Asian Slaw with Sweet and Spicy Peanut Dressing 🥜

asian slaw with peanut dressing

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Whether you’re hosting a summer BBQ or looking for a refreshing side dish to complement your plant-based feast, this healthy Asian Slaw will surely steal the show! What elevates it to new heights is my special peanut dressing, boasting a perfect balance of sweet maple syrup, tangy rice vinegar, creamy peanut butter, and a kick of sriracha for that extra spicy punch!

Not only is this dish a feast for the senses, but it’s also entirely vegan and gluten-free, making it a guilt-free indulgence that everyone can enjoy. Whip up a batch today and treat yourself to a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more!

Asian Slaw: Nutrition and Goodness in a Bowl! 🔥

Refreshing, light, and energizing, my Asian Slaw boasts the perfect balance of taste and nutrition, making it the ideal side dish for your Sunday barbecue or brunch!

The base is made with a delightful combination of fresh, colorful veggies. From red cabbage, an incredible source of potassium, calcium, and fiber, promoting digestive health and boosting immunity, to carrots, rich in beta-carotene, essential for healthy vision and glowing skin, and bell peppers, rich in vitamin C, the slaw provides all the micronutrients we need to feel vibrant and energized.

On top is a sweet and spicy Asian-inspired dressing made with peanut butter (I used this organic peanut butter from Whole Foods Market), soy sauce (I love this gluten-free tamari sauce from San-J), rice vinegar, and maple syrup. The peanut butter provides plant-based protein and healthy fats that balance the salad’s nutritional profile, making it great both on its own and in combination with other plant-based dishes.

I love pairing the salad with a good source of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains or sweet potatoes, to prolong the feeling of satisfaction and feel energized for longer. Alternatively, if you are particularly active or have just smashed a workout at the gym, you can boost its protein content with some grilled tofu or tempeh to promote muscle growth and repair!

Pair this Asian slaw with:

  1. Grilled Tofu or Tempeh
    Serve the slaw alongside marinated and grilled tofu or tempeh for a complete vegan meal packed with protein.
  2. Asian-Inspired Noodle Dish
    Enjoy the slaw alongside a flavorful noodle dish such as sesame noodles, pad Thai, or vegetable Lo Mein for a satisfying and balanced meal.
  3. Veggie Spring Rolls or Fresh Rolls
    Roll the slaw into rice paper wrappers along with fresh herbs, tofu, or shrimp for a light and refreshing appetizer or snack.
  4. Rice or Quinoa
    Serve the slaw over a bed of fluffy rice or quinoa for a hearty and nutritious meal. The dressing will infuse the grains with its delicious flavors.
  5. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
    Use the slaw as a topping for BBQ jackfruit sandwiches or tacos for a fusion of flavors that’s sure to impress.
  6. Veggie Burgers
    Layer the slaw onto veggie burgers or sliders for a crunchy and flavorful twist on a classic favorite.
  7. Sweet Potato
    Roast or steam sweet potato cubes until tender and serve them alongside the slaw. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, adding sweetness and heartiness to the dish.
  8. Cauliflower Rice
    For a lower-carb option, serve the slaw with cauliflower rice. Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice. Then, steam or sauté until tender.

10 Foolproof Tips for a Bomb Asian Slaw 💣

Looking for simple ways to upgrade your Asian slaw -or any other slaw for that matter? Here are 10 foolproof tips for bomb salads that I have experimented with and tested over the past few years!

1. Cut Vegetables Uniformly

Consistency in the size and shape of your vegetables ensures even distribution of flavors and textures throughout the slaw. Start with fresh, crisp, seasonal vegetables for the best flavor and texture, and aim for uniformity when shredding or slicing them.

2. Play with Texture

Second, incorporate a variety of textures to make your slaw more interesting. Mix crunchy vegetables with softer ones, and consider adding ingredients like toasted nuts, seeds, or crispy wonton strips for extra crunch.

3. Salt and Drain Cabbage

If using cabbage in your slaw, sprinkle it with salt and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing and drying. This helps to draw out excess moisture from the cabbage, resulting in a crisper slaw with a better texture.

4. Balance Flavors and Get Creative with Your Dressing

Aim for a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and savory flavors in your dressing. Experiment with ingredients like agave or maple syrup for sweetness, vinegar or citrus juice for acidity, soy sauce or tamari for saltiness, and aromatics like garlic and ginger for depth of flavor. Taste as you go and adjust the amount of vinegar or citrus juice and sweetener accordingly to achieve the desired balance.

5. Let It Marinate

Allow your slaw to marinate for a little while before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. This helps soften the vegetables slightly and allows the dressing to fully coat everything.

6. Experiment with Add-Ins

Don’t be afraid to get creative and add extra ingredients to your slaw to make it your own. Consider adding fruits like apples, mangoes, or pineapple for a sweet twist, or protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or lentils for a more substantial meal. Make sure to taste your slaw as you go and adjust the seasoning as needed. If it is too sweet, add more acidity, such as with a little extra lemon juice. If it’s too salty, balance it out with sweetness or dilute it with more vegetables.

7. Add Crunchy Toppings

In addition to mixing crunchy vegetables into the slaw, consider adding crunchy toppings just before serving for extra texture. Toasted nuts, seeds, or even crushed crispy noodles can take your slaw to the next level!

8. Massage the Dressing

Once you’ve tossed the slaw with the dressing, take a moment to massage the dressing into the vegetables. This helps to soften the vegetables slightly and allows the flavors to penetrate more deeply.

9. Chill Before Serving

For the best flavor and texture, chill your slaw in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the crispness of the vegetables.

10. Add a Final Touch

Last but not least, garnishing the slaw with additional fresh herbs or a drizzle of dressing just before serving for an extra pop of color and flavor!

If you liked this recipe, here are other recipes you might like.

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Asian Slaw with Peanut Dressing

Whether you're hosting a summer BBQ or looking for a refreshing side dish to complement your plant-based feast, this Asian Slaw will surely steal the show! What elevates this slaw to new heights is my special peanut dressing, boasting a perfect balance of sweet maple syrup, tangy rice vinegar, creamy peanut butter, and a kick of sriracha for that extra spicy punch!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 179 kcal


For the Asian slaw

For the sweet and spicy peanut dressing:

For the garnishes:


  • In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, green onions, and cilantro.
  • In a separate bowl or a jar, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, lime juice, minced garlic, grated ginger, red pepper flakes, and sriracha. Whisk or shake until well combined and smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss well to coat evenly. Let the slaw sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and crushed peanuts over the top for added crunch and flavor. Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Asian Slaw with Peanut Dressing
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Air fryer, Asian, asian slaw, BBQ, coleslaw, healthy BBQ, healthy dressing salad, healthy side dish, plant-based appetizer, plant-based dinner, plant-based salad, summer dinner, Summer Recipes, summer salad
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