This crunchy Peanut Slaw combines fresh crunchy slaw veg with a creamy 5-ingredient peanut sauce, cilantro, and green onions, for the ultimate dreamy Thai peanut slaw – perfect for picnics, potlucks, BBQs, and for a mid-week meal side in just 10 minutes!

Once prepared, you can serve this peanut cabbage slaw alongside healthy grilled chicken recipe, shrimp, salmon, healthy salmon burgers, and more!

close up of peanut slaw in blue bowl

Creamy, Flavor-Packed Thai Peanut Slaw

Is it normal that healthy homemade coleslaw recipes appear on our dinner table at least once a week? I’ve already shared recipes for herby Ukrainian dill coleslaw, a simple healthy coleslaw, fruity mango slaw, and tangy vinegar coleslaw– now it’s turn for this creamy Asian peanut slaw! There truly is an option for every occasion.

For days after I made my last batch of creamy peanut sauce, I couldn’t get the idea of peanut slaw out of my head. Fresh and crunchy cabbage combined with an umami-rich peanut butter sauce – yumm, right?! Then again, I’d eat almost anything with a peanut sauce (like these peanut chicken soba noodles)!

Even better, the combination of peanuts, bean sprouts, cilantro, and green onions along with the peanut sauce make for an asian inspired peanut slaw that can be tweaked to pack in some heat (or not, it’s up to you)!

I love to enjoy Thai flavors in new ways, like these healthy Pad Thai zucchini noodles, Thai turkey meatballs, and Thai cauliflower rice. While this recipe isn’t a ‘traditional’ Thai peanut coleslaw, I hope you’ll agree that it is delicious enough to impress the entire family (even picky veggie-hating children!). Plus, it can be enjoyed for healthy sides or tossed with leftover proteins for a healthy lunch.

The best thing? All you need for this entire recipe is just 7 simple ingredients (11 if you make the sauce from scratch for this recipe) and it is ready in just 10 minutes – perfect for a last-minute healthy side salad, added to wraps and sandwiches, or tossed with extra protein to create a light meal.

Why This Recipe Works?

  • This peanut slaw satisfies with flavor and texture with a combination of creamy, crunchy, fresh, tangy, and sweet elements!
  • You can have this dish from kitchen to table in under 10 minutes for a quick and simple addition to any meal!
  • The combination of cilantro, red cabbage, green onion, peanuts, and a spice element makes for a delicious Thai peanut slaw recipe!
  • You can enjoy this as a side dish or healthy light lunch.
  • It’s packed with veggies to encourage even picky kids to eat more healthy ingredients (with no mayo in sight!).
peanut slaw on counter with window in background

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Red cabbage: I used a medium head of red cabbage, shredded. You could alternatively use green, savoy, or Napa cabbage – or even a combination of two varieties.
  • Carrot: These add a slight natural sweetness to the vegetable combination. Use a bag of pre-shredded/carrot matchsticks or shred them yourself.
  • Bean Sprouts: A bag of bean sprouts is easy to find and super budget-friendly. Plus, they contain several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Peanuts: Use unsalted raw peanuts for the best results, chopped.
  • Cilantro: If you aren’t a huge cilantro fan, you could substitute the herb with something like parsley. It won’t have that signature Thai flavor but will work in a pinch.
  • Green Onions: These add an extra burst of fresh flavor
  • Peanut Sauce: I use this homemade 5-ingredient peanut sauce. You can make it as-is or adapt to a spicier Thai version (written on the post).

Top Tip: You could alternatively swap out the cabbage and carrot for pre-prepared bagged coleslaw mix. However, it usually isn’t as fresh and crunchy!

Keep reading below (after the recipe how-to) for more information on recipe add-ins and variations!

How to Make Peanut Slaw

Did I mention that this peanut slaw recipe is INCREDIBLY simple and quick to prepare? In fact, it takes just three simple steps.

  • Prepare the sauce: If you don’t already have some already in your fridge (which I recommend you always do – yum!), then first prepare the peanut sauce.
  • Prepare the ingredients: First, shred the cabbage. You can do this with a sharp knife or mandoline (read FAQs for my favorite method). If you didn’t pick up a bag of pre-chopped carrots, then do that now too. You can either shred the carrots or cut them into matchsticks. You’ll also need to chop the green onions.

Have any leftover cabbage? Use it the following day for a quick, easy cabbage stir fry.

  • Combine the ingredients: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and gently mix, then serve immediately.

If you plan to serve this at a later point, it’s best to keep the sauce and veggies separate until right before serving, or else the cabbage will soak up the peanut sauce. Then, the slaw becomes both dry (from lack of sauce) and soggy (from the soaked cabbage) – it is still enjoyable, but not the best texture!

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Make this into a meal: Toss some of your favorite protein in with the peanut slaw for a quick, simple, healthy lunch. I love to do this when I have leftovers like grilled chicken, baked chicken, or even tofu! You could also add noodles.  
  • Use a mandoline or food processor to shred the cabbage: This isn’t mandatory, but it makes for quick work and nice, even results. It’s a win-win!
  • Slaw in minutes: Feel free to use pre-shredded veggies or a ready-made coleslaw mix to make this Asian peanut slaw practically effortless!
  • Use a Thai-style Peanut sauce: I’ve included adaptations on my sauce recipe for a Thai version. I recommend including a bit of sesame oil and some sort of ‘spice element’ to it.

Add-ins and Variations

  • For spice: I’ve included notes in the peanut sauce recipe to add spice or adapt the recipe to a Thai version. However, you could add a little spice directly to the Thai peanut slaw with some finely chopped red chili or red pepper flakes.
  • Other veggies: I love the additional fresh flavor of red bell pepper (matchsticks) and the slightly softer crunch for texture variety. Shredded Brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas, edamame, and broccoli also work well.
  • Noodles: To adapt this into more of a meal, feel free to add some simple stir-fry noodles.
  • Protein: You could also add leftover proteins for a quick meal (see recipe notes above).
  • Garnish: For additional garnish options, you could use toasted sesame seeds: These make a lovely garnish to the peanut slaw. I like to lightly toast them with the peanuts in a dry skillet until fragrant. Some slices of lime would also work to add extra ‘brightness’ to the peanut slaw.
peanut slaw with lemon water


Can I stop the cabbage from becoming soggy in coleslaw?

I usually just aim to combine the sauce and veggies just before serving. However, I heard one tip that you can salt the cabbage; add about a tablespoon of salt to the cabbage in a colander and allow it to naturally drain for 2 hours before squeezing out all the excess liquid (it will look limp and wilted while sitting). Once drained, the cabbage tends to stay crisp for longer once dressed!

How do you cut cabbage for coleslaw?

You can either use a mandoline or slice the cabbage by hand. To do so, I cut the cabbage in half, removing any outer leaves that are wilted and the tough inner core. Then hold onto one end and use your knife to cut thin strands. For shorter pieces, cut the cabbage halves into half again.

Did you know you can also shred cabbage in a food processor using a shredding disk? That way, it takes practically seconds!

Serving Reccomendations

You can enjoy this Asian peanut slaw as a side dish or make it into a main. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it!

  • With Carbs: Serve it alongside Instant Pot brown rice, quinoa, or even noodles. You could even mix it in with pasta for a cold peanut pasta salad.
  • With Protein: Make it into a main meal by tossing proteins directly into the slaw or serve it alongside dishes like chicken tenders, Greek chicken kabobs, skewers, or Instant Pot shredded chicken. Keep the Thai theme going with Thai chicken.
  • Burgers/Sliders: Like this healthy salmon burgers, healthy turkey burgers, and sliders. You can also add a dollop to hotdogs (or Thai-style carrot dogs).
  • In Tacos: Make a Thai/Mexican blend by serving this up in tacos with marinated tofu, fish, or prawns.
  • In wraps/sandwiches: Flour tortilla wraps, lettuce wraps, or sandwiches – this Thai peanut slaw will add a punch of flavor and texture.
  • Salad bowls: Especially with Thai and Vietnamese-style salad bowls. I also serve them alongside (and even within) summer rice paper rolls with shrimp and more peanut dipping sauce.

Making Slaw in Advance

Make-ahead: You can prepare the vegetables and peanut sauce a day (or two) in advance. Simply combine the two elements (and add the peanuts) just before serving

Storing: Once prepared, the peanut slaw will keep up to three days in an airtight container. Just note that as it sits, the texture will change – though, if anything, as the flavors sit and meld, they can become even better!

I wouldn’t recommend freezing coleslaw, as it will become watery and unpleasant in texture.

More Thai Inspired Recipes to Try

You might also enjoy browsing through my entire collection of healthy salad recipes for more globally-inspired recipes like an Asian chopped salad, Mediterranean quinoa salad, and Italian pasta salad.

peanut slaw in blue bowl

Peanut Slaw

This crunchy Peanut Slaw combines fresh crunchy slaw veg with a creamy peanut sauce, cilantro, and green onions, for the ultimate dreamy Thai peanut slaw – perfect for picnics, potlucks and BBQs.
5 from 6 votes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 145
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1/2 medium head red cabbage shredded
  • 10 oz bag carrot matchsticks or shredded carrots
  • 8 oz bag bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup peanuts chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 3 green onion sprigs chopped
  • Peanut Sauce


  • Prepare peanut sauce.
  • In a large bowl, add cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, peanuts, cilantro and green onions. Pour peanut sauce and gently mix for a few minutes. Serve immediately or prepare in advance and combine right before serving.


Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to 3 days.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 460mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Really good recipe and easy to make. We had leftover veggies and this was a great way to use them up. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    This is the BEST peanut sauce I have EVER HAD!!!! I am eating it right off the spoon!
    * tip: try not to use runny peanut butter. A medium thickness is perfect*
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!


  3. 5 stars
    This is the BEST peanut sauce I have EVER HAD!!!! I am eating it right off the spoon!
    * tip: try not to use runny peanut butter. A medium thickness is perfect*
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    This is the BEST peanut sauce I have EVER HAD!!!! I am eating it right off the spoon!
    * tip: try not to use runny peanut butter. A medium thickness is perfect*
    THANK YOU!!!!

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