This cabbage Chipotle Coleslaw recipe is tossed in a smoky cilantro lime dressing. This Southwest slaw is great as a side dish or for tacos!
This Southwest Chipotle Coleslaw is one of my favorite recipes to whip up during the summer months. It's made with fresh cabbage and tossed in a smoky cilantro lime mayo dressing.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a huge fan of coleslaw. Coleslaw has come a long way in recent years and morphed into this super popular dish that works great as a side or a topping from everything from burgers to tacos.
Coleslaw is a versatile dish that can be made from all variety of vegetables. Cabbage is the most common but in reality it can be made from just about any veggie and tossed in all manner of dressings.
This slaw is perfect as a side dish for potlucks and picnics and delicious as a topping for tacos or any of your favorite Southwest dishes.
It's great to have on hand when you want to add a burst of flavor to any meal!
Which Cabbage Is Best For Coleslaw?
I always prefer fresh cabbage when making coleslaw because it's crunchy, hearty, and holds up to all types of dressing.
The crunch from fresh cabbage provides great texture and does not get as soggy as the bagged stuff.
The other great thing about cabbage is that it's super cheap and goes a long way. One head of cabbage will provide you a big bowl of coleslaw with more to spare.
For this recipe I recommend either green or red cabbage (or a combination of both). There is really no difference in taste between the two and really comes down to which color you prefer.
You can use a variety such as Napa or Savoy but the texture may not be quite as crunchy.
Bagged coleslaw or a pre-packaged cabbage mix is absolutely fine and a great solution when you're low on time.
I've used bagged cabbage many times and it works great but keep in mind that the texture may not be quite as crunchy.
How To Make Smoky Chipotle Dressing
This recipe packs a lot of flavor and only requires a few ingredients.
I love dishes like this during the summer when I don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Here Are The Ingredients You'll Need To Make Chipotle Coleslaw:
- 8-10 cups Shredded Cabbage
- ½ cup Mayo
- 3-4 Tbsp. Lime Juice
- 2-3 Tbsp. Chipotle Adobo Sauce
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- ⅛ tsp. Kosher Salt & Pepper (adjust to taste)
- ½ cup minced Cilantro
All that is needed to make this dressing is to combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined.
- Place ½ cup mayo in a small bowl with 2-3 Tbsp. adobo sauce, 3-4 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 tsp. sugar, and ⅛ tsp. each of kosher salt and pepper.
- Stir together until completely combined using a fork or small whisk.
- Taste the dressing before adding to the cabbage and adjust according to your tastes. Feel free to add more adobo sauce if you like it spicier and if you find it too spicy add more sugar. Adjust salt and pepper levels if necessary.
Is Chipotle Sauce The Same As Adobo Sauce?
This dressing uses the adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers.
Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapenos and the adobo sauce is the tangy red sauce that the peppers into which the peppers are packed.
The flavor of adobo sauce is smoky, tangy, and spicy. You can adjust the amount of sauce added to this dressing according to your spice preference.
You can pick up a can of chipotle adobo sauce next to the taco ingredients at your local supermarket or purchase it online.
How To Make Coleslaw From Scratch
This recipe calls for 8-10 cups of shredded cabbage. This equals one small/medium cabbage or half of a large cabbage.
Start by shredding 1 green or red cabbage. Check out this article if you would like to learn how to shred a cabbage.
- Shred 8-10 cups of cabbage and place it in a large bowl.
- Pour half of the dressing over the cabbage and toss until combined.
- Pour the second half of the dressing and toss until completely combined.
- Once the coleslaw is completely dressed mince ½ cup or so of fresh cilantro and sprinkle it over the top. You can add more or less cilantro if you prefer.
How Long Does Coleslaw Last In The Fridge?
This Chipotle Coleslaw can be served right away or made the day ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
If making ahead you can wait until right before serving to add the cilantro if you would like to keep it fresh.
Any leftover coleslaw may be stored up to 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
The slaw will lose crunchiness the longer it is stored in the fridge so it's best to enjoy right away for optimal crunch.
Can Coleslaw Be Frozen?
Vinegar based coleslaws may be stored in the freezer but I would not recommend freezing this one as it contains mayo.
The mayo dressing may break down in the freezer and the overall freshness would dissipate.
I recommend enjoying this coleslaw the day of or within a few days.
What To Serve With Chipotle Coleslaw
You can take this coleslaw in so many directions. It can be served as a side dish or salad at a potluck or picnic.
I absolutely love to serve it on all types of tacos. The smokiness of the adobo sauce is perfect with any type of Southwest, Tex Mex, or Mexican dish.
It's great on top of or served with a sandwich like a Turkey Rachel, grilled cheese, panini, or wrap.
If you love this coleslaw, be sure to check out this Chipotle Potato Salad!
Love coleslaw? Check out these recipes!
- Light Crunchy Coleslaw
- Blue Cheese Coleslaw
- Ginger Miso Cabbage Slaw
- Kohlrabi Coleslaw
- Spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw
Looking For More Coleslaw Recipes? Don't Miss These!
- 8-10 cup shredded cabbage green or red
- Shred 8-10 cups of red or green cabbage and place in a large bowl (you may also use pre-shredded bagged cabbage or coleslaw mix if you like).
- Mince ½ cup of fresh cilantro.
For The Dressing:
- Stir together until completely combined using a fork or small whisk.Taste the dressing before adding to the cabbage and adjust according to your tastes. Feel free to add more adobo sauce if you like it spicier and if you find it too spicy add more sugar. Adjust salt and pepper levels if necessary.
- Pour half of the dressing over the cabbage and toss until combined. Pour the remaining dressing over the cabbage and toss until completely coated.
- Garnish with ½ cup minced cilantro.
- To Serve: This coleslaw may be enjoyed right away or made the day before and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. May be served as a side dish or as a topping for tacos, burgers, sandwiches, or any of your favorite Tex Mex dishes.