Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw

This feather-light, mayo-free, coleslaw recipe uses blistered peanuts, cherry tomatoes, and lime vinaigrette and is perfect alongside fajitas, or whatever you have coming off the grill. Keep in mind - great coleslaw is rooted in great knife skills.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw

If you ask me, a great coleslaw recipe 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.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Inspiration for this Coleslaw

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, mayo-based 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.

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients & Variations

I've been buying my tomatoes direct from farmers. If tomatoes aren't your thing right now, I would substitute chopped avocado and red onion. Or, now that I'm thinking about it - shredded apple, or apple slices, or jicama. Other ideas: roasted cherry tomatoes in place of the fresh ones - would take longer but would add an entirely different flavor profile. 

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw

You can easily make this a creamier coleslaw by adding a dollop of your favorite mayo or yogurt after the initial tossing of ingredients - before you add the peanuts. It's one of those things that is all about personal preference. Sometimes a hint of creamy is perfect, but some people really like to go for it! I mean, I've definitely had conversations with people convinced that a good coleslaw is as much about the mayo as it is about the cabbage.
Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw Recipe
This coleslaw is great for picnics and BBQs, alongside other classics like macaroni salad, this sriracha rainbow noodle salad, ultimate veggie burgers, corn salad, and the like. There's a whole list of salad recipes if you'd like to browse, as well as lots of summer recipes here. Enjoy!

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw

3.84 from 36 votes

Go ahead and leave out the jalapeño 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. As far as the choice of cabbage goes, you can use green cabbage, or a blend of purple and green. If you like a more creamy coleslaw, go ahead and add a dollop of mayo, or Greek yogurt!

  • 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
  • honey, to taste
Blister the Peanuts
  1. 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 blistered.
Prepare the Coleslaw Ingredients
  1. 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.
Make the Dressing
  1. In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Taste, and whisk in a teaspoon or two of honey if the lime is too strong for you. 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.

Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
weeknight express
101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Post Your Comment

3.84 from 36 votes (34 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Delicious. I didn’t have fresh cilantro so I used purple basil from my garden. Also, I had just 1/2 a lime so added 1/2 lemon. Nice combo and my family loved it. This is an easy yet VERY flavorful recipe.5 stars


    So happy you enjoyed it Eleni!

    Heidi Swanson

I just made this with additional beetroot, and added some chimmichurri to the dressing to give it a bit more tang…. delicious!!! Thank you X


This recipe is unique, delightful and tasty. I found myself wanting to add garlic, but that is just my constant M.O.4 stars


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!


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 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!!


    LOVE the sound of this!!

    Heidi Swanson

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!


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

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.


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


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…


    You could make it with a som tum dressing!

    Heidi Swanson

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!


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!


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!


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

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…..


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

Deborah Dowd

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


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


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

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.


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


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


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


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

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

alice lambert

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?


Great summer salad! I must adopt it!


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.


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


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.


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!


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!


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

Linda K

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


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

Allen of EOL

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

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

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.”


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

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


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


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

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


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!


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!


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

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


@ Lile Frost:
It’s also called coriander (the fresh greenery, not the seeds).
@ Heidi:
Your photography is always utterly, mouth-wateringly wonderful. 🙂


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!!!!


This looks like the perfect recipe for the 4th. Thanks for sharing!


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


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

Krista on the Hill

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

Latha K Prasad

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.


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


What is cilantro? Would love to try this.

Lile Frost

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!


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.


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!


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


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.


More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any clickable link to on the site is an affiliate link.