KFC Coleslaw Copycat Recipe

4.74 from 15 votes

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This KFC Coleslaw recipe tastes just like what they serve at the restaurant, but for a fraction of the price! The perfect side dish for BBQs and potlucks!

KFC Coleslaw served in a clear dish with chicken on the side
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Copycat KFC coleslaw:
  2. Tips for making KFC coleslaw:
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. What Goes Well With Coleslaw?
  5. How To Make KFC Coleslaw
  6. Coleslaw (tastes just like KFC) Recipe

I love KFC coleslaw but hate paying $4 a pound for it. This recipe is CHEAP to make and it is so easy! You can get four times the amount of slaw for a fraction of the price you would pay at a deli. And trust me, this tastes much better than deli coleslaw!

Ingredients in Copycat KFC coleslaw:

  • Cabbage – finely chopped
  • Carrot – julienned
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Mustard – optional

Tips for making KFC coleslaw:

  1. It’s okay to serve immediately, but it’s best if you let it sit overnight. It can even keep for up to 2-3 days, but toss once it starts to get mushy.
  2. It is best to draw out some of the water from the shredded cabbage before tossing with the dressing. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with a teaspoon of salt. Let it set for a 20-30 minutes or until water starts collecting on the surface and then rinse and pat dry. This will also keep it from getting watery after you mix it with the dressing.
  3. Use actual buttermilk. I know that milk and lemon juice is a common buttermilk substitute, but it just doesn’t taste as good when you do that with coleslaw.
  4. For the best results, don’t make it weird. The reason people love KFC Coleslaw so much is because it is a simple, no-frills coleslaw. If you want to keep it like the original, don’t go adding extra, unnecessary ingredients like pineapple, oregano, peppers, or other extras.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should coleslaw sit overnight?

You can make coleslaw and let it sit for an hour or more (or even overnight) to achieve that delicious, creamy texture. However, left too long and it will become mushy.

How long is leftover coleslaw good for?

It is good for 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Also, according to the USDA, you can keep coleslaw at room temperature for up to 2 hours before harmful bacteria begins to grow.

Does coleslaw have added sugar?

Typically, yes. And this recipe does as well. The sugar aids in giving the delicious coleslaw that signature tang.

Read more:35+ Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas

What Goes Well With Coleslaw?

Coleslaw is such a versatile side dish. It goes well with so many different dishes. From BBQ dishes to sandwiches, to tacos, to baked or fried chicken dishes, coleslaw goes well with it all! Here are some of our favorites:

KFC Coleslaw with fried chicken on the side served on a striped blue placemat
KFC Coleslaw Copycat recipe served in a white bowl

How To Make KFC Coleslaw

KFC Coleslaw recipe served with fried chicken

Coleslaw (tastes just like KFC)

4.74 from 15 votes
This KFC Coleslaw Recipe tastes just like what they serve at the restaurant, but for a fraction of the price! The perfect side dish for BBQs and potlucks!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16




  • Chop up the cabbage into smaller shreds and toss with julienned carrot.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard, and whisk until smooth. Add the cabbage and carrots. Mix well.
  • Add the cabbage and carrots. Mix well.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


*To save time, you can use a packaged bag of shredded cabbage.
Additional info:
  • It’s okay to serve immediately, but it’s best if you let it sit overnight.
  • It can even keep for up to 2-3 days, but toss once it starts to get mushy.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 97mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 400IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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  1. 1 star
    I worked at kfc and made the coleslaw and i can tell you it did not contain buttermilk or lemon juice and certainly not mustard. The rest of the ingrediants are correct.

    1. I have never tried that before. Is that something you have tried? I’m curious if it works without making the coleslaw to salty.

    1. Second time trying the copycat recipe. First time trying this recipe, won’t be looking for a third recipe.


  2. To me, it’s almost impossible to measure 6 cups of shredded cabbage, accurately. Maybe you could gives us the weight of 6 cups shredded cabbage ?

    1. It should be about half of a large cabbage (possibly a little more), so about 1 pound of cabbage. Hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    I love KFC coleslaw but this is so much better! I can see adding onion, celery, mustard, but I like my slaw a bit sweet and low on the vinegar side. So, I don’t add all the sugar called for, I mix the base ingredients, milk, mayo, vinegar and lemon then i add some sugar till the flavor balances and I can taste everything. I use red wine vinegar because its less of a bite, very little salt, to taste only.

    1. Oh I love the idea of using the red wine vinegar so it’s not as strong. Thanks for sharing your adjustments!

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this. YUMMY! I omitted the buttermilk (because I didn’t t have any) and reduced the milk to half. I also added a half teaspoon of celery seeds and added a stalk of celery and half an onion. Just because I like that stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  5. America’s test kitchen says if you salt the shredded cabbage/carrot mixture, place it in a colander over a bowl and let it set for at least an hour, it will render most of the liquid out. Simply drain then toss with the rest of ingredients . That way you won’t lose any of the flavor when you drain. 🙂

    1. haha I actually saw that episode! Maybe I did something wrong but for some reason the cabbage came out too salty and I ended up throwing it all out. I probably used too much salt and needed to go re-watch the episode. I will definitely be trying it again and possibly update this recipe accordingly if it turns out!

      1. I followed america test kitchen recipe and the just a pinch of salt drain prep. It was salty!!! Not the first time america test kitchen failed me but it was the last.

  6. 5 stars
    I worked at KFC for many years and personally made the coleslaw myself… and there’s had onion. Which I HATE.. so I LOVE this recipe!

  7. I LOVE KFC's coleslaw!! And being five and a half months pregnant I crave it SO MUCH. I am so going to make this!!! Thank you!