Spicy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw (WW inspired)

Spicy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw

***This post was updated 05-03-2017***

It’s that time of year, Spring BBQ season is in full swing.

I really enjoy eating coleslaw as an adult. But growing up I didn’t eat coleslaw at home or at any outdoor BBQ’s.

Cole Slaw isn’t common in Puerto Rican cuisine. But this recipe I’m sharing could easily be introduced to my culture because of the ingredients that go into it, cilantro! #TeamCilantro

Flavor & Spices does not mean Hot & Spicy

A misconception to Puerto Rican cuisine is when I use the term “flavor and spices” it gets mistaken for “hot and spicy” food. Flavor and spices means cooked with herbs, seasonings, spices that add vibrancy to your dish.

To me the term “Hot & Spicy” food means with heat levels from mild to hot peppers-which I really enjoy that, too. I think Buffalo Wings, Cajun Eats, 5 Alarm kind of food.

This recipe has bright flavors AND heat but you can control the heat to your liking. If you like it spicy heat, feel free to add more.

If you appreciate heat but don’t want to hiccup from it, reduce the amount of pepper and leave out the seeds and ribs in this recipe or use a mild chili pepper.

Sweet & Heat

I remember the first time I ate coleslaw-I was a teenager at a friend’s house of a traditional southern family. After I tried this cold, crispy, creamy and sweet cabbage side dish I was sold!

I have liked coleslaw ever since-and typically the same way with sugar in it. That is until I was introduced to this Spicy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw my sister-in-law brought to a family gathering a few years ago.

She shared this Weight Watchers recipe with me. While I have changed up the original recipe both recipes are equally delicious.

The beauty of cooking is the ability to take a dish and make it to your own liking. Sometimes I change things up because I am out of an ingredient but other times I change things up because of the flavor I want to bring out.

Or simply because I have a picky eater at home so things need to be modified. Even though I have a picky eater I refuse to dumb down flavors, I just try to tame them a bit.

I like this… A LOT

Let me go ahead and admit that I make this recipe often because it’s vibrant, crispy, with the acidic profile that goes with so many Big Eats.

I enjoy this recipe with a traditional southern BBQ, Hot dogs, Burgers, Pork, Beef and especially with Fish-especially with fish tacos!.

Or just a big plate of this with a protein. Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn-I’d eat this any time. This not only looks delicious but the taste is amazing! Bring this to your next tailgate,  BBQ or pot luck with people who like (or love) cilantro and watch it disappear!

Team Cilantro or Team Parsley

Oh wait! I forget there are people who like (or love) cilantro (like I do!). And then I discovered that there are people who dislike cilantro and say it taste soapy.

If like cilantro, this recipe probably IS for you! #TeamCilantro

But if you don’t make this with cilantro, I won’t ever know! So it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you left that out.

Maybe you don’t like the heat and need to tone that down. Go for it!

I just hope you give this recipe a try and rock out this Healthy Eat.

But I would like to know which team you are on: Team Cilantro or Team Parsley? I’ll only know if you share it with me. And either way, it’s alright by me!

This comes together quickly!

This recipe is super quick and easy to make.

I use about half a head of cabbage thinly sliced, and quickly shred a large carrot, fresh lime juice, olive oil (or avocado oil), lots of cilantro, Serrano pepper, sugar, S&P, and plain Greek nonfat yogurt for creaminess.

In a hurry and want to make this? Grab a couple of bags of cole slaw mix in the produce section to make things happen quicker for you.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you think!

If you make this, snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or on  Pinterest. #novalkbe #LKBE #TeamCilantro #TeamParsley

I hope you enjoy this at your upcoming BBQ or picnic!

Nova-Little Kitchen Big Eats

Yields 6 servings

Spicy Cilantro Lime Coleslaw (WW inspired)

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice- zest of half of this lime before you juice it
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup plain unflavored lowfat yogurt (sub with Mayo-Yogurt is healthier)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 1 fresh thinly sliced Serrano pepper (or jalapeño pepper leave seeds & ribs out if you need to tame the heat)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, broken by hand or sliced; plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 head of cabbage thinly sliced (want an easy way out, buy the precut stuff from a bag)
  • 1 large carrot julienne


  1. Combine lime juice & sugar and mix until dissolved.
  2. Whisk in olive oil. Mix in yogurt and zest.
  3. Salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Add cabbage, carrots, shallots, Serrano pepper and cilantro.
  5. Mix well; the longer this sits, the better it taste.
  6. Sprinkle a garnish of cilantro & pepper if serving to guest so they know what they are getting into.
Recipe Type: Easy


This recipe comes together quickly. But if you are in a hurry a couple bags of the cole slaw mix in your produce section makes this come together even faster. I just find myself adding more carrots to that.


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