Love jalapenos and coleslaw? Then this creamy and easy Jalapeno Coleslaw is going to be your new favorite! Cool, crunchy, and a bit tangy coleslaw paired with the fiery crunch of jalapenos is a match made in culinary heaven, and this easy slaw is perfect with all sorts of dishes!

coleslaw with jalapenos

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Infused with lime, cilantro, and jalapenos, this tasty Southwestern spin on Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw is crazy good. It’s creamy, crunchy, refreshing, and has a spicy kick from the jalapenos. It’s also an easy coleslaw recipe because you can do much of the prep work ahead of time.

Coleslaw is the perfect summer food or salad whenever you need to feed a crowd. Everyone knows and loves it, and this coleslaw recipe takes familiar flavors and jazzes them up with a spicy twist. We also love our Pineapple Chicken Tacos (slow cooker) with creamy cilantro slaw!

Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw with cilantro

Jalapeno Coleslaw

Like other coleslaw recipes, this one tastes best after having a bit of time to sit, so you can make it ahead of time and then pop it into the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

This is a great dish for outdoor BBQs and gatherings, but it’s equally delicious with your holiday feast. Light, tangy, spicy, crunchy, and creamy, this coleslaw has everything, and trust me, it’s delicious!

Jalapeno Coleslaw

Why I love this recipe

  • It makes enough to serve 8, but you can easily halve it or double it to feed a crowd.
  • You can control the heat level by adding more jalapenos or removing some.
  • Make it ahead of time and serve it later – it tastes best after sitting in the fridge for at least an hour.

ingredients for Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw

Gather these ingredients for Jalapeno Coleslaw

  • Green cabbage – Shredded.
  • Red cabbage – Shredded.
  • Red onion – Thinly sliced.
  • Carrots – Shredded on a box grater.
  • Jalapenos – Seeded and finely chopped.
  • Cilantro – Chopped.

For the dressing

  • Mayonnaise – Any kind is fine.
  • Milk
  • Sour cream – Any kind.
  • White vinegar
  • Lime juice
  • White sugar – Adjust the sweetness to suit your taste.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Celery salt

    deconstructed Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw

    How to make the best Jalapeno Coleslaw

      1. Combine the shredded green and red cabbage, sliced onion, shredded carrots, jalapenos, and ¼ cup of cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
      2. Mix the mayonnaise, milk, sour cream, white vinegar, lime juice, white sugar, salt and pepper, and celery salt in a bowl until smooth. Taste it and adjust the salt, pepper and sugar to suit your tastes.
      3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and stir well to coat. 
      4. Adjust the seasonings, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight. 
      5. Add the remaining cilantro and a few slices of jalapeno to garnish the coleslaw, then serve and enjoy!

how to make coleslaw

Tips & substitutions

  • Jalapenos can range in spice level, but if you want your coleslaw extra spicy, use a serrano chili instead of one of the jalapenos. 
  • Remove the seeds from the jalapenos before dicing them for the salad – they’re unpleasant to eat.
  • Thinly slice the cabbage with a large knife, or you can slice it on a mandoline.
  • You can use 2 bags of coleslaw mix if you don’t want to prepare the veggies from scratch. You’ll still need to add red onion, jalapenos and cilantro.
  • This is a vegetarian Jalapeno Coleslaw recipe. You can make it a vegan coleslaw by using plant-based mayonnaise and milk; replace the sour cream with vegan yogurt or coconut cream.

serving bowl of Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw

Serving suggestions

This is a flavor-packed and oh-so-easy coleslaw recipe, and it’ll pair with whatever you would serve traditional coleslaw with. I particularly like this spicy coleslaw with burgers or serve it with this epic slider board. It’s also terrific with Flank Steak Tacos, salmon, and more!

serving of Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw


Once dressed, this salad will keep for about 8 hours. If you want to make it ahead of time to serve later, prep all the veggies and the dressing, but keep the dressing separate. Keep the dressing in a jar in the fridge, and keep the veggies in an airtight zipper-top bag or bowl covered with plastic wrap. 

mexican Jalapeno Coleslaw

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mexican Jalapeno Coleslaw
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Creamy Jalapeno Coleslaw

Jalapeno Coleslaw is creamy, crunchy, tangy, and a bit spicy, and it’s the perfect salad to pair with burgers, seafood, steaks, and more! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8
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  • 4 cups shredded white cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 3 jalapeños seeded and finely chopped, leave on jalapeno to slice for garnish
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, garnish, divided

Coleslaw Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons white sugar, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper


  • Shred all the veggies and add to a large mixing bowl. Only add 1/4 cup cilantro. Gently mix together and set aside.
  • Prepare the dressing. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl; whisk together until smooth. Taste to see if you want to add more salt or sugar.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage.
  • Stir until well coated.
  • Taste for seasonings and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to overnight.
  • Before serving, add remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and a few slices of jalapeno for garnish.


NOTE: if you leave the seeds, it will make the slaw very spicy, so remove the seeds for a milder garnish.
Cuisine: southwest
Course: Salad
Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 401mg, Potassium: 189mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1790IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 0.5mg
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Jalapeno Coleslaw with cilantro