Delicious Costa Rican Cole Slaw Recipe

Welcome to my Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe! This dish is a refreshing and flavorful take on classic coleslaw salad. With a mix of tropical ingredients like tomatoes, avocado, and hearts of palm, paired with a tangy dressing of fresh orange juice and red wine vinegar, this dish is sure to make your taste buds dance. The combination of green and red cabbage gives it a vibrant color and a perfect crunch.

Growing up in Costa Rica, I have fond memories of enjoying this cabbage salad with almost every meal. It is a staple in Costa Rican cuisine and a beloved side dish at family gatherings and summer barbecues. I have adapted this recipe version to make it easy to prepare and accessible to everyone, so you can enjoy a taste of Costa Rica from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re looking for a side dish for your next cookout or a refreshing salad for a hot summer day, this Costa Rican coleslaw recipe is perfect for any occasion. So, let’s get started and bring a taste of Costa Rica to your kitchen!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Costa Rican Cole Slaw
Costa Rican Cole Slaw

Are you tired of the same old boring coleslaw? Then you need to give this Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe a try! It’s not your average cabbage salad. With a perfect combination of tangy and sweet flavors, this rican coleslaw recipe will have you coming back for seconds.

One of the things I love about this recipe is its versatility. You can serve it as a side dish or add some shrimp to make it a main dish. The addition of avocado, tomatoes, and hearts of palm makes it a tropical cabbage salad that’s perfect for summer barbecues and gatherings.

Not only is this Costa Rican coleslaw recipe delicious, but it’s also healthy. It’s packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like carrots, red cabbage, and green cabbage. Plus, it’s made with fresh orange juice, olive oil, and red wine vinegar instead of heavy mayonnaise-based dressings.

And don’t worry, even if you’re not a fan of spicy food, this cole slaw recipe has a mild kick thanks to ground cumin. It’s the perfect balance of flavors that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Trust me, you won’t regret trying this costa rican cabbage slaw recipe. It’s easy to make, healthy, and bursting with flavor. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredient List

 Crunchy and Refreshing: Costa Rican Cole Slaw
Crunchy and Refreshing: Costa Rican Cole Slaw

Before diving into the recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients list for this tasty Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe. To make this dish, you will need:


  • 1 small head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 small head of red cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 can of hearts of palm, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to have all the ingredients on hand before starting the recipe to ensure a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience. This recipe uses a variety of fresh vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, and avocados, that are easily accessible and add a flavorful and colorful touch to the dish. The combination of red and green cabbage with the hearts of palm gives the dish a unique texture and flavor. The ground cumin and fresh orange juice add a delicious and tangy taste to the dish.

The Recipe How-To

 A Perfect Side for Your Summer BBQ
A Perfect Side for Your Summer BBQ


Before we start, let’s prepare the ingredients. Take 1 small head green cabbage and 1 small head red cabbage. Cut off the bottom of the cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Then, cut the cabbages in half and remove the cores. Thinly slice the cabbage and place it in a large bowl. Take 2 carrots, peel them and grate them into the bowl with the cabbage. Add 1 chopped tomato, 1 chopped avocado, and 6 ounces of chopped hearts of palm.


In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice, and 2 tbsp of ground cumin. Pour the mixture over the cabbage and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Take 1 bunch of cilantro and chop it finely. Add it to the cabbage mixture and mix well. Lastly, squeeze 2 limes over the mixture and mix well again.


Your Costa Rican Cole Slaw is ready to be served! You can serve it as a side dish with grilled shrimp or as a topping for a classic coleslaw salad. This dish pairs well with tropical fruits and vegetables, such as bell pepper and mango. Enjoy!


If you want to add a creamy element to your cole slaw, you can mix in some mayonnaise or Greek yogurt before serving. This will give your cole slaw a richer texture and a tangy flavor.

Substitutions and Variations

 Add a Tropical Twist to Your Coleslaw
Add a Tropical Twist to Your Coleslaw

There are many ways to switch up this Costa Rican cole slaw recipe to fit your preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Swap out the olive oil for another oil like avocado or grape seed oil.

– Use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar for a slightly different flavor.

– Add in some diced tomatoes or avocado for extra texture and flavor.

– Swap out the hearts of palm for another crunchy vegetable like jicama or celery.

– Use only green or red cabbage instead of a combination of both.

– Add in some ground cumin or other spices like paprika or chili powder to give the slaw a bit of a kick.

– For a creamier coleslaw, mix in some mayonnaise with the olive oil and vinegar.

– Serve the slaw with some grilled shrimp or other seafood for a tropical twist.

– Make it a classic coleslaw salad by adding in some shredded carrots and using a mixture of olive oil and mayonnaise for the dressing.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe and make it your own. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 A Burst of Color and Flavor in Every Bite
A Burst of Color and Flavor in Every Bite

This Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe is a refreshing and colorful dish that can be served as a side or a main dish. It pairs well with any grilled meat, fish, or shrimp, making it a perfect addition to your summer BBQs or family gatherings.

For a complete meal, you can add some protein like grilled shrimp or chicken to the salad. The creamy and tangy flavor of the coleslaw pairs perfectly with the smoky and savory flavors of grilled meat. You can also serve it with some fresh avocado slices or diced tomatoes to add some creaminess and sweetness to the dish.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, this coleslaw can also be served as a light and refreshing main dish. You can add some sliced hearts of palm or chopped bell peppers to the salad for some extra crunch and flavor.

For the perfect pairing, you can serve this coleslaw with some tropical drinks like a refreshing mojito or a fruity margarita. The citrusy and sweet flavors of the drinks perfectly complement the tangy and creamy flavors of the coleslaw.

This Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe is a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you’re serving it as a side or a main dish, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The Ultimate Summer Salad: Costa Rican Coleslaw
The Ultimate Summer Salad: Costa Rican Coleslaw

This Costa Rican coleslaw recipe is perfect for making ahead of time, as it only gets better with time. You can store the slaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to stir the coleslaw gently before serving to redistribute the dressing.

If you plan to make this coleslaw in advance, it’s best to keep the dressing separate from the cabbage and vegetables until you’re ready to serve. This will prevent the cabbage from wilting and keep the vegetables crisp.

When reheating the coleslaw, simply remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving. You can also gently warm it in the microwave for a few seconds if you prefer it warm.

If you have leftovers, you can also use this coleslaw as a side dish for grilled meats or shrimp, or as a topping for tacos or sandwiches. The flavors will continue to meld and develop over time, making it a versatile and delicious addition to any meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A Healthy and Delicious Way to Satisfy Your Cravings
A Healthy and Delicious Way to Satisfy Your Cravings

To ensure the perfect Costa Rican Cole Slaw, I have some tips and tricks that I have learned throughout my years of cooking. These tips will help you make the best coleslaw you’ve ever tasted.

First of all, it’s very important to use fresh ingredients. Make sure you use fresh cabbage, carrots, and peppers. If you can, try to get them from a local farmer’s market or grocery store. The fresher the produce, the better the taste.

When you’re preparing the cabbage and carrots, make sure to slice them thinly. This will make them easier to eat and will also help the dressing to coat them evenly. Use a sharp knife or a mandolin to get thin, even slices.

Another important tip is to season the cabbage and carrots with salt and pepper before you mix them with the dressing. This will help to draw out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and will also help to tenderize them. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the salt and pepper, but be careful not to overdo it.

When making the dressing, be sure to whisk the olive oil and vinegar together vigorously until they emulsify. This will help to create a smooth, creamy dressing that will coat the vegetables evenly. You can also add a bit of mayonnaise to the dressing if you prefer a creamier texture.

One of my favorite variations on this recipe is to add some chopped avocado and tomatoes to the mix. This gives the coleslaw a delicious tropical twist and adds some extra nutrients and flavor.

Finally, be sure to let the coleslaw chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to meld and the vegetables to absorb the dressing. You can even make it a day ahead of time and let it chill overnight for even better results.

By following these simple tips, you will be able to make the perfect Costa Rican Cole Slaw every time. Enjoy!

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Costa Rican Cole Slaw recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves fresh and vibrant flavors. Its unique combination of ingredients creates a refreshing and delicious salad that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue, enjoying a picnic with friends, or just looking for a healthy side dish, this recipe is sure to impress.

I hope you enjoyed learning about this recipe and feel inspired to give it a try. With its simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, it’s a recipe that anyone can master. So, grab some cabbage, carrots, and a few other ingredients, and get ready to make the best cole slaw you’ve ever tasted.

Remember, you can always customize this recipe to your liking by adding in your favorite ingredients or adjusting the amounts of certain ingredients. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make it your own.

Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

Costa Rican Cole Slaw Recipe

This recipe is perfect for a beach front cooking party. It’s based on a recipe in the New York Times.

  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into thin strips
  • 12 ounces hearts of palm, drained and sliced into thin strips
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced thin
  • 1 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into a fine dice
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. In a small pot set over medium heat, combine the orange juice and cumin and reduce to 1/2 cup. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cabbages, carrots, hearts of palm and avocado in a large, nonreactive bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Put the diced tomatoes into a small, nonreactive bowl and add the reduced orange juice, the vinegar and olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix to combine. Can be served immediately, or covered and placed in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before serving.
Side Dish
Costa Rican
< 60 Mins, Costa Rican, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein

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