Spicy Whole30 Asian Slaw

Asian tahini coleslaw is the simple side dish ready in just minutes and packed with flavor. This Whole30 Asian slaw is a fun twist on traditional slaw with no mayo and a simple spicy tahini dressing. Great for parties or weeknight meals, this slaw is keto, paleo, vegan and egg free.

Two white bowls filled with spicy creamy asian slaw with a bowl of shrimp in the background
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Why you will love this recipe

  • The creamy tahini dressing makes this slaw irresistible. Made with coconut aminos, lime juice, and sesame oil, this tahini dressing is so easy to make with easy to find ingredients.
  • Great way to get in lots of veggies! Use whatever your favorite veggies are in this slaw. I love green and red cabbage but you could also use broccoli slaw or napa cabbage.
  • Perfect for cookouts, summer parties, weeknight meals or meal prep! Because this slaw doesn’t have any mayo in the dressing, it will withstand being out in the heat much better than traditional slaw. It goes great with burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon.
Ingredients for Whole30 Asian slaw.

Asian Slaw Ingredients

  • Green cabbage – green cabbage is inexpensive and provides a great crunch to slaw.
  • Red cabbage – this is added to add a burst of color. If you don’t have red cabbage on hand, you can omit it from the recipe.
  • Bell pepper – I like to use red, yellow or orange bell pepper for this recipe. It adds a pop of color and the sweet bell pepper pairs well with the dressing.
  • Shredded carrots – I typically buy pre-shredded carrots but you can also shred carrots yourself in the food processor using the grater attachment or with a hand grater.
  • Broccoli Slaw – this is optional, the broccoli slaw is crunchy and adds great texture to the slaw. You can omit the broccoli slaw without changing the recipe.
Ingredients for Asian tahini dressing.

Tahini Asian Dressing Ingredients

  • Coconut Aminos – coconut aminos are a soy free and gluten free alternative to soy sauce. This helps to give the umami flavor to the Asian tahini dressing.
  • Tahini – tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a texture similar to peanut butter or almond butter and has a very distinct sesame flavor. It is a great base for salad dressings and help lend more sesame flavor to the dressing.
  • Sesame oil – sesame oil has an intense, strong sesame flavor, so a little goes a long way.
  • Freshly grated ginger – I like to freshly grate ginger myself but you can also buy it prepared in glass jars. However those are typically not Whole30 compliant. See tips below on how to grate ginger.
  • Lime juice – Lime juice helps provide the acid in this recipe and cuts through that intense sesame flavor of the sesame oil.
  • Red pepper flakes – red pepper flakes are what make this tahini dressing spicy! You could also use sriracha or cayenne pepper.
  • Salt – the coconut aminos I use are less salty than traditional soy sauce. You don’t need much salt here but it does help to elevate the flavor of the dressing once combined with all the veggies.


Asian Tahini Dressing How To

  1. Start by making the dressing so the flavors can combine. Pour all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and stir well until well combined.
  • Sometimes with tahini based dressing, you will notice they take a minute or two of stirring to really combine well. Alternatively, you could put these ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 15-20 seconds to really incorporate everything quickly.
Before and after stirring tahini asian dressing in glass measuring cup.

Whole30 Asian Slaw How To

  1. Shred the cabbage (green and red) and prep the rest of the veggies.
  2. Add the veggies to a bowl and pour the dressing over top.
  3. Stir well with tongs to ensure all the veggies are well coated with the dressing.
  4. Store in the fridge 1-2 hours (if possible) to let all the flavors come together. Stir again before serving.
Whole30 Asian Slaw before and after stirring.

Top tips

  • Time saving tip: If you have it in your budget, buy pre-cut coleslaw mix to cut down on the prep time.
  • Prep ahead tips: If you are serving this slaw at a party where you want the best presentation, make the dressing ahead and chop/slice the veggies ahead of time and wait to dress the slaw until the day of serving. This slaw is great for meal prep but does lose some of its crunch as it sits in the dressing.
  • Make it to your preference. Many people like a slightly sweeter coleslaw. If you want to sweeten this slaw there are some options below on how to do that.
Overhead shot of Large wooden salad bowl filled with spicy creamy asian slaw

Other additions

  • For more veggies: Chopped sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • For more flavor: Cilantro, fresh mint, green onions
  • To add a creamy element: Fresh avocado slices
  • For more heat: Sriracha, chili garlic sauce
  • To add crunch: Toasted cashews or toasted sliced almonds

What to serve with this slaw

This slaw is a great side dish and will pair well with your favorite protein. Some great ideas include:

Common questions

How to sweeten the dressing

This recipe is great as is but many people enjoy a slightly sweeter Asian sauce. To sweeten the dressing you could add:

  • 1-2 dates (pitted) – you would want to make the dressing in a high speed blender to ensure the dates fully blend. I like to soak dates in hot water 5-10 minutes before blending to make them nice and soft.
  • 1-2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup – either of these would be a great option.
  • Low carb sweetener of choice – if you want to keep this slaw low carb, you could use a low carb maple syrup or stevia.
Large wooden bowl of veggies before tossing to make the spicy creamy asian slaw recipe

How to shred cabbage for slaw

I have 3 go to ways to shred cabbage for slaw. It depends on how much cabbage you are slicing and what equipment you have on hand. Be sure to remove any loose or dry leaves from the outside of the cabbage before starting any of these methods.

  • Thinly sliced with a sharp knife:
    • Cut the cabbage into 4 equal parts. First cut in half through the stem. Then cut each half in half at the stem again.
    • Cut out the stem keeping the rest of the cabbage together.
    • Next slice thin from the thin tip of the cabbage up towards where the stem was.
    • Repeat with the rest of the cabbage.
  • Use a food processor with shredding attachment: Cut the cabbage down into pieces small enough to fit through the top of the food processor. Keeping the shredding attachment on high, feed the cabbage through the attachment quickly shredding it.
  • Use a spiralizer: Set the cabbage up so the stem of the cabbage is again the handle and the top of the cabbage is against the blade. You just want a flat blade for this. Next just turn the handle and spiralize the cabbage. As you get closer to the core you will notice that the core will get spiralized as well. You can pick those pieces out or leave them.

How to grate fresh ginger

Start by peeling the skin from the ginger root. Only peel away the skin from the section you plan on grating at the moment. I use a vegetable peeler for this, other people like to use the back of a spoon.

Next grate the ginger on a microplane over the bowl. You will notice that the ginger will stick to the back of the microplane so be sure to scrape it off the back.

Store the rest of the ginger in the fridge if you will be using it soon or in the freezer for long term storage. You can store the ginger root in a stasher bag or ziplock bag whole or you can peel and grate all the ginger at once and store it in the freezer. To do this, first peel and grate the ginger then measure it out into 1 tsp servings on a wax paper or parchment paper lined baking tray. Once frozen, you can transfer the frozen ginger mounds to a freezer safe container.

Three steps on how to grate ginger. Peel, grate, measure.

Storing leftover Asian slaw

This tahini coleslaw can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. The cabbage will start to wilt after the first day, so if you need it to look great for a party, you may want to wait to add the dressing until the day of serving.

I do not recommend freezing coleslaw as it will get watery when you defrost it.


  • Green cabbage – you could also use napa cabbage, broccoli slaw or shredded brussels sprouts in place of the green cabbage.
  • Red cabbage – you can omit the red cabbage or replace it with more carrots or bell pepper for color and crunch.
  • Bell pepper – you can omit bell pepper and add more red cabbage or shredded carrots in place. You could also use sugar snap peas or snow peas in place of the bell pepper.
  • Shredded carrots – carrots add crunch and color. You could use more red cabbage or bell pepper in place of the carrots or add sugar snap peas or snow peas.
  • Broccoli Slaw – this helps add more crunch and variety to the slaw. If you don’ have it on hand, add an extra ½ cup of shredded carrots.
  • Coconut Aminos – you could also use soy sauce or tamari (gluten free soy sauce) in place of coconut aminos.
  • Tahini -tahini can be replaced with peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
  • Sesame oil – there is not really a substation for sesame oil, so if you do not have it on hand, you can simply just omit this from the recipe.
  • Freshly grated ginger – you could also use about ½ tsp. dried ground ginger.
  • Lime juice – lime juice provides acidity, you could also use 1-2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar.
  • Red pepper flakes – this provides spicy to the dressing. You could also use 1-2 tbsp. sriracha, garlic chili sauce or up to  ½ tsp. cayenne pepper.
  • Salt – omit the salt if you are using soy sauce or tamari (unless low sodium). You can try omitting the sodium, however you may notice once all the veggies are added, that salt is needed to make the flavors pop.
Large wooden salad bowl filled with spicy creamy asian slaw

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White bowl of spicy creamy asian slaw with a lime in the bowl, with chop sticks on the left side

Spicy Creamy Asian Slaw

$8.62 Recipe/$1.08 Serving
This spicy creamy Asian slaw is a great way to change up the usual boring coleslaw recipe! It’s vegan, dairy free, gluten free, paleo and Whole30 approved! It’s also simple to make and is even great for meal prep! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: asian slaw, asian tahini dressing, tahini coleslaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded - $2.76
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded - $0.65
  • 1 large red bell peppers - $1.25
  • 1 cup shredded carrots - $0.38
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw - $0.99

Spicy Creamy Asian Dressing


  • Spiralize or chop the green and red cabbage. Chop the rest of the vegetables and add them all to a large bowl. 

Spicy Creamy Asian Dressing

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the spicy creamy Asian dressing and stir well until combined. 
  • Pour the spicy creamy Asian dressing over the vegetables and stir well. 
  • Serve with your favorite protein


Storage: This tahini coleslaw can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. The cabbage will start to wilt after the first day, so if you need it to look great for a party, you may want to wait to add the dressing until the day of serving.
Other additions to this tahini coleslaw
  • For more veggies: Chopped sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • For more flavor: Cilantro, fresh mint, green onions
  • To add a creamy element: Fresh avocado slices
  • For more heat: Sriracha, chili garlic sauce
  • To add crunch and healthy fats: Toasted cashews or toasted sliced almonds

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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  1. Hi, your recipe looks delicious and I’m looking forward to trying it, since the last recipe I made from your website, the Crunchy Cruciferous Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing was amazing. BUT I’m a little confused by the nutrition facts on this recipe. How can this slaw contain 29g in 1 serving? That seems like a lot for something with like this. My daughter has Type 1 Diabetes so we need to have a good estimate on the carb count. Can you confirm that this is correct?

    1. Hey Heidi! I as far as the nutrition goes, I always recommend that you plug this into something like myfitnesspal or the loseit app since what we use to estimate the calories/carbs pulls from a less exact source. The carbs in this recipe are going to all be fiber rich and water rich so I hope you are able to make this and enjoy it :) PS I’m so glad you loved the Crunchy Cruciferous Salad!!

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