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Light & Zesty Taco Slaw (A Healthier Take on Coleslaw)

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Light & Zesty Taco Slaw (A Healthier Take on Coleslaw)

My family enjoys hitting the local taco truck once in a while for a fun dinner idea and a break from cooking. We especially love their chicken tacos which come with a delicious taco slaw on top.

You probably know how much I love recreating restaurant (or food truck!) favorites at home, and this one is no different. I created this taco slaw to include cabbage, cilantro, and lime for a bright addition to tacos or as a healthy and tasty side dish.

Is Taco Slaw Healthy?

When your food is fresh and full of color (naturally), you can be pretty sure it’s healthy! This taco slaw recipe is chock full of nutrients from fresh cabbage, cilantro, and carrots.

Here’s a rundown of the good-for-you ingredients:


This vegetable is full of nutrients that the body needs to be at optimal health, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, manganese, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Cabbage also contains a lot of fiber, which helps with digestion as well as other processes in the body.


This herb is packed with benefits. Cilantro contains vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin C, riboflavin, and beta carotene. In traditional medicine, cilantro has been used to stimulate appetite and help with digestion. The seeds (coriander seeds) are also used for indigestion, nausea, and dysentery. (Tip: We maximize our cilantro consumption by keeping this easy cilantro pesto in the fridge and putting it on everything from salad to eggs.)

A (Very) Little Spice!

This taco slaw gets its flavor from freshly squeezed lime, a touch of jalapeño, and a splash of rice vinegar. Did you know the juice of just one lime contains many nutrients, including antioxidants and vitamin C? Diced jalapeños and onions also bring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to this dish.

How to Use Taco Slaw

Using this taco slaw is simple. We love adding it to the top of chicken or fish tacos (any taco really!) or eating it as a side with tacos or other Mexican-inspired dishes. I’ve even mixed it into salads for more color and variety.

Love Tacos? More Mexican and Tex-Mex Inspired Recipes

If your family loves Mexican inspired food as much as mine does, you’ll love these recipes:

  • Steak Fajita Salad – This recipe is delicious and an easy way to transform leftover beef into a second meal.
  • Mexican Beef and Rice Bowls – I love quick and easy meals and this one fits the bill. It only takes 30 minutes from start to finish (and tastes amazing!).
  • Grain-Free Taco Scramble – Quick meals are a perfect way to teach kids how to cook and this one is one of our family’s favorites. My kids love this recipe for its taco flavor and I love it for its veggie content!
  • Chipotle-Style Burrito Bowl – When we’re craving Chipotle, I make this copycat recipe at home. It’s delicious and full of healthy ingredients.
  • Huevos Rancheros – I first tried these while walking across the country with my future husband. But now that we’re grain-free I needed to come up with a variation that was still delicious but didn’t include corn. This was what I came up with.
  • Tex-Mex Lettuce Tacos – This simple taco recipe uses lettuce wraps instead of tortillas which gives it a crunch and coolness that regular tacos lack.
  • Chicken Taco Soup – Adapt this recipe whether you have a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

I’m also looking forward to trying this Spicy Southwestern Paleo Casserole that includes shredded sweet potatoes, spinach, and other nutrient-packed foods.


Taco Slaw Recipe

The local taco truck serves their chicken tacos with cabbage, cilantro, and lime. This is my attempt to recreate their taco toppings.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Author Katie Wells




  • 1 head cabbage (small, finely shredded)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and finely minced)
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced)


  • In a bowl, mix together the shredded cabbage, minced jalapeño, red onion, carrot, cilantro, vinegar, and lime zest and juice.
  • Toss by hand to evenly coat.


Nutrition Facts
Taco Slaw Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Serve with tacos or as a salad base for a taco salad. Or just eat it plain!

What is your favorite Mexican-inspired dish?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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