KFC Coleslaw (Copycat)

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KFC Coleslaw is a five minute side dish you’ll enjoy all summer long with your favorite chicken and more! Tastes exactly like the original!

KFC Coleslaw is a five minute side dish you'll enjoy all summer long with your favorite chicken and more! Tastes exactly like the original!

KFC Coleslaw is one of my most personal childhood food memories. As a young kid I would walk from my elementary school with my great aunt and we would stop at KFC (then Kentucky Fried Chicken) to get a chicken plate to share and a pudding cup to share. I just remember the most happy memories of our time together there, we would sit and talk and laugh.

To this day anytime I eat or make this KFC Coleslaw I think of her. I’m sure many of us have memories like this, which is why copycat recipes are also so personal. You want to recreate those memories or those long lost flavors (Like Pioneer Take-Out Fried Chicken) and anytime you succeed there is joy.

Speaking of KFC, you can also enjoy this coleslaw with KFC Original Fried Chicken and make your own chicken plate for a lot less money!

This KFC Coleslaw is probably one of the easiest copycats I have worked on in a long time. The ingredients were readily available online from so many sources it is hard to tell where the original came from. The version I found was from Food.com.

Looking for more recipes to serve with this easy coleslaw?

We loved this KFC Coleslaw, it tasted exactly like the original.

Tools used in the making of this KFC Coleslaw:
Food Processor: This is the newer version of the one I have used and loved for ten years. It is a workhorse and the new model has similarly awesome reviews…and it is so affordable!
Buttermilk Powder: I stopped buying buttermilk  years ago and keep this on hand for dressings, waffles, homemade ranch seasoning and more. One container has served over 100 recipes to date. You don’t have to throw away 50% full buttermilk containers anymore. I also love their all natural cheddar powder and sour cream powder (I use these to make Cheddar and Sour Cream Roasted Potatoes that taste just like the chips!) and Chicago Mix Cheddar and Caramel Popcorn.
Mayonnaise: I’ve tried a number of different brands, this one is the most spot on flavor.




KFC Coleslaw

4.8 from 50 votes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Course: Salad, Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
KFC Coleslaw is a five minute side dish you'll enjoy all summer long with your favorite chicken and more! Tastes exactly like the original!


  • 8 cups diced cabbage (I used a food processor shredding disc)
  • 1 carrot (also used the food processor)
  • 2 tablespoons grated onions
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used buttermilk powder to make mine)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. In a large bowl add the cabbage, carrot, onion.
  2. In a second bowl whisk the rest of the ingredients together until combined and smooth.
  3. Toss together thoroughly and put in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours (the longer, the better).

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 servings, Amount per serving: 113 calories, Calories: 113g, Carbohydrates: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 200mg, Potassium: 40mg, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1045g, Vitamin C: 2.1g, Calcium: 16g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: cole slaw, Easy Cole Slaw, KFC Coleslaw (Copycat)
We loved this KFC Coleslaw, it tasted exactly like the original.
KFC Coleslaw in just a few minutes with easy ingredients. It tastes exactly the same!

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  1. What kind of onion do I use? & am I really “grating” an onion on a cheese grater?
    thanks & I’m excited to try this!

    1. You can use a yellow onion and yes, grate it using a grater. 🙂 It really helps to distribute the flavor more vs having bigger chunks throughout. Enjoy!

  2. I heard a story from my cousin yesterday, that the original Cole slaw recipe for “Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken” was my Aunt Alberta’s recipe. I have followed almost this exact recipe since I was young. I’m 69 yrs old now.
    Not sure how I could prove it because I’ve never seen it written down, not that I recall. Just thought it was interesting and fun to share.

  3. Ditch the white wine vinegar for your coleslaw and add great flavor with terigan vinegar. All you should need is about a cap full.

  4. I’ve made this so many times! In one comment someone said that KFC uses Tarragon vinegar. I’ve looked in a few stores and can’t find it so I sprinkle Tarragon in the slaw. I also use the buttermilk powder but I simply mix the powder into the whole milk since I like a thicker dressing. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Whenever we are invited for a cook-out they always ask me to bring this.

      1. I am so anxious to try these recipes. Thank you for sharing them. I have been an avid fan of KFC ALL my life. Thank you so much.

    1. hi how much buttermilk powder would you use when you mix it with the milk? I also like my coleslaw a bit thicker too.

  5. Did not have buttermilk used all milk and extra lemon juice used the slaw for Rueben sandwiches very good had left overs next day taste even better!!

  6. Just tried this recipe and it is SPOT ON EXACTLY the taste that our family is obsessed with!! By that comment, it is needless to say that our family LOVES Kentucky Fried Chicken and the coleslaw has been the scale tipper when we could not decide which take out we wanted on the nights we were too busy to cook at home. We have not cared much for the last 15 years the way KFC changed and can say that it is a far cry in portion and quality since the 1970’s ( a time when it was true quality). I will be making the KFC chicken recipe this week to try and will post the results asap… I have not been this excited about a recipe in years! Thank you Sabrina for posting them up, we are forever grateful 🙂

    1. My parents owned KFC years ago & I my mom made the slaw dressing. I know it had sugar in it. I never had the recipe and mom does not know what she did with it. No longer own KFC.

      1. I think she is referring to this line in the recipe above – it doesn’t seem to belong to this recipe: “Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.”

        1. It gives the impression that we have to “cook” something in the recipe.
        2. There are no times in the instructions to click on.

  7. Easy to make and delicious! I used Kroger’s 16 ounce bagged slaw mix …and added a little less carrots than the recipe calls for .

    1. Mix 1 part powder to 4 parts water to make up 1/4 cup buttermilk. As far as the mayo, you can use whatever brand you prefer but I like Best Foods. Enjoy!

      1. Is the buttermilk powder as good as the fresh? I have never tried to cook with it and will be buying it for fresh recipes as this (not just baked where it may not be as noticeable of a difference) thank you for the wonderful recipes!

        1. The buttermilk adds to the flavor profile. You won’t want to use fresh buttermilk in this recipe as it’s a liquid and won’t give us the end result that we want. Hope this makes sense. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes!

  8. Delicious! I have made this about 5 times in the 2 months since I found the recipe. Everyone loves it. My mom (who lives KFC slaw) said “I’ve never had slaw this this delicious!”

  9. I read somewhere online that a KFC employee suggested that tarragon vinegar is a key ingredient of their coleslaw dressing. I sprinkled just a little tarragon seasoning on Walmart’s deli coleslaw and I was surprised that the flavor was brought into the “ballpark” of KFC’s recipe.

    I think I’ll try your recipe with tarragon vinegar in place of white vinegar. Thanks!

    1. This recipe is TOTALLY wrong. I have THE recipe. I used to work at KFC & would make the coleslaw. There are WAY too many ingredients for a very simple recipe. And you are right about the Tarragon vinegar.

  10. Delicious! Made this for a gathering and it is a hit! Didnt have lemon juice so I substituted with lume juice. Also used 2 precut cabbage & carrots. Perfect.

  11. Thanks for the recipe and wanted to add that I have never heard of buttermilk powder and thanks to you I have read a lot about it and I will be a convert going forward. I have always hated wasting regular buttermilk as you never use it all. Great tip!

  12. Great recipe, make sure you make it in advance to allow the juices to combine. You can substitute Greek yogurt for the butter milk

  13. came back from vacation in USA and missed this salat soooo much! Now I have America at home! Delicious!

  14. Just made the dressing ahead of time but it seems a bit runny.  I tripled the recipe for a 30-40 guests.  Wondering if it will thicken a bit.   Cant wait to try as KFC coleslaw is my favorite!

  15. Just a comment; the original Kentucky Fried Chicken cole slaw was also served dine-in and came on a real plate with a biscuit and a packet of honey as well as fries and, of course, several pieces of chicken.  This would be circa 1960 where I live.  Your recipe is almost the same copycat I have used for years and it is GOOD!  But if you want to make this coleslaw and don’t have carrot, don’t fret because the original did NOT include carrot!  Going to make some tonight!

  16. I’m so excited to make this for my very best friend who totally adores KFC Cole slaw.  And, I have to say that though I have not been a Cole slaw fan previously, the KFC version is yummmmmmy!   Thank you for this recipe!

  17. as a chef i know how it is to do things right.. get every thing just right and u gotta respect the proper portions and ingredeints to make a true recipe just like the original.. im glad this works but they say that to use mirace whip instead of mayo.. i will see how it works.. gotta love cooking.. its just life and the way u make thngs but do it right and admire but apprevite it.. many plp dont appreitw what it means to give live to the art of cooking..

  18. I have made this about 5 times in the last month. My man loves it. I can’t thank you enough, it is spot on perfect KFC. So simple and I feel better about making it homemade. 
    Thank you 

  19. Found it and tried it right away because I Love the KFC coleslaw. I used more milk and the 1,5% one and it looks good and taste already great. I is in the fridge now and I am sute it will taste even better  later
    Thanks and greetings from Germany 

  20. Thanx for the recipe. I made it yesterday and it was a smash hit. Now, a couple of notes for next time. I used a splenda-sugar blend to cut carbs. After sitting in refrigerator overnight, did taste test and it was too sweet for our liking. I added another tablespoon of lemon juice to cut sweetness. It was great. Next time, I will reduce the amount of sugar i put into it.

  21. Did you reconstitute the buttermilk powder+water to make 1/4 cup?
    Or did you use 1/4 cup of the buttermilk powder alone, added to the rest of the ingredients?
    It doesn’t say buttermilk ‘powder’ in the ingredients, so I’m a little confused.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. So sorry for the confusion. I made the 1/4 cup of buttermilk using buttermilk powder plus water. I didn’t want you to think you had to use the buttermilk powder for this recipe though. It’s just a nice thing to have on hand to make the buttermilk vs buying buttermilk and wasting anything not used. I edited the ingredients so hopefully it’s clearer now. Thanks for letting me know.

        1. 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk powder if you are using the brand I linked to. If you use an alternate brand I would review the label. 🙂

  22. Thanks for this awesome recipe! I have fond memories of KFC growing up. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!