Spicy Rainbow Slaw

Spicy Rainbow Slaw recipe | theviewfromgreatisland.com

This healthy Spicy Rainbow Slaw with a tangy lemon yogurt dressing is made with red and green cabbage, bell peppers, watermelon radishes, jicama, and a touch of jalapeno 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! | theviewfromgreatisland.com

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 | theviewfromgreatisland.com

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 | theviewfromgreatisland.com

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.

4.2 from 5 votes

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • 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! | theviewfromgreatisland.com



don’t forget to pin this amazing Rainbow Slaw!

This healthy Spicy Rainbow Slaw with a tangy lemon yogurt dressing is made with red and green cabbage, bell peppers, watermelon radishes, jicama, and a touch of jalapeno complements any summer meal --- it's cooling, crunchy, and crazy colorful! #salad #coleslaw #rainbow #healthy #summerside #barbecueside #picnicside #4thofJulyrecipe #memorialdayrecipe #grilling #cabbage #peppers #jicama #jalapeno #watermelonradish


used in this post…(the photos are clickable)

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  • Reply
    July 5, 2016 at 11:12 am

    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

    • Reply
      July 5, 2016 at 11:19 am

      I actually didn’t think about the no-mayo thing, or I would have made more of it in the post — it just came naturally not to use it, I think buttermilk is so fantastic!

  • Reply
    Katherine | Omnivore's Cookbook
    July 5, 2016 at 5:22 am

    So gorgeous! Craving for a bowl of this now!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    July 3, 2016 at 7:54 pm

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

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    July 3, 2016 at 7:22 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 3, 2016 at 6:47 am

    Beautiful! I’m a coleslaw lover, so will definitely be trying this 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 3, 2016 at 6:33 am

    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!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm

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

    • Reply
      July 3, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Kim <3

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm

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

  • Reply
    Donna-Marie (akaDM)
    July 2, 2016 at 4:07 pm

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

    • Reply
      July 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      The jalapeno 😉

  • Reply
    jacquee | i sugar coat it
    July 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Loving all the colours and flavours!!

  • Reply
    Annemarie @ justalittlebitofbacon
    July 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Charla @ That Girl Cooks Healthy
    July 2, 2016 at 11:14 am

    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.

    • Reply
      July 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

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

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 9:58 am

    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!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 2, 2016 at 7:33 am

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

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 2, 2016 at 7:21 am

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer Farley
    July 2, 2016 at 6:29 am

    This is such a gorgeous slaw!

    • Reply
      July 2, 2016 at 6:45 am

      Probably something you never thought you’d hear yourself say, huh 😉

  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Looks so lovely and colorful! Great slaw!

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