Prep Time  25minutes
Cook Time  5minutes
Total Time  30minutes

Chipotle Coleslaw with Apples & Almonds

I really like to make a coleslaw just about any time I host a big party and need to get some of the dishes cooked ahead of time. Unlike most green salads, coleslaw not only holds up well after it's dressed, it can actually get a better. But alas, it's a dish that your mother, and probably her mother made...and it can be kinda boring.

I was recently invited over to a taco party (Margaritas were flowing), and set out to make and bring a more "Mexican" version. I love coleslaw on a BBQ sandwich, was actually thinking I could make a version perfect for a taco topping.

So, after a bit of contemplation & research...I ended up adding a bit of heat and sweet to a traditional recipe to make this classic side a bit more interesting. The heat comes from some chipotle chili (packed in adobo sauce), which is available in most grocery stores. To offset that heat, I add some julienned apples to the normal mix of cabbages. Finally, for a contrast in texture, I add some toasted sliced almonds (smoked almonds would be great too). The combo is not your mom's coleslaw. It's great on it's own, or as I ended up eating it, as a topping for tacos. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Recipe Overview & Keys to Success

This recipe is actually pretty hard to mess up. Just follow a few key things and you're going to do great.

  1. Use good quality vegetables, cut to the right size. I often buy whole cabbage (and other veggies) and cut them myself. But honestly, I often cut them too large. I like a "finer" chop on the veggies to allow the to soften up a bit, and make them easier to eat. In fact, I've started to use pre-chopped veggies, provided they look really good.
  2. Use the right amount of dressing. I hate giving exact measures for dressing, as too often you'll end up liking a bit more or less than I do. Instead, I make what I think is the right amount, but then use a bit less than I made if it's too much, or make a bit more. The important thing is to taste as you go, and adjust to what you like.
  3. Let it sit for a bit. I like to have the dressing sit on the veggies a couple hours before serving. That softens up veggies just a bit, and let's everything meld together nicely.

Ingredients for Chipotle Coleslaw

  • ~1 lbs, green cabbage (or Napa, red cabbage, etc, use what you like)
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into thin strips (julienned)
  • 1 large green chili (like poblano) cut into thin strips (julienned)
  • Green onions
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ~3 apples peeled and julienned
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon or brown mustard
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sugar, or honey

How to make Chipotle Coleslaw with Apples & Almonds

  • First make the dressing by whisking together, the mayo, vinegar, honey, mustard together, paprika, sour cream, 
  • Now, add about a tablespoon of the adobo sauce that the chili's come packed in, and taste.
  • To add more chipotle flavor, add more sauce or even some of the chili peppers chopped up finely
  • Toast the sliced almonds in a dry pan on the stove top for 5 - 8 minutes until lightly browned but not burned
  • Spread them out on a paper towel to cool
  • Shred the cabbage, and julienne the peppers adding them all together
  • Peel and julienne the apples, and toss them with a bit of lime juice to keep them from browning; add to the vegetables
  • Pour about 3/4s of the dressing over the veggies, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Toss to combine
  • If too dry add the rest of the dressing (make more if needed)
  • Set in the fridge for about 2 hours
  • Right before serving, toss in about 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves and chopped green onions
  • Plate the coleslaw up and top with the toasted almonds as the final garnish


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