Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.

This ultra creamy Coconut Coleslaw with pineapple and lime will transport you to a beach on an island far far away. Don’t blame me if you never want to come back. 

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw

Feel the heat of the tropics and cool off with this dreamy coconut coleslaw. A burst of fresh lime, rich coconut cream, and the sweetness of pineapple will send your taste buds on a tropical vacation. This delightful salad would be the perfect side dish to Citrus Pork Carnitas, Chicken Fried Pork Chops, or any summery burger. If you love coconut, this is the coleslaw for you! 

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.

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Coconut Coleslaw Inspiration

Have you ever had a food experience that has remained in your memory for years? I may have a poor memory for people’s names but my food memory is elephantine. Years ago we took the kids to a Christmas time dinner theatre. The buffet was massive and quite delicious as buffets go.

Two things remained etched in my memory after that night; the giant pile of crab legs and a super creamy coconut coleslaw. I have been waiting for the right time to create a recipe for this coleslaw for fourteen years!

A series of photos showing the ingredients of Tropical Coconut Coleslaw.

What Are the Ingredients for this Tropical Coleslaw?

This coleslaw is filled with all my favourite tropical flavours. Made with a mixture of green and purple shredded cabbage and studded with bright orange carrots, this salad is a feast for the eyes and stomach. The sweet coconut cream dressing is balanced out with the acidity of lime juice and the pineapple seals the deal. 

Whenever I create a recipe featuring citrus, I love using the zest as an added boost of flavour. The zest adds another dimension to the coleslaw and it really rounds out the flavour.

Ingredients for a multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple, carrots, coconut cream, and lime.

The ingredients for this coleslaw are basic and wholesome. Additionally, this salad is entirely gluten free and dairy free. It would be a perfect dish to bring to any potluck as it is suitable for vegan, vegetarian, or omnivorous diets. 

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.

Other Flavour Ideas for this Coconut Coleslaw

While this coleslaw is amazing on it’s own, there are few ways you could personalize it according to your own palate. These would be great additions to this dreamy salad: 

  • finely diced jalapenos or red chilis
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • toasted coconut
  • chopped peanuts
  • a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning (I tried this and it was AMAZING)
  • diced mango

A close up of a multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime on a wooden spoon.

How to Make Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw

This salad is SO EASY and QUICK to make. It’s even easier if you buy pre-shredded cabbage, matchstick carrots, and canned pineapple. I love that you can ‘cheat’ on this recipe and it still tastes so fresh and delicious. 

Once the cabbage, carrots, and pineapple are waiting in a bowl, it’s time to whip up the dressing. Drain the can of coconut milk (reserve the milk) and warm the solid cream portion for a few seconds in the microwave. Place the cream in a blender jug and drizzle the lime juice over top. Next, season with salt (if using) and sugar. Blend it up and add as much coconut milk (or none) as you like. 

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.

Can I Make this Coleslaw Ahead of Time?

As with most salads and slaws, this recipe is best mixed up just before you are ready to eat. Mixing it up too early will:

  1. Cause the colour of the purple cabbage to leach into the dressing.
  2. Result in the dressing collecting in the bottom of the bowl (if this happens, give it a quick stir to freshen it up)

What you can do is prep the vegetables and the dressing ahead of time. To finish, mix them together just before eating. 

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

How Long Will Coconut Coleslaw Last?

Since this recipe is mayonnaise free and dairy free, it will keep a bit longer than salads that use those ingredients. Store it in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days. The juices in the cabbages will leach out and collect on the bottom. If you are using purple cabbage be warned, the juice will turn pink! 

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

Side note: To reduce the amount of water leaching out of the cabbage, sprinkle each cabbage with some salt (1 tsp per pound of cabbage) and let them sit in separate colanders for an hour. Some of the juices will drain out during this time. Dry the cabbage off as much as you can then proceed with the recipe (be sure to omit the salt in the recipe).

Pin this Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw for Later

Pinterest images of a multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl and a close up of the salad in a wooden spoon. Pinterest image of a multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.


Yield: 6 servings

Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw

A multicoloured coleslaw with pineapple and lime in a white bowl.

This ultra creamy Coconut Coleslaw with pineapple and lime will transport you to a beach on an island far far away. Don't blame me if you never want to come back.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 4 cups (or one 14 oz bag) shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups (10 oz) shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped or shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup pineapple tidbits; canned or fresh
  • 1 can coconut cream or the cream from a can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lime; juiced and zested
  • 3 green onions; sliced on a bias


  1. Place the shredded cabbage, carrots, and pineapple in a large bowl.
  2. Separate the solid coconut cream from the coconut milk and warm the coconut cream slightly.
  3. Add the warmed coconut cream, lime juice, salt (if using), and sugar to a blender jug.
  4. Blend it up and add as much coconut milk (or none) as you like. 
  5. Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well.
  6. Top with sliced green onions and fresh herbs.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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  1. Sarah

    This looks fantastic. I already love coleslaw, but adding pineapple alone would make it even better, let alone all of the other goodies that are in this recipe. I will definitely have to try this.


    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s so dreamy…I have pineapple so I think this is on the schedule for this weekend again!

  2. Fouzia Husainy

    Your salad is making me imagine summer at a cottage get away. This will make a perfect side with grilled fish or barbecued chicken – so refreshing and delicious! Thanks for sharing.


    1. Bernice Hill

      Mmmmm, I can’t wait for summer!

  3. Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

    What a fun twist on traditional slaw! I love the sweet, tropical flavors you added. We’re definitely going to have to give this a try when we get to cookout season!


    1. Bernice Hill

      For sure! It’s also great on pulled pork sandwiches. Which reminds me…

  4. Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness

    I have never actually made coleslaw before, but yours looks so good that I need to make it! Love the addition of pineapple!!


    1. Bernice Hill

      I don’t make it that often but I enjoy it when I do. Been thinking about this coleslaw since I had it 14 years ago.

  5. Jacqui DeBono

    I want to try this for the next burger night. I am generally not keen on fruit in savoury dishes, but I love sweet in coleslaw! I usually add apple, it never occurred to me to use pineapple!


  6. Danielle

    That is a fantastic coleslaw that can surely delight with the myriad of its flavors. And great tips on not to mix early to avoid the leach – very helpful.


    1. Bernice Hill

      It does get a beautiful pink colour….lol

  7. Veronika

    What a great idea to add pineapple to coleslaw! I definitely should try it next time I make it10


    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes, give it a try! Thanks for stopping by Veronika

  8. Nicoletta De Angelis Nardelli

    I already liked a good slaw and now I might love it even more! The coconut cream, lime juice and zest, and the addition of pineapple all give amazing flavors to this tropical slaw. Going to try it!


    1. Bernice Hill

      Ah well, we’re not going on vacation any time soon so I figured I’d take a vacation via food!!

  9. Anna

    What a clever idea to use coconut cream! Also, love added lime and pineapple, such a great combo! Can’t wait to give this version of coleslaw a go soon!


    1. Bernice Hill

      This recipe is based on a coleslaw I tried 14 years ago! It just really stayed with me and I had to experiment for myself. The coconut cream works really well and I love that it’s vegan too.

  10. Paula Montenegro

    Refreshing and delicious looking! This is a great recipe to add to my collection. It’s summer here now, so this is the perfect salad!


    1. Bernice Hill

      Enjoy the summer sun! It’s peeked out here for a wee bit but it’s still supposed to snow later tonight. I can’t wait to make a big batch of pulled pork then top it with this coleslaw!

  11. Elaine

    SOOOO refreshing and a nice change from everyday coleslaw! The pineapple adds a beautiful natural sweetness!


    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes! Pineapple, coconut, and lime together are so dreamy!

  12. Chef Dennis

    This Tropical Pineapple Coconut Coleslaw looks really delicious and refreshing to eat! I want to have that feeling of being on the beach on an island far far away!


    1. Bernice Hill

      I’ll get it where I can, even if it’s just in a bowl.

  13. Tara Noland

    Such a colorful and pretty salad for any time of the year!! I just filled up on a similar coleslaw with pulled pork sandwiches, so good!!


    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Tara! I do love to make food delicious and pretty to look at. I bet this coleslaw would be awesome with pulled pork!

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