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KFC Coleslaw Recipe

Make KFC coleslaw in your very own kitchen! This copycat recipe is surprisingly close to the original. Best of all, it takes less than 10 minutes!

KFC coleslaw is the ultimate summer side. It goes with just about anything and it’s perfect for picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings.

Homemade Copycat KFC Coleslaw
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This copycat recipe is just as satisfyingly zesty and crunchy as the KFC original.

But you can have it in the comfort of your own home. Or use it to impress friends at your next potluck.

When summer rolls around, there’s nothing quite like a sweet, slightly tangy, and oh so creamy coleslaw!

Copycat KFC Coleslaw Recipe

Growing up, going to Kentucky Fried Chicken was an extra special treat.

Even now, just the thought of that juicy fried chicken and creamy coleslaw makes my mouth start to water.

In fact, I remember seeing buckets of KFC fried chicken whenever we’d go to any sort of gathering. But I haven’t seen that in quite a while.

The truth is, I haven’t been to KFC in years. But I still get a hankering for that crispy fried chicken and creamy coleslaw. I mean… has there ever been a more satisfying combo?

And with a few simple ingredients, you can make this copycat KFC coleslaw at home!

KFC Coleslaw Ingredients - Chopped Cabbage, Carrots, Mayonnaise, Milk, Buttermilk, Sugar, Lemon, Juice, Salt, Pepper and Chopped Onions

KFC Coleslaw Ingredients

Here are the things you’ll need:

  • Chopped cabbage. The base of every good coleslaw recipe. I always use a food processor to chop it up quickly. But you can also use pre-shredded cabbage in the bag to save time.
  • Carrots. Who says eating veggies can’t be fun!
  • Mayonnaise. Mayo makes for a creamy coleslaw, especially when you combine it with whole milk and buttermilk.
  • Milk. Another key to the creamy goodness in this recipe.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk is a type of fermented milk with a tangy taste. And you can make your own with a cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Sugar. I know this isn’t a secret ingredient, but it’s key to getting that true KFC flavor. And it’s certainly one of the reasons why it’s oh so good!
  • Lemon juice. Lemon juice makes this KFC copycat uniquely refreshing.
  • Salt. Salt brings out the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Pepper. Just a pinch will do.
  • Finely chopped onion. Just a little goes a long way, but it gives this coleslaw that uniquely KFC flavor.

How to Make KFC Coleslaw 

1. Prepare the cabbage. The first thing you’ll do when making this coleslaw is prepare the cabbage. If you bought pre-shredded cabbage in a bag, just pour it into a large bowl.

However, if you’re working with whole cabbage, you’ll need to slice it into thin slices. You can also use a food processor to shred it.

2. Add the carrot. Shred the carrot and add it to the cabbage.

3. Make the dressing. Use a separate bowl to mix the mayo, milks, grated onion, lemon juice, sugar, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

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Whisk briskly until the dressing is well combined.

4. Combine. Pour the dressing mixture over the cabbage and carrot mixture. Stir vigorously to mix.

5. Chill. Refrigerate the coleslaw for at least a few hours before serving. Overnight is best. Serve chilled, and enjoy!

Homemade Copycat KFC Coleslaw

Tips & Tricks

Remember these tips for best results:

  • Don’t skip the chill time. Be sure to let the coleslaw chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 8 hours. Overnight is even better. This gives plenty of time for all those flavors to blend together.
  • Avoid buying a whole gallon of buttermilk. This tip applies to any recipe that requires buttermilk. If you don’t drink it, don’t buy a whole gallon just for a half a cup! Instead, get some buttermilk powder for any recipes that require buttermilk. Or make your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Substitute Miracle Whip for mayo. If you prefer Miracle Whip to mayonnaise, that’s fine! Just use less sugar in your dressing since Miracle Whip is already quite sweet.
  • Grate the onion. Try grating the onion to get it super small. Unless you’re an expert at chopping onions, the pieces might be too big and can overpower some of the coleslaw’s other flavors. 
  • Use a food processor. Doing so will allow you to shred your head of cabbage in record time. Or, for a quick and easy alternative, you can always use a store-bought bagged coleslaw mix instead of chopping your own cabbage and carrots.
  • Don’t discard leftover dressing. If you have any leftover dressing (or make extra on purpose) it’s great on sandwiches. You can even use it as a dip for fresh or grilled veggies or even grilled meats. Yum!

What to Serve with KFC Coleslaw

You can serve coleslaw with just about anything. But it pairs really well with fried chicken, pulled pork, baked beans, mac and cheese, watermelon, and buttery corn on the cob.

In short, serve coleslaw with pretty much anything you would serve at a summer BBQ.

For a tasty bite-size dessert, you can never go wrong with brownies or chocolate chip cookies.

How Long Does Coleslaw Last?

Coleslaw will last for up to 5 days in the fridge. Be sure to store it in an airtight container. Always stir before serving for best results.

I don’t recommend freezing it.

KFC Coleslaw Recipe



Prep time




Total time




  • 6 cups cabbage (finely chopped)

  • 1 medium to large carrot (shredded)

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tsp grated onion

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 Tbsp sugar (adjust to your taste)

  • 1/4 tsp onion powder (optional)

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • pepper to taste


  • Cut your cabbage into thin slices and chop into pieces. If you prefer, you can also shred the cabbage with a shredder.
  • Shred one medium to large carrot and add it to the cabbage.
  • In a seperate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, grated onion, lemon juice, sugar, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots. Mix well.
  • Refrigerate overnight for best results.
KFC Coleslaw Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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