KFC Coleslaw Recipe

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A little sweet, a little tangy, and perfectly seasoned, this Copycat KFC Coleslaw Recipe requires just a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of prep. The perfect homemade coleslaw for your next picnic or cookout.

Copycat KFC Coleslaw with fried chicken.

Easy Kentucky Fried Chicken Coleslaw Recipe

Homemade coleslaw is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s just so flavorful and versatile! The crunch of the cabbage paired with a tangy dressing makes it just right with anything from crispy fried chicken to a juicy hamburger.

And we all know that when it comes to coleslaw, no one does it quite like Kentucky Fried Chicken. Until now! Now you can make that perfectly tangy, slightly sweet coleslaw at home with just a few ingredients. With finely chopped veggies and a buttermilk dressing, this copycat KFC coleslaw tastes just like the original!

What Makes KFC Coleslaw So Special?

If you’ve been to Kentucky Fried Chicken at least once in your life, you already know. If you haven’t…well, first of all, you’ve been missing out! But here are a few reasons why this KFC copycat recipe stands out from other homemade coleslaw recipes:

  • It’s the perfect balance of tangy and sweet
  • It’s made with buttermilk
  • There’s not an overabundance of mayo (the main reason many people don’t like coleslaw!)
  • Onions are a “secret” ingredient that gives it loads of flavor
  • It’s super saucy (but not too creamy)
ingredients to make Copycat KFC Coleslaw.

The Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Copycat KFC Coleslaw (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the easy to print recipe card):

  • Cabbage – Use fresh cabbage and chop it finely using a food processor. You’ll use about half of a head of cabbage, depending on the size, to get 4 cups of chopped cabbage.
  • Carrot & Onion – These veggies add color, flavor, and texture to the coleslaw. Be sure to chop the onion very finely or mince it, as you don’t want big pieces in the dressing.
  • Buttermilk – The buttermilk adds the signature tang to the dressing so I don’t recommend skipping it.
  • White vinegar – White vinegar is just the right flavor for this coleslaw. Apple cider vinegar would change the taste too much, so stick with white vinegar for this recipe.
  • Milk – I used whole milk.
  • Mayonnaise – Use regular full-fat mayonnaise and not a whipped salad dressing. They are not interchangeable. I don’t recommend a low-fat mayo either, as you want the creaminess.
  • Lemon juice – Freshly squeezed for the best results.
  • Granulated sugar – Sugar adds just a hint of sweetness and cuts the acidity of the vinegar and lemon.
  • Salt & black pepper

How to Make KFC Coleslaw

This copycat recipe comes together in just 10 minutes! Though remember it will need some chill time before enjoying so make it in advance!

  • Make the dressing. Whisk together all dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • Chop the cabbage and carrot. Use a food processor to finely chop the cabbage and carrot.
  • Chill. Pour the dressing over the veggies. Stir well to combine. Chill until serving.
KFC Coleslaw in a dish in front of fried chicken and biscuits

Pro Tip: Wait to Add More Dressing

When you first mix the cabbage with the dressing, it may appear a little dry and like it needs more dressing. Before adding more, let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This gives the cabbage time to release more moisture.

After the cabbage has chilled, give the coleslaw a good stir. More likely than not, you’ll have the perfect amount of dressing. However, if you do want to add additional dressing, just mix up a second batch and add a little at a time, until you’re satisfied with the amount.

A spoon mixing a small dish of KFC coleslaw in front of fried chicken and biscuits

Serving Suggestions

Nothing goes with coleslaw quite like some Southern fried chicken and creamy mashed potatoes, though crispy chicken tenders might make a close second.

Coleslaw also makes a great side dish for BBQs, picnics, and potlucks, whether you’re serving up burgers and hot dogs, BBQ chicken, or steak. You can even add it to your burgers, hot dogs, or pulled pork or chicken as a topping!

When it comes to serving this, I like to use a slotted spoon since it’s so saucy!

How Long Does Coleslaw Last?

Leftover coleslaw can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Give it a good stir before serving.

I do not recommend freezing coleslaw, due to the dairy ingredients. The veggies will also release moisture when they thaw and ruin the texture. It’s best to enjoy this freshly made!

More Easy Side Dish Recipes

KFC Coleslaw close-up in front of fried chicken
5 from 17 votes

Copycat KFC Coleslaw Recipe

A little sweet, a little tangy, and perfectly seasoned, this Copycat KFC Coleslaw Recipe requires just a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of prep. The perfect homemade coleslaw for your next picnic or cookout.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes


  • 4 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • ½ medium carrot very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons onion minced
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Chop the cabbage and carrot very finely using a food processor. Combine the cabbage and carrot in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, mixing until smooth.
  • Pour the dressing over cabbage and carrot mixture and stir well to combine.
  • Chill the coleslaw in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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7 comments on “KFC Coleslaw Recipe”

  1. Michelle Andrews

    Tarragon vinegar is the secret ingredient in KFC coleslaw. I worked there long enough ago that we made the coleslaw from scratch.

  2. 5 stars
    I am definitely making this, I watch your channel all the time, kitchen fun with my three sons. It’s wonderful.