quick red cabbage slaw for tacos

Quick Red Cabbage Slaw (No Mayo)

This quick red cabbage slaw, ready in 5 minutes, makes an excellent side dish for a BBQ or served as the perfect crunchy element in a taco.

cajun prawn taco

When making tacos, there are a few elements that are absolutely essential to success.

They are: a creamy element, a spicy element, a zingy element and a crunchy element.

This quick red cabbage slaw ticks both the zingy and crunchy boxes so that’s a double win! And it comes together in just 5 minutes. However, for optimum flavour, I would recommend leaving it to marinate for 1 hour before serving/using, although it’s not absolutely necessary.

Alternatively, it would be a great option for a light side dish (e.g. for grilled meats) at a barbecue.

The tangy vinaigrette made up of olive oil (fat), vinegar (acid), sugar and salt is a combination as old as time when it comes to the dressings. Perfecting the balance of flavours in any dressing is what is key to success.

If you’re looking for other elements to add to your taco, why not try my Homemade Tomato Salsa or my Chunky Guacamole?


This quick red cabbage slaw recipe is vegetarian, vegan and dairy free, as I don’t use any mayonnaise in it. It doesn’t need it! It’s a healthy alternative, as it doesn’t require mayo so it has reduced calories in comparison to a traditional coleslaw.

There is olive oil in the recipe, so it’s not wholly fat-free.

But olive oils are a healthy source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which is often linked with good heart health due to its role in the Mediterranean diet and can contain substances that have been linked to health benefits.

Kitchen Hack For Shredding Cabbage VERY Finely!

Check out my video here: Ultimate Hack For Cutting Up Cabbage

Use a vegetable peeler! It will get the cabbage so much finer than the knife skills of your average person. It is one of my favourite kitchen hacks.

If you don’t have this type of peeler however, you can use a knife to finely chop the cabbage too.


The joy of this slaw recipe is you’ll most likely have all the ingredients in your store cupboard already. And if not the exact items, there are some substitutes you can use (mentioned below).

Red Cabbage: you can use white cabbage if you have a spare half lying in your fridge.

Olive Oil: any neutral oil is fine, but I like the taste of a good quality olive oil.

Sugar: I don’t specify as any sugar is fine.

White Vinegar: Red Wine Vinegar or Cider Vinegar can also be used.

Dried Oregano: you could also use 1/4 teaspoon of dried mint too.

Salt + White Pepper: I prefer the taste of white pepper in this salad

You could choose to add other vegetables (carrots, onions, white cabbage, grated courgette/zuchinni etc.). But if doing so, you may need to double the volume of dressing if increasing the amount of veg used.

Be Careful!

Working with red cabbage, much like with beetroot, comes with a hazard!

It will dye your fingers and hands red / purple! So opt to wear gloves whilst making this if you have any sort of special event later. Unless you like the purple handed look …

Marinating Stage

You might have searched for this recipe right before you’re due to have guests over. Or right before you serve dinner. And you’re now asking the question “do I need to marinate it?” The short answer is no.

It isn’t necessary, but it does help to develop the flavours and deepen the complexity. It also allows the dressing to soften the cabbage a tiny bit.

But if you chose this specific red cabbage slaw recipe because it can be ready in 5 minutes, rest assured. You can make and serve straight away.


Fridge: store the cabbage in an air-tight container in the fridge for up top 5 days.

The cabbage will soften further, but the flavours will intensify as you are allowing it to marinate longer.

I would say optimum time for use is within 2-3 days.

Eat + Enjoy!

Maybe you’re looking to incorporate more colour into your diet. They do say to eat a rainbow. Or you received a red cabbage in your fresh fruit and veg delivery box. Maybe you specifically searched for this recipe, and if so, thank you! Whatever brought you here, I hope you enjoy it.

quick red cabbage slaw for tacos

Quick Red Cabbage Slaw For Tacos

The perfect crunchy and zingy addition!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 201 kcal


  • 1 red cabbage small
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper


  • Prepare cabbage by either thinly slicing or shred finely using a vegetable peeler
  • To make the dressing, whisk all other ingredients together in a bowl
  • Add cabbage to dressing and mix together
  • Let it marinate to achieve the best outcome!


Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 352mgPotassium: 510mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2341IUVitamin C: 120mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 2mg
Keyword marinated red cabbage, quick red cabbage slaw for tacos, quick shredded red cabbage slaw
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Looking for a specific recipe?