Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw

My normal cooking mode is all about what I remember from 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 Sauceif 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 messing something up, it’s me!


Spicy Low Carb Crack Slaw

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crack Slaw, Egg Roll In a Bowl, One Pan Dinner
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 274 kcal
Author: Dixie Vogel
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!


  • 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


  1. Put ground beef in a skillet to cook.
  2. Add minced garlic and sliced onion. As you can see, I took great care to slice the onion pieces uniformly...not!
  3. Mix in liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce. Allow meat to brown.
  4. Add in soy sauce, ginger, curry powder and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
  5. 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.
  6. Cook until cabbage is just starting to tender, then mix in bacon bits.
  7. Cook another 5 minutes or so after adding bacon bits. I like the cabbage to still have a little crunch in it.
  8. 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.

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 g)
Calories 274 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 35%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 530mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 16g 32%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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?

If you don't want to buy a lot of low carb books, just get the right ones.
2017-10-17T18:38:59+00:00Sep 23, 2014 / 11:40 pm |Main Courses|35 Comments


  1. BK Sanders September 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Zen Goddess September 25, 2014 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      I have not but that sounds like a great substitute to me. I will keep my eye out for it! Thanks.

    • Zen Goddess October 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

      P.S. I have now tried the Liquid Aminos, and found them to be a very suitable replacement for the soy sauce. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. monna September 25, 2014 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Are you saying there are 10g of carbs per serving in this recipe? that seems like a LOT????
    It really does look great!

    • Zen Goddess September 25, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

      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.

    • Jo-E. February 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      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!!

      • Dix February 1, 2016 at 5:54 pm - Reply

        So glad you liked it! And thanks for the kind words. I definitely appreciate them.

  3. Connie September 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Is there some seasoning besides curry and ginger that you would recommend?

    • Zen Goddess September 25, 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      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!

  4. Linda October 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Zen Goddess October 27, 2014 at 10:53 pm - Reply

      I love it when people make it their own, man! I do like a bit of kick, and those pepper flakes are hotter than you’d think just looking at them. Glad you liked it.

  5. Bonnie January 9, 2015 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    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.

    • Dixie Vogel January 9, 2015 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Yay! I’m glad you like it. And I always love to see people taking a recipe and making it their own. Thanks for sharing your experiments.

  6. SMcAdoo January 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    I just made this! It was delicious! I love the ease, cost and low carb this is! Amazing!

  7. Corky January 13, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    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.

  8. Malainie May 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Dix May 14, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      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!

  9. Roxie July 26, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

    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

    • Dix July 26, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

      So glad you liked it! I guess the bacon will have to wait until another time.

  10. jo August 15, 2015 at 9:23 am - Reply

    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.

    • Dix August 15, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      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!

  11. Kellie October 6, 2015 at 9:04 am - Reply

    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!

  12. MickiSue January 19, 2016 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    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.

    • Dix January 19, 2016 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      I’m so glad you liked it! And that it was easy enough to suit you. Feel better soon!

  13. Bonnie February 2, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Dix February 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      That sounds delicious! So glad it worked out for you. Just will have to make more next time I guess.

  14. Aurora June 16, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    Do you use fresh ginger or ginger powder?

    • Dix June 16, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

      I used the powder because that’s what I had on hand.

  15. Bonnie November 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    I use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce and liquid aminos. I find soy is too estrogenic for me.

  16. Amy January 5, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    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!

  17. Tee March 23, 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    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!

  18. Kim April 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    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.

  19. Lori October 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    We loved it! I used 8 c thin sliced purple cabbage and added 8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms.

  20. Mimi October 25, 2017 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    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!

    • Dix October 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      That’s hysterical! Thanks for sharing that – and for letting us know it freezes.

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