Cabbage and Fennel Slaw with Creamy Jalapeño Dressing

cabbage and fennel coleslaw with creamy jalapeño dressing!

Cabbage and fennel slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing is crunchy and delicious, with just a touch of heat ~ you’re gonna love it!

serving cabbage slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing

cabbage and fennel slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing has a mild heat and an irresistible crunch

I’m on a slaw bender right now and there’s no shame in that. It’s the way I transition into salad season. Hearty slaws satisfy my craving for raw food while my eating habits are still stuck in comfort mode.

Shred up a few veggies and blend up your creamy dressing and you’ve got one heck of a side dish. If you’re pressed for time this amazing dressing will make even a bagged slaw mix look good (but please don’t resort to that, slicing up a head of cabbage takes two seconds!). And it lasts for days in the fridge. That means for a minimal amount of work you don’t have to think about getting fresh greens and healthy fiber for days. Sweet.

cabbage slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing

veggies for the cabbage and fennel slaw

  • white cabbage ~ white cabbage is the name for regular, pale green cabbage. A small head will do, regular white cabbage is so tightly packed it expands exponentially when you shred it. A tiny head will fill a big salad bowl.
  • fennel ~ a late winter/early spring veg that adds wonderful crunch and flavor to a slaw. Save the fronds for a garnish, or chop them up and fold right into the slaw. Don’t like fennel? Leave it out or substitute celery, jicama, cucumber, or green bell pepper.
  • Vidalia onion ~ or any generic sweet onion. Vidalia onions are quite mild and sweet, and balance out the white cabbage nicely. Yes, you can absolutely eat them raw, they’re delicious! Sweet onions lack the sharp sulphuric compounds that make regular onions sharp. Look for them right next to the regular onions in your produce aisle.
making creamy jalapeno dressing

the creamy jalapeño dressing (star of the show)

How hot is this dressing? Not very! Of course you can amp up the heat with more peppers, but a single jalapeño is quite mild, actually.

  • jalapeño ~ use 1-2 depending on how hot your peppers are and how hot you want your dressing.
  • sour cream ~ cool and silky, it puts the ‘creamy’ in creamy jalapeño!
  • mayonnaise ~ if you want to cut fat you could use yogurt or buttermilk instead. For a real treat, make your own mayo!
  • lemon ~ along with the horseradish lemon just brightens the dressing.
  • horseradish ~ prepared horseradish in a jar can vary in strength, so add to taste. I add to add quite a bit to be able to taste that zing I was after. For a real treat make your own horseradish sauce!
  • sugar ~ just a pinch enhances and marries all the flavors, really! Add it little by little until it’s just right.
  • salt ~ same as above.
creamy jalapeño dressing in jar

the best way to shred cabbage for slaw

There’s no need to get out your food processor’s shredding attachment, or even the scary mandoline or box grater, for that matter. Let’s keep our knuckles intact ~ all you’ll need is a sharp knife. Slice the cabbage in half through the core, then in half again. Remove the core and slice your cabbage wedges into very thin slices. Slicing with a knife preserves the crunch of the cabbage and keeps the slaw from becoming too soggy. It’s also a lot quicker and easier. A win win.

shredded cabbage, onion, and fennel in a bowl

when you just can’t get enough slaw

If you make this recipe, let me know in the comments (and leave a rating!) I read every comment and respond to questions asap. Tag me on Instagram if you take a pic of your dish so I can see 🙂

cabbage and fennel coleslaw with creamy jalapeño dressing!
5 from 3 votes

Cabbage and Fennel Slaw

Cabbage and fennel slaw with creamy jalapeño dressing is crunchy and delicious, with just a touch of heat, you're gonna love it!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 108kcal
Author Sue Moran


creamy jalapeño dressing

  • 1-2 jalapeños
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste


  • 1 small head white cabbage
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 1 fennel bulb


  • Put the dressing ingredients into a small food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Taste to adjust any of the ingredients. Note: jalapeños vary in their level of heat, but generally one pepper will give you a mild to moderate heat, and two will up the spice factor. I used 1 1/2 peppers, with the seeds and veins. I thinly sliced the remaining half pepper for garnish.
    creamy jalapeño dressing
  • Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Then thinly shred the quarters. Peel and quarter the onion, then thinly slice it (you may not need the whole onion.) Trim the fennel bulb and slice in half, remove the core, and thinly slice. I like to reserve some of the fennel fronds for a garnish.
    ingredients for coleslaw
  • Put all the veggies in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat everything well.
    shredded cabbage, onion, and fennel in a bowl
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Toss again before serving, and add more dressing if you like. Garnish with fennel fronds and thinly sliced jalapeños if you like.
    creamy jalapeño coleslaw in a bowl


Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 188IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2022 at 12:02 pm

    5 stars
    Absolutely DELICIOUS. The dressing and the fennel are inspired!!! Having leftovers for lunch

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 11, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      Yay! Thanks for the quick review 🙂

  • Reply
    March 10, 2022 at 4:15 am

    Our family has always been a “slaw” type of family. I have never tasted fennel before and just don’t know how to go about prepping it. Is it like a cabbage on the inside when you slice it in half? What does it taste like?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 10, 2022 at 6:39 am

      Hi Colleen ~ fennel is part of the carrot family, and it has a mild ‘licorice’ flavor, which is pretty unique. The whole thing is edible but mostly it’s the white bulb part we use. You’ll trim the green parts off, then slice the bulb in half. Remove loose outer layer, cut out the core, and simply slice.

  • Reply
    Cheer B Kosak
    March 9, 2022 at 9:39 am

    Oh my gosh, I am making this right away, I can bet that dressing will be great on so many salads or to dip into with your sandwich! Thank you!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2022 at 9:09 am

    im a slaw nut too.

    • Reply
      Tami Gifford
      March 9, 2022 at 11:13 am

      Looks yummy.

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