This healthy Spicy Rainbow Slaw complements any summer meal — it’s cooling, crunchy, and crazy colorful!

Spicy Rainbow Slaw is the perfect side for all your summger meals | theviewfromgreatisland.comI adore coleslaw — it’s right up there with salsa as one of the most perfect foods, especially in hot weather.  It’s as healthy as it is versatile, and I think it adds that perfect touch to so many summer classics, from hot dogs and burgers to fish tacos and grilled kabobs.  I had a bit of fun with this one, hunting down the most day-glo veggies I could find for a rainbow effect.  Every batch will be a different color scheme, depending on what you find at your store or farmer’s market.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw is colorful, crunchy, and crazy colorful! |

I employed a combination of shredding techniques depending on the particular veggies.  I used my food processor with the slicing blade for some (red cabbage) and the shredding blade for others (carrots, jicama.)  I used a sharp knife to finely shred my Savoy cabbage, watermelon radishes, and peppers.  I used my mandoline slicer to get ultra thin slices of onion.  You don’t need to use all these methods, a good sharp knife will do the trick for everything too.

TIP:  Veggies that contain a lot of moisture, like onions or peppers, are better thinly sliced than grated.  Grating releases too much water and makes them mushy.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw with a lemon poppyseed yogurt dressing |

My dressing is a combination of yogurt, buttermilk, lemon, and poppy seeds.  It’s skinny, tangy, and delicious.

TIP:  Add a bit of celery seed to the salad for a classic coleslaw flavor.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw with Lemon Poppy Seed Yogurt Dressing |

I’m highly recommending this slaw, I brought it to a barbecue yesterday and everybody raved.  The bright pink watermelon radish was especially intriguing.

TIP:  Stay away from red beets in this slaw.  While they’re delicious and can certainly be shredded and eaten raw, they will bleed their color and turn the salad into a uniform shade of pink.  If you want to use beets, use a golden, or chioga variety instead.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

Yield: serves 6

Spicy Rainbow Slaw


  • red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
  • red, white, or sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • jicama, finely julienned
  • watermelon radish, finely julienned
  • carrots, shredded
  • red, green, yellow, or orange bell peppers, finely julienned
  • 1 jalapeno, minced, seeds and all
  • 1 tsp celery seed
    Lemon Yogurt Poppy Seed Dressing
  • 4 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp cultured buttermilk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Use whatever combination of veggies you like, to make about 4 cups of slaw. Mix the shredded veggies in a large bowl and toss to combine them.
  2. Whisk together the dressing and taste to adjust any of the seasonings. Pour on the dressing and toss really well to distribute it. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.


  • Don’t shy away from the buttermilk in this Spicy Rainbow Slaw, it’s low in fat and packed with tangy flavor.
  • Coleslaw does fine for a few hours in the refrigerator, in fact it gets better as it sits for a while, allowing the dressing flavors to penetrate the raw veggies.


Spicy Rainbow Slaw recipe is the perfect side for all your summer meals! |



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SPICY RAINBOW SLAW is the perfect healthy side for all your favorite summer meals! |


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25 Responses to Spicy Rainbow Slaw

  1. SallyBR says:

    Cannot tell you how much I LOVE that your dressing doesn’t involve mayo – here I am in standing ovation… to me, and I realize I’m part of a minority – mayo just ruins the lightness of it, it is cloying, heavy, way too oily

    I also adore coleslaw, but for some silly reason rarely make it from scratch – I am pinning this right away

  2. So gorgeous! Craving for a bowl of this now!

  3. I love these rainbow colors, such a great summer slaw!

  4. LOVE this dressing! I’m such a big fan of slaw in the summer months and I believe it’s one of the best ways for non-veggie eaters to get some nutrition, lol. I think all the gorgeous colours blind them!

  5. Beautiful! I’m a coleslaw lover, so will definitely be trying this :)

  6. Love all the bright pretty colors and crunchiness of this slaw. I can see why it disappeared. I know I could make a major dent in it all by myself!

  7. Sara says:

    This slaw is so pretty! I have a rainbow slaw recipe on my site too but it’s not the same as yours, definitely need to try your version soon!

  8. Kim says:

    This is absolutely stunning. The colour is just out of this world. Good tip about the red beets too.

  9. Noel says:

    I love when food looks so pretty! Great advice about the red beets tho! They sure do turn everything pink lol. I’m definitely going to make your dressing … even if it takes me a while to put the salad together!

    • Sue says:

      I was thinking though that it would be fun to make a regular ‘white’ coleslaw and use beets to turn it fuchsia!

  10. Donna-Marie (akaDM) says:

    We love spicey and slaw and this is so pretty! But…What makes it spicey?

  11. Loving all the colours and flavours!!

  12. What beautiful, colorful pictures! I love the combination of all those great vegetables and good advice on the beets. Red beets are wonderful, but not in slaw. :)

  13. What lovely colours and more importantly this slaw sounds amazing. I love your tip regarding beets yes they are a nightmare for bleeding into the other veggies. I usually omit beets too.

    • Sue says:

      I’ve heard that if you coat them in olive oil first they won’t bleed, but I didn’t want to chance it :)

  14. JWT says:

    I’ve made your Vidalia slaw and it was such a huge success, I got asked for the recipe so many times! I can’t wait to try this one, thanks Sue!

  15. Awesome colour, flavour and crunchiness…exactly what a good salad should be.

  16. The color has me mesmerized! So pretty and I bet it tastes wonderful. I could put this on just about anything or just as a show stopping side dish. Very nice recipe Sue! Thanks :)

  17. This is such a gorgeous slaw!

  18. Medeja says:

    Looks so lovely and colorful! Great slaw!

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