When it comes to coleslaw, do you get overwhelmed at ALL the different ways you can make it or are you like “bring it on, I want to try all the coleslaw recipes”? No matter which side of the fence you’re on, I think you should try this Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw that I have updated to make dairy free!
I have to say, with all the different ways coleslaw can be served, it is kind of important to have several different slaw recipes in your wheelhouse. When I created this Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw I had tacos on my mind, fish tacos to be specific.
The cilantro and lime in this slaw are a match made in heaven when it comes to piling this coleslaw on top of fish tacos. For me, I don’t need anything more than a really good corn tortilla, this slaw and some perfectly cooked fish or shrimp. Okay, if I’m being honest, I’d want to throw on some Tomato-Mango Pico de Gallo too. Check out my recipe for Fish Tacos to get the full recipe for my favorite fish tacos!
Besides fish tacos, this slaw is a PERFECT topper for pulled pork. Haven’t tried that combo yet? Please do and then leave a comment below to let me know what you think!
What’s in the Dressing for this Coleslaw?
The dressing for this coleslaw is about as easy as it gets, with just 4 simple ingredients! And two of those ingredients are salt and pepper, so when I say this is easy, I mean it!
When I originally published this recipe, I used sour cream in the dressing. It was something different than typical mayonnaise in coleslaw and the tanginess of the sour cream tasted great with the cilantro and lime flavors.
But, now that I eat dairy free, I wanted to make this recipe dairy free as well. I figured I would have to switch the sour cream to mayonnaise to make it dairy free, but then I started exploring non-dairy yogurts and found one that works really well in this recipe. It’s the closest non-dairy ingredient option to sour cream that I have found.
So, the 4 ingredients in the dressing are the plain non-dairy yogurt, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Simple, right?
How to Choose the Right Non-Dairy Yogurt for the Dressing
When I finally gave dairy the boot, I didn’t think I’d eat yogurt again, and I was fine with that. I had never been a huge yogurt eater, but I did enjoy Greek style yogurt now and then. I liked how thick and creamy it was.
As I was trying to find the right non-dairy ingredient to use instead of the sour cream in this coleslaw, I decided it was time to start exploring the world of non-dairy yogurts.
I was really encouraged to see so many options when it came to non-dairy yogurts. You can get yogurt that’s based on coconut, almond, oat, and cashew milks. Most of the non-dairy yogurts have a plain version and fruit-flavored versions, similar to what you would see in the dairy yogurt case.
The biggest difference I’ve seen is that with the plain versions of the non-dairy yogurts, most of them have a tiny bit of added sugar. I’m not sure if that helps the live cultures in the yogurt stay active or what, but it’s different than plain dairy yogurts, which almost never contain added sugar.
When it comes to using yogurt for cooking, I definitely do not want to use a version that has added sugar if I don’t have to, so I was really happy to find a yogurt that was plain, non-dairy, AND didn’t have any added sugar.
Plus, the taste was VERY neutral and seemed similar to the flavor of sour cream (more similar than I expected to find, actually!). The yogurt I ended up using is So Delicious brand plain “unsweetened” coconutmilk yogurt alternative. If you can find this yogurt to use in the coleslaw, do it! If not, any other plain non-dairy yogurt, preferably unsweetened, will work fine.
Why Add Sesame Seeds?
I know sesame seeds don’t exactly seem like a typical ingredient in coleslaw, but the extra bit of flavor these small, mighty seeds give adds a finishing touch that I really like. Plus, they look cute too and I’m all about making my food look pretty – after all, we “eat” first with our eyes!
You can buy sesame seeds toasted, or toast your own, which is simple to do. I’ve given a tip for that in the recipe below.
You can leave them out of the coleslaw if you like, but you won’t be sorry if you add them. Or, if you prefer, you could add toasted chopped almonds instead. You’ll just want to use more if you choose to use almonds.
How Long Can I Keep This Coleslaw?
Technically, the coleslaw will stay food safe for 3 to 4 days if it is stored in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. But, the quality of the coleslaw won’t stay good that whole time.
As coleslaw sits, the vegetables will start to water out and the cabbage will get limp and lose its crunch. Plus, the fresh cilantro that’s in this coleslaw will get wilted and darken.
If you’re using some red cabbage in your coleslaw, the red of the cabbage will start to leach out, get watery and cause the rest of the salad to take on a pinkish-red tint the longer the coleslaw sits. While this doesn’t make the salad unsafe to eat, it’s just not as appetizing.
So, for coleslaw, I say it’s best to chill the slaw no more than 12 hours.
Next time you’re in the mood for a fresh, healthy slaw, or are making fish tacos and want to give them a restaurant quality upgrade by adding coleslaw, make this Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw. You’ll never know it’s dairy free.
Speaking of dairy free, if you haven’t grabbed a copy of my FREE guide on getting started with dairy free and gluten free eating, get yours by clicking the button below. Thanks!
Cilantro-Lime Cabbage Coleslaw
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- ½ cup coarsely shredded carrot
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup plain unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt alternative*
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted** (optional)
- In a medium bowl toss together cabbage, carrot, green onions and cilantro. In a small bowl stir together yogurt, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over cabbage mixture; toss to coat. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 12 hours.
Would plain Greek yogurt work as a substitute for the sour cream?
Jackie, plain Greek yogurt should absolutely work well in place of the sour cream. I would recommend using the full-fat version of the Greek yogurt, but if you prefer a different fat level, that will work too!