KFC Coleslaw (Copycat)

10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

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.


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KFC Coleslaw

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!
Yield 10 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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


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


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 200mg | Potassium: 40mg | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 16mg
Keyword: 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!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I am so curious on where to buy the buttermilk powder? I’m like you I hated to buy it cuz I threw half of it away I would always make it with vinegar instead but the powder sounds like it would be much more original taste maybe but where do you buy these powders are you actually in the United States or is this something that from another country

    1. I bought it from Amazon. In the recipe card, if you click on the word ‘buttermilk’ (in green) it’ll take you to the link to purchase it.

    2. I buy mine from amazon. I live in Canada and I could not find it ANYWHERE! Amazon came through for me though.

  2. I see what Jeannie is saying, do you add the buttermilk powder to milk or water to make buttermilk or do you just add the powder to the mayo mixture?

  3. Do you just add the buttermilk powder to the mayo mixture or do you make follow the directions on the powder container and with water then add to mayo mixture?

    1. You need to use the buttermilk powder to make 1/4 cup of buttermilk and then add that into the bowl with the other ingredients. Hope this clears up any confusion. Enjoy!

    1. I usually just make the 8 ounces by mixing 3 tablespoons of the powder with 7.5 ounces of water and then using 1/4 cup for this recipe and using the other part for something else that I need later. Good luck!

  4. I make this once a week for my family and my elderly friend. I found The buttermilk powder at our local Amish market and that is definitely the key. This is the best slaw I’ve ever had!

  5. I think KFC adds mustard powder to flavour their coleslaw… I make mine just like yours but use sour cream and mayo instead of milk and buttermilk and I add spring onions instead of diced onions. With the mustard powder element, it gives the ultimate taste of KFC coleslaw.

    1. Sorry buddy but this is not your recipe page! We are talking about her recipe…NOT YOURS. That is just so rude of you. If people wanted your recipe….they would ask you wouldn’t they? I hate it when people do this. PLEASE respect other peoples site!!!

  6. I tried it using a bag of store bought coleslaw mix. I didn’t think there was enough juice to it and it didn’t have much flavor. My husband loved it though.

  7. I worked at KFC years ago late 70 early 80s cole slaw was made with Miracles Whip, sugar and Teragon Vinegar and carrot. Heads of cabbage including dark green outer leaves were put in one end of a big grinder and it moved and came out the other end perfect . There was no green peppers or onion In it or dairy back then. I Don’t have measurement but I mix Miracle Whip and sugar together and add enough Teragon Vinegar to taste. Makes a great sauce for your slaw.

  8. My son loves Cole slaw, I do not. Together we found this recipe and made it. He loves it and, surprisingly, so do I. I have made many times and there is always someone who tells me they do not like Cole slaw but they love this recipe. It’s a keeper for sure!

  9. The recipe is mayo, sugar, vegetable oil and apple cider vinegar and no onions. I use to work there years ago and this is how we made it

    1. I definitely taste onion in the coleslaw, possibly green onion. It might be grated in with the prepackaged cabbage. Not very much or it will overpower the taste.

    1. Milk and vinegar or milk and lemon juice works……google it. Much cheaper than buying a whole container of buttermilk that you won’t use in time ;P

  10. Do you have to use mayonnaise I don’t like mayonnaise I use miracle whip do you think that will be OK

      1. I also find it has a more bitter taste. My mom swore by Miracle whip. I use half fat Hellman’s and if the recipe calls for Miracle whip…I add a squirt of vinegar….tastes like Miracle whip. I have been cooking for 42 plus yrs. Maybe cut back on the vinegar a bit and it should work!

    1. Since Miracle Whip is much sweeter than mayo you might want to use less sugar than recipe calls for.

  11. I know the recipe states it serves 10. Could you tell me what’s considered a serving size for this recipe? Perhaps it’s listed and I overlooked it.

  12. Perfect! I used a hand dicer to dice it all up like you get it at KFC. And much thanks for the powdered buttermilk idea! It will be a staple in my kitchen

    1. The calculations are automatically done for me. If it’s of concern, you can always use an online calculator to figure out the numbers.

    2. It states 113 under calories, 8 grams for carbs. I used 1/3 cup Splenda instead of the sugar . . . . very, VERY good. And cuts the carbs to nearly nothing.

  13. Hi Sabrina, Thank you for this recipe. Can you help me break this down to 4 servings? It’s probably simple math but this old brain is stuck… pure and simple. Thank you!

    1. Haha, I know what you mean!! You can use the slider tool on all of the recipe cards to adjust the serving size. Just hover over the servings and slide it down to 4 servings and all the measurements will adjust for you. Enjoy!

        1. If you go to the recipe card at the bottom and hover over the serving size (in green), it’ll automatically pop up for you. Hope this helps!

    1. This will last about 3-5 days in the fridge. Unfortunately it can’t be frozen due to the mayonnaise in it. It tends to separate after being frozen.

  14. If I don’t have buttermilk can I skip it? Do I have to add more milk if I don’t use buttermilk?

  15. I have used this recipe for years. I lowered the sugar to about 1 teaspoon. I always serve it at family gatherings and everyone loves it.

  16. This is always my go to when the family wants coleslaw. No leftovers gives me the information I need on how good it is. Thank you for doing all the hard work and giving us this recipe.

    1. Greetings!
      Thank you for your slaw recipe!
      I just want to ask if you mixed the buttermilk powder with water or used plain dry 1/4 cup buttermilk powder?
      If diluted, may i, please, ask the ratio?
      Thank you! Can’t wait to make it!

      1. I usually just make the 8 ounces by mixing 3 tablespoons of the powder with 7.5 ounces of water and then using 1/4 cup for this recipe and using the other part for something else that I need later. Good luck!

  17. I am sure your recipe is delightful.
    40 years ago , one of the kitchen workers at our local KFC – divulged to my mother – they used Marzettis slaw dressing and added a touch of small chopped onions.
    I have been making it the same way since I moved out on my own.

  18. Oh my goodness!!!! THE BEST cole slaw recipe!!! My mom in law is Vietnamese and a VERY PICKY eate but she loves the slaw!!! God bless you for the great recipes!!!

  19. I will say close, but I worked at kfc 50 years ago when we made in store and you are still off the receipe. Nice try however.

    1. Hey Cee Cee. So I wish I had access to KFC’s actual recipes, I don’t. What I do is buy large sides and taste test against my versions until I get close enough people who I give blind taste tests to can’t taste the difference. I very well could be off on the ingredients, but I can assure you the flavors are spot on. Give it a shot, tell me what you think.

  20. This is my go-to coleslaw recipe. I scale it down for 2 people and sometimes I just use all regular milk and omit the buttermilk. Depends on what’s in the fridge. It is delicious. With summer coming, I will be making this a lot as a side for burgers on the grill.

  21. If you love KFC coleslaw, LOOK NO FURTHER! Ever since I made the recipe for myself (about 5 years ago) I have never looked back!!!!! The only tip I would offer is to go light on the onions….loI Only made that mistake once?

    1. Phyllis so glad you mentioned the onions. I was going to use more because I love onions, But I wouldn’t want to mess up the KFC flavor ever. I would eat the family size container if my family would let me and didn’t love the slaw as much as I do. lol

  22. This is a great mock recipe! Tastes exactly like the coleslaw you get at KFC! lol imagine that? 😀 Anyway, we love the coleslaw there, but not too keen on the chicken so we don’t go very often. Now we don’t have to; when we crave the slaw, all we have to do is make it. That simple 🙂

  23. I am also a trained chef. I used both your chicken and slaw recipes and they are spot on and especially to the old school KFC. Just blown away and now I will be looking thru all your recipes. I work at a country club and my members think it is better then KFC but I use plumper chicken. For my own family it is awesome because KFC isn’t cheap anymore. Thanks so much for this.

  24. You Don’t Have Any Celery Seed Or Celery Salt Nor Any Green Bell Peppers In This !!! I Also Use Miracle Whip , Makes For All The Better Flavors !!!

    1. Sorry, I would never recommend Miracle Whip…..just no. KFC does not have bell pepper in it, so anyone looking to make KFC style do not use these modifications please. It is perfect as written.

  25. Hi, I have buttermilk powder as well. Can you share with me the general proportions , please!

    Best New Year wishes!!!!!


    1. I usually just make 8 ounces of buttermilk at a time to use for the week and take my 1/4 cup from that. Mix 3 tablespoons of buttermilk powder with 7.5 ounces of water. Hope this helps!

      1. I live in Panamá. So many of the recepies I find use ingrédients not available even in the large supermarkets. For instance buttermilk powder. I can’t find buttermilk either. What if anything can you sugest in place of the buttermilk. Thanks David in Panamá.

        1. You can make your own buttermilk by simply mixing in 1/4 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar with 1/4 cup of milk. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. Hope this helps!

          1. I am not a chemist or a chef, but just curious, why do you use buttermilk if milk + vinegar = buttermilk and there is milk + vinegar in the recipe? Thanks.

      2. Thank you Sabrina for the tip on using powder. I always end up throwing away my unused fresh buttermilk too.

        1. YES, that trick has saved me from many half used containers of buttermilk! Glad you liked it!

  26. Greetings and question…

    The 1/4 cup buttermilk…

    Is this the actual amount of powder one uses or is there a conversion?

    Such as 1/4 cup buttermilk equals 1 tbsp. powder and 1/4 cup of water.



    1. It’s the conversion to get 1/4 cup buttermilk. So the total is 1/4 cup of liquid. Hope this helps! Let me know how you like it.

  27. I Love KFC Coleslaw. More than the chicken.
    When i made this recipe Wow. Just like KFC !!!!
    I also used buttermilk powder.
    I make this once a month.

    1. Thank you for the clarification on the vinegar. Now i have to go back to the store haha. I’m sure it will be well worth the trip.

  28. This is “THE” recipe to have for coleslaw!
    I make it EXACTLY as the recipe shows, except, I use Half ‘n Half vice whole milk.
    The other thing I do, which isn’t a real departure from the recipe, is to mince the coleslaw mixture before adding the dressing.
    We like coleslaw finely minced rather than shreds or bite size pieces.


    1. That’s exactly how KFC serves their Cole slaw. It’s finely chopped instead of ribbons of cabbage. This copycat version is the best I’ve found!

  29. The best!! I’ve been making this for years. I’m required to bring it to many gatherings.

    I make my own buttermilk: for 1/4 cup it’s a 1/4 cup of milk and 3/4 teaspoon of either lemon juice OR vinegar.

    I make it 24 hours before time though it’s not necessary.

      1. Not to jump in but I promise you it does, lol. Look at the other reviews. This is definitely the same flavors.

    1. Hi Sabrina —–
      Are there onions or not?????
      How many tablespoons of buttermilk powder for 1/4 cup?
      What kind of grater for onions??? The link doesn’t work anymore.
      Can I use blender that has shredding disc to dice the cabbage, carrots?
      Can you just put tarragon in white vinegar if tarragon vinegar not available? (Dried tarragon??)

      1. Ok, lots of questions….The onions are listed in the recipe card. If you’re using buttermilk powder, follow the instructions for the brand you’re using. The one linked is 3 tablespoons added to 7.5 ounces of water makes 1 cup. You can cut that by a fourth for this recipe or make a whole cup and use for other dishes. I have a Hamilton Beach food processor (the link seems to still work for me so not sure if there’s a glitch on your end or not).

  30. Absolutely the best coleslaw! Food processor the only way to go for tiny minced cabbage just like KFC!

  31. Hi Sabrina,
    I was so pleasantly surpirsed when I tried your coleslaw recipe and it turned out absolutely top-notch delicious! In my opinion, the best way to eat it is on a beef hot dog with nothing else except a dab of mustard! I just love it, and sincerely thank you for sharing your fine-tuned recipe.

  32. Thank you so much for the recipe, I made the dressing and it tastes spot on, yay! I am making this for a barbecue on Saturday and I know it will be amazing 🙂

    My question is about exactly how you process the cabbage and carrots. You mention that you use the shredding attachment of the food processor. This is the cheese grater one, right? I assume the larger side? Do you do anything to the cabbage before/after putting it through the shredder? In the pic, it looks like it is more chopped that shreds (which is exactly like the KFC kind) and I am wondering how you made it like that with the shredder. Maybe you cut into chunks before sticking in the shredder?

    Either way I’m positive it will be great just based on the dressing, but any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. I’m so sorry I didn’t see this earlier. I’m glad this recipe is exactly what you were looking for. I used the shredding disk (shredding side facing up) in the food processor to get this consistency. I did cut it into smaller chunks before shredding though. I hope you enjoyed it!