September 23

Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw

My normal cooking mode is all about what I remember from looking at recipes combined with what I’ve got on hand. That’s how this Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw with bacon bits was born–because honestly, what is NOT better with bacon bits?!?

Low carb “crack slaw” is so named because of it’s addictive nature. I didn’t name it, so if it rubs you the wrong way, sorry but, you know. Call it “Egg Roll in a Bowl” instead. My version of low carb crack slaw adds some crushed red peppers to give it a kick, and would probably be tasty with a smidge of Sriracha Sauce if you dig that sort of thing. I didn’t have any, so I didn’t test it personally.

You could also probably make low carb crack slaw without any recipe, though. It’s seriously hard to mess up. I know because if anybody could manage to mess something up, it’s me!

Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw 1

Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw

Nothing is quicker or easier than browning up some hamburger and tossing in a bag of shredded cabbage, man. So no telling me you don't have time to cook proper low carb food!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crack Slaw, Egg Roll In a Bowl, One Pan Dinner
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Dixie Vogel


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon liquid Barbecue Smoke®
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bag coleslaw (shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled bacon


  • Put ground beef in a skillet to cook.
  • Add minced garlic and sliced onion. As you can see, I took great care to slice the onion pieces uniformly...not!
  • Mix in liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce. Allow meat to brown.
  • Add in soy sauce, ginger, curry powder and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
  • Once meat is browned and onions are tender, mix in the bag of coleslaw (or your own shredded cabbage). Do not drain that fabulous fat! We want to cook our slaw in it.
  • Cook until cabbage is just starting to tender, then mix in bacon bits.
  • Cook another 5 minutes or so after adding bacon bits. I like the cabbage to still have a little crunch in it.
  • Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I used slightly less than the full bag of shredded cabbage because I had already made some slaw, but figured nutritionals based on an entire bag. A big hunk of the sodium in this recipe comes from the soy sauce, so if you'd like for it to be lighter on salt, you can use Liquid Aminos in it's place. It has a very "soy sauce" taste without the salt. You could even skip it entirely if you wanted to, but I think it adds a nice layer to the flavors.
Serving size is approximate and nutritionals are for the ingredients I had. Basically figure 1/6 the total mass of what you get!
Shown here garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sliced Roma tomatoes I needed to use up. It was seriously delicious!
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw
Amount Per Serving (1 cup-ish)
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 530mg22%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 16g32%
Net Carbs 5
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Made this? Show it off!Follow @lowcarbzen & tag it #lczen.

Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw 2

The Real Beauty of Low Carb Crack Slaw

The thing I love about most about low carb crack slaw is that you have your veggies, protein and fats all together in one tidy dish, it takes just a wink and nudge to make and of course, I can dump everything together it in my handy-dandy electric skillet! I love that thing. My husband (who does dishes) complains because I dirty it on an almost-daily basis. But good lord, it’s convenient! (And he notably doesn’t complain about the food I make in it, so Nyaaa!)

Do you have a favorite version of low carb crack slaw?

About the author...

Zen Goddess

Just a regular gal who found she feels better eating low carb.


Cabbage, Crack Slaw, Hamburger, Onions

  • This looks yummy! I’ll be sure to try this one!
    Was wondering if you had tried Braggs liquid Aminos? In place of the soy sauce? It tastes A LOT like soy sauce but with a FRACTION of the sodium!!! I love that stuff!!
    Just a suggestion…you can do with it what you wish!

    • You’re right! My recipe program thought I was talking about prepared coleslaw, thanks for pointing that out. With any of these recipes if you’re tracking, it’s a good idea to figure the carbs yourself based on what you are actually using, too. I consider recipe nutritionals only guidelines because people make mistakes in figuring and it’s what you are using anyway that counts.

    • I just made my version of this…. I used;
      1/3 pkg.Ground Turkey sausage
      1/3 head Organic Cabbage
      Red Pepper Flakes
      Chipotle seasoning
      1/2 a bag Organic Asian Frozen Veggies.
      Fennel Seeds
      A Few splashes of Low sodium Soy Sauce ( I am going to look for the Liquid Aminos)

      Really good! Thank you for the idea! Love this site!!

    • I’ve seen variations with lots of different spices. Many use sesame oil, green onions or Chinese spice blends. Cinnamon would probably work as well. Ginger is used in most of these I’ve seen, that’s a pretty common denominator, and mixed with something hot. So kind of a sweet/hot spice combo is what you’re looking for. Hope that helps!

  • 5 stars
    Tried this tonight but with minor changes due to ingredients on hand–yellow onion, purple cabbage, ground turkey, so I added the bacon grease on impulse, for the cabbage to lard itself in. Very, very good, though a bit spicy for me. This is the first time I ever used pepper flakes. Happened to have saved some from former carb pizza takeout days. I added just a tad of black beans to cut the heat a little, but that ups the carbs. Not doing induction, so it doesn’t hurt. Topped it with shredded cheese. Oh, how I want a second helping!

  • 5 stars
    This is the best! I usually add a can of diced tomatoes. Also, I’ve substituted 1/2 lb sausage for the hamburger. Tried ham too. All good.

  • Perfect! Love that stuff! It was easy to make, super low carb and even an old duffer like me can whip it up in now time. Thanks a ton for this recipe.

  • How many ounces in your bag of coleslaw? I like to shred my own cabbage. Plus since it’s only me, I’ll half the recipe. Love sweet, spicy flavors!

    • Most bags are usually 14-16 oz. around here. It’s really pretty flexible though, depending on how much you want in there. I dump some, mix it in, dump some, mix it in. It’s not unusual for me to have less than a full bag because I’ve made cole slaw with some of it. So really, however much looks good to you will work. Just realize the volume goes down after you mix it up and cook a minute, so you may want to add a couple more times until I looks right. Hope you like it!

  • 5 stars
    Just made this for lunch all week………..OH…EM…GEE!!!!!! Wow, the many flavors that “pop” are seriously happiness in my mouth!!! Thank youuuuuuuuuu!!!
    P.S. The ONLY thing I didn’t add was bacon…..I know, I know…WHAT is wrong with me??? LOL

  • So, i’m pretty sure no one ever gets a chance to freeze something like crack …so maybe you don’t have an answer to this, but wondering if it freezes well. i have not tried freezing anything with cabbage before. just curious whether you have tried it.

    • Haha! Well, I have not personally tried to freeze this, so I’m not sure. Whenever I have leftovers, I just use it as a side dish until it’s gone. If someone tries freezing some, I’d love to hear how it works out for you!

  • 5 stars
    I use Liquid Aminos routinely as my husband is being treated for high blood pressure. I like the flavor better than fermented soy sauces. Great recipe! Might give this one a go tonight!

  • 5 stars
    Just made for the first time. I’m sick, and needed something with little effort, and lots of servings. SO GOOD. With the added bonus of the nose clearing from the ginger (I was a little generous) and the peppers.

    Liquid aminos are also great if you don’t do grains at all–no gluten, and most commercial soy sauces have gluten.

  • 5 stars
    I made your version of crackslaw tonight because I liked the addition of curry powder. I’ve been missing Indian food lately and we have no Indian restaurants in my area. I have to go to a bigger city to get it. I added a little more ginger and curry powder to taste and used Sriracha instead of the pepper flakes. It turned out amazing. Only problem was my husband liked it so much, he ate too much. Now, I don’t have much to take to work for my lunch tomorrow. He said to make this again soon. I have a fractured arm and managed to make it mostly with one hand. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • I made this tonight but had leftover pork roast, somI shredded it and used instead of the beef and left out the liquid smoke. It was great and my husband loved it too!

  • 5 stars
    OMG! I love asian slaw but haven’t had much because of the carb count. I came across this low carb recipe and I am hooked again!!! I made 2 batches 1 with ground beef and the other with Shrimp!! I didn’t have liquid smoke and I didn’t miss it in this dish!!!! Loads of flavor from the ginger, curry, red pepper, and the sauces!! My family topped theirs with wonton strips! I forwarded it to my friend so she can make it for her family!

  • After trying several crack slaw recipes, this is our favorite. Instead of red pepper flakes I use Sambal (Korean chili paste) and add half a can of coconut milk. Hubby never gets tired of it.

  • It freezes very well. I used to freeze it all the time because my husband wouldn’t eat “crack slaw”. Last time I called it “naked egg roll” and he thought it was WAY better than that crack slaw junk! Lol. Now there’s no leftovers to freeze!

  • Thanks for posting this! It’s the closest I could find to the original crack slaw when I did low carb 8 years ago. Now everyone has recipes with their own spin but I was looking for the OG! So thank you!

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