Popeye’s Cole Slaw (Copycat)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 10 minutes

This Popeye’s Coleslaw is the best coleslaw to go with fried chicken! Crispy green cabbage tossed in creamy dressing, easily made in minutes.

Who says you can’t pair KFC Original Recipe Chicken with Popeye’s side dishes like Cajun Rice and this Coleslaw? One of the best parts of Copycat Recipes is that you can mix and match your favorite fast food restaurant dishes!

Popeye's Cole Slaw in bowl


When it comes to a good fried chicken dinner, the sides can decide which fast food restaurant is your family’s favorite. While they all claim to have the best coleslaw, we think Popeye’s Coleslaw is really tasty and it’s one of our top picks.

The folks at Business Insider gave Popeye’s Coleslaw a win for their tangy, sweet side dish in a head to head with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Even if you are a KFC Coleslaw diehard fan, it’s hard to deny that Popeye’s has a deliciously sweet and creamy coleslaw.

Now, when it comes to coleslaw, family traditions of how it “should” be made can play a big factor in whether you will like it or LOVE it. It may not be the homemade coleslaw you grew up with but you will love this Popeye’s Famous Coleslaw Recipe.

Unlike some coleslaw recipes, Popeye’s Coleslaw dressing does not have any buttermilk or lemon juice. It’s still packed with flavor from sweet pickle relish, dill pickle relish, and white vinegar. A little sugar and lot of mayonnaise make it a slightly sweet, creamy coleslaw.

To make sure the coleslaw dressing and cabbage mix really come together, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Coleslaw gets even better when you let it sit in the fridge overnight, so this is a great make ahead potluck side dish. The coleslaw dressing can be made separately up to a week in advance.

Popeye’s Coleslaw is perfect accompaniment for fried chicken, smoked meats like turkey or pork, and anything BBQ. Instead of a regular garden salad, serve this easy coleslaw with your favorite one pot dinner recipes like a casserole or slow cooker meal.

How to Serve Popeye’s Famous Coleslaw:


Popeye's Cole Slaw in bowl


  • Miracle Whip: To make a lighter version of Popeye’s Coleslaw, substitute Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise. Since Miracle Whip is sweeter, adjust the sugar and sweet pickle relish to your taste.
  • Vinegar: Instead of white vinegar, try substituting apple cider vinegar. Or use more lemon juice and leave out the vinegar.
  • Veggies: Dice up crunchy green pepper or jicama for more crunch. Stir in some grated zucchini or summer squash right before serving to make it a healthier, veggie packed coleslaw.
  • Spices: Season with celery seed to balance out the sweetness and give the coleslaw a savory bite. For a spicy kick, mix in your favorite Cajun seasoning.
  • Sour Cream: Make your coleslaw dressing creamier and tangier by swapping ¼ cup of the mayonnaise with sour cream.



  • Serve: This dish has a mayonnaise base so do not leave at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. The coleslaw dressing can be kept in the fridge separately for up to a week.
  • Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze this coleslaw recipe since it has mayonnaise in it. Mayonnaise separates while frozen and doesn’t come together again when thawed.

Popeye's Cole Slaw in bowl

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Popeye's Coleslaw (Copycat)

This Popeye's Coleslaw is the best coleslaw to go with fried chicken! Crispy green cabbage tossed in creamy dressing, easily made in minutes.
Yield 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 6 cups green cabbage , chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot , shredded
  • 1/4 yellow onion , minced


  • Add the mayonnaise, sugar, sweet relish, dill relish, white vinegar, vegetable oil and yellow mustard to a large bowl and whisk well together.
  • Add the cabbage, carrot and onion and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.



Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1453IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

Popeye's Cole Slaw Collage

Photos from a previous version of this post.

Popeye's Cole Slaw collage

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.

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  1. I used to work for Popeye’s and tested coleslaw everyday. This was back before centralized commissary and prepackaged slurry. I also worked with the very secretive spice plant which led to the prepackaged slurry. This recipe here has WAY too many ingredients and is just wrong. Sorry guys only 5 ingredients in the true recipe. BTW three fast food restaurants used the exact same recipe, as one was original and the other two stole the recipe. KFC just had one additional ingredient. It was not a big secret like many of the other recipes. These copycats use just way too many ingredients.

  2. This was fantastic! I’m diabetic/Keto so I nixed the carrots & used monk fruit instead of sugar but it turned out wonderful! This will definitely be my new coleslaw go to! Thanks for sharing your recipe ??

  3. Just out of curiosity, could you use a bag of coleslaw mix instead of the chopped green cabbage and carrot?

  4. Very good! I was hesitant because I really enjoy KFC and Popeye’s coleslaw. The stuff is addictive! Easy and delicious, will make again! Thank you!

  5. Popeye’s is our favorite cole slaw – so nice to be able to make it myself. I didn’t have any pickle relish so just cut up some sweet and dill pickles instead. It was still delicious. Thank you!

  6. Fantastic recipe! We made BLT wraps and used the cole slaw in place of the lettuce. Such a great combo! Followed the recipe as written and it turned out perfect. Thank you so much for such a wonderful recipe!

  7. I made this coleslaw exactly as written, and it was fantastic! Tasted just like Popeye’s recipe. I admit, I was worried with the ingredient list that it would taste like tartar sauce – but after sitting for three hours, the flavors melded and the magic happened. Will definitely be making this again!

  8. Very cool! I have been to Popeyes, but didn’t have their coleslaw. This looks yummy and easy to make!