Raw Butternut Squash Slaw

Raw Butternut Squash Slaw is a refreshing and bold slaw with a nod to autumn. Raw squash is mild and slightly sweet with a heavier texture that mixes well with light, crunchy cabbage and a blend of spicy, tangy flavors.

Instead of having to wait for it to slowly roast in an oven, this recipe lets you enjoy butternut squash in no time at all. The texture is different than cooked squash – it’s similar to raw carrots – and the flavor isn’t as sweet. If you don’t typically like squash, you may still love this slaw.

Serve this flavorful slaw for dinner tonight and don’t forget about it when the holidays roll around. The clean, fresh flavor is a nice contrast when served with heavy main dishes like beef and pork roasts or turkey.

Serves: 6

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups grated butternut squash (about 1/2 of a peeled and seeded butternut squash) (350 to 400 g)
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage (200 to 250 g)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or parsley (60 ml)
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos (or other hot pepper) seeded & finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (5 ml)
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (such as cold-pressed, high-oleic/high-stearic sunflower oil)  (125 ml)


Peel the butternut squash, take out the seeds and cut the squash into chunks. Grate the squash – a food processor is by far the easiest way to accomplish this.

Combine the grated squash, cabbage, green onions, cilantro and hot pepper in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, tamari, and both of the oils.

Pour the dressing over the slaw. Mix well before serving.

Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings Coming Soon!

The book is now at the printers! I’m really happy with how it has turned out, and I’m sure you’ll love it. In case you missed the announcement last month, this new cookbook is all about turning ho-hum meals into Primal masterpieces with delicious and nutritious sauces, dressings, marinades, condiments, and other toppings. It includes over 120 easy-to-prepare recipes inspired by traditional and contemporary cuisine from around the world. From the staples (ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, mayonnaise) to the innovative (Blueberry Chutney, Coconut Cilantro Pesto, Avocado Lime Dressing), every recipe will enhance the nutritional value of your meal, using only Primal-approved ingredients. That means no gluten, grains, legumes, added sugar, or unhealthy oils. The recipes we developed for this cookbook have already changed the way I prepare my Primal meals. I can’t wait for it to do the same for you.

If you’re a long-time Mark’s Daily Apple reader, you know that I always do something special for devoted readers when I release a new book. Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings drops on December 5th, and this book release will be no different. In fact, it will be bigger than ever…

Starting December 5th, I’ll be offering prizes with a total value of over 1 million dollars to people that buy one or more copies (it will make the perfect holiday gift!) of the book during the first week it is available. So mark your calendar and be ready to jump on this special offer while it lasts.

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39 thoughts on “Raw Butternut Squash Slaw”

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  1. I still haven’t tried squash yet. This looks like a tasty way to try it out. Does anyone know if squash is ok while trying to go into ketosis?

  2. Could you give us some nutrition numbers? For instance carbs?

  3. Looks great. I’ve never liked coleslaw in my life until I started having paleo versions.

  4. Looks so good, it’s ridiculous. Going to share this with the wife in a not-so-subtle hint…

  5. I always thought we’d (we = humans) have problems digesting raw squash as it had starch – I guess I am completely wrong in thinking that and that I’ve lived my 33 years in complete ignorance? 😉

  6. Looks yummy, but my hands peel horribly after handling raw butternut squash, so I’m more than a little afraid to eat it raw!

  7. We’ve been eating a lot of in-season squash in the past month, and my (5) children have been eating chunks of them raw, as I prepare them for roasting. They don’t seem to have had any issues, but since I can’t eat carrots or apples raw, I refrained from trying starchy squash raw, too. I can eat apples and carrots roasted or baked with some kind of fat. I might try this recipe (or something like it). My children said butternut squash tastes like a melon, but harder to chew. 🙂 It smells like a mix of watermelon and cantaloupe to me.

    I’m going to read about eating raw squash right now. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe, Mark.

    1. Interesting! I cut up a big one this week and used half of it in chili, and the other half is diced and sitting in the fridge for another use. My daughter was disappointed because she thought it was cantaloupe, never knew you could eat it raw and it actually tasted like melon.

  8. How, I say how, do you peel one of those hard squash (butternut, pumpkin, etc.)? Potato peeler? serrated knife? Hatchet? Chain saw? I tried peeling a raw butternut once and swore I would bake them first from now on. I like different slaws and I want to try this one, but the peeling part makes me shudder.

    1. If you (pierce it first) and then microwave the squash for 2 minutes it is much easier to peel. It doesn’t really “cook it” just makes the peeling process a bit easier to handle.

    2. For this recipe, I cut the squash into cubes and leave the skin on. Then I use a box grater instead of a food processor to shred it — so the skin gives me something to hold onto during the shredding process.

  9. If you use a good peeler, they peel very nicely. I use a peeler that has a horizontal blade and the handle is perpendicular to the blade. Very easy to use and the butternut squash peels very easily.

  10. Sounds soooooo yummy. As soon as I can try this, I will. SAD slaw is so much store-bought mayo, I’ve never liked it, even long before I heard of Primal/Paleo.

    I think since forever I’ve had an aversion to store-bought [read Hellman’s] mayo. Just something about it was never quite “right.”

    Guess my body has been talking to me a lot longer than I’ve been willing to listen.

    1. I remember on a kindergarten trip we were told not to bring a lunch.. because we were getting McDonald’s. The pickle on the burger tasted so wrong and gave me a really weird, unpleasant feeling. Then the rest of the burger was unappetizing. I couldn’t eat most of it. I think my gut bacteria were telling me not to.
      And it seems kefir is sentient and eerily capable. Every time I get a jar of organic kefir and try travelling with it, somehow it opens and gets over everything! Those microbes are trying to spread.

  11. I just bought a butternut squash, and now I know what I’m going to do with it!

  12. With all the great recipes on this site, do you ever think of integrating with ZipList.com ? Makes it real easy for readers to save your recipes. I’m not shilling for them or anything, I’m just a frequent user.

    1. Or.. maybe just a link to an easy printable version of each recipe. I may be missing it if it is already there.. but I find when I print these recipes, which I do often, I get pages and pages… but I’m not very computer savvy, if there is an easier way, please tell me 🙂

      1. When you print the recipe, only print the pages the recipe is on. Or what I do is copy and paste into a word document. I have a file of recipes on my computer. Now to make it searchable!

        1. Let us know if you figure out how to make your computer list of recipes searchable. I also copy/paste and then doctor it up until I get a usable recipe that doesn’t take more than 2 pages, preferable one page. I print a copy and also save it to my documents/my recipes/paleo. Sometimes I want to print a copy to give to someone but I can’t do a search. I’ve started saving the recipe by the main ingredient so it is alpha in my list. I’d still like to be able to search.

        2. I’d probably save them in different folders. i.e. Beef dishes. Vegetable dishes. or Appetizers. Main courses. Desserts (that one wouldn’t be used too often)

      2. If you download a program like Evernote you can create an entire recipe book that is searchable either in the app itself or online (it can integrate with your Google searches). It also has a web-clipper button that you can hit on any web page to automatically save the page to a notebook.

  13. I have been living off roasted butternut squash this Autumn. Unfortunately I’m allergic to raw squash, but this does look tasty!

  14. Put it into a colander, pour boiling water over it, and it should be cooked just enough to be able to digest it. It is THE way to process broccoli for a veggie tray, as the nutrients are bound up in it unless slightly cooked this way…makes it prettier too.

  15. If you (pierce it first) and then microwave the squash for 2 minutes it is much easier to peel. It doesn’t really “cook it” just makes the peeling process a bit easier to handle.

  16. I use butternut squash from time to time. I mainly use 2 recipes: one is a soup, which my wife is expert in preparing. We always end up sprinkling our plates with pieces of bacon and seeds, and add a bit of creme fraiche. A delight in winter!
    The 2nd one is far easier: peel the squash, but also a parsnip and shred them with a potato peeler. When you get a fair bunch of shreds, fry them in butter and thin cuts of bacon for a good 5mn to 10mn. Let it cool a bit and serve as a snack 🙂

  17. This looks amazing and I just so happen to have a butternut squash and head of cabbage on hand that have no recipe to go into (husband did the grocery shopping). But now I do. All I need is cilantro and tamari! 🙂

  18. Carrot juice with turmeric in it (all organic) is pretty good stuff.

  19. Use Evernote app. It is a marvelous tool for organization…..it can search all documents to find things easily…..great tool!

  20. Something I did recently with the juice left over in a jar of sauerkraut was add basil, dried chopped onions, garlic, and some vegetables in the jar. I ate the vegetables before they pickled but let the rest sit for a couple more days. It was a delicious cold soup.

  21. Made this for dinner for my wife and I the other night. It was excellent! We had steak and slaw. Now I’m making it for our church pot luck. We doubled the recipe. Have some folks who like to eat healthy. They will enjoy this.

  22. I had high hopes for this recipes because lets be honest… it looks and sounds amazing. Sadly I was disappointed. I had to modify the dressing kinda a lot for my kids to eat it. Even so I think the amount of dressing was a big source of the problem. We are sauce people in this house. Even so, I likely will not make this again.

  23. Hmm, I have avoided butternut squash like the plague all my life. Same with pumpkin pie and other squash. I have recently been trying to switch over my diet to fresh veggies and fruits, high quality meats, etc. This picture really made me give squash another go; I love coleslaw!
    I started grating it to make the slaw and then made a huge mistake; I took a bite.
    Throwing the peels in the trash I shrugged and ate it like an apple. Where has this been all my life? It tastes so sweet and is so soft/juicy after you get past the tougher area near the rind. I have been slicing it up for the past few days and eating it like carrot sticks. This really is delicious! I seriously suggest it raw; it tastes amazing. It really is similar to a melon!

  24. I am eating a raw diet (my body’s choice) and this is a good recipe simply for a meal in itself! I am sensitive to raw onions (but not green onions) and for some reason, I thought eating raw shallot in this would be O.K. Well, I found out that it’s not O.K. after bad stomach cramps when eating this salad. It’s tastes pretty good but the smell and taste of the shallot (unless you like raw onion) is something that can be left out. I think it detracts from the flavor. Also – it’s best to let this sit in the “dressing” for a little bit so it can marinade and remember, this is a “starchy” meal … NOT to combine with a protein when following appropriate food combinations for optimal digestion.