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

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!

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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.


    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.


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!


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

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!


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