KFC Coleslaw Copycat - make your restaurant favorite right in your kitchen! Perfect for the summer BBQ's and potlucks! This recipe is spot on!
We have our restaurant favorites, like my Cheddar Bay Biscuits. It's always fun to make them at home from scratch! We serve the coleslaw with Slow Cooker Baked Beans and Air Fryer Fried Chicken.
KFC COLESLAW COPYCAT
Last weekend, we kicked off the summer with our annual BBQ Bash! There were ribs on the grill, corn on the cob and coleslaw in the bowls. There were s'mores and sticky fingers and lots of fun and laughter! We live in Kansas and as true mid-westerners, we love our BBQ. My Hubby takes pride in his ribs (baby back, beef, short ribs - any kind) and has his technique down to perfection. I take care of the sides and dessert. This KFC Coleslaw Copycat is simply perfect. The taste is spot on! Don't forget the two secret ingredients to make it just like (or even better) the restaurant kind!
HOW TO MAKE KFC COLESLAW COPYCAT
- Shredd cabbage, dice onion and carrots.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the veggies and stir all with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl with a saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Stir again before serving.
What is KFC Coleslaw made of?
To make the coleslaw you will need:
- apple cider vinegar
- lemon juice
- salt and pepper
Does it taste like the restaurant coleslaw?
Yes! It is spot on. We had our own KFC coleslaw made from scratch in our own kitchen and to go with our perfect BBQ ribs! One fantastic meal! You have to try this KFC Coleslaw Copycat recipe!
The secret to KFC Coleslaw recipe:
I did a little bit of research and in no time I was whipping up the famous KFC copycat in my own kitchen. The hardest part was waiting for the whole thing to mingle flavors while chilling in the fridge. My own coleslaw lacked in flavor. It turned out that sugar and onion were the secret ingredients! It gave the coleslaw the characteristic flavor.
How long does it last?
You can keep the coleslaw in a container with lid, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Always stir before serving.
What to serve with this coleslaw:
If you like this recipe and give it a try, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me@crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out!
KFC COLESLAW COPYCAT RECIPE:
KFC Coleslaw Copycat recipe
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 and ½ tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 and ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 cups shredded then diced cabbage about ½ of a medium head
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ medium yellow onion minced
- Shred the cabbage and carrot and dice finely.
- Mix all veggies in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the veggies and stir all with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bowl with a saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Stir again before serving.
Love it! Along with everyone else.
Don’t live by a KFC anymore but when I make this brings back great memories.
I am so glad! Thank you, BethAnn!
Love it. Thanks.
Thank you, Denise!
Mmmm. Yum. Really great and just like KFC, which is my favorite. I didn't have buttermilk, so just used half a cup of milk and added some of the lemon juice to it. Worked perfectly! I used too much cabbage for the recipe, but that just means I'll have more!
Also, I used a food processor for the vegetables. Really made them the right size.
Perfect! Food processor is a huge help here.
That's awesome! Thank you, Jennifer!
As an ex manager for kfc from long ago. We made the original recipe. It's about the grind more so than the sauce. You need to either hand shredd ultra fine side or food possessor it fine shredd. Saving all juices that come out of the process. It should be like angel hair but a bit finer. Now mix your sauce withe juices and combine with the grind. Let set 1 hr.
Excellent!! I added some celery seed and put it through my food processor which made it quick. I agree..The onion is what makes it great.
Thank you, Donna!
Jacqueline Y Hall says
I have been making this recipe every since I found it.I only like it and KFC. Love it. Recently did not have any vinegar and did not know it and used rice vinegar just about half as much as the vinegar and it turned out just as great.
Kris Marie says
Just made this and it’s chilling in the fridge! Will put this on top of my pulled pork barbecue sandwiches later, oh my it tastes AMAZING! Saving and will use again and again! I might have been a little light on the cabbage as I used half a head of green cabbage and shredded my on carrot. Really looking forward to this! Thank you!
We tried this recipe as a family for our bbq night and it turns out to be everyone’s favourite. Because of the hit, my husband would like to make again for our upcoming event.
This recipe is a hit! We tried this recipe for our bbq night and it turns out to be everyone’s favourite😀
Charlene Miller says
Best ever copycat recipe! I've made it several times and each time people want more than I can make. The rant and rave over how good it is.some say, better than KFC.
I made this a few nights ago and it turned out so yummy. I also noticed that the dressing can go a long way for you to double the amount of cabbage. In fact, I used a whole bag of the precut cabbage and carrot slaw mix. This saved me more time and I had plenty of the dressing for all of it to get the proper saturation. Delish.
I don’t remember KFC having onions in their coleslaw.
I buy it every once in a while because my husband likes the coleslaw.
I’ll have to ask them.
Thanks for the recipe!😁
I used to work in the salad prep at KFC. There is onion in it but they used tarragon vinegar. This is the closest one I've seen
Linda Scott says
This is the third time I have made this and I am now famous in my area in Spain for the best coleslaw around. I cannot get buttermilk here, so can’t add that, but I do add chives to mine - delicious
You can make buttermilk with 1cup milk and 1 tablespoon white vinegar , let set for 10 min and you’ll see the curdle !!
Paul Hartzog says
This is definitely my "go-to" creamy slaw recipe!
In a pinch, sour cream or plain yogurt can also work as a replacement for buttermilk. I also add about a tablespoon of prepared horseradish for a little extra bite.
I don’t buy buttermilk that often. You can make it by adding a tablespoon or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or ginger to milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. It will curdle. That’s how I make my own butter milk . Everyone loves my KFC. I also buy prepackaged coleslaw. Rinse and add your liquids. Refrigeration is the key.
No ginger I meant vinegar.
My husband and daughter love pretty much ay kind of cole slaw but are partial to KFC's brand. We made this Copycat KFC Cole Slaw for dinner recently and it is absolutely delicious. Tastes exactly like KFC's. My only advice is to pour half of the dressing into the cabbage and then add more from there. We had too much dressing for ours and had to use a slotted spoon to avoid getting too much. We loved it so much I'm making another batch for dinner tonight!
Thank you so much for making my recipe, Wendy! I am so glad it was a hit with you and your family!
Marlene K Holst says
This recipe is the BEST! I grew up on KFC coleslaw and this recipe was the one that came near if not perfectly like KFC's!!
But the super-duper trick to this recipe is...make it the night before so that the flavors have time to rest and seep into the cabbage.
Yay! Thank you so much, Marlene!
What kind of Mayo is everyone using ?
This type of Southern coleslaw is best made with Miracle Whip. My recipe is a little different but very close. I love only Duke's mayo, but this slaw us best with Miracle Whip in our opinion.
Miracle whip is a salad dressing. It is not Mayonnaise. I only use Best Foods.
Thanks! I am looking forward to making it!
Can I substitute sour cream for buttermilk?
I love the recipe. Everyone in the family does too. I used sour cream instead of buttermilk and it tastes great.
Barb McCormickbmackiby says
Can I use Cuisinart to chop cabbage?
Hi Barb! If by Cuisinart you mean a food processor, then absolutely yes! Whatever makes it easy to chop it. Let me know how you like the coleslaw!
Made today with fried chicken. Just right.
Sue Oberlin says
How much is a 'smidge' of horseradish?
I gotta say this was my number two coleslaw. KFC being #1 thank you for sharing this recipe. Amazung.!
Beth Howell says
Excellent recipe! My family is dairy free yet we were able to substitute with soy milk where needed and turned out absolutely fabulous. I felt like I had gotten the coleslaw off a restaurant menu. I did need to wait the necessary time for it to meld all the flavors together... This was even tastier the next day! Thank you.
Hi Beth! That's fantastic! Thank you for sharing the dairy-free substitutions. And I agree - it's even better the next day!
Keely Dugger says
I couldn't find the comment button with my phone, but we love this recipe! Side note, we were half way through the recipe today and realized we ran out if apple cider vinegar. We used a really good 18 year aged balsamic vinegar and it was sooo good. Obviously different from KFC but definitely notable!
Pam V says
LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! Tastes EXACTLY like KFC coleslaw. My whole family was amazed that I made it, thought I bought it at KFC.
Real Giroux says
Love it too, i make it every week.
Thanks a lot
Very good recipe. I didn't have four cups of cabbage so I tweeked the measurements to suit the amount I had, and it turned out great. Will try to get the horseradish, never saw it at my local grocery. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
What??? Horseradish?? Recipe doesn’t call for horseradish!!!😐
Sure it does, It’s right after the 1/4 teaspoon of mustard at the top middle of the recipe.
I don’t see mustard or horse radish in recipe either, What am I not seeing?
I don’t see mustard or horseradish either, never in coleslaw !!!!!!
I didn't see it either.
Must be a different recipe you are looking at.
Lalessia Fricks says
To make the coleslaw you will need:
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
I did not see mustard or horseradish. I don’t think those would do any enhancement to recipe. It is spot on just like it is.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!! My husband and I lovvveeee KFC coleslaw. In fact, we love it so much we would go to Bojangles, get our chicken and potatoes/gravy (which were WAY better than KFC's). Then we would go to KFC and get a giant tub or 2 of their slaw, and only the slaw.
Now, living in Hawaii (no Bojangles on my island, KFC is super expensive), we smoke a lot of meat in our green egg and pig out on BBQ. This recipe is a dead ringer for KFC's!!! I did not have milk so I used half and half, I also didn't have white vinegar (and hate apple cider vinegar) so I used rice vinegar. I had xanthum gum so THANK YOU to whoever mentioned that in the comments, I added a 1/4 teaspoon of that and it thickened RIGHT UP.
After all that, I was reading all the way down the comments, I read the comment from the guy who worked at KFC and he mentioned horseradish. We debated adding it because it was SO good the way it was (it will be better after is sits for hours). I added 1/2 teaspoon and that WAS IT. That tiny little tang was back.
This is the BEST GROUP I've run into on a recipe!! OMG!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
Hi Jodi! YAY! I am so glad you love the coleslaw. I am happy to know the comments from others were helpful. Thank you so much for trying my recipe!
Hi Anna, I'm going to make the coleslaw for Super Bowl, your recipe says 4 cups of coleslaw with the wet ingredients, I notice other KFC recipes call for 8 cups with the same amount of wet ingredients. That's such a big difference.
Hi Debbie! You can always add more if you like. This is how I make it and we love it!
sounds good, have a dumb question, bought 16 oz bag of coleslaw, actually bought 3. I thought 16oz makes 2 cups, but when I put it in a measuring cup it makes 7
Do you guys know what to if you don't have buttermilk? What do you sub that with?
You can use my recipe: https://www.crunchycreamysweet.com/buttermilk-substitute/
Gilman Sprague says
Good recipe, I just add a good amount of celery seed to it and it comes out like my mother made years ago.
I love this recipe. We had it tonight for dinner and there's left overs for tomorrow. Thanks
Thank you, Jean!
I always put celery seed in mine too
I always add celery seed, too. My gram always did.
PERFECT & DELICIOUS!! I cannot believe how easy this recipe is to make. But mostly, I'm shocked that by using it I created a slaw comparable to my favorite KFC snack. This recipe is amazing. I also love it because I have been trying to eat cleaner and this recipe lets me have control over all of my ingredients. There's just no way I would have guessed "buttermilk" is in coleslaw!! OMG thank you!
I was a bit leery of trying this recipe as I do not like buttermilk at all. However, as i was preparing "copycat" KFC chicken, & mashed potatoes and gravy, i had to give it a go. I am so glad I did! When first completed, I gave it a taste and thought, "Yep! That's pretty close to the real thing!" After the marinating for 4 hours, it was darn near indistinguishable from the original. Finished it off today, and thought it was even better. Such a wonderful combination of sweet and tangy flavors! Absolutely excellent! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Definitely a keeper that I will be making often!
As a side note: I read one review that said it was too runny for their tastes. I saw somewhere that the original KFC recipe contains xanthan gum. About 1/4 tsp for a recipe this size. I didn't have any of that to use. Yes, it was runny, but still oh so good. When we got down to the last of it, we just strained off excess dressing through a fine mesh strainer. Didn't change the flavor at all. Thanks again Anna!
Jerroll Taylor Jr says
Best in the world. I had a friend that worked there and he would make it the night before so it would be ready the next day.
Thanks Jerroll Taylor Jr
This turned out great even though I would have happily sworn that KFC coleslaw has a dollop of horseradish in it. Maybe the onion threw me off?
How much horseradish - mustard.
This is like my moms coleslaw dressing my mom used to let me shake in a mason jar. My mom put celery seed in it my dad loved it this way
Thank you, Susie!
Trying this tonight. Wish I had horseradish as someone suggested
OMG!!! The best of the bestt!! My brothers rated it 11/10. It tasted better than KFC. I didn't have normal mayonnaise..I had chilli flavoured one and it had a spicy touch to it. I highly recommend this recipe. Absolutely divine. Thank you...
Debbie Cousins says
I was making KFC chicken thighs so a side of coleslaw was a must. Absolutely lovely recipe. Thank you.
Wonderful recipe. I had a small bunch of green and red cabbage to use up. It turned out a bit more red, but it was fine. Great addition to any stay at home meal.
Thank you so much for trying my recipe, Fern! I am so glad you enjoyed it!
KFC has the best slaw on the planet. This is a good recipe but way too sweet for me. Maybe my KFC does things differently. I cut the sugar and acids in half. The result was more like what I’m used to.
Thank you for the recipe Anna, it tasted just like you said it would. I halved the recipe and used a tsp more vinegar. I also made my own buttermilk with fresh squeezed lemon juice. It turned out great! 😃
Thank you so much, Jen! I am glad it was a hit!
I cut back on the liquid a touch as it was too runny for me, and went to 1 tbsp of vinegar. That seemed to match KFC’s flavor.
Awesome! Thank you, Steve!
Kathy Workman says
I have been forever looking for a good cole slaw dressing and yes, I do love Kentucky Fried's dressing. You nailed this recipe! Thanks so much.
Yay! I am so glad it was a hit! Thank you, Kathy!
Lisa Gay Rodriguez says
Thanks for such an easy and delicious recipe. The coleslaw sauce is excellent so creamy and full of flavor.
I am so glad you like it, Lisa! Thank you for trying the recipe!
Love this recipe.. I put it on my hotdogs and tacos.. yummy!
Awesome! Thank you, Nancy!
Jonas VanDerLey says
I've tried cold slaw in many different restaurants and KFC has the best I tried this and was very greatly surprised the over night was almost more than I could stand. Thanks
Hi Jonas! Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I am so glad it was a hit.
Debbie Brown says
Excellent!!! Sooo good!! Thank you!!!
Awesome! Thank you so much, Debbie!
Kally M. says
Thanks for this recipe.
What kind of mayonnaise do you use for this?
Different brands taste very different from one another.
Hi Kally! I use Hellmann's but you can use whatever you like on your sandwiches. Hope this helps!
marcella Beltowski says
I love this recipe! Perfect copy of KFC. I also used Hellmann's. I have an allergy to mustard which some brands of mayo contain. KFC Cole slaw does not contain mustard (I checked). Could make a difference in taste.
Made KFC copycat slaw for a family reunion to go with my brothers BBQ ribs and chicken. Huge hit. Doubled the recipe but should habe quadrupled! Thanks, Anna, for this great recipe.
I love this recipe and so does my daughter BUT, she's doing Keto. What can I use as a sugar substitute and how much?
Hi Brenda! I think Stevia should work. I would use the same amount and adjust to your likings. I hope this helps!
Lalessia Fricks says
We have substituted the regular granulated type Swerve when doing Keto.
Lalessia Fricks says
Equal amount just like real sugar, if using Swerve.
I left out the onion and added 1 tbsp prepared horeradish sauce on my second batch. Thanks for an excellent starter recipe. Everyone loved it both ways!
In a pinch, Marzetti's Slaw Dressing is *really* close!
Great tip! Thanks, Lee!
I used to have this recipe from a newspaper clipping my mother gave me many years ago. Recently lost it and really glad to find it on your website. Don't recall onions being part of it but sounds good. I've always diced my cabbage and carrots until they're a bit larger than a kernal of rice. That and the dressing is what makes KFC coleslaw soo good to me.
Thank you, Rick
Hi Rick! Thank you so much for sharing the story. I do hope you will love this recipe as well! My Hubby says that the onion makes the difference so I highly recommend it. Or maybe make half with the onion and half without? I'd love it if you let me know when you try this recipe and how you like it. Thank you! -Anna
Audrey Wiltfong says
We love your recipe for coleslaw! It is perfect! It was the BEST salad that I have ever made. Thank you!
awesome.. my old man will only eat kfc slaw and now he will eat mine ,,,thanks
Having worked for KFC back in the 80's, and being at a busy store. We would make a lot of slaw every day. 15 heads of cabbage, 6-8 onions, 5lbs carrots and 1 gal of the dressing. Everyone always forgets the smidge of horseradish.
How much of a smidge for this recipe?..
That is it!!!! Horseradish! Thanks, I am always asked to bring this recipe to parties and although it is the best something was slightly off (that tang).
I appreciate Anne for the awesome recipe and Jeff for the missing ingredient.
Thank you so much, Colleen!
This recipe is spot on! So good! My whole family loved it!
Haha! You simply have to make it, Karen! Thanks! 🙂
Can the dressing be frozen?
I secretly love their coleslaw, thanks!
Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron says
I love coleslaw! And right in time for the Fourth 🙂 Love this recipe Anna! Pinned 🙂
Thank you, Chelsea!
Curry and Comfort says
Cole Slaw is low carb friendly (I just sub out the sugar). I am definitely giving this one a try for my next dinner. 🙂
This recipe is PERFECT for summer! Love any good coleslaw, so I can't wait to make this! Pinned!
That looks great! I love coleslaw, saving this variation! 🙂
Thanks so much!
Kathi @ Deliciously Yum! says
We love our BBQ too! I don't think I've turned the oven on once this week :). This looks mouthwatering - perfect for this time of year for sure!!
Yay for BBQ! Thanks, Kathi!
My MIL Loves KFC Slaw. Will have to make this for her.
Jennie @themessybakerblog says
We're big coleslaw people, but we're also picky coleslaw people. Love us some KFC slaw. I can't wait to make this. Pinned.
Thank you, Jennie!
Love KFC coleslaw- so I'd definitely love to try this recipe out!