This Spicy Coleslaw for Fish Tacos is crunchy, creamy, tangy, healthy, and downright addictive. Trust me on this one – your tortillas are begging for it! As if that weren’t enough to love, this lightened-up recipe takes just five minutes to assemble.

spicy coleslaw for fish tacos in a blue rimmed bowl on a rainbow striped kitchen towel.      

If your Taco Tuesdays are feeling a little bland as of late, try spicing things up – literally! – with this super easy coleslaw that pairs perfectly with just about any kind of fish taco. Made with Greek yogurt and just a hint of mayo, this is a far cry from the overly sweet, gloppy slaw of your childhood.

About This Recipe

Now that the holidays are over and winter is in full swing, I crave all the foods that make me think of warmer climes – Pineapple Mango Salsa, Grilled Avocados with Quinoa Salad, Chipotle Chicken Salad, and, of course, ALL the fish tacos. It might be winter outside, but here in my kitchen, I can pretend that I’m at the beach!

As you may know, no fish taco is complete without a requisite slaw. Whether we’re talking Beer-Battered Baja Fish Tacos, Shrimp Tacos, or Cod Fish Tacos, they’re all massively improved with the crunch of fresh cabbage dressed in a creamy dressing.

This particular coleslaw was built for seafood – the dressing is made with bright lime, fresh cilantro, spicy chiles, a pop of garlic, and tangy greek yogurt that pairs beautifully with pretty much every fish I can think of. Not to say that you need fish tacos to eat it; it also tastes great on a BBQ platter or pulled pork sandwich, to name a few options.

And if you’re shaking your head and saying, “But Yvette, I can’t possibly eat something so creamy and delicious. What about all my New Year’s resolutions??” Well, amigos, I have good news for you. I wasn’t lying when I said I was pretending to be at the beach; this coleslaw recipe is built with swimsuit season in mind.

This tasty, tangy, spicy slaw has a mere two tablespoons of mayonnaise. The rest of the creaminess comes from probiotic-rich Greek yogurt! With just a few other easy-to-find ingredients, you can have the most flavorful, healthiest creamy slaw you’ve ever tried.

Best of all, this fish taco slaw takes just a few minutes to throw together. Simply prep your veggies, whisk together your dressing, and toss it all together. It literally takes just five minutes and I promise: it’ll take your fish tacos over the top.

Ingredients and Substitutions

My spicy coleslaw for fish tacos requires just a few inexpensive ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Greek Yogurt – I generally have a tub of greek yogurt in the fridge at all times. It’s great as a healthy substitute for sour cream, and can also be used to make all kinds of delicious breakfasts (yogurt bar, anyone??). You can feel free to swap in regular plain yogurt if you prefer.
  • Mayonnaise – While I’m all for making traditional recipes a little lighter, I couldn’t completely cut mayo out of the equation here. However, with just 2 tablespoons in the whole shebang, there is little guilt to be had.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh is always best. To get the most juice from your citrus, give it a firm roll on the countertop for 10-15 seconds before juicing.
  • Kosher Salt – I prefer the large flakes of kosher salt over table salt; it’s much easier to season things without salting them to oblivion. If you are using table salt or sea salt, check out this handy salt conversion guide.
  • Cilantro – Cilantro is perhaps my favorite fresh herb of all, but I know it isn’t for everyone. If you are cilantro-averse, try swapping in fresh parsley instead.
  • Jalapeño – Creating contrasting flavors is wonderfully exciting. Spicy jalapeño or serrano pepper makes an excellent foil for the creaminess of the yogurt and mayo.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can easily swap in 1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic powder instead.
  • Green Cabbage & Purple Cabbage – I love adding ALL the colors to my plate, especially when the world outside is bleak and grey. Feel free to use one or the other here.
  • Carrot – Carrot adds a pop of color and a bit of sweetness. Feel free to use any color of carrot, or swap in parsnips instead.

Prep Tip: If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, now is the time to get it out. You’ll be able to slice the cabbages and shred the carrot in a fraction of the time it would take for you to do with a knife and box grater.

Short Cut Tip: Buy pre-bagged coleslaw mix with shredded cabbage and carrot.

How to Make

This simple spicy coleslaw is a snap to make. I almost feel silly writing down the instructions! Here’s how to do it:

shredded green and purple cabbage and grated carrots in a bowl for making cole slaw.

First, make the dressing. In a blender, add yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, cilantro, chile pepper, and garlic. Blend until smooth.

spicy coleslaw dressing being poured over grated veggies.

Next, toss it up! Place cabbage and carrot in a bowl, then pour blended sauce and combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

How simple was that? I TOLD you you would love this recipe.

closeup of spicy coleslaw for fish tacos garnished with fresh cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

As I mentioned earlier, I created this coleslaw with fish tacos in mind. Try it on:

You can also use this spicy slaw on more than just tacos! Try it:

No matter how you serve it, I’m pretty certain that you’ll love it. Did you find an amazing pairing the world should know about? Let me know in the comments below, or tag me on Instagram so I can cheer your creativity!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yep! Feel free to whip this slaw together up to three days in advance.

Can I make it vegan?

Absolutely! Simply swap in your favorite plant-based mayo and plain yogurt, then serve it with my fried avocado tacos or crispy potato tacos for a vegan feast!

What else should I serve with my fish tacos?

I like where your mind is at. Some of my favorite sides include Slow Cooker Borracho Beans or Instant Pot Black Beans, and I’m a huge fan of offering a side of Tomatillo Avocado Salsa for an added punch of flavor.

Can I make this coleslaw less spicy?

Sure! Feel free to scale back the jalapeño to just half of the pepper, or remove the seeds and stems to dampen the heat.

Need More Taco Tuesday Inspiration?

Check out some of my other favorite recipes:

If you tried my easy recipe for tangy, Spicy Coleslaw for Fish Tacos, please be sure to rate and review it below!

bowl of spicy coleslaw for fish tacos in a bowl on a striped multi-colored tea towel with a head of garlic, halved lime, bunch of cilantro and whole jalapeño on the side.

spicy coleslaw for fish tacos in a blue rimmed bowl on a rainbow striped kitchen towel.

Spicy Coleslaw For Fish Tacos

5 (1 rating)
This Spicy Coleslaw for Fish Tacos is crunchy, creamy, tangy, healthy, and downright addictive. Trust me on this one - your tortillas are begging for it! As if that weren't enough to love, this lightened-up recipe takes just five minutes to assemble.

Ingredients

Slaw

  • 1/2 cup Greek or plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup green cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced
  • 1 carrot, shredded

Instructions 

  • In a blender, add yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, salt, cilantro, chile pepper, and garlic. Blend until smooth.
  • Place cabbage and carrot in a bowl, then pour blended sauce and combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. 

Notes

  • Buy packaged coleslaw to save time in place of cabbage and carrot.
  • Make vegan using your favorite plant-based plain yogurt and mayo alternatives.
  • Prepared coleslaw will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Calories: 88kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 365mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2928IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1mg