Table of Contents
  1. Watch how to make this Tex-Mex coleslaw
  2. Tex-Mex Coleslaw Recipe

Have you ever had one of those mouthwateringly perfect pulled pork sandwiches? You know, the ones dripping with barbecue sauce and finished with a big scoop of creamy coleslaw? A truly great pulled pork sandwich has a medley of ingredients: a tangy, sweet barbecue sauce, pull-apart tender pork, and crunchy, creamy coleslaw. Just as coleslaw finishes barbecue it also finishes tacos and burritos. I’m switching up the run-of-the-mill coleslaw for a Tex-Mex coleslaw that’s simple and takes just a few tweaks.

Tex-Mex coleslaw served on white serving platter topped with crushed tortilla chips and lime wedge all on wood surface

Coleslaw comes in so many forms: sweet, sour, creamy, or vinaigrette. The classic is a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. For a Tex-Mex inspired version, I opted to keep the mayonnaise and add lime juice for a sharp edge. But the southwestern flavor really comes into play with the spices:

  • Chipotle for smokey heat
  • Chili powder for spice
  • Cumin for warmth.

To balance everything out, a little honey is needed. It adds just enough sweetness to really taste the flavors.

Coleslaw created from red cabbage served with corn and tortilla chips on white serving platter

No matter the type of salad, I need some texture. In this coleslaw, the texture is, of course, easy with the red cabbage. But the addition of shredded carrot adds sweet, crunchy bursts of flavor.

For yet another layer of texture, corn is a must. While it’s definitely not traditional in a coleslaw, corn is wholly normal in southwestern dishes. The summer months mean fresh corn on the cob. Cutting the corn from the cob then sautéing it adds an element to the coleslaw that will make you crave even more.

Two hands holding bowl filled with coleslaw made from red cabbage with fork holding bite

The last element, and by far my favorite, is crushed tortilla chips. Just like nuts, ramen, and chow mein, tortilla chips add a needed crunchy factor. Choose your favorite chip, crush them up, and sprinkle in copious amounts over the coleslaw. The added crunch adds contrast to the creamy dressing.

This coleslaw has become my go-to for anything Tex-Mex. Breakfast burritos, tacos, shrimp: the pairing options seem endless!

Year of Brunch Recipes

Watch how to make this Tex-Mex coleslaw

YouTube video
Top down view of Tex-Mex coleslaw served on white plate with lime wedges and tortilla chips crumbled on top all on wood surface

Tex-Mex Coleslaw

2.34 from 3 votes
Regular coleslaw is great, but this Tex-Mex coleslaw is even better. Pair this with anything in the southwestern palette and it’s like heaven!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 12 servings


For the dressing

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp honey

For the salad

  • 1 lb shredded red cabbage
  • 2 carrots peeled and shredded
  • ¾ cup chopped scallion (white and light green parts)
  • 1 orange pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 ½ cups sautéed fresh corn (about 2 ears)
  • 2 cups tortilla chips crushed


For the dressing

  • In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, salt, chipotle powder, chili powder, cumin, and honey.
  • Whisk until smooth and set aside.

For the salad

  • Start by preparing the corn. Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels off the ear. Drizzle one tablespoon olive oil into a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels and cook until bright yellow and tender, 4-6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • Shred the cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded carrot, scallion, pepper, and cooled corn. Stir to combine and pour on the dressing.
  • Stir and if serving immediately, top with tortilla chip pieces.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 254kcalCarbohydrates: 24.9gProtein: 3.5gFat: 16.4gSaturated Fat: 2.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 482.2mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5.6g
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southwestern
Difficulty Easy
Method Cooking

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I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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