Jamaican Slaw

January 18, 2023  Chef Austin Avatar
Jamaican Slaw

Bowl filled with Jamaican Slaw

Not your usual Coleslaw – this is Slaw the Jamaican way! A refreshingly tangy side salad with unmistakable tropical vibes thanks to the vibrant yellow dressing and juicy little pops of pineapple. The perfect accompaniment to bold flavoured Jamaican mains!

Bowl filled with Jamaican Slaw

Welcome back to Jamaican week!

It’s Jamaican week here on RecipeTin Eats! A week where I’m sharing a set of recipes so you can enjoy a Jamaican-themed dinner in the comfort of your own home! Here’s the menu:

🌴 Jamaican menu 🌴

Today’s Jamaican Slaw and Jamaican Coconut Rice and Peas was featured as side dish with the Jamaican Jerk Fish recipe I shared on the weekend:

Jamaican Jerk Fish on a plate with Jamaican Slaw and Coconut Rice & Beans

CHECK OUT THAT JERK SEASONING CRUST on the Jerk Fish!! It’s nuts how good it is – and how simple it is to make!

Distracted. Time to get back to today’s recipe – Jamaican Slaw!

Jamaican Slaw

Trust Jamaicans to take the classic coleslaw in all its creamy mayo-laden glory and turn it into a (healthier!) gloriously tropical side salad. It’s tangy and vibrant, with little bursts of fresh juicy sweetness from pineapple as well as chewy sweetness from raisins.

Pouring dressing over Jamaican Slaw

Finely sliced cabbage and shredded carrot are familiar slaw players, but that’s about it. The Jamaican slaw dressing is mayonnaise free, has a hint of warmth from jalapeño, freshness from finely chopped green onion, and owes its bright yellow colour (plus some of its tang) to this magical ingredient:

American yellow mustard for Jamaican Slaw

Yes, that’s right folks. Your hot dogs’ best friend – basic yellow mustard – is the secret ingredient in Jamaican Slaw. AND WE LOVE IT!

What goes in Jamaican Slaw

Well, I’ve already revealed the secret ingredient, so this section is going to be rather dull, isn’t it??? 😂 Nevertheless, I shall plough on.

Ingredients in Jamaican Slaw

The dressing

  • Yellow mustard – The secret ingredient! Provides flavour, tang, bright yellow colour and thickens the dressing. I use mild American yellow mustard. Any yellow mustard will be fine but steer clear of Hot English Mustard – too spicy! Dijon Mustard will also work just fine (but is more expensive, you’ll use most of a standard size jar).

  • Apple cider vinegar – An excellent all-rounder fairly smooth vinegar.

  • Olive oil – Use extra virgin olive oil if you have it, otherwise just ordinary olive oil.

  • Green onions – Finely chopped, for fresh oniony flavour.

  • Jalapeño – For a hum of authentic Jamaican warmth! Feel free to skip it or reduce the quantity.

The slaw

  • Cabbage – Just your everyday green cabbage.

  • Carrot – Peeled then shredded using a standard box grater.

  • Pineapple (see below) – Fresh if it’s ripe, otherwise canned is fine!

  • Raisins – Or sultanas. A traditional inclusion in Jamaican slaw, and I love it!

Fresh and canned pineapple
Use fresh pineapple if you can get juicy ripe ones. Else, use canned.

How to make Jamaican Slaw

An essential step with any slaw is to set it aside to give the cabbage time to wilt so it becomes floppy and juicy. That’s the way slaw is supposed to be! Nobody wants slaw with pokey bits of cabbage sticking out everywhere!

How to make Jamaican Slaw
  1. Shake dressing ingredients in a jar until well combine. Admire vibrant yellow colour.

  2. Toss slaw salad ingredients with dressing.

  3. Set aside for 1 hour+ to allow the cabbage to wilt.

  4. Toss again then transfer into a bowl to serve!

See how the cabbage is flopping and sagging rather than like twigs poking out in all directions? Floppy is what we want.

Picking up Jamaican Slaw

Side salad for our Jamaican feast to accompany the Jerk Fish, done.

Now, if you haven’t already, pop over and get the Jamaican Coconut Rice and Peas recipe. It’s so good!! I could absolutely just eat a big bowl of that rice for dinner.

And to complete your Jamaican feast, dessert is headed your way on Thursday. It’s a surprise. One of those recipes I deem to be something money-can’t-buy!! – Nagi x

Watch how to make it

Disappointed that I couldn’t find a ripe pineapple on the day I filmed this. But, I survived.

Bowl filled with Jamaican Slaw


Jamaican Slaw

Recipe video above. A refreshingly tangy side salad with unmistakable tropical vibes thanks to the vibrant yellow dressing and juicy little pops of pineapple. The perfect accompaniment to bold flavoured Jamaican mains like Jerk Fish and Jerk Chicken!
Course Side Salad
Cuisine Caribbean, Hawaiian, Jamaican, Tropical!
Keyword jamaican side salad, jamaican slaw, tropical side salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Wilting time 1 hour
Servings 5 – 6 people
Calories 222cal
Author Nagi


Jamaican Slaw:

  • 4 heaped cups green cabbage , finely shredded
  • 2 cups shredded carrot (2 – 3 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced pineapple , 1cm / 1/2″ cubes (fresh or canned in juice) (Note 1)
  • 3/4 cup raisins (or sultanas)

Jamaican Slaw Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard , American or other (Note 2)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp jalapeño , deseeded, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup green onion , finely chopped (Note 3)
  • 1/2 tsp cooking/kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


  • Dressing: Shake ingredients in a jar until combined.
  • Wilt: Place all the Slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over Dressing and toss. Leave to wilt for at least 1 hour.
  • Serve: Toss well to coat in the juices & dressing pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Transfer to bowl and serve!


1. Pineapple – Fresh is fabulous if you can get your hands on really ripe ones. Else, use canned in juice (not syrup, too sweet).

2. Mustard – You want the bright yellow stuff! I use American mustard which is not spicy. Don’t use hot English mustard – it will be WAY too spicy! Dijon and other smooth mustards will work as well but the dressing colour won’t have the same (tropical!) vibrant yellow colour.

3. Green onion – To finely chop green onion, finely slice then run your knife through to finely chop.

4. LEFTOVERS – Keeps well for a day, after this the pineapple tends to get a bit soft (in my opinion) but is still very tasty!

MAKE AHEAD – Toss slaw together except the pineapple. Will keep well like this for 2 days in the fridge. Then add the pineapple before serving.

Nutrition per serving.


Calories: 222cal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 473mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7285IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1mg

Life of Dozer

It’s Jamaican week. Let me amuse myself. (Related photo in Life of Dozer in Jamaican Coconut Rice and Peas…. it’s even better!)

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