Cumin Lime Coleslaw

$3.00 recipe / $0.50 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.85 from 39 votes
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I used to really hate coleslaw until I made my own homemade coleslaw. It’s so fresh, crunchy, and creamy, and not at all gloppy or heavy like the storebought stuff. AND you can make it different flavors to suit your meal! This Cumin Lime Coleslaw has a bright and sunny dressing made with fresh lime juice, earthy cumin (which has always smelled kind of lemony to me), and a small pinch of cayenne. Green onions and shredded carrots add color and flavor to the crunchy cabbage and round out this easy, breezy coleslaw.

side view of a bowl of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side

How to Serve Cumin Lime Coleslaw

As with any coleslaw, this one makes a great side dish for things like Cilantro Lime Chicken, Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas, or Turkey Taco Skillet. But you can also pile it onto a sandwich, use it to top tacos, or even use it as a base for a bowl meal! And last week, I served it as a side to some tacos made with my Chili Rubbed Pulled Pork and Pickled Red Onions. That combo was to die for!

Take a Short Cut

If you’re short on time, you can skip shredding your own cabbage and carrots and use a bag of coleslaw mix (pre-shredded cabbage and carrots). You’ll want one bag (14-16oz.) for this recipe.

How Long Does it Stay Fresh?

This cumin lime coleslaw stays good in the fridge for about 2-3 days. It does soften a bit as it refrigerates, but it’s still quite tasty. You’ll want to give it a good stir before serving each time to redistribute the dressing.

overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side
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Cumin Lime Coleslaw

4.85 from 39 votes
Fresh lime juice and earthy cumin give this Cumin Lime Coleslaw a light, fresh, and summery flavor. Perfect for summer BBQ or any southwest inspired meal.
overhead view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw with green onion and limes on the side
Servings 6 3/4 cup each
Prep 30 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise ($0.80)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) ($0.50)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.01)
  • 1 tsp sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage (about 6 cups shredded) ($0.68)
  • 2 carrots ($0.16)
  • 4 green onions ($0.22)


  • Prepare the coleslaw dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, lime juice, cumin, salt, sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
  • Remove the core from the cabbage and then finely shred. Peel the carrots, then use a large holed cheese grater to shred the carrots. Thinly slice the green onions.
  • Combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top, then stir until everything is well coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. After refrigerating, make sure to stir the slaw well before serving.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 170.48kcalCarbohydrates: 10.65gProtein: 2gFat: 13.97gSodium: 349.73mgFiber: 3.72g
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Closeup of a forkful of cumin lime coleslaw with the bowl in the background

How to Make Cumin Lime Coleslaw – Step by Step Photos

Overhead view of the cumin lime coleslaw dressing in a bowl with a spoon, cut limes on the side

Begin by making the dressing so the flavors have a little time to blend. Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Shredded cabbage, carrots, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Finely shred 1/2 of a head of cabbage (about 6 cups), shred two carrots using a cheese grater, and slice four green onions. Add the cabbage, carrot, and onions to a large bowl.

coleslaw dressing being poured over the vegetables in the bowl

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and then stir until everything is well coated. Serve the Cumin Lime Coleslaw immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. As will all slaws, the salt in the dressing will cause the cabbage to slowly soften and let off a little water, so be sure to stir the slaw before serving to redistribute the dressing.

Finished cumin lime coleslaw from above

But if you need to prepare it ahead of time, go ahead and make the dressing and prep the vegetables, but combine the two just before serving for the crunchiest coleslaw possible.

Side view of a bowl full of cumin lime coleslaw
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  1. Such a great coleslaw recipe. I made it exactly as written, and it’s so yummy. Thank you!

  2. This is delicious! But is it meant to be 1 carrot per half head of cabbage or two – quantities say 2 carrots, how-to instructions say 1 carrot?

    1. Thanks for catching that typo. It’s two carrots, but honestly, this recipe is so flexible that it will work just fine if you only have one. :)

  3. Have made this both unaltered and with 1 TBSP orange juice + 1 TBSP lime (I was short!) and five-star recipe all around!

  4. This recipe turned out great as a topping to Shrimp Tacos. I added cilantro, black pepper, and a little water to thin out the dressing. Definitely will be making this again.

  5. I have probably made this recipe a hundred times over the years for myself and guests. It is always a hit. Thank you for all the delicious recipes!

  6. We make and eat this once a week on crunchy chicken or beef tacos with Spanish rice in the side. I too my tacos with it, and my kids eat it as a side to theirs. We love it!!