Recipes » Side Dish Recipes » Copycat KFC Coleslaw

Copycat KFC Coleslaw

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This Copycat KFC Coleslaw recipe is almost identical to the side from your favorite chicken restaurant. Great with barbecue, fried chicken and more!
4.7 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
A glass serving bowl filled with coleslaw.

This quick and easy Copycat KFC Coleslaw recipe is almost identical to the side you get at your favorite fast food chicken restaurant. It adds a big punch of flavor and crunchy texture alongside grilled steaks, pork barbecue, and of course fried chicken!

Who doesn’t love KFC coleslaw? It’s so good with so many main dishes! Wouldn’t it be great to make it at home? This recipe for Copycat KFC Coleslaw is simple and easy to follow and will have you serving this classic dish right from your own kitchen. So go ahead and give it a try! You won’t be disappointed.

A glass serving bowl filled with coleslaw.

If you’re a fan of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), you know exactly why I’ve studied as many as sources as possible to duplicate their delicious coleslaw. It’s tangy and sweet, crunchy yet creamy…everything a good coleslaw should be. It’ll definitely become your go-to recipe for the perfect slaw to serve at all your backyard barbecues and family gatherings!

💗 Why We Love This Recipe


  • Quick to make. The recipe takes only 5 minutes of hands-on time to make. It will need some time to chill in the fridge, but that takes no effort at all!
  • Just like KFC’s. Want all that coleslaw deliciousness without stopping by KFC itself? This copycat recipe is as close as you’ll get!
  • Perfect side dish. It’s a fantastic complement to many main dishes, not just fried chicken! It goes perfectly with barbecued pulled pork, pork ribs, and hot dogs to name a few.

🥘 About The Ingredients


Ingredients needed for making KFC coleslaw.

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  • Coleslaw Mix: For convenience, use refrigerated coleslaw mix from your grocery store’s produce department. Look for one that contains all green cabbage since that’s what KFC uses.
  • Shallot: Not really a “secret ingredient,” but an essential part of the recipe. It’s grated into the coleslaw mix to round out the flavor.
  • Granulated Sugar: Another ingredient that may seem minor but is essential to the authenticity of the finished recipe.
  • Mayonnaise, Buttermilk, Whole Milk, Fresh Lemon Juice, White Vinegar: Basic ingredients for a coleslaw dressing. The buttermilk gives that background tangy flavor everyone loves.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Adjust these according to your tastes.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How To Make Copycat KFC Coleslaw


  1. Pulse the coleslaw mix two or three times in a food processor (or chop by hand with a large, sharp knife) to create a fine texture. Transfer the chopped cabbage to a medium bowl.

TIP: Most coleslaw mixes contain sliced cabbage where KFC coleslaw is finely chopped. If you want that same fine texture, then pulsing the cabbage mix in a food processor, or further chopping it by hand, is needed.

  1. Peel the shallot and grate it into the cabbage mixture.

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  1. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar, mayonnaise, buttermilk, whole milk, lemon juice, and vinegar.
  2. Pour the dressing mixture over the chopped coleslaw mix. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the salt and pepper, then stir the mix again. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw until ready to serve.
  5. When ready to serve, give the coleslaw another good stir. If there seems to be excess dressing, drain it off before serving.

TIP: The salt in the recipe will draw moisture from the cabbage while the coleslaw sits in the refrigerator and can make the mixture a bit watery. Drain off any watery excess dressing before serving.

A glass serving bowl filled with coleslaw.

🍚 How to Store


Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days well sealed in an airtight container. Not suitable for freezing.

❗ Recipe Tips


  • If the packaged coleslaw mix isn’t available in your area, make your own by finely chopping a small head of cabbage and adding 3 finely grated large carrots. 
  • For the best flavor, allow at least two hours of chill time, covered in the refrigerator. Be sure to serve it chilled as well. 
  • Some packaged mixes contain red cabbage. KFC coleslaw does not. Red cabbage won’t affect the taste of the recipe, only the appearance.
A glass serving bowl filled with coleslaw.

❓ Questions About KFC Coleslaw


How do you prevent coleslaw from getting watery?

No matter what you do, salt added to fresh cabbage will draw out moisture so some dilution of the dressing is to be expected. If you really want to minimize it, you can take the extra step of salting and draining the cabbage before proceeding with the recipe. To do that, add the chopped cabbage to a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl. Very lightly sprinkle the cabbage with salt and toss so that it’s mixed well. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour. Discard the liquid that collects in the bowl. You can take an additional step then and spread the cabbage on a layer of paper towels to remove as much additional moisture as possible. Continue with mixing the dressing and finishing the recipe.

Can I make coleslaw a day in advance?

You can make the coleslaw ahead if you don’t mind the cabbage wilting. The longer the coleslaw sits, whether refrigerated or at room temperature, the more the cabbage will wilt. If you want a nice, crisp texture, you’ll need to plan to make it the same day you’re serving.

Can I make this without using the packaged mix?

Absolutely! To make the recipe entirely from scratch, you’ll need to finely chop a small head of green cabbage and grate three large carrots. A food processor takes care of this very quickly!

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📖 Recipe

A glass serving bowl filled with coleslaw.

Copycat KFC Coleslaw

This Copycat KFC Coleslaw recipe is almost identical to the side from your favorite chicken restaurant. Great with barbecue, fried chicken and more!
4.67 from 3 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 206kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces coleslaw mix
  • 1 shallot grated
  • cup sugar white granulated
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Pulse the coleslaw mix two or three times in a food processor (or chop by hand with a large, sharp knife) to create a fine texture. Transfer the chopped cabbage to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  • Peel the shallot and grate it into the cabbage mixture.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar, mayonnaise, buttermilk, whole milk, lemon juice, and vinegar.
  • Pour the dressing mixture over the chopped coleslaw mix. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the salt and pepper, then stir the mix again. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve, give the coleslaw another good stir. If there seems to be excess dressing, drain it off before serving.

Notes

  • To make the recipe entirely from scratch, finely chop a small head of green cabbage and grate three large carrots to take the place of the coleslaw mix.
  • For the best flavor, allow at least two hours of chill time, covered, in the refrigerator. Be sure to serve it chilled as well.
  • Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days well sealed in an airtight container. Not suitable for freezing.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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