Jalapeno coleslaw kicks up a traditional picnic side dish with loads of extra flavor and a little heat. If you like things a little spicy this recipe will be your new favorite way to enjoy this classic!

bowl of Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw

If you are a fan of the flavors of a tex-mex style recipe, you’re going to love this spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw. It’s a delicious cabbage salad with a bit of heat from fresh jalapeno peppers and a southwestern style lime ranch dressing, this creamy coleslaw recipe will steal the show at your next BBQ!

There are some foods that are fine as is but are so much better when you make them a little extra by adding unexpected flavors or textures. Coleslaw is one of those foods.

While a standard slaw recipe is great, we love playing around with flavors and adding all sorts of extras to it. This spicy version is our newest favorite but you’ll want to give our Keto Avocado Coleslaw, and Fall Coleslaw (great with some pulled pork) a try too!

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ingredients to make Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw

What You’ll Need

  • Cabbage- Use a mix of cabbage for the prettiest results and make sure it is finely sliced.
  • Carrot- Shredded carrot will blend easily with the cabbage and make for a uniform consistency.
  • Bell Pepper- A mix of red and yellow julienned bell peppers will add extra flavor, color and crunch.
  • Jalapeno pepper- Seeded and diced jalapeno adds spice without an overwhelming amount of heat. Feel free to adjust the amount of jalapeno to suit your spice tastes.
  • Ranch dressing- Ranch dressing tempers the heat from the jalapeno and adds more flavor than plain mayo based dressing.
  • Mayonnaise- Full fat mayonnaise not mayonnaise dressing adds the best flavor.
  • Lime juice- Fresh lime juice adds bright tang and acidity.
  • Spices- Dried chili powder and minced fresh cilantro add even more deliciousness to this recipe.
bowl of Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw with fresh veggies

How to Make It

Combine the veggies. Add all the thinly sliced veggies to a large bowl and give them a quick stir so they are evenly distributed.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ranch dressing, mayo, lime juice and spices.

Toss the dressing with the veggies. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss it to incorporate it.

Refrigerate. Let the slaw sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so the flavors have a chance to come together. Enjoy!

Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw is the perfect make ahead keto side dish
Is Coleslaw Keto?

This one is! Some coleslaws add sugar so they aren’t keto-friendly but this spicy version has only 3 grams net carbs, no added sugar, and it’s packed full of keto vegetables, cabbage, bell peppers, and jalapenos. You will need to make sure you choose a keto ranch dressing! It is a great side to bring to a potluck and everyone will love it whether they are avoiding carbs or not!

What is the best cabbage to use?

Honestly, you can use almost any kind of cabbage you have on hand or can find at the store. I really like to use a mix of red and green cabbage since it makes it so colorful. However, you can use all green cabbage, savoy cabbage or napa cabbage. You can also use a bag of pre-cut coleslaw mix to save time.

Can You Make It Ahead of Time?

Coleslaw is best when it is super crunchy so it’s best to put it together right before you serve it. If you want to make it ahead of time, cut up all of your ingredients and store them in the refrigerator separately in air tight containers. Whisk together the dressing and refrigerate that also. Then, when you’re ready to make it, just toss everything together and serve.

How Long Does Homemade Coleslaw last?

This will last 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. I like it after it sits for a day and all of the flavors kind of meld together, but as I said before, if you like a lot of crunch its best to serve it as soon as it is made.

how to make Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw

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Servings: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw

Jalapeno coleslaw kicks up a traditional picnic side dish with loads of extra flavor and a little heat. If you like things a little spicy this recipe will be your new favorite way to enjoy this classic!
bowl of Spicy Jalapeno Coleslaw
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote


  • 8.5 ounces Coleslaw mix
  • 2 ounces Red cabbage, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  • ¼ cup Yellow Bell Pepper, julienned
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Ranch dressing
  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Cilantro, minced


  • In a large bowl toss together the coleslaw mix, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the ranch dressing, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder and cilantro.
  • Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.


Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 109kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 175mg, Potassium: 85mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 256IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Side Dish

This recipe was first published on July 8, 2016. It was republished with an updated recipe and photos on July 13, 2020.