Creamy Cabbage and Avocado Slaw Recipe (no mayo) - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Creamy Cabbage and Avocado Slaw Recipe (no mayo)

creamy cabbage and avocado slaw | pamela salzman

I had the most fantastic time in Dallas this past weekend!  I spent lovely quality time with my daughter, and I enjoyed getting to know her sorority sisters and their moms.  We had a very full weekend with lots of good food, karaoke (no comment!), yoga, and shopping for everything from mattresses to paleo snacks to new clothes for her to wear to her internship this summer.  Believe people when they tell you that kids grow up too fast!

finely shredded cabbage

Plus, my friend Lisa corralled the nicest group of ladies and hosted a cooking class at her home which was taught by yours truly.  We surprised everyone with vegan queso as an snack before I started the class and I think everyone was shocked at how much it tastes like the real thing, which by the way is like an entire food group in Texas.   Lisa was telling me people eat “queso,” which is basically melted Velveeta, and chips as a meal.  So I am hoping I converted a few gals over to my much healthier version!

hemp seeds

One of the recipes Lisa picked for the menu was a slaw I taught many, many years ago in a Mexican-themed class and completely forgot about.  This creamy avocado slaw might be in my top 2 faves, which says something since I am a slaw fiend.  I adapted the recipe from a Kris Carr book (she’s so inspiring, but the way).  Everyone loved it!

creamy cabbage and avocado slaw | pamela salzman

What makes this slaw unique is that the dressing is lime juice, olive oil and avocado that gets mashed up with your hands into the cabbage.  There’s a creamy coating on the cabbage, but it’s not mayo!  Crunchy, creamy, tart.  It’s totally genius, super healthy and ABSOLUTELY delicious.  You know how I feel about avocados – that they belong in the Healthy Food Hall of Fame.  They’ve always been good and there’s nothing controversial about them.  They’re here to stay, friends.  But this is exactly the kind of recipe I love, one that is truly nutritious, but still downright yummy and no one’s giving me roll eyes, sighs or the “it’s pretty good for something healthy.”  You all know what I’m talking about.

creamy cabbage and avocado slaw | pamela salzman

So when I made this the other day and I was thinking to myself that I can’t believe I forgot about this recipe and that I knew I’d have to share it with you with Cinco de Mayo coming up.  By the way, I hope that you don’t wait for Cinco de Mayo to make Mexican-inspired food.  I don’t.  I love, love, love Mexican food and so do most people I know, so Mexican recipes are in very regular rotation around here.  This recipe will go with anything — Mexican, Thai, BBQ, basics.  I made it with turkey meatloaf the other night and it was perfect-o.

massage the avocado

I have been a fan of hemp seeds for many years, but usually I added them to parfaits, porridge or smoothies.  Kris Carr inspired me to use hemp seeds in a salad.  Now I do it a lot because of this recipe. Have you tried hemp seeds?  If not, let’s get on it.  They are such a perfect food, full of antioxidants like Vitamins E and C, as well as chlorophyll which is an amazing detoxifier, including heavy metals. Hemp seeds are also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which helps keep the digestive tract active and clean. They also provide a substantial dose of omega fatty acids and easy-to-digest protein (all essential amino acids, actually.) To me, hemp seeds taste kind of nutty, but it’s also the texture that I love.

creamy cabbage and avocado slaw | pamela salzman

This slaw can be prepped way ahead and assembled at the last minute.  Susceptibility to oxidation is the only thing that keeps avocado from being truly perfect in every way.  So you can shred your cabbage and carrots, juice your limes, wash your cilantro all ahead.  But you have to massage in the avocado at the last minute.  A small price to pay for something so good.

creamy cabbage and avocado slaw | pamela salzman

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Cabbage and Avocado Slaw
Serves: 4-6
  • 6 cups finely shredded* cabbage (mix of purple and green is nice)
  • ½ cup diced sweet red bell pepper (about ½ a pepper) or shredded carrot
  • 1 large avocado, pit removed and diced
  • 3 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup diced scallions
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Massage and mix with your hands to tenderize the cabbage and cream the avocado. Serve immediately so that avocado doesn’t get brown. Or mix everything except avocado together ahead of time and massage avocado into salad just before serving.
*You can do this with the slicing disc of your food processor or with a knife.


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  1. I know I’ve already written in on this, but just have to do it again. This is hands-down our favorite family salad! I just made it again with your slow-cooker chicken tacos and it was devoured as usual. It will be in our rotation through summer! Thanks again Pamela!

    • It’s one of my faves as well! I’m delighted your family loves it.

  2. Excellent recipe. I added a bit of finely chopped fresh pineapple to it to use it up. Nice slightly sweet taste countering the the idea of avocado for creamyness. Thanks for posting it.

    • I love the idea of fresh pineapple here!


    Best Cole slaw I’ve ever tasted, period!

    • Meant to post 5 stars. Delicious!

    • Wow, thanks so much for the enthusiastic feedback! 🙂

  4. Do I have use the hemp seeds wanted to make this but realized I don’t have can I substatute this for some thing else or it’s important?

    • Hemp seeds are not a crucial part of this recipe. Feel free to leave them out. You can add sesame seeds if you want.

    • Ended up going out to get!! Thanx! My family loved! No leftovers

      • LOL! 🙂

  5. I prepped this for our family dinner tonight, but then we were invited to an impromptu pot luck, so I brought it to the party. I was a little nervous bringing a recipe I hadn’t tried before, but figured it would be fine since it was from you! It was so delicious, it was devoured in minutes and people were asking for the recipe. The hemp seeds were the secret ingredient that surprised everyone. I gave you all the credit! Thank you!

    • No credit necessary — you made the recipe, and apparently very well! So delighted this turned out well for you. Thanks, Cindy!

  6. Pamela do you find the best way to get cabbage chopped this finely is to do it by hand or is it possible with a food processor? I find if I have vegetables prepped in the fridge, I use them way more frequently.
    thanks, sounds & looks delicious.

    • Good question. First of all, you don’t need it sliced this finely for this recipe. Whatever you can do by hand is completely fine. That said, to get veggies very finely sliced, you need a fine slicing disc for your food processor. I love using my food processor for slicing and grating vegetables, but I have a wide feed on my machine. Some smaller food processors are difficult to use for larger veggies like cabbage. You have to cut the cabbage up so much to fit — not worth it! But I agree with you about having the veggies prepped. One month I was teaching summer rolls with lots of finely sliced and shredded veggies and I always had them on hand in the fridge and it was so nice! Salads and stir-fries were so easy. 🙂

  7. I’m one of those that just really dislike cilantro. Will this still be good without it?

    • I get it. There are many of you out there and it’s a legit thing. You can definitely make this without. I think a little mint would be nice or parsley. Otherwise, you don’t have to add any herbs.

      • Thanks!!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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