This KFC Coleslaw recipe is a copycat version of the takeout classic. Minimal ingredients and almost NO prep work, this coleslaw is perfect for summer BBQs and potlucks!
As an avid KFC coleslaw lover, I have a hard time liking any other recipe as much – which gave me the idea to try and recreate it myself! This coleslaw is so similar to the version Colonel Sanders has bestowed upon us that you might never order it from the restaurant again!
Even though there are minimal ingredients, it doesn’t lack in flavor whatsoever. That’s the beauty of coleslaw, it’s a simple, easy and fresh crunch, that makes for the perfect side dish to any backyard BBQ or potluck.
What is Coleslaw
Coleslaw is a side dish that mainly consists of finely shredded, raw cabbage coated in a dressing, typically either a mayonnaise, vinaigrette or combination of both. Essentially a “cabbage salad”, coleslaw is an extremely popular dish during summer particularly at BBQs and potlucks.
- Mayonnaise – Use your favourite!
- Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk readily available you can substitute 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to make 1/4 cup. You can also use plain yogurt!
- Sugar – I used granulated.
- Vinegar – You will need both white and apple cider.
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed, you can use store bought if you’d like.
- Salt – To taste.
- Cabbage – I used green cabbage, finely chopped. You can also add some red cabbage in this coleslaw.
- Carrot – Small, shredded.
- Onion – Medium, grated.
How to Make KFC Coleslaw
- Make the Dressing – In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and salt.
- Assemble the Salad – In a large bowl combine the cabbage with the carrot and onion. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well making sure all the cabbage is covered in dressing.
- Chill and Serve – Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to 4 hours before serving.
- Make sure to leave your coleslaw covered for at least 2-4 hours before serving because it will allow the juices and flavor to soak into the cabbage so you will get a more authentic KFC taste instead of more harsh cabbage flavor.
- If you are going to use Miracle Whip as your preferred dressing instead of real mayonnaise, cut down the amount of sugar added to the recipe.
- I read that a lot of ex-KFC workers said that way back when they used tarragon vinegar in the coleslaw – if you can find that, go ahead and try it out for a real “back in the day” authentic taste.
How to Serve
As a staple summer dish, coleslaw is the perfect addition to any picnic or BBQ. Since this IS a “KFC coleslaw” I have to mention fried chicken! Because it’s such a classic combination – fried chicken is the perfect pairing for coleslaw. Honestly, this coleslaw is so divine that I would eat it as a lunch on its own, but it doesn’t hurt to BBQ up some ribs or steak and have everyone raving about your coleslaw at the next gathering.
Can I Make This in Advance?
Of course! Again, it is so important to let your coleslaw chill in the fridge. The longer you leave it, the more time the cabbage has to absorb the dressing – therefore, you’re going to end up with less of a raw cabbage taste and more of a KFC flavor. I would recommend making it the night before and leaving it overnight in the fridge.
How to Store Leftovers
Properly stored in an airtight container, leftover coleslaw will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Did You Like This Recipe? Try These!
- Mixed Cabbage Apple Coleslaw
- Macaroni Salad
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe
- Cabbage Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette
- Broccoli Salad
- Cabbage Soup
- Crunchy Asian Salad
- Cabbage and Sesame Seed Salad
- American Macaroni Salad with Bacon
- Braised Cabbage with Bacon
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KFC Coleslaw Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup sugar granulated
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 8 cups green cabbage finely chopped (1 head)
- 1 small carrot shredded
- ¼ medium onion grated
- Make the dressing: In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sugar, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and salt.
- Assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine the cabbage with the carrot and onion. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss well making sure all the cabbage is covered in dressing.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to 4 hours before serving.
- Properly stored in an airtight container, leftover coleslaw will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.