Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw

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This sweet and spicy coleslaw has plenty of crunch! It’s an unforgettable side dish.

Sweet and spicy flavors are almost always a sure win with my family. However, coleslaw? That has not always been a reason to cheer. A few years ago that changed when we tried this recipe for classic coleslaw.

Since then, we’ve tried some pretty amazing coleslaw recipes. This Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw was eaten down to the very last apple slice and ribbon of cabbage.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw with Apples

The comment “Best Coleslaw I’ve ever tasted” was heard and there were echoes of that from almost everyone at the table. I made this for dinner guests again last night and was thrilled that it turned out so well.

A certain non-coleslaw-loving brother of mine just might have taken the serving bowl back to his chair and finished off every last bit.

Spicy Apple Coleslaw

This was the first apple coleslaw we tried, but it certainly hasn’t been the last.

We’ve been making this Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw and the Cranberry Apple Coleslaw now for several years.

I love adding apples to traditionally savory dishes like these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon or this Blueberry Apple Walnut Salad. They add a terrific sweet bite to the dish and we all love that.

Spicy Coleslaw Recipe

We love spicy flavors and in coleslaw the heat is balanced by the creamy sweet dressing. Mexican Street Corn Coleslaw and Jalapeno Coleslaw are two awesome examples of that.

The Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw includes a couple of ingredients that I wouldn’t have thought to include without inspiration from Chef John.

When I saw corn nuts in the original recipe, I may have stopped and stared. I don’t really even like corn nuts. It just sounded so unusual, I had to try it. And they worked!

Just a couple of tablespoons of crushed corn nuts changes the flavor and texture of the salad from very good to delicious. This is an excellent summer salad that I have made many times over the past few years.

For what it’s worth, the Tabasco sauce doesn’t really make this spicy, it’s barely a hint of heat that adds a lot of great flavor.

Crunchy Apple Coleslaw

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

Kitchen Tip: I use these bowls and this spatula to make this recipe.

  1. Place the shredded cabbage and the apple slices in a mixing bowl and toss to combine.
  2. In a small glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the mayo, juice, sugar, Tabasco, salt, and pepper until smooth. Taste and adjust the hot sauce as desired.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cilantro and toss again. Top with the crushed corn bits and serve immediately.
Apple Coleslaw with sweet and spicy crunch

Summer Side Dishes

For more summer side dishes, try this Cucumber Salad and the Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad.

This Grilled Corn Salad with Avocado and Tomato by Well Plated and this Summer Confetti Salad by Sugar Free Mom are both calling my name as well.

Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw is filled with crunchy ribbons of broccoli and carrots, paper-thin onions, sweet chewy cranberries, and pecans.

This Bacon Potato Salad is a new favorite this year and I’ve already made it 5 times since I shared it here last month.

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Crunchy Apple Coleslaw

Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw

4.75 from 4 votes
This sweet and spicy apple coleslaw has plenty of crunch! It's an unforgettable side dish.
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • ½ small head of green cabbage, cored and sliced very thin (about 6 cups)
  • 1 Fuji apple, sliced very thinly
  • cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 scant teaspoon sugar
  • Tabasco sauce to taste, I use several generous shakes, about 2 teaspoons
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, adjust to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons crushed toasted corn bits, i.e. Corn nuts, about 1 tablespoon crushed

Instructions

  • Place the shredded cabbage and the apple slices in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. In a small glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the mayo, juice, sugar, Tabasco, salt and pepper until smooth. Taste and adjust the hot sauce as desired.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and toss again. Top with the crushed corn bits and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 93kcal · Carbohydrates: 7g · Fat: 7g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 3mg · Sodium: 142mg · Potassium: 130mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 5g · Vitamin A: 70IU · Vitamin C: 22.5mg · Calcium: 24mg · Iron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 7/1/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/17/22}

Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Dr Dan says

    I grew up on some of the worse coleslaw in the world and I'm just recovering now. This recipe may but me over the top and make me a lover…

  2. Jenn says

    I would have never thought to have put corn nuts into anything… will definitely need to try that soon! The coleslaw looks wonderful!

  3. Kate says

    That does sound different from the norm! I am a true coleslaw fan and will have to give this a try. Corn nuts? I have never seen a recipe that included them. Salt and crunch…!

  4. Judith says

    This sounds superb. Will be trying it very soon.. I’ll give it 5stars because it sounds so delicious. Will report again .when we have tried it

  5. D. Wilham says

    I was served an apple coleslaw on a Cunard cruise. It was delicious. I wish I had requested the recipe. I am looking forward to trying this recipe !5 stars

  6. Penny says

    Memphis style pulled pork is in Instant as I type and I just made and tasted this recipe to serve alongside. I wanted something not quite so sweet to go with the pork and I think this is both the answer and delicious taste. Will let you know how the pork turns out but I don’t see how that can go wrong.5 stars