Spicy Jalapeño Coleslaw – Perfect BBQ Side Dish Recipe

Spicy Jalapeño Coleslaw - Perfect BBQ Side Dish Recipe

Elevate your summer barbecues with this tangy, spicy jalapeño coleslaw that packs a flavorful Tex-Mex punch!

Are you tired of the same old coleslaw? Get ready to spice up your side dish game with this mouthwatering Jalapeño Coleslaw! This recipe combines the creamy goodness of traditional coleslaw with the vibrant flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine, creating a perfect harmony of taste and texture.

The secret to this coleslaw’s irresistible appeal lies in its unique blend of ingredients. Sour cream and buttermilk provide a rich, tangy base, while fresh lime juice adds a bright, zesty kick. The addition of cilantro, cumin, and jalapeño peppers infuses the dish with authentic Tex-Mex flair, making it an ideal accompaniment to fajitas, tacos, or your favorite grilled meats.

What sets this coleslaw apart is the special technique used to prepare the vegetables. By salting the cabbage and carrots before dressing them, we ensure that the veggies release excess moisture, resulting in a crisp-tender texture that’s perfect for soaking up the flavorful dressing. This method guarantees a coleslaw that’s never soggy, always fresh, and bursting with flavor in every bite.

Zesty Jalapeño Coleslaw Recipe


For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice plus 1/2 teaspoon lime zest from 3 large limes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Slaw:

  • 1 large head green cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds), finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 large jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt


  1. For the Dressing: In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, lime juice and zest, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and black pepper. Whisk until smooth and well-blended. Set aside to allow flavors to meld.
  2. For the Slaw: In a large bowl, mix cabbage, carrot, and jalapeño. Sprinkle with sugar and salt, then toss to coat evenly. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Transfer to a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
  3. Dry the vegetable mixture using a salad spinner or by spreading it on a baking sheet lined with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Blot with additional towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Return the dried vegetables to a clean, large bowl.
  4. Pour the prepared dressing over the vegetables and toss until everything is evenly coated. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, or sugar as needed. Serve immediately for maximum crunch, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours to allow flavors to develop further.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
88 Calories
4g Fat
12g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 260mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 53mg 263%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 308mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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