Asian Peanut Slaw
Asian Peanut Slaw filled with cabbage, peanuts, jicama, and celery and topped with the most delicious peanut lime dressing, all for under 150 calories.
This easy Asian Slaw is loaded with flavorful ingredients like cabbage, soy sauce, fresh cilantro, peanut butter, and lime juice. This vegetarian and low-carb dish is the ultimate side dish or topping for your favorite tacos and bowls.
To be completely honest with you, I have never been the *biggest* fan of slaw. None of the pre-packaged versions I tried ever did anything for me. When I made this Asian Peanut Slaw for the first time, I finally realized that slaw could be the absolute best thing ever. When made right, it’s the perfect way to add a ton of phenomenal flavor and crunchy texture to a meal.
The main difference between homemade slaw and store-bought slaw is that the latter is loaded with a ridiculous amount of artificial sugars and preservatives. On the flip side, my Asian Slaw is made with cabbage, jicama, and other veggies tossed in a homemade spicy peanut lime dressing. All the good stuff you love and none of the fake stuff you don’t!
This flavorful and healthy slaw makes the perfect side dish, topping, or salad. It’s also fantastic when served atop a protein source, like this Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa or Grilled Asian Pork Tenderloin.
For a super-satisfying meal, add a bed of brown rice or quinoa like these Asian Rice Bowls. Or serve it with noodles, like in these Asian Noodle Bowls.
Because it’s so easy to store, this slaw makes a wonderful make-ahead meal. All you have to do is toss your slaw into an airtight storage container and place it in the fridge. Store your peanut lime dressing in a separate container and then, when you’re ready to enjoy your healthy side dish, toss the slaw with the dressing and chow down.
To bring this healthy slaw recipe to life, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Cabbage: This hearty veggie forms the base of this delicious Asian slaw and is full of essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium. Look for the bag labeled ‘cole slaw mix’ in the produce section of your grocery store.
- Jicama: Jicama is a root vegetable with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Peanut butter: This ingredient is loaded with protein and healthy fats. It also adds a delicious nutty flavor to our slaw dressing. Feel free to swap it out for almond butter, if needed.
- Asian garlic chili paste: Also known as sambal oelek, this delicious paste adds both a touch of heat and fantastic savory flavors. If you don’t have any, feel free to swap it out for sriracha instead so you still get the same kick.
- Lime juice: This adds acidity to the dish, which enhances the flavors of the rest of our bright and bold ingredients.
- Sesame oil: This adds a deliciously nutty flavor and tons of heart-healthy omega-3’s to the dish. It’s a staple in many Asian dishes, from slaw to stir-fry.
How to Serve Asian Peanut Slaw
In need of a little inspiration? I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this delicious homemade slaw:
- As a side dish. This peanut slaw compliments almost a wide variety of meats. I recommend pairing it with this Honey Garlic Chicken or this Teriyaki Flank Steak.
- With rice. For a perfectly filling meal, pair this slaw with a big bowl of brown rice. For a low-carb option, try opting for some cilantro lime cauliflower rice instead.
- As a salad. This delicious dish can serve as a salad to enjoy either as an appetizer or as the main course. To serve this dish as an entree salad, simply add your favorite protein source on top. Some of my top choices include chicken breast, shrimp, and tofu.
- Make it ahead. Did someone say meal prep? This homemade slaw is perfect for making ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week. Simply prep a big batch of slaw and dressing, then store the two components in separate airtight containers until you’re ready to serve the dish.
Homemade Slaw Tips and Variations
Here are my top tips and variations for making this delicious Asian-inspired slaw:
- Ditch the spice. I totally get that not everyone loves spicy food as much as I do. If you aren’t a spicy food lover, simply reduce the amount of Asian garlic chili paste or leave it out altogether!
- Add noodles. I am always looking for an excuse to add noodles to a dish, and this Asian peanut slaw is no exception. To turn this slaw into an Asian pasta salad, try adding rice noodles or soba noodles. For a low-carb option, you could try adding some Asian zucchini noodles.
- Add some protein. The best way to turn this slaw into a main dish is to add some grilled meat like chicken, steak, pork, or shrimp. For a vegetarian option, try adding some tofu or tempeh.
- Cook it. Believe it or not, this slaw tastes fabulous cooked. However, if you’re taking this route, leave out the jicama and saute the remaining ingredients in coconut oil. Then, simply toss the ingredients with your spicy peanut lime dressing, garnish, and enjoy!
- Add sweetness. You may have noticed there is no added sugar in this recipe and specifically in the dressing. If you like a sweeter peanut dressing, you will want to add some honey or maple syrup to the dressing. Normally when I make this for a party, I leave out the spice and add some honey to make it more of a crowd-pleaser.
- Make grain bowls. We are obsessed with grain bowls just as much as the next person and I love turning this slaw into a hearty grain bowl. I start with a bowl of brown rice or quinoa. Then I add the Asian Peanut Slaw and some rotisserie chicken. I also double the peanut dressing recipe so I have some extra to drizzle over the rice and chicken.
How to Store Asian Peanut Slaw
I highly recommend making extras of this recipe so you can save it for later. It’s great for pairing with meats or adding to lettuce wraps, tacos, grain bowls, and noodle dishes. If you plan on storing this dish for later, try to keep the slaw mix separate from the dressing and only mix the dressing into the portion you’re serving right now.
Once stored in the fridge in separate airtight containers, you can store the slaw for up to 3-4 days and the dressing for up to 1 week. Because of the high content of water in the slaw ingredients, I don’t recommend storing this dish in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:
How should I slice my cabbage for slaw?
When it comes to slaw, you want to use thinly sliced slaw. You can achieve this with a food processor or by removing the core with a sharp knife and thinly slicing the cabbage by hand. To cut out this process entirely, you can find a bag of pre-sliced slaw mix at most grocery stores.
What kind of peanut butter should I use?
When choosing your peanut butter, always check the label before buying it. The only ingredient listed should be peanuts. You’ll find that many store-bought nut butter are loaded with all sorts of artificial sugars and preservatives, but we don’t need any of that. You can also swap in almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter.
Is this dish healthy?
Yes! This healthy slaw recipe is gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly. It’s also packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, protein, and fiber to help keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
Asian Peanut Slaw
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- 4 cups cole slaw mix (red and green cabbage and shredded carrots)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1/2 cup jicama, diced
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped (for garnish)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (or PB2 combined with water)
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Asian garlic chili paste (sambal olek)
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tbsp warm water (more if needed)
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Making the dressing: Warm the peanut butter in the microwave until slightly melted. This step can be skipped but makes it a bit easier to stir. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, rice vinegar, garlic chili paste, and ground ginger to a small bowl. Whisk together, adding water a little at a time until it reaches a smooth consistency. It should be thick but still pourable. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed - more soy sauce for salt, more lime juice for tang, more chili paste for heat, etc.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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