Virgin Islands Coleslaw (West Indian Coleslaw) Recipe)

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This recipe for West Indian coleslaw or Virgin Islands coleslaw is inspired by my island home of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and is absolutely delicious. I’ve had people come to my home to eat and say “I don’t like coleslaw”, and then leave as coleslaw converts.

The only thing is, growing up in the Caribbean; I always had to grate the cabbage and carrots by hand using what’s know as a box or hand grater. These days you can just by a bag of cabbage/carrot slaw mix and everything from that point is easy. Although, I will say from a flavor stand point, I prefer my Virgin Islands coleslaw made using freshly grated cabbage and carrots.

What if I Don’t Want to Spend My Time Grating Carrots and Cabbage

If you’re super busy  or want to save time, or prefer to buy the bagged stuff, One 14 oz bag of shredded cabbage and carrots will do the trick.

And no, there is no fancy tropical fruit in this but, if you order have coleslaw in the Virgin Islands, this is exactly what you’ll get.

From a dietary stand point, this West Indian coleslaw is naturally gluten free.

So creamy and delicious this coleslaw recipe is a fan favorite. Even though I no longer live in the Virgin Islands, I always smile to myself every April (Carnival time), Thanksgiving and Christmas when Google tells me that there is an uptick in blog visitors looking for this recipe.

Try my Virgin Islands coleslaw recipe and see what you think.

Virgin Islands or West Indian Coleslaw


Sexy Summer Sides (Caribbean Coleslaw)

Recipe for Virgin Islands Coleslaw with Raisins, a West Indian recipe. 

  • Author: Lisa
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Summer


  • 1 large carrots (grated)
  • 1/2 cabbage (grated)
  • 1/4 cup grated white onion 
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or according to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper


  1. Add all ingredients to cabbage and carrots in large bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hours before serving
  4. Serve chilled

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Also, try my recipe for Caribbean Ginger Beer.

Read these other Virgin Islands posts

Texas Pit Barbecue
Fun Thing to Do in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Visit Delly Deck in St. Thomas for Local Breakfast
3 Breathtaking Beaches to See on St. Croix

Did you enjoy this recipe? There are lots more where that came from.

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Original published: May 27, 2013. Latest update 4/2018.

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  • Comments ( 9 )

  • avatar

    My family goes “nuts” for it.

  • avatar

    Oops! So how about I made a big mistake when I was writing this recipe. Don’t worry. It’s all corrected now. If your tried the recipe before I made the edit, I am so sorry. But basically, the bottom line is…don’t forget the sugar.

  • avatar

    That sounds amazing – pinning it to try! Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  • avatar

    This is the perfect summer side dish — love it! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

  • avatar
    Brett Martin

    Raisins, huh? Interesting. But I want!
    Thanks for joining us at Delicious Dishes!!

    • avatar

      Yes Brett. Raisins…you won’t find coleslaw in the Virgin Islands without it. When I first ate coleslaw without raisins, I felt like I was doing something wrong. lol

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