If you have never tried using kohlrabi in a recipe before this Kohlrabi Slaw with lime, cilantro and jalapeno is a great starter recipe for beginners. I will walk you through the steps of how to make it, and show you just how easy it is to make this simple summer side dish.
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Why We Love This Kohlrabi Slaw Recipe
This kohlrabi slaw is a great easy and fresh way to make kohlrabi taste terrific. This veggie is a common summertime veggie found in farm boxes and CSA box and shares and also found at farmers’ markets.
It is a hearty veggie from the brassica family with thick skin. It also happens to be a great storing crop! That means you can buy kohlrabi in the winter, even in colder climates when local produce is in lower supply.
In the winter I like to saute kohlrabi with nuts. But at this time of the year it is great served raw because it has wonderful crisp texture. No matter the season, knowing how to prepare it, cut it and make it into a yummy dish is super helpful!
This recipe makes a great side dish for a barbecue, cookout, picnic or potluck. So if you are looking for a fun way to mix up your usual coleslaw this is a great option.
Ingredients For This Recipe
- Kohlrabi: Look for kohlrabi at farmer’s markets from mid to late summer and throughout the winter at well stocked grocery stores, health food stores and in CSA farm share boxes. You will need about 2 medium-large kohlrabi for this recipe. Without the stems and leaves, the bulbs should weigh about 1 pound. Both purple varieties and green work well for this and look the same once peeled.
- Jalapeño: To give this slaw a bit of a kick, I added in raw minced jalapeno chile pepper. To make it less spicy scrape out the seeds, before mincing. To make it spicier, include the seeds.
- Bell Pepper: For added crunch and color, and sweet taste, I added in orange bell pepper. Choose whichever color you like.
- Radishes: You can use regular radishes or watermelon for bright pink color! If you have Daikon you can also use that too. Use the spiralizer or julienne it.
- Lime: For the kohlrabi slaw dressing you’ll want fresh lime to make the zest and squeeze the juice. Make sure to zest it first before squeezing!
- Honey: To balance the sour lime and the spicy chile pepper I added one teaspoon honey. If you are on a sugar free diet you can skip it or substitute monk fruit.
- Red Onion: You can use either thinly sliced red onion (which is really pretty) or scallions, which are in season at the same time as kohlrabi and taste just as good.
- Olive Oil: For the dressing I used extra-virgin olive oil, but you could also use a high quality neutral oil such as organic canola oil or avocado oil.
How To Make Kohlrabi Slaw
Step 1: Prepare and Cut The Kohlrabi
Make sure your cutting board is not going to slip by setting a rubber pad under it or a moist paper towel. Remove any stalks and leaves from the kohlrabi bulbs with a sharp knife. Cut the root end off the bottom of the bulb. This is pithy and woody. It also creates a flat surface to make it more stable for cutting. Using your chef’s knife (photo 1a) or vegetable peeler, cut the thick skin off the bulb.
Cut the peeled kohlrabi with spiralizer with the 1/8th-inch “spaghetti” cut blade (photo 1 b) or use julienne cut with mandoline. Alternatively to cut the kohlrabi by hand, peel it and then cut into slabs. Lastly, cut slabs into fine matchstick julienne cut. This works well for a slaw, and has a similar texture and volume.
Step 2: Make Dressing
Whisk the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt in a large bowl.
Step 3: Add Vegetables To Dressing
Add the kohlrabi, radishes, bell pepper, cilantro, onion and jalapeño chile into the large bowl with the dressing. Toss well to combine the veggies and dressing and everything is evenly coated.
Make Ahead Instructions
The veggies for this kohlrabi salad can be cut up to four days ahead. Keep them separate each in their own airtight container. Cut the cilantro at the last minute for best flavor and to keep it fresh. The dressing can be made and kept in a jar up to 4 days ahead. Toss the dressing, slaw and cilantro when ready to serve.
Once the kohlrabi slaw is tossed together, it can be stored in the refrigerator up to 6 hours. It will weep a bit and wilt down but the flavors will still be delicious. Serve with salad tongs and leave any excess moisture in the salad bowl.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Kohlrabi tastes like broccoli stalk. This cruciferous vegetable has a lightly sweet, earthy flavor and peppery taste (like a radish but less peppery.) It has a very slight sulfur note to it due to the fact that it is in the cabbage family. Purple kohlrabi and green kohlrabi are both pale greenish yellow in the center and taste the same.
You can use either, but do not go by the total shredded amount, instead start with 1 pound of kohlrabi, then shred it.
Yes it is. It is low in carbohydrates, starches and sugars, and high in fiber. It is only 35 calories per cup! To read more about kohlrabi be sure to check out our complete guide to kohlrabi.
This kohlrabi slaw has a spicy and fresh Mexican recipe vibe that makes it a great accompaniment to not only Burgers and other cookout recipes but it also goes with classic family-friendly Mexican dinner recipes like Mexican Chicken Casserole, Chicken Taco Sloppy Joes, Chicken Enchiladas or Veggie Tacos.
For a Mexican-inspired cookout, pair this kohlrabi slaw with Mexican Pasta Salad and grilled corn with chipotle lime butter! Throw some Garlic, Lemon chicken with jalapeno on the grill and you’ve got a stellar and inspired meal with a little bit of a spicy kick!
Variations To Try
Instead of lime, jalapeno and cilantro to season the vegetables, you can use different flavor profiles to pair with a variety of cuisines and menus. Here are some ideas we came up with:
Use our Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing and add a red or green apple cut into thin matchsticks to the slaw. Add some chopped walnuts or sesame seeds if desired.
Use a creamy Blue Cheese Dressing and serve with buffalo spiced chicken or Cauliflower Wings.
Use lemon zest and lemon juice instead of lime zest and lime juice, and add fresh chopped dill, tarragon and parsley instead of cilantro.
We love kohlrabi with Asian flavors and think our Asian sesame Vinaigrette would pair beautifully with the slaw ingredients. Add in chopped spring onion or scallions and black sesame seeds.
More Slaw Recipes To Try
- This Mexican Coleslaw is another cabbage based slaw with simple south of the boarder flavors. It’s great with Fish Tacos or my 20 minute Ground Chicken Tacos too.
- This Napa Cabbage and Cucumber Slaw is a non-tradiitional coleslaw made with spiralized cukes! The crunchy peanuts and Asian dressing are amazing with the veggies.
- This Blue Cheese Coleslaw with creamy dressing and walnuts is a total game changer with grilled beef and burgers.
- My Creamy Classic Coleslaw is much healthier and lower in calories than traditional, thanks to swapping in Greek yogurt for the dressing.
- This bold and bright Asian Coleslaw is made with a rainbow of veggies and is simple to prepare.
- I’ve even made slaw with radishes and carrots before! Try it and make this Ginger Maple dressed Radish Salad recipe. It’s delish!
- This Celeriac Root Salad with Lentils is like a cross between a slaw and a bean salad!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Easy Kohlrabi Slaw Recipe
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 cups 1x
This easy Kohlrabi Slaw is made with cilantro, lime and jalapeno with bright and colorful veggies for an easy vegetable side dish to pair with Mexican food or for a summer cookout side dish.
2 large kohlrabi, about 1 pound
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
4 radishes, or 1 small watermelon radish, cut into matchsticks
1 small red or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or 2 sliced green onions
2 tablespoons minced jalapeño, or to taste, seeded if desired
- Cut root end off the bottom of the kohlrabi and any stalks and leaves. Stand on cut end for stability. Peel off thick skin with a sharp paring knife. Cut into spiralized noodles with a spiralizer or into matchsticks by hand or with a mandoline. Trim long spiralized noodles if necessary.
- Whisk lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt in a large bowl.
- Add radishes, bell pepper, kohlrabi, cilantro, red onion and jalapeno and toss to combine.
Kohlrabi: To cut by hand slice into thin slabs and cut into matchsticks.
Jalapeños: To make the dish less spicy, remove seeds from jalapeno before mincing
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side dish
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
- Calories: 120
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 317 mg
- Fat: 7 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 15 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: kohlrabi slaw,kohlrabi recipe,raw kohlrabi salad,kohlrabi salad,spiralized salad
I love kohlrabi but I never know how to use it. Love this slaw! It’s so fresh and crisp. I use basil instead of cilantro and it’s great.
This looks so fresh and yummy! I have seen kohlrabi as an ingredient in some packaged slaw mixes, but never even seen the whole vegetable –where would I find it to buy?
As usual, what a beautiful salad. I love bringing salads like this one to summer gatherings. They’re always the first to go because they look so good and refreshing! Plus, healthy ingredients.
This recipe is so different and unique. Easy instructions, I can’t wait to make it for my next BBQ!
Such a refreshing and flavorful slaw! I never had raw kohlrabi and this is excellent.