Tropical Macadamia Mango Slaw


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Slaw Goes Tropical

I'm beyond excited to share with you my new favorite party dish. This mango slaw is colorful, vibrant, citrusy, and loaded with tropical flavors. I first developed this recipe while we were on Kaua'i, after we foraged a bunch of mangoes that had fallen in the road during a windy night. I adore mangoes in savory dishes, but this flavor combination ended up feeling particularly special and I keep coming back to it.

This tropical slaw is an explosion of flavors and textures. Flavor-wise, it's beautifully balanced between sweet mango, tart lime, savory veggies, and a bunch of refreshing mint. Texture-wise it's exciting and diverse; the cabbage and peppers are crisp while the mango is juicy and the macadamias are delightfully crunchy. I can't wait for you to try it!

Healthy, vegan mango slaw with macadamia nuts

A Healthy, Vegan Slaw Recipe

Unlike classic coleslaw, this re-imagined mango coleslaw is good for the body and loaded with freshness. You won't find any mayo or refined sugar in the ingredient list; instead, it's made from colorful veggies, juicy mango, and crunchy protein-rich nuts. The dressing is just avocado oil, lime juice, a dash of honey (or agave), and salt. This is a slaw you can feel good about enjoying frequently because it's loaded with veggies and fiber.

Over the past few years, I've really fallen in love with cabbage and have enjoyed making healthier slaw recipes. Because I've never been a fan of classic coleslaw, I had mistakenly thought that I wasn't a fan of slaw in general. Not true! Fresh, colorful, whole-food slaw is a wonderful accompaniment to any meal and I'm so glad I've discovered how to re-imagine this dish in a way that fits how I eat. This mango slaw is just one example; make sure to check out my Rainbow Vegan Citrusy Slaw too, it has five different flavor variations so it can easily match the rest of your menu.

A beautiful and colorful tropical slaw with purple and green cabbage

Make It Your Own

This is a really flexible recipe, so there are a lot of ways you can switch up this tropical slaw to make it your own. Feel free to use all purple cabbage or all green cabbage if you prefer, to swap in different types of peppers, to use pineapple instead of mango, or to use cilantro instead of mint. I love the texture of the macadamias in this recipe, but you could use cashews instead for a similar vibe. If you're pairing this mango coleslaw with a more Asian-inspired menu, adding a dash of sesame oil into the dressing works beautifully.

There are also endless options for how to serve this mango slaw. Use it as a side dish, heap it onto grilled veggie burgers, or enjoy it as a light summer dinner.

Make-Ahead Tips

This mango slaw is very make-ahead friendly, and it actually gets even more flavorful if you let it sit overnight in the fridge. To make it ahead, you can mix the dressing ingredients and start marinating the cabbage and the peppers a day in advance. If you're specifically preparing it in ahead of time, I suggest adding the mango, macadamias, and mint shortly before serving (perhaps as much as a few hours) for the best texture. However this slaw is fine in the fridge for a few days even with all the ingredients mixed in, so leftovers work great (we especially love to heap leftovers of this tropical slaw into a burrito bowl!).

Garnishing a bowl of mango slaw with fresh mint

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here's what you'll need for this mango coleslaw recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Red and green cabbage. I love to use a mix of the two since the colors are beautiful. I find red to be a bit more peppery, whereas green is more subtle, so the flavors compliment each other nicely (and did you know they contain different nutrients too??). You could use just one or the other, but the slaw will look and taste a bit less interesting.
  • Red and yellow bell pepper. Again, I love to use multiple colors, but you could just use one if that's all you can find.
  • Mango. The star ingredient of mango coleslaw! Make sure your mango is ripe, flavorful, and juicy, but not too soft since you want it to keep its shape when it gets tossed in with the other ingredients. You could also try using pineapple.
  • Macadamias. I love the macadamias from my wonderful, long-term partners at Mauna Loa Macadamias! I usually use their unsalted nuts in this tropical slaw, but you could use salted if you prefer; in that case, you'll likely want to omit the salt from the dressing ingredients.
  • Fresh mint. Or use cilantro for a different flavor, or a mix of the two.
  • Lime juice. Fresh-squeezed is a must.
  • Avocado oil. Any other neutral oil will work fine, or use half avocado oil and half toasted sesame oil for a different flavor.
  • Local honey. Or use agave for a fully vegan version. Maple syrup will also work, but note that it will change the flavor slightly and will create a less tropical vibe.
  • Salt

A healthy, vegan mango slaw with colorful cabbage and peppers

Closing Thoughts

This mango slaw wants to be a guest at all your summer gatherings! Whether you're hosting a BBQ, going to a potluck, or having a picnic, this colorful dish will be a great fit. Because it's make-ahead friendly, easy to pull together, and travels well, it's a perfect side for summer occasions. The combination of lime, mango, and mint is so refreshing and pairs beautifully with summer food.

I'm excited for you to try this one! Let's say goodbye to mayo-laden, sugary, boring coleslaw, which sadly has only served to give cabbage a bad reputation. This more colorful, fresher, lighter mango coleslaw has earned a permanent place on our deck during summer occasions and I hope it will make frequent appearances at your summer parties too.

Mango slaw recipe for summer parties and BBQs

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Planter's Punch

Tropical Guacamole

Tropical Pineapple Tostadas

Tropical Sweet Potatoes with Macadamia Dukkah

Vegan Chocolate Coconut MacNut Cream Pie

Disclosure: This recipe has been developed through a paid partnership with Mauna Loa Macadamias. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Tropical Macadamia Mango Slaw

Bursting with crunchy macadamia nuts, sweet juicy mango, crisp peppers, and fresh mint, this Hawaiian-inspired tropical slaw is the perfect accompaniment to any summer meal.



For the Slaw:

  • Half of a medium (or a quarter of a large) red cabbage
  • Half of a medium (or a quarter of a large) green cabbage
  • Red bell pepper
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Ripe mango
  • 8 oz roasted macadamias
  • 10-12 sprigs of fresh mint

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp local honey (or agave for a vegan version)
  • Generous few pinches of flaky sea salt, to taste


  1. Cut the red and green cabbage into long, thin ribbons and add them to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drizzle the dressing ingredients (lime juice, avocado oil, honey/agave, and salt) over the cabbage and toss well. Let the cabbage marinate in the dressing for at least 15-20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Conversely, cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight; the cabbage will become increasingly tender and flavorful as it marinates.
  3. Cut the bell peppers into long, thin ribbons and add them to the slaw.
  4. Cut the mango into long, thin strips and add them to the slaw.
  5. Chop the macadamias coarsely and cut the mint into very thin ribbons. Add about three quarters of each to the slaw, reserving the remaining quarter for sprinkling on top.
  6. Toss all of the ingredients well, then transfer the slaw to a serving dish.
  7. Garnish the slaw with the reserved macadamias and fresh mint.

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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