Creamy Coconut Coleslaw Recipe
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This creamy coconut coleslaw takes me back to our vacation in Maui. It is, I could say, a “copycat” of the famous “France’s Coleslaw” we tried in Coconuts Fish Cafe on the island of Maui.
My sister and her husband went to the restaurant with us in Maui. We all had the coleslaw and tried to guess what was in it. I jotted down the proposed list of ingredients and was determined to make it at home. Props to my sister Sveta for picking up on the horseradish. Re-creating this was fun.
I should have taken a picture of my test kitchen. I had ramekins everywhere! The results were amazing. I think you’ll love this coleslaw!
It is delicious in any sandwich, over tacos or just in leu of your average coleslaw. I made the most amazing shrimp tacos with a mountain of this coconut coleslaw and those tacos were basically inhaled.
My sister came over to try them and she went on and on about how much she liked the coleslaw and even packed a to-go box for her husband to try it.
Ingredients for Coconut Coleslaw:
1/2 medium green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 small purple cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup Real Mayo
1/4 cup Coconut milk (Original, unsweetened)
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (both work great!)
1 tsp Horseradish cream sauce
How to Make Coconut Coleslaw:
1.In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 tsp horseradish sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice – honestly I tested both and liked them. My husband liked the vinegar slightly more so I went with that one for this batch).
2. In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced green cabbage with very thinly sliced purple cabbage. I like the contrast of larger green cabbage pieces with thinner purple mixed in.
3. Once the dressing is creamy and smooth, pour it over your prepared cabbage and stir well. Just before serving, give it a quick stir to make sure any dressing at the bottom coats the cabbage. So yummy!
Creamy Coconut Coleslaw Recipe
- 1/2 medium green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 small purple cabbage, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Real Mayo
- 1/4 cup Coconut milk, Original, unsweetened
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, both work great!
- 1 tsp Horseradish cream sauce
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 tsp horseradish sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (
or lemon juice - honestly I tested both and liked them. My husband liked the vinegar slightly more so I went with that one for this batch).
In a medium bowl, combine thinly sliced green cabbage with very thinly sliced purple cabbage. I like the contrast of larger green cabbage pieces with thinner purple mixed in.
Once the dressing is creamy and smooth, pour it over your prepared cabbage and stir well. Just before serving, give it a quick stir to make sure any dressing at the bottom coats the cabbage. So yummy!
What would you serve this coleslaw with?
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
I made this last night and thought it came out bland… while I was making it I was wondering about the quantities of seasoning vs cabbage, whether they were supposed to be tbsp instead of tsp but I went with the recipe so I could do an honest review. Next time I will increase the horseradish and acid.
Hi Lorena, if it didn’t seem like there was enough dressing, it may be that too much cabbage was used? If using more cabbage you would want to increase the dressing, otherwise the proportions are correct.
Hi Natasha. I made this recipe exactly as written except I used Halibut instead of shrimp. It was awesome! The tanginess of the cole slaw works really well with the fish. Shrimp is next but I’m sure that will be just as yummy.
That’s great, Robert! Thank you for sharing.
I made this and the dressing was rather bland. I scrimped on the horseradish because my husband refuses to eat anything that contains it. Is there anything I might be able to add to give it a little more ‘OOMPH’?
Hi Debra! I have not tested anything else in its place. A couple of things that come to mind would be ginger or some spicy mustard/mustard powder. Let us know if you experiment with anything.
I added some lime juice and salt and pepper. Next time, I will try some mustard powder. Thanks!
Can this salad be made a few hours ahead of time or best just prior to eating it?
Hi Wendy, I’ve made it a day in advance and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
I made this for your Shrimp Taco recipe and Oh! Soooo Good!!!! Just such a delightful flavor and certainly adds to the tacos. I used the can coconut milk as that’s what I had on hand. Will be making this recipe for other uses too. Thanks Natasha!!
Hello Connie, great to hear that the substitution that you used worked well. Thank you for sharing and I’m glad that you loved this recipe!
I want to make this but I need to know how many 1/2 cup servings does this recipe make?
I”m sorry, I have not measured this recipe in 1/2 cup serving sizes to know how much it yields. If I had to guess, maybe 6 cups. But this is still just an estimate based on approximately how much 1/2 of a green cabbage and 1/4 of a purple cabbage would yield when it’s shredded. I hope this is helpful.
Hi Natasha, I think I first saw one of you recipes on Facebook last year and ever since then I’ve been using some of them with my own tweaks , lol . I especially love the Chili with lean ground beef in a crockpot , it’s very close to my own recipe!!! I love following your posts, the photos of you and your family are so great. I love your videos also and the fact how witty, humorous you are. Kind regards, Carol🙂💜
I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying my recipes and videos! Thank you for your lovely review, Carol!
Natasha – loved the BBQ Pulled Chicken dish…and so did everyone else.. For the Coconut dressing, I only used 1/4 of a cup of mayo and a little less coconut milk, added some lime juice and more of the creamed horseradish for a ‘kicking’ punch. Everyone loved it…and I simply adore you, your recipes and videos.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Love it! I used canned coconut milk as that’s what I had on hand. So creamy and yummy. You have the best recipes and I’m never disappointed!
You’re very welcome, Sue! I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!
Just made your slaw for my low-card chicken tacos. Here’s how I adjusted-backed sugar down to 1 tsp & used Swerve Granular instead. Team this up with low-carb tortillas and some divinely seasoned chicken tenders & this is fabulous! This is a test-drive for a meal I’ll be making for a friend next week.
It lends itself perfectly for shrimp or chicken!
Hello Deb, thank you so much for sharing that with us. That is so helpful!
Can I use regular horseradish is I can’t find creamed?
Hi Jamie, You could leave it out, but the flavor wouldn’t be quite as good. I haven’t tested any other substitutions, so I’m not sure what else to suggest.
Hi. I am looking forward to making this but want to buy a pre-shredded bag of coleslaw. How much do you think I should use? The other ingredients will remain the same.
Hi Kelly, I would try to get the amount a similar amount to the ingredients listed. For reference, When shredded, 1 medium raw cabbage head yields about 8 to 8.5 cups.
Just now finding this recipe and can’t wait to try it. My husband doesn’t like anything coconut related so how would it turn out if I omit the coconut milk or what could I substitute it with? Thank you!
Hi Judy, this recipe relies on coconut for its creamy texture so I’m not sure how it would work without it. I also have not tried any other substitutes sorry about that.
Made this as part of a meal train for a new family and they LOVED it! I am going to make it again but substitute monkfruit sweetener for the sugar to make it keto-friendly. Can’t wait!
That’s so awesome! I love meal trains! Thank you for sharing that with us!
Hey! How far in advance do you think I could make this?
Hi Greg, I’ve made it a day in advance and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
Looking forward to trying this recipe. I knew someone would have this on the net. I was surprised when I read in the recipe you live in Idaho! So cool, I have regularly landed on your site over the years and had no idea. I live in Boise. Started reading more about you and look forward to trying your traditional Ukrainian foods. Thank you!
P.s. have you tried Zydecos bbq shrimp in Bend? I have tried a couple copycat recipes…I’ll check your website
Hi, I haven’t tried that but thanks for sharing! It’s always nice to meet a fellow Idahoan.
Oops! Forgot to Rate! Perfect 10
You’re so nice! Thank you!
Hi I was just at Coconuts on Maui and also loved the Cole slaw . The server told me they make it with mayo, coconut milk, pineapple juice and Wasabi for the slight kick. That would replicate the vinegar, sugar and horse radish in your recipe. Will try both and see which works best. Thanks! Love your recipes!
Thank you so much for sharing that with us Steve. I sure miss that place.
i hate horseradish what else can i use
Love-Love-Love!!!!! Making this awesome slaw for Thanksgiving-this time I’ll add toasted coconut. Yumm-o!
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
Hi Natasha, what can i replace horseradish cream sauce with? They don’t sell it where i live. Can’t wait to try this with your shrimp tacos!
Hi Carole, You could just leave it out but the flavor wouldn’t be quite as good. I haven’t tested any other substitutions so I’m not sure what else to suggest.
go with just horse radish found as every sea food counter in every supermarket around the country in cold section ask and ye shall receive I prefer the regular cause it has a great taste or mix in the mayo till ya like the taste remember food is a matter of taste
Thank you for sharing that with us.
You could make your own…
I read a comment from another lady that said the ingredients for the slaw recipe from Maui was mayo, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and Wasabi for a slight kick, So you can use the pineapple juice in place of the horseradish. Not sure about the sugar so play around with it and the what is best.
Can the coleslaw be made a day ahead?
Hi Candice, I’ve made it a day in advance and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
Never mind. I read the comments.
I haven’t looked for horseradish cream in the grocery, but I will assume it is different from just grated horseradish?
Hi Rita, yes, you can usually find it in a small glass jar near the condiments section.
Can’t wait to try this recipe
Hi Natasha – this sounds marvelous but I haven’t made yet. Most traditional coleslaw recipes advise you leave it in the fridge for a while before serving after the dressing is added. How long this recipe? Thanks!!
Hi Leanne, we serve ours instantly. We love the crunch from the fresh lettuce. I’ve made it a day in advance before and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
I didn’t have the patience to read through all the comments, so someone may have said this. I’d bet my bottom dollar that the Coconuts recipe includes fresh ginger.
This recipe does not but some of our readers have added that to their recipe 🙂
Natasha, AS a Mexican I usually like stuff Authentic ! Why, Because it saves a CULTURE, Namely MINE! But I see you are trying to be Mexican, and the shrimp Taco with the mango, coconut was pretty tasty ! I was thinking about adding a little pineapple,being Pineapple was originally from Mexico, the taste Profile is there ! So I give you an A+ Good Job as a Junior Mexican in Training ! Don’t Forget YOU have fruit to pick this summer! Ha ha Ha Ha !
Thanks so much Roberto, lol! I’m happy you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your awesome review! 🙂
Hi Natasha. When I need a new and or old recipe, I always go to your site first. Do you think I could add some shaved coconut and pineapple tidbits? I was wondering about it getting soggy…….
Hi Sue, I haven’t experimented with those so I can’t say for sure but it should work if you have well drained pineapple tidbits.
How far in advance could you make this? Night before for next day dinner?
Hi Carolina, I’ve made it a day in advance and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
I’ve made your bbq chicken & coleslaw now more times than I can count, lol. It’s one of my favourite Pinterest recipe finds! Thank you for sharing, it’s seriously amazing!
You’re welcome Rikki! I’m glad to hear how much you love the recipe! Thank you for sharing your fantastic review!
This turned out really nice!! I didn’t have any horseradish cream on hand so I used fresh minced ginger instead and it worked really well! Thankyou !
You’re welcome! I’m glad to hear you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I want to make this salad a day before eating it . Will it hold well? I’ve made before and love it but just don’t know how well it holds because it was all gone after making it !
Thanks for all recipes ! My husband is from Russia and your website has saved us! I cook so much Russian food because of your recipes and he is always impressed !
Hi Carra, if you want it to last longer, try using a canned coconut milk which is thicker. I think this salad is best the day it is made and should be refrigerated until used.
The red cabbage bleeds if left to long in the frig.
I looked at this recipe as a base for ingredients and edited a little (as I always do with other people’s recipes to meet my own tastes!). I recommend using canned coconut milk from an asian grocery store- that is literally coconut flesh/water ground up. The cartons you get at the normal store are watered down, chemically treated mimics of true coconut milk. Plus, the canned stuff is much thicker, so you can use more coconut than mayo in the recipe which I like better (I use an avocado oil mayo which worked great!). I also used honey rather than sugar. Yum!
Thank you for sharing your healthy modifications. I seriously love all your ideas! I will have to revisit this salad soon and try your suggestions! 🙂
Hi, some time ago I accidentally found this recipe – and I love it… I don’t eat/ drink dairy products, so coleslaw is never really easy to make in my country… but home made mayonnaise and coconut milk work like a charm – I would never have come up with this subsitute. I don’t have and don’t like horseradish, I just used freshly ground (grated?) ginger root – works perfectly fine and goes well with the coconut milk. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so happy to hear that!! Thank you for sharing your amazing review with me 🙂
My husband loved loved loved this! We all did! So good!
That’s GREAT! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review Lauren 🙂
I added 4 drops of Sriracha to it. Just a hint of spice!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
We don’t have horseradish cream in my country, only horseradish mustard for some reason. Do you think that will work?
I’ve never tried that product so I can’t really say for sure without testing it myself. I would suggest adding it to taste to a small batch of the coleslaw to see how it tastes.
I was just wondering about how many people does this serve…. if is it used with your Slow Cooker BBQ chicken? The same amount? About 8?
Hi Elizabeth, it really depends on how you serve it. It’s 1-cabbage worth of coleslaw. If you’re using it for sandwiches as with the BBQ chicken, yes it would still serve about 8 :). Enjoy!!
I have horseradish sauce, and then hot horseradish, which should I have used?
Either will work but mine was the hot variety 🙂
Is there a substitute for horseradish cream sauce? Not quite easy to get it here in this part of my world. But I would hope to make this dish!
Hi Zoe, the horse radish adds a flavor to the coleslaw that is not easy to substitute. You could omit it, but it would not have quite the same depth of flavor. It would still taste good though!
We have gone to Coconuts/Maui since the beginning and I have been trying to duplicate this as well. We know Mike (Founder and Father of Francis and now proud grandpa) and Francis personally and all he/she will tell us is that there isn’t any mayo in it! There is wasabi in it (and it now states it on their site)! Thick coconut milk is needed (one with heavy coconut cream – no lite milk for this). I think you are missing the main ingredient tho’…..Maui! 🙂
Thanks for a great “close to the real thing” recipe.
I hope you give this recipe a try one day and also the tacos. I love the ones I have just as much if not more and we were crazy about their tacos! 🙂
I can’t wait to test out this recipe. We know Mike the owner who created the famous fish taco. He does not add Mayo as his daughter does not like it and he said he only uses coconut milk. We lived by there for years and we had many tacos. I would have never guessed the horseradish! Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Donna! I love that you know the owner, that’s so neat!
Natasha, I am posting a round up of coleslaw recipes next month and would love to use this recipe. Can I use one of your photos in the round up. I will link back to your site for the recipe. Thanks for your consideration.
Hi Patti! Sure! That would be great. Thank you for including my recipe in your roundup 🙂
Mmmm …I liked the slaw but no one could taste the coconut flavor?
The coconut flavor is normally pretty subtle – I’m curious, what brand of coconut milk did you use?
I used Thai Kitchen unsweet coconut milk in the can from the Asian section in grocery store.
How much of the canned Thai coconut milk Did you use? Is it the same as regular coconut milk from the fridge? I have never used this and I’m a little nervous
I also was at Coconuts on Maui recently and found that the tang was wasabi not horseradish.
Hi Barbara, we tasted horseradish. Did you ask them if that was what they used? They are pretty secretive about it, or at least they were when we were there. We went there several times and sat and tasted to figure it out 😉
I want to make the coconut coleslaw for my daughters baby shower, along with the Chicken BBQ. How many does the coleslaw recipe serve?
It depends on how you are serving it. As a side, serves 4-6, in sandwiches or tacos serves 6-8.
Wasabi you get in restaurants and grocery stores is made with horseradish, powered mustard and green food coloring. Real wasabi is rarely used due to the expense. So, you are both probably right!
Wasabi in the U.S. is actually colored horseradish. Even in Japan, authentic wasabi is hard to find.
Hi, we dont have creamed horseradish here…what would you recommend for a substitute?
You could just leave it out but the flavor wouldn’t be quite as good. I haven’t tested any other substitutions so I’m not sure what else to suggest.
I used a bit of ground ginger, as that is what google suggested once! It was delicious!
Great idea! Thank you Katja! 🙂
Where did you get your coconut milk for this recipe?
Yummy! Made this coleslaw for a family get together and everyone loved it! The kids kept asking for seconds! No leftovers! Next time making a double batch! Thank you for a great recipe Natasha!
That’s awesome! I’m so happy to hear you all loved it! That’s pretty much how it goes in our family also! 😉
Love the addition of coconut milk. We love slaw….will be making soon. Pinned. Thanks for sharing.
You are welcome Mary 😀.
Making this tomorrow with your Cod in Tomato Sauce (one of our faves!!) and mashed potatoes, yum! Thanks for the great recipes Natasha!
I’m so happy you’re enjoying the recipes. Thank you! 🙂
I just wanted to give my review since I have already made this twice since I commented 🙂 This was delicious! Even my 4-year-old liked it. I was afraid to use the horseradish (when I took a whiff after opening the jar) and cut it in half originally, but I ended up using the full amount later and it was a great addition! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
That’s so great to hear! That’s always my favorite kind of review – hearing that kids love a recipe 🙂
Just wondering if the horseradish makes the dish a little spicy. I’ve tried horseradish once and it was a bit spicy. Also, would it be ok if I left it out?
Hi Sunny! The horseradish adds really good flavor and it wouldn’t be the same without it. There isn’t enough in the recipe to make it spicy. I didn’t get a sense of it being spicy at all in the recipe. I hope you love it!
I noticed one of the readers mentioned using canned coconut milk. Have you tried it in this recipe?If so, which is better to use carton or canned? Please let me know planning to make this in a few days for a family gathering. I Love all you recipes. Thanks!
I think it would work just as well with canned coconut milk. Most canned foods have BPA in them so I try to use cartons when I can. 🙂
The carton coconut milk in the recipe, was it sweetened or unsweetened? If sweetened, how much sugar should I add if I use canned coconut milk? Thank you!
Hi Sophie, in the recipe notes we mention the coconut milk is “(Original, unsweetened)” I hope that helps!
how far ahead can this coleslaw be made before serving. How long can it be kept in the fridge?
I’ve made it a day in advance and it was still good after being refrigerated 48 hours. I haven’t tested it further than that.
Yum! This sounds like an amazing cole slaw recipe & one I plan to try next weekend when we have company for our annual Memorial Day BBQ. Thanks for an original idea!
I hope you love it and this would be a great choice for a Memorial Day BBQ 🙂
Just saw this recipe on the news this morning. The guy from Coconuts Fish Café was on the channel describing how to make it so I just Goggled it and you Blog came up. Too Funny and Good job!!!!!
How awesome is that?!! 🙂
Just made this, totally delish! Thanks for sharing it
That’s so great! I’m so happy you enjoyed the coleslaw 🙂
The owner of coconuts told us there is no mayo in the slaw. I think they might use the canned coconut milk that is thicker than the carton kind
Oh that could be! I’ll have to test that out next time. Thanks Young!
I Love salads with cabbege and this one looks absolutely delishious. I can’t believe you used coconut milk in it, what a great idea. I have to give it a try.
It’s a keeper!
It’s so good! If you take it for a spin, let me know how you love it 😉
Whaaaaaat?! How didn’t I think of a tropical coleslaw with coconut milk before?! This looks OMG. Will make this for sure with my own replacement for mayo (I know, I know). Looks divine, Natasha!
I’ll have to search for your mayo replacement and give it a whirl!! Do you have a link for it on your blog somewhere?
Greek yogurt with apple cider vinegar. 😀
This coleslaw looks amazing! Beautiful pictures, I just love these colors!
Jaclyn, thank you so much and thanks for pinning (I saw that earlier!) You’re so sweet 🙂
This sounds delish! Will make soon, as we love to eat all kinds of cabbage in general. So healthy!
The coconut milk addition makes it so scrumptious! I hope you love it as much as we do!!
Nice coleslaw. Thanks so much and have a Fun Day!
Thank you Liz! I hope you love it!!
That coleslaw sounds fantastic! Love the addition of the coconut milk. I bet this would be scrumptious on any kind of fish taco. Yum!
Thank you! It was incredible over the shrimp tacos. I can’t wait to share them with you all! 🙂