Delicious Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe for Summer BBQs

If you’ve ever been to Luby’s Cafeteria or heard about it, then you already know that it’s renowned for its delicious comfort food. One of their most popular dishes is the Spanish Cole Slaw, which is a tasty and refreshing side dish that’s perfect for any occasion. This slaw is a delightful mixture of fresh and colorful veggies, dressed in a tangy and mildly sweet dressing.

In this recipe article, I’ll be sharing with you a recipe that replicates the famous Luby’s Cafeteria Spanish Cole Slaw. With just a few simple ingredients and easy to follow instructions, you can now prepare this dish right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Trust me; once you try this slaw, you’ll never go back to regular coleslaw again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Luby's Cafeteria's Spanish Cole Slaw
Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw


Let me tell you why you’ll love Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe.

First of all, it is a recipe from one of the most famous cafeterias in Texas. The Luby Cafeteria is a legend in Texas, serving great food for over 75 years. So, you know you are getting something special!

Now, let’s talk about the taste. This Spanish Cole Slaw is a perfect balance of sweet and tangy. It has a refreshing taste with a hint of spice. The combination of crunchy cabbage, pickles, and bell peppers make it interesting and exciting to eat. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop at just one scoop!

Moreover, this recipe is extremely versatile. You can pair it with any dish you like, from roasted turkey to fried fish, and it will still enhance your meal. It’s perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a family barbecue or a potluck party, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Lastly, this recipe is easy to make, and the ingredients are easily available in any grocery store. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a large bowl and some basic kitchen tools. It’s an excellent homemade coleslaw recipe that anyone can make, even if you’re not an experienced cook.

In summary, this recipe is delicious, versatile, easy-to-make, and it’s been loved by generations of Texans! So, why not give it a try and impress your family and guests with a slaw recipe from one of the best cafeterias in Texas?

Ingredient List


Before we proceed with the recipe instructions, let’s go over the ingredients we’ll need to make this Spanish Cole Slaw recipe, inspired by the one from Luby’s Cafeteria. You may be surprised to see some unique ingredients and combinations, but don’t worry, they all come together perfectly to make a flavorful and refreshing coleslaw. So, let’s check what’s in store in our pantry and grocery list:


  • 1 medium-sized green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 cups of carrots, shredded or julienned
  • 1/2 cup of green onions with top, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup of pimentos, diced
  • 1/4 cup of a dill pickle, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of the pickle juice from the dill pickle jar
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper


The Recipe How-To

How to Make Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw

Are you ready to recreate the famous Luby’s Cafeteria Spanish Cole Slaw at home? Here’s a step by step guide on how to make it:


  • 1 medium green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 green onions with top, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pimentos
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, sliced green onions, green bell pepper strips, pimentos, and chopped dill pickle.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the pickle juice, sugar, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, water, and chopped fresh parsley to make the dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well to coat the vegetables evenly.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Serve cold as a refreshing side dish.

Enjoy the delicious Luby’s Cafeteria Spanish Cole Slaw at home with these simple steps!


Substitutions and Variations

Are you looking to switch up Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe with some substitutions and variations? Here are a few options that you can try:

– Swap out the green cabbage for red cabbage to add some color to your cole slaw.

– Replace the dill pickle with bread and butter pickles for a sweeter taste.

– Use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar for a more pronounced tangy flavor.

– Add some heat by mixing in diced jalapeños or hot sauce to the dressing.

– For a creamier consistency, mix in a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream or Greek yogurt to the dressing.

These alternatives to the original recipe can take your Spanish cole slaw in a new direction and tailor it to your preferred taste. Don’t forget to experiment with the ingredient ratios to find the perfect balance. So go ahead, try some variations, and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish cole slaw is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. This tangy and crunchy slaw is the perfect side dish for any meal. It pairs particularly well with seafood, such as fried fish or shrimp. The acidity of the slaw helps to cut through the richness of fried food, creating a perfectly balanced meal.

In addition to seafood, this Spanish cole slaw also complements roasted meats like turkey, ham or pork. The lightness and freshness of the slaw contrast nicely with the richness of the meats.

If you’re feeling adventurous, try using the slaw as a topping for a Mexican-inspired burger or sandwich. The flavors of the slaw will complement spicy and savory ingredients like a chipotle mayonnaise or a jalapeño cheddar cheese.

For a lighter meal, serve the slaw atop a bed of greens or alongside a carrot salad. The crispness of the slaw adds texture and crunch to any dish.

And if you really want to go all out, serve this delicious slaw as part of a classic Southern-style meal along with other cafeteria favorites like baked beans, cornbread, and mashed potatoes.

No matter how you decide to serve Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish cole slaw, it is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

One of the best things about Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later. This is especially helpful if you are planning a big gathering or want to save some time during the week.

To make ahead, simply prepare the slaw according to the recipe instructions, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. If you need to keep it longer, store the slaw in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.

When reheating the slaw, it’s best to do it slowly in the microwave or on the stovetop. Avoid overheating or boiling the slaw as this can make it lose its crispness and texture.

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. The slaw may lose some of its crispness, but it will still taste delicious.

Overall, Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe is a great dish that can be made in advance and easily stored for later use. Just remember to reheat it slowly and avoid overcooking for the best results.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the ingredients ready to go, let me share with you some tips that will help you achieve the perfect Spanish Cole Slaw. Paying attention to these details will make a big difference in the final result of your dish.

First and foremost, it is crucial to not overdo the dressing. While the sauce is an important part of this recipe, too much of it can overpower the taste of the vegetables. Be conservative when pouring it, and remember that you can always add more later if needed.

Another tip to keep in mind is to always use fresh ingredients. For example, using stale cabbage can result in a dry and flavorless slaw. To ensure freshness, use vegetables that don’t have blemishes, bruises, or any other signs of age.

It is also important to take the time to finely chop all the vegetables in this recipe. A finely-chopped slaw guarantees that each bite will have all the flavors in harmony. Taking the time to shred the cabbage thinly won’t make much of a difference if the other vegetables are roughly chopped.

When it comes to storing the leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help keep the vegetables crisp and fresh for days to come. However, try to consume the slaw within three days of preparing it, as it will start to lose its texture and flavor over time.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe! You can add or substitute ingredients to make it your own. Try using a different type of pickle or bell pepper to suit your preferences. This slaw perfectly complements dishes such as roasted turkey, fried fish, or even shrimp.

By following these tips and adding your personal touch, you’ll be able to make a slaw that will be the star of your meal.


Now that you know how to make the famous Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw recipe, you may still have some questions regarding the dish. To help you out, in this section, I will address some common FAQs about the recipe. By reviewing these questions and answers, you will be able to prepare this flavorful slaw like a pro and impress your guests at your next gathering. So, let’s delve into the FAQ section!

Can you use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar in coleslaw?

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, distilled white vinegar can be a satisfactory replacement. This option can save you a trip to the store and still provide similar results in your recipe.

What is Mexican coleslaw made of?

Looking for a fresh and vibrant vegetable side dish that will brighten up any meal? Consider trying out Mexican coleslaw! This dish, also known as taco slaw or Mexican slaw, is comprised of finely shredded or chopped raw cabbage and a mixture of other fresh veggies like carrots and red onions. The veggies are then tossed in a tangy dressing that can either be vinegar-based or mayonnaise-based, depending on your preference. So, if you’re looking for a new twist on traditional coleslaw, give Mexican coleslaw a try!

What is the dressing on coleslaw made of?

When it comes to making coleslaw dressing, there are a few key ingredients to keep in mind. Most commonly, mayonnaise serves as the base, while a sweetener (like honey), apple cider vinegar, celery seeds, salt, and pepper provide flavor. While some recipes may call for dairy, such as buttermilk, I believe a dairy-free option is just as good.

How do you make Bobby Flay coleslaw?

Alright, it’s time to whip up some of my famous coleslaw! Start by grabbing a big bowl and tossing together your shredded cabbage and carrots. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together your mayo, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once all that’s whisked together nicely, pour it over your cabbage concoction and mix everything together until all the veggies are thoroughly coated. And voila! Your classic coleslaw is ready for taste testing. Pro tip: Make sure to give it a good taste and adjust your seasonings as needed, perhaps adding a tad more salt or sugar to balance out the flavors.

Bottom Line

With Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe, you can bring the taste of a classic cafeteria dish right to your own home. Whether you’re looking for a side dish to pair with your fried fish or roasted turkey, or you just want to add some fresh flavors to your meals, this recipe is a must-try. The combination of crisp cabbage, sweet bell peppers, tangy pickles, and flavorful spices make for a dish that is both refreshing and satisfying.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also easy to make and has plenty of options for substitutions and variations to suit your taste preferences. And with tips for perfect results and make-ahead instructions, you can enjoy this slaw any time, whether you’re hosting a party or just want a tasty side dish with dinner.

So why not try Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe today? With its mix of fresh vegetables and classic spices, it’s sure to become a new favorite in your recipe collection. And who knows, it might even rival Luby’s original Spanish Cole Slaw recipe!

Luby's Cafeteria's Spanish Cole Slaw

Luby’s Cafeteria’s Spanish Cole Slaw Recipe

Print Recipe
This recipe comes from the Luby's Cafeteria 50th Anniversary Cookbook. The crisp colors and tangy dill dressing make this one-of-a-kind slaw a hit! --Note-- refrigeration time is noted as cooking time (2 hours).
Course Salad
Cuisine Spanish/Mexican
Keyword < 4 Hours, Potluck, Vegetable
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Calories 47.8



  • 1 medium green cabbage, shredded (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced dill pickle
  • 1/2 cup short thin strips green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsley chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions with top
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell peppers or 1 tablespoon pimentos


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pickle juice (juice from jar of pickles)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large bowl, combine cabbage, pickles, green bell pepper, parsley, green onions, carrots and red pepper.
  • For dressing, combine water, pickle juice, vinegar, sugar, oil, salt and pepper.
  • Whisk until well blended.
  • Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss lightly to coat evenly.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, tossing lightly serveral times.
  • ~NOTE~To shredded cabbage the Luby's way (for slaw that is easy to eat) cut cabbage in half lengthwise and remove core.
  • Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices into 2-inch lengths.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 143g | Calories: 47.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.1g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 1.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 379mg | Fiber: 2.9g | Sugar: 4.8g

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