When I serve a Mexican dinner party, I like to keep it simple and make all the dishes ahead of time. This Mexican slaw recipe is one of my favorites to serve because I begin with a bag of coleslaw mix, which is so easy!

I then add the bold flavors of pineapple, cilantro, and onion for a savory, tangy flavor that everyone will love. Tossed with a fresh dressing made with classic Mexican seasonings, jalapeno, and garlic, and this will easily become one of your favorite new Mexican recipes.

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mexican slaw with pieces of pineapple and cilantro mixed in

Authentic Mexican Slaw Recipe

​I feel like I could never get tired of eating Mexican food. And it’s even better when a recipe is authentic Mexican food! This traditional coleslaw recipe is so easy to make and goes perfectly with other Tex-Mex foods.

It is also great as a sandwich topping on American foods like Sloppy Joe’s or a Pulled chicken sandwich. The cabbage slaw makes a great salad to go with Oven-baked ribs, Texas Roadhouse Herb Crusted Chicken, or Shrimp with Boiling Crab Sauce Recipe.

This Mexican slaw recipe is also perfect for company because it has a bold but pleasantly sweet flavor with the addition of pineapple that just about anyone will enjoy.

And because it’s mayo, egg, and dairy-free, it’s a great option for summer cookouts because it can more safely stay out of the fridge without spoiling.

Slaw Ingredients You Will Need

bag of slaw, fresh pineapple onion lime seasonings garlic salt and jalapeno with a bunch of cilantro on the side
  • Bag of crunchy coleslaw mix – You can find this where you buy the pre-made salad mixes in your grocery store, or you can make your own from scratch (it usually consists of finely shredded green cabbage and carrots, and sometimes a bit of red cabbage, too).
  • Onion – I used white onion, but red onion will also provide a sweet flavor and a bit more bright purple color.
  • Cilantro – Chopped cilantro makes this easy Mexican coleslaw recipe even more authentic, but if you don’t like the flavor, you can leave it out.
  • Pineapple – Fresh or canned pineapple will both work in this recipe. 
  • Garlic – I like to use fresh minced garlic, but jarred minced garlic will also work.
  • Lime zest and juice – Make sure you use the real thing! It makes all the difference to squeeze your own limes.
  • Jalapeño – A bit of diced jalapeño gives the recipe a little earthy kick, but you can leave it or replace it with red pepper if you prefer.
  • Olive oil 
  • Seasonings: Classic Mexican seasons are cumin, coriander, onion powder, and a dash of salt.

📝 Note: You can find the full recipe with ingredients and measurements in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

How do I easily cut a pineapple?

For this recipe, you can buy canned pineapple if you prefer, but if you want to clean a whole pineapple, it will give your salad a bit more ‘crunch’ and even more flavor. To easily clean your pineapple, use a pineapple corer. It works so well and gives you beautiful slices of pineapple to use in your salad. Don’t have one? No problem. 

4 steps for how to cut a fresh pineapple for mexican slaw
  1. Carefully remove two ends of your pineapple and stand it up tall on a cutting board. Slowly remove the rind, trying not to cut away too much flesh. Make sure you cut out any of the dark black or brown pieces that remain.
  2. Next, cut the flesh away from the center core. The hard core shouldn’t be eaten, so look over the pineapple pieces well to make sure there’s no core still attached. Then, cut the pineapple into small pieces, and you’re done!

Smart Shortcuts

If you want to make this recipe even simpler, you can buy pre-cored pineapple in your deli. You can also serve it with ready-made cilantro lime dressing for a creamy Mexican coleslaw instead.

How to Make Mexican Cabbage Slaw Step-By-Step

  1. Grab a large mixing bowl and pour in the coleslaw mix. Easy, right?
  2. Dice your fresh pineapple into small bite-sized pieces. If you are using canned pineapple, drain the juice off. Save it for a drink later.
  1. About 15 minutes before serving, pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture. Toss well to be sure the salad is completely covered. Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors of the dressing meld into the salad. Give it one final stir, then serve!

Gina’s Tips

  • Add-Ins: You can also add extra ingredients you have in your fridge, like green onion, purple cabbage, black pepper or chili powder, red bell pepper, or crushed-up tortilla chips. You can also add a splash of red wine vinegar to the dressing for a little more tangy vinegar zip!
  • Make It A Salad: If you don’t like raw cabbage, you can turn this into a Mexican salad recipe by using a regular salad mix instead of the coleslaw mix.
mexican slaw with pieces of pineapple and cilantro mixed in

How to Store Leftovers

  • ​Store your leftovers in the fridge. They’ll be even better tomorrow once the dressing soaks into the salad overnight! Keep in mind that the crunchy cabbage might end up a touch soft, but this is still one of my favorite ways to enjoy this salad. Store it in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately, this salad doesn’t freeze well. I recommend you eat it up fresh!

Mexican Dinner Buffet Party

This is the perfect slaw recipe for a party because the lack of sour cream or mayo means it can more safely sit on a buffet table than creamy coleslaw recipes. It’s quick and easy for Taco Tuesday party, a special Mexican Dinner Party, or a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! 

Start the party off by serving a few Mexican appetizers. Set out a big bowl of chips and serve them with Cranberry Salasa, Green Salsa, Cherry Tomato Salsa, or tasty Fermented Salsa.

This Mexican slaw can be served as a salad along with Mexican Rice Salad and Mexican Caviar Salad. If it’s cool out, make a big pot of Mexican Tomato Soup or Cheesy Tortilla Soup to serve.

Then, for the main dish, this slaw could be used as a topping for beef tacos or nacho casserole.

Don’t forget to make one of these Mexican Desserts to finish up the party.

I Want To Answer Your Questions & Hear Your Comments

Do you have a question about this recipe❓ I will answer in the comment form below👇🏼 the recipe card. Did you make this recipe? If so, could you be a gem and leave a comment and rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below? This helps others find yummy 😋 recipes to make for their family and friends.

mexican slaw with pieces of pineapple and cilantro mixed in
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Mexican Cabbage Slaw Recipe With Zesty Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10 1/2 cup
This authentic Mexican cabbage slaw recipe is complete with a zesty lime dressing for a fresh-tasting, brightly colored side dish that pops on any dinner table or potluck spread.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 16 ounce coleslaw mix, bagged
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced small (fresh or canned)
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, seeds removed, and diced very small
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, fresh not bottled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl pour in the coleslaw mix.
    16 ounce coleslaw mix
  • Dice your fresh pineapple into small bite-sized pieces. If you are using canned pineapple, drain the juice off.
    1/2 cup pineapple
  • Wash and finely chop the cilantro. very fine. Peel and chop onion into small pieces.
    1/3 cup onion, 1/3 cup cilantro
  • Grate approximately 1 tbsp of lime zest (usually about 1 lime's worth). Then, cut the lime in half and squeeze out the juice. You might need to squeeze out two limes to get 3 tbsp of juice. Remove seeds from jalapeno for a less spicy slaw. Finally cut jalapeno and mince the fresh garlic.
    1 jalapeno, 1 tablespoon lime zest, 3 tablespoons lime juice, 1 clove garlic
  • Add the pineapple, cilantro, and onion, to the coleslaw mix.
  • Next, make the dressing by adding the minced garlic, jalapeño, olive oil, cumin, coriander, onion powder, and salt into a jar with a tight digging lid. Shake to thoroughly combine.
    1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 15 minutes before serving, pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture. Toss well to be sure the salad is completely covered. Let the salad sit for about 15 minutes to let the flavors of the dressing meld into the salad. Give it one final stir, then serve!

Notes

Tips
  • Add-Ins: You can also add extra ingredients you have in your fridge, like green onion, purple cabbage, black pepper or chili powder, red bell pepper, or crushed-up tortilla chips. You can also add a splash of red wine vinegar to the dressing for a little more tangy vinegar zip!
  • Make It A Salad: You can turn this into a Mexican salad recipe by using a regular salad mix instead of the coleslaw mix.
Serving: 11/2 cup, Calories: 85kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 126mg, Potassium: 112mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 106IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Cuisine: Mexican
Course: Salad
Author: Gina Dickson

⭐️ One last thing, please leave a rating and comment letting me know how you liked making this recipe. This helps me provide more free, high-quality recipes for everyone.

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