Lime & Peanut Coleslaw

Lime & Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

If you ask me, great coleslaw is created with good knife skills and a short list of easy-to-find ingredients. Equal importance being placed on both ingredients and the cut of the cabbage. When cabbage is cut into ribbons that are too wide, the slaw ends up awkward, heavy, and daunting on the fork. If the pieces are too long, cheeks get dirtied with dressing-soaked cabbage sticks - awkward and messy. I like to shred my cabbage into ribbons that are thin as can be, half a pencil width at most. The cabbage becomes feather light and yet each bite maintains the perfect amount of coleslaw crunch.

When Wayne and I visited Mexico City I discovered a simple snack that quickly became a favorite - salt-kissed peanuts that tasted as if they had been misted with lime. I made this coleslaw the other night with those flavors in mind. It builds on the peanut salad I included in Super Natural Cooking and is a tasty (and colorful) alternative to more typical coleslaws. I made it to go along with fajitas, but I suspect it would be a welcome addition to any potluck, BBQ, or summertime party or picnic - tacos, burgers, or whatever else you have planned for this holiday weekend.

I've been buying my tomatoes direct from farmers. If you are looking to steer clear of tomatoes right now, I would substitute chopped avocado and red onion. Or, now that I'm thinking about it - shredded apple, or apple slices. Other ideas: roasted cherry tomatoes in place of the fresh ones - would take longer but would add an entirely different flavor profile.

Lime & Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Leave out the jalapeno if you like it milder. I also thought about adding shredded, baked tortilla chips (like the ones from the tortilla soup recipe). Also, I've mentioned this before - I try to seek out organic peanuts.

1 1/2 cups unsalted raw peanuts
1/2 of a medium-large cabbage
1 basket of tiny cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon + fine-grain sea salt

In a skillet or oven (350F) roast the peanuts for 5 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice along the way, until golden and toasted.

Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite-sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half. Combine the cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeno (opt), and cilantro in a bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Add to the cabbage mixture and gently stir to combine. Just before serving fold in the peanuts (add them too earl and they lose some of their crunch). Taste and adjust the flavor with more salt if needed.

Serves 6 as a side.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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This looks like the perfect recipe for the 4th. Thanks for sharing!


This looks great! I used to think I hated cabbage but then I realized that if it's cut really thin, like you're suggesting, it's lovely in salads. I just did this the other night for a greek inspired salad

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good?

This sounds great! I love cabbage but am not a mayo fan, so I'm excited to have a recipe for a no-mayo coleslaw. The peanuts and lime sound delicious.


Yum! This looks really delicious. And a perfect side to something hot off the grill.


Perfect timing! Was searching for a chic 4th of July alternative to the standard slaw. Can't wait to test this out...


If you ask me, good coleslaw is created without the heavy cream/mayo/pools of oil. This one looks light and bright, and ten bucks says I'll be taking it to my 4th of July potluck. Thanks again for giving us something new!

Becky And The Beanstock

Looks great and I am glad to see a recipe without mayo (hubby not a mayo fan)..


Cathy C

I love-love-love lime, cilantro & cabbage together. I use it to stuff my fish tacos with but would never had thought to put peanuts with it and turn it into a salad.

I'll be making this and your Heavenly Pie (again) for the 4th!


Have you tried Deborah Madison's beer nuts? Hot, salty peanuts tossed in dried chili with a squeeze of lime. Messy and gone too soon.

Brandi K.

This looks awesome. I make a similar cole slaw with bananas, raisins, and peanuts instead of the cherry tomatoes and chile. The variations are unlimited! Love your dressing idea. Thanks!


This is just so pretty. I love the twist on traditional cole slaw, and without the usual mayo it's even more appealing to me.

Very nice!


I generally hate coleslaw, but this is one I would LOVE!


Heidi, this looks delicious, and I've been trying to figure out something to do with the head of cabbage I got from my farm share last week! I need to do a peanut-free version, do you think another nut like almonds would do, or maybe toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds would work?

HS: I love that idea Marisa. Specifically the pepitas.


Ooh, a coleslaw recipe without mayo! I've been looking for a good coleslaw recipe. I would have to work on those knife skills, though.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

Oooh, those salt-kissed peanuts that you wrote about sound heavenly!! And that coleslaw sounds/looks just as good :0)


I love this idea, so much better than deli counter slaws. The cabbage peanut combo is always a hit.


Hey, a better coleslaw! I appreciate your recent trend, Heidi, of upgrading classics. This reminded me a whole lot of a coleslaw that we used to make at the Museum of Art Cafe. It had a peanut butter-lime dressing and we called it "Asian Coleslaw." It was used as a side, but I like that your salad has more body to it and would work as a starring item.

Sprouted in the Kitchen

This looks delicious! It kinda reminds me of one of my favorite Thai dishes, Som Tum, which is a green papaya salad made with lime juice & other ingredients (if you've never tried it, do!!!). What a perfect way to fix the mayo mess that regular cole slaw can be!


What is cilantro? Would love to try this.

Lile Frost

I am so excited about this recipe! I've been craving Thai and Vietnamese food lately, and this will hit the spot.


This looks so refreshing. Perfect for a hot day in July.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Thanks for the interesting coleslaw alternative. For a delicious hotslaw I will toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet and set aside. After finely shredding my cabbage, I'll saute it in a skillet with olive oil and lots of crushed garlic. Add some kosher salt, saute till cabbage is wilted, top w/sesame seeds and enjoy.


The recipe looks tempting and I hope to try it out soon

Latha K Prasad

I love the combination of lime and peanut in this coleslaw. As always, the dish is colorful and enticing :-)

Allen of EOL

This looks really good. I know what i'm making for the 4th of July!

Krista on the Hill

Yummy recipe and photo, I'm not a big fan of raw cabbage, but maybe this mexican twist on coleslaw will change my mind :-)

By the way, Heidi, I've been chacking the recent recipes in your blog, and I found the vegetarian tortilla soup. The photo is great, but the recipe... The beans are missing! Tortilla Soup, or "Sopa Tarasca", is a speciality of my home state, Michoacán, and it always includes pureed beans. They make the soup rich and nourishing. I'll search for an authentic recipe, translate it, and share it in 101cookbooks forum. Anyway, using goat cheese is certainly a brilliant idea!




I thought this was going to be peanut butter before I saw the pic but whole crunchy peanuts sound like an excellent addition!

I often put really thin strips of raw leek into my coleslaw for a bit of punch and colour


oooh, making half the cabbage red cabbage would probably add a nice color punch too!


Hello - oh I loved the lime-kissed peanuts when I tried them from your book last summer. I'm sure I'll love this slaw! Although, I get this funny feeling that, sooner or later I'll start replacing peanuts with corn or edamames (I somehow tend to like corn in my slaw), or adding soy sauce and/or substituting sesame oil for olive oil for some Asian touch. Thanks for great inspirations!


Great idea! I have a similar (not so healthy) recipe to a cold summer salad with peanuts. It's chopped up broccoli (raw), chopped red onion, cooked bacon bits and peanuts...tossed in a mayo/vinegar/sugar dressing. Sounds like a strange mix of ingredients...but it's a real crowd pleaser!!!!


@ Lile Frost:

It's also called coriander (the fresh greenery, not the seeds).

@ Heidi:

Your photography is always utterly, mouth-wateringly wonderful. :-)


Heidi, you must have read my mind! I've been having a craving for something like a Thai papaya salad but didn't want to put all that crazy papaya julienning work in. This is absolutely perfect!


I couldn't agree with you more on cutting the cabbage - there's something not very appealing about getting a big chunk of crunchy cabbage in your mouth with dressing flying all over your blouse.

This recipe is nice and easy with some bite - lovely.


Cilantro is in the regular grocery store near the parsley. In fact it is sometimes mistaken for flat leaf parsley by husbands who aren't paying attention. They have two entirely different flavors so half credit is not given for bringing home something that was "close."




That looks so utterly delicious! It looks like a perfect idea for a picnic I have coming up :D


Made it tonight. Delicious!
Thanks for the great recipe!

Linda K

I moved to Mexico a few months back to a place that can be considered "the boondocks" in comparison to where I moved from: New York City. My diet has changed A LOT, and I'm not complaining because I loooooove southern Mexican food, but it's refreshing to find fabulous non-Mexican recipes that can be made with Mexican ingredients in a simple Mexican kitchen. I think this recipe will be even better than if I made it in New York, because there's a year-round farmers market here, so all of my ingredients will be super fresh and locally grown.



i prefer this healthy food~

YOYO's Cooking

Great summer salad! I must adopt it!


This coleslaw sounds good. I like the use of the peanuts in it.


i'll try it on saturday,coz its buffet


its kind of like the stuff they put in pud thai, with a mexican twist - peanuts, shredded cabbage, lime juice. hmm. possibilities!


Just last week I was craving the peanuts we bought in Mexico. They had the lime flavor, but in addition they were completely coated in spices that had a little heat and gave them a nice brick red color. Messy to eat, but sooo good. Can you figure those out?


it looks reall good! Thx for sharing, i'll be sure to try it out.

alice lambert

it looks reall good! Thx for sharing, i'll be sure to try it out.

alice lambert

it looks reall good! Thx for sharing, i'll be sure to try it out.

alice lambert

I love spiciness and peanuts combined, it is a classic combo in West African cooking traditions as well. a touch of peanut butter blended into the slaw might be delicious as well.

Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

A note from the food safety community - the latest word is that the salmonella might not be sourced from tomatoes at all, but from something generally eaten with them. The FDA is looking into cilantro and jalapeno peppers, with heavy emphasis on the latter. It might be safer to try a different heat source for a while!


I'm of the same mind when it comes to cabbage slice width. This dish reminds me of an Eastern European version my Slovakian friend makes: shredded raw cabbage and almond slivers with just a dash of salt, oil, and vinegar.

Coincidentally, she also eats shredded apple fruit salads.

Aaron Kagan

I'm making this right now for the fourth BBQ. Can't wait to taste these yummy flavors all together.


What a great alternative to the old standard, sounds citrusy and fresh!


Sounds wonderful, we like mexican slaw much better then southern slaw. I look forward to trying this recipe!


Heidi, you are my friend. I made this for the big 4th of July spectacular and everyone begged for the recipe. I substituted blanched almond slivers for raw peanuts and threw in a few tomatillos. Props.


This looks so delicious, and such a cool twist on the traditional coleslaw! Can't wait to give this a try.

Deborah Dowd

Peanuts are used a lot in SE Asia, and love the texture and crunch that they give food.

Vegeyum Ganga

I bet this will be good on fish tacos.....


Made this for a 4th of July party here in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It was a hit! I grabbed some jalapeño peanuts instead of regular which added a smoky taste because of the flavoring.

I can't wait to make it again. Thanks!


Why would I want to steer clear of tomatoes? Are they responsible for global warming or something?


I love a beautiful cabbage salad and in cooler months I make a version with a combination mayo/old-fashioned boiled dressing with peanuts that is a hit everywhere it goes.
I made this salad yesterday with thinly sliced red and yellow bell peppers and red onion, and without the peanuts (because I was in a hurry and the peanuts are buried in the chest freezer). It is fabulous and we are having it tonight on tacos with leftovers from yesterday (purple potato homefries and grilled chicken), fresh salsa and pintos. My husband's favorite meal!

cucina pazza address Mary's concern over the safety of jalapenos: a simple soak in water with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract, GSE, should allow you to consume any vegetable or fruit worry-free. GSE has been proven more effective at killing bacteria than industrial cleaners in hospital settings and it is safe and non-toxic for humans and their animals. Just remember that it is powerful and ALWAYS dilute.

cucina pazza

Here is my riff on your slaw, made with what was on hand tonight. It came out so well I thought I would share:

1 small head of cabbage, shredded,
1 very large radish, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 pt. cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. sumac
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. chopped basil

Totally different from yours, other than being oil and vinegar based instead of mayo-based, but totally yummy!


I tried it (it looked too beautiful to pass up) and loved it. I can't wait to use it in some fish tacos using some fresh ono (Wahoo) or ahi (tuna). Believe it or not, this was the first time I used a fresh jalapeno! We've got Hawaiian chili peppers here that would have been waaaay too hot. Mahalo!


Sounds just like a Som Tum, one my favorite Thai dishes, but with cabbage instead of green papaya. I like the idea of a south american twist...


I did make this slaw July 4th and was devoured by our guests! I used napa cabbage because this is what I had and added some mint along with the cilantro and it was delicious and refreshing. I will be making this whenever my CSA sends cabbage! Thanks.


That looks so delicious! I love that you added peanuts and I so agree with you about the cut of the cabbage!

Avery Yale Kamila

Whenever I think of it I check in to see what delicious, wholesome thing you have created recently. However I saw the link 'lime and peanut coleslaw' and immediately pictured lime and peanut butter coleslaw..felt ill, HAD to see how you made it seem delicious and saw this beautiful salad. peaNUTS not peanut butter..good choice. You're an artist!


This was great! And the leftovers tasted great the next day too.


hi heidi, i am so loving your site!! i've been making recipes you've created or shared with us for the past year and a half, and i try to tell as many people as possible about it. (your artichoke dip is now "my" artichoke dip and the biggest party hit!! and i just made some of the pea dumplings today.. so fun!!)

you've given me new confidence with cabbage -- i had a "fat cabbage slice" experience once which has left me reluctant, but you're so right! just needs to be thin thin. thanks as always for making healthful and tasty food accessible to so many people =)

HS: Thanks for the nice note Anna!


This recipe reminds me of a sprout salad that i used to make during Indian summer sprout salad i'd cal it.
1 cup fresh moong dal sprouts.
2 tbsp chopped green(raw) mango.
2 tbsp roasted salted peanuts.
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
2 cloves of garlic crushed.
juice of half a lime.
1 chopped green chilli
salt to taste.
mix all the above ingrediants and chill...
its yummy!!



This, as with just about everything else you post, looks fabulous. I'll definitely have to give this a go sometime this week.


Mark Boxshus

This was delicious! In fact I'm eating it again for lunch today.

I like a little sweet in my coleslaw, so I added a finely diced, tart, granny smith apple.

This is another recipe to save and make again soon!


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