being smothered in dressing without turning soggy. It also tends to be a touch more findable and economical. But it’s up to you. Go for Napa if that’s what pleases you. Hey, this could make a swell Epic Rap Battle if only they’d do culinary ingredients instead of historical giants, don’t you think?!

Glass bowl with lime coleslaw--green cabbage, carrots, lime zest, mayo, and parsley--on a tablecloth, cabbage and carrots behind

Lime Coleslaw

4.89 / 9 votes
This lime coleslaw, made with green cabbage, red onion, carrot, lime, mayonnaise, vinegar, and parsley, is perfect on sandwiches or at your next summer cookout.
David Leite
Servings13 servings
Calories67 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, (or substitute fresh lime juice for some of the vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lime, preferably organic, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups green cabbage*, thinly sliced (about 1 small head)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 2/3 cup carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, lime zest, salt, and pepper. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, and parsley to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Serve immediately.


*What can I substitute for green cabbage?

We have a confession. Author Rebecca Lang calls for Napa cabbage in her original version of this lime coleslaw recipe, but we pulled a switcheroo and decided to use green cabbage instead. We chose it because it tends to withstand being smothered in dressing without getting soggy. Green cabbage is easier to find sometimes, as well. However, you can go in the other direction and use Napa cabbage, if that’s what pleases you. Red cabbage, aside from the color, is a terrific substitution because it’s so close in taste. Finally, shredded Brussels sprouts are pretty great when made into coleslaw, too.
Fried Chicken Cookbook

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Fried Chicken

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 67 kcalCarbohydrates: 6 gProtein: 1 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 2 mgSodium: 132 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2015 Rebecca Lang. Photo © 2015 gannusia10. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I threw this lime coleslaw recipe together at the last minute, and it was fantastic. It was excellent on a fried chicken sandwich and tasted delicious all on its own. It remained crunchy the next day, and I enjoyed it as a salad with grilled chicken on top. I used an entire small head of cabbage to get the desired yield of 6 cups.

I loved this coleslaw—and opted for Napa cabbage for its tender crunch and flavor. It was easy to pull together as a last-minute salad and, for a holiday meal, I made what you could call the firecracker version using dark red rainbow carrots, finely sliced shallots for the red onion, Dijon with mustard seeds, and, later, I added slivers of jalapeño. The lime seemed such a good idea that after zesting a lime I used that as part of the acid, as suggested.

I started with a reduced amount of sugar (1 tablespoon) and that was perfect.  This just became my new favorite slaw. It was the perfect accompaniment to grilled savory bourbon bacon sausages.

Great zip from the lime. Truly amazing!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made this with Savoy cabbage last night with fish tacos, it was excellent! It is still crunchy today, so Savoy is a good option.

  2. 5 stars
    The dressing for this coleslaw is superb! It packs a wonderfully clean hit of lime that is perfect with the crunchy veg. Definitely use the juice along with the zest.

    1. Thank you, Lisa! This coleslaw is a favorite of mine as well, and I love the added zing from the lime.