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!

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Lime & Blistered Peanut Coleslaw

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3.8 from 35 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!

Post Your Comment


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 :D


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)


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