Recipe: Easy Taco Slaw

Recipe: Easy Taco Slaw

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Sheela Fiorenzo
Jul 24, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

I firmly believe every Taco Tuesday needs a solid taco slaw — one that's crisp and refreshing, just a bit creamy, and works with any filling you have on the roster for the night. Consider this your go-to recipe from here on out. Crunchy red cabbage and sweet carrots combine with spicy jalapeños and chopped fresh cilantro, and the whole mess is tossed with just a bit of mayo for creaminess and a big squeeze of lime juice for tang.

It's simple and straightforward — ready to complement any kind of taco, be it chicken, shrimp, beef, or black bean.

One Simple Trick to Better Taco Slaw

Yes, there will always be salsa and guac on the assembly line for taco night, but I always want something with some crunch to make the whole situation come together.

The key to the best slaw is salting the shredded cabbage — so don't skip this step. Salting it and letting it rest in a colander for 15 minutes first, before tossing everything together, allows for it to release some of its liquid, which results in a crunchier slaw that holds up better in the fridge. This means you can throw it together the night before you need it, making taco night a breeze.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Easy Taco Slaw

Makes about 4 cups; serves 4 to 6

Prep time: 25 minutes

  • 4 cups

    shredded cabbage (from 1/2 small head)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons

    mayonnaise

  • 2

    medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1

    small carrot, grated

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1

    small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

  • 1 clove

    garlic, minced

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Place the shredded cabbage in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Massage and squeeze the cabbage with your hands to help it release its liquid and begin wilting. Set aside to drain for about 15 minutes.

Place the mayonnaise and lime juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Using your hands, squeeze the cabbage of its excess liquid one handful at a time and place in the bowl of dressing. Add the grated carrot, scallions, cilantro, jalapeño (if using), and garlic, and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The slaw can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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