KFC Coleslaw recipe

KFC Coleslaw recipe

With the 4th of July upon us, I thought I would share with you a fabulous recipe I discovered. My husband loves the coleslaw from Kentucky Fried Chicken. In fact, he’s a terrible mayo-phobe, so it took many, many years just to get him to try other coleslaws. He had even told me one day that he wished I could find a recipe for KFC’s coleslaw so we could have it at home more often.

KFC Coleslaw recipeThen I saw it. A post on my friend Debbie’s blog, mocha me, for KFC Coleslaw. I immediately saved it and printed it out. It wasn’t until a couple months later that I finally tried it. The results, at first taste, were pretty close to KFC’s, but there seemed to be an overwhelming fresh cabbage flavor right after making it. However, after this sat in the refrigerator for several hours, the cabbage had time to soak up the flavor of the dressing, and that did it! Just like KFC! So thanks Debbie, for turning me on to this great recipe. And my husband thanks you too. :) This will definitely be on my 4th of July menu.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Egg Salad with Chives

KFC Coleslaw recipeThis recipe is now available for download on Kindle!(Printable version below)
KFC Coleslaw Recipe

More I’m making on the 4th:
Blackberry Pie Squares
Fresh Raspberry Lemonade
Watermelon Cookies
Sour Cherry Almond Cake
Garlic Marinated Chicken Cutlets and Grilled Potatoes

From the internet:
Glazed Pork Kebabs from Culinary Cory
Broccoli Delight Salad – from The English Kitchen
Red, White and Blueberry Pie – from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Red, White and Blue Moonstone Cookies – from Salad in a Jar



    • Phyllis says

      KFC coleslaw does not have mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, salt or pepper in it. This may taste like it but I would think you could taste the lemon juice. I like lemons but I don’t know about lemon in that.

      • says

        You can’t taste the lemon in it Phyllis. You say it doesn’t have mayo and other ingredients, but I don’t think you are entirely correct. The official ingredients from KFC are as follows (there is mayo for sure, they just give the individual ingredients that make up the mayo). As for the lemon, that’s used in place of vinegar. So while this is not the exact KFC recipe, it does taste just like it WITHOUT all the preservatives:

        Cole Slaw
        Vegetables: Chopped Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions. Sauce: Sugar, Soybean Oil, Vinegar (Distilled Vinegar, Corn and Cider Vinegar, Malt Vinegar, And Natural Flavors), Water, Salt, Whole Eggs, Modified Corn Starch, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Paprika Extractives, Paprika, And Caramel Color.
        Contains Egg.
        Vegetables: Chopped Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions. Sauce: Sugar, Soybean Oil, Water, Vinegar (Distilled Vinegar, Corn and Cider Vinegar), Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Whole Eggs, Food Starch Modified, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Paprika Extractives, Paprika, And Caramel Color.
        Contains Egg.
        *Will contain one of the Ingredient statements above, depending upon regional suppliers
        Colonel’s Mayo
        Soybean Oil, Water, Egg Yolks and Eggs, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Salt, Spices, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Calcium Disodium EDTA (Protect Flavor).
        Contains Egg

      • says

        KFC coleslaw does have those ingredients. Salt…almost everything has salt…it would be flavorless without it. The ingredients aren’t printed on the packaging or website like a recipe…they are broken down into all the ingredients it takes to make mayo & whatnot. It’s not going to give you each specific spice by name either.

        • Cookie says

          Exactly! I thought that was odd when she wrote that KFC Coleslaw didn’t have any of those ingredients.

  1. Sharon says

    Love this recipe I make it all the time.. One tip is I use Napa Cabbage instead of regular cabbage its a much milder cabbage taste, and I usually let it sit in the fridge for a few hours too. I'm actually going to make it next weekend for a 4th party we are having!! : )

  2. Marie says

    I love KFC coleslaw and make this often. It's always delicious. I hate coleslaw's that are all gloopy with too much mayo. This recipe is just perfect. Yours looks fantastic! xxoo

  3. Von says

    OOh! I love KFC coleslaw…
    it was the first coleslaw I ever had and so fsr my fsvourite (I've only had about two others though)
    Definitely making this one day!!

  4. Kayte says

    I'm telling the Colonel! Just kidding, the Colonel isn't in a position to care these days. Here I thought all those KFC recipes were locked into some sort of vault impervious to nuclear disaster, etc. Looks just like it to me…stealing this one.

  5. Tami says

    I'm right up there with your hubby with liking KFC's cole slaw. I'm sure this recipe would be a winner with me! MMM!

  6. Ingrid says

    I love cole slaw, which is to say I'm not picky at all when it comes to it. Okay, wait I guess I am 'cause I won't eat it if there's onions in it. Anyway, I need to give this a try. KFC & Chic-fil-a cole slaws are my fave.

  7. Megan says

    What a menu, I'm impressed. Your gonna be working your tail off. Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

  8. Culinary Cory says

    I had found a version of KFC's coleslaw recipe in an old spiral bound fundraiser cookbook. I agree, it needs to rest to let the cabbage soak up the flavor a bit. Yours looks lovely.

    • Dianne Demers says

      I use to work for KFC about, believe it or not, 50 years ago. I made the cole slaw. We ground fresh cabbage, carrots, and onion. The mix was made with mayo, (equal parts of white sugar and salad oil) salt and white pepper. Thats all. No milk! The mix was added to the cabbage, carrots, and onion,and was packaged into container for sale. The cole slaw was best after it sat overnight. It was good for three days.

      • Carol Darnell says

        Dianne, I get u didn’t use milk or buttermilk, & equal parts mayo & sugar, but you said salad dressing and left off vinager & lemon. What salad dressing? What ingredients in that salad dressing?

      • JJ says

        I also worked at KFC as a teenager about 50 yrs ago as their salad maker…all our salads including their dressings were made from scratch…for the cole slaw the carrots,onions,and cabbage was put into a bull chopper and chopped….the mixed it with the dressing which consist of miracle whip,sugar,vinegar,salt and pepper..I still use this recipe today

  9. Mary J says

    I & the family totally miss our KFC, especially the coleslaw. Maybe, now, I might get a compliment on my slaw ventures. Thanks for posting this copycat recipe.

    • Kathy says

      Anonymous inquired Miracle Whip or Mayo? Two different animals here- Miracle Whip is loaded with sugar (very sweet-ruins egg/tuna/chicken salad IMHO) and the recipe already calls for sugar :)

  10. nick says

    One head cabbage? C’mon, here in Michigan a head of cabbage can be anywhere from 1 1/2 pounds to 8 pounds. Can you be a little more specific?

    • Amanda Formaro says

      I had no idea a head of cabbage came in so many different sizes in Michigan. A head of cabbage as referred to in the recipe is roughly to same size (not weight) as a head of lettuce.

    • says

      I have never tried it without the buttermilk. You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk.

    • Mario Monroy says

      Dianne Demers says:
      I use to work for KFC about, believe it or not, 50 years ago. I made the cole slaw. We ground fresh cabbage, carrots, and onion. The mix was made with mayo, (equal parts of white sugar and salad oil) salt and white pepper. Thats all. No milk! The mix was added to the cabbage, carrots, and onion,and was packaged into container for sale. The cole slaw was best after it sat overnight. It was good for three days.

  11. Kara says

    This recipe is excellent :)
    But I would just like to comment that adding vinegar to milk does NOT make buttermilk, it makes sour milk. Buttermilk is the residual liquid left over when making butter from whole milk. In the amount does recipe calls for it is not that big of a deal, is something like buttermilk pancakes using sour milk would be disgusting.

  12. Catherine says

    I’ve been making this recipe for a few years and have always had to pour out leftover buttermilk. I found powdered buttermilk in the baking section-and it’s wonderful. I have used it in this recipe, used it with Bisquick, etc, it always works fine and gives that tangy taste. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it though. It doesn’t have the thick texture of regular buttermilk.

    • says

      I use powdered buttermilk in baking. Never had the problem if excess buttermilk in this recipe. Glad you found a solution that works for you though!

    • Troyce says

      Love me some Miracle Whip…..on everything …..deviled eggs…potato salad…sandwiches ..BLT…I could go on and on. But if I make this cole slaw I will you mayonnaise .
      Thanks for sharing the recipe , oh and I love to drink buttermilk.

  13. Kathleen says

    Love this recipe, KFC slaw has always been a favorite! I used light mayo, splenda (used less than sugar called for) and only had skim milk, no buttermilk. I also added a bit of tarragon to the vinegar, I have read that KFC uses tarragon vinegar, but am not sure if that is true. At first I thought it was too sweet, but after a couple of hours it is perfect, even without the layers of flavor that I am sure the buttermilk adds! Will be a nice addition to my Independence Day celebration.

  14. says

    Thanks Amanda, I made this for our July 4th barbecue and again today just to have in the fridge since it is the perfect side dish for many summer meals. We love it!! It also got RAVE reviews from all of my family. Thanks again!

  15. steph says

    This is so awesome i will not buy kfc coleslaw if i dont have to thanks and it is wonderful a hit with all my family they thought i spent alot to bring it to the family party

  16. Frank says

    Good recipe, I will use it frequently. I love coleslaw on sandwiches and this is just rite. Inexpensive also!

  17. ragg2 says

    What size head of cabbage are you talking about here?
    We have here ones of 3 inches diameter to about 15 inches diameter????
    Thanks a lot,

  18. Brenda says

    Actually it is made with tarragon vinegar, no milk or buttermilk or lemon jucie,add oil, miracle whip not mayo. I use to work for KFC way back before they got the pre made dressing.

  19. Leenie says

    I make this all of the time! Delicious!!!! Even better after it sits. I always omit the buttermilk and use more milk and it comes out great.

  20. nessi says

    I have made this recipe several times since finding it on Pinterest and I love it! Sometimes I add cilantro, diced tomatoes and some red cabbage. Also I substitute lime juice for the lemon juice and garlic salt for table salt. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  21. wayne says

    I have not tried this recipe however I worked at KFC for several years back when we made coleslaw in store and this does not sound like what I remember only 3 ingredients Mayo, sugar, Tarragon vinegar

    hope this is not rude just what i remember

  22. Doris says

    I have a family recipe similuar to this.The KFC recipe and my family recipe are the only ones I will ever eat.The others are always lacking something.

  23. Amy says

    I made this recipe last weekend. YUMMY!!! The only thing I did different was I bought an already made bag of cole slaw and put it through the processer to make it the right texture. Easy peasy.. Next time i make it I dont think I will put onions in it. Seemed to make it too strong. Thank you for posting this yummy addicting recipe!

  24. Kathleen Mitchell says

    One tip… We lived near a KFC in Arizona and the manager told me THEIR secret.. It is just the usual sugar, mayonnaise (real) and pepper, but instead of lemon juice and/or vinegar, try tarragon vinegar! It’s delish!

  25. Peg says

    I use to work at KFC back in the 70’s and we got the dressing in large boxes already made so all we had to do was mix it with shredded cabbage. I’m glad I now know all of the “secret” ingredients so I can make my own. That Colonel was a sneaky guy!

  26. Joann says

    I absolutely love KFC coleslaw. It is my favorite slaw. I will put this recipe to work. YEAH!!!!!

  27. julie says

    i am wondering if there is an alternate to using mayo without sacrificing the taste?? Will greek yogurt be ok? Thanks.

  28. cindy schmitt says

    ive had this same rfecipe for 20 years i made it like it said the first time… putting vinegar in milk the 2nd time did not taste the same always use real buttermilk if you add 1/2 of a drained small can of pineapple(crushed) makes it even better hubby worked at kfc when he was 16 and made the slaw by hand in big trash cans…glad they quit mixing it like that he was elbow deep mixing it he said back then there was pineapple in it…im going to try the mayo sugar tarragon vinegar recipe hadnt heard that one before but sounds a lot easier

    • says

      That’s the first time I’ve heard pineapple! It’s funny, several people have commented on this post about working for KFC years ago and making the coleslaw. There have been several different versions as well. :)

  29. Wanda Stuart says

    Has anyone else noticed a change in KFC’s coleslaw? I ate there with my adult son last Sat. Our favorite coleslaw has been KFC’s, for years. But it seems to me that there has been a change in their recipe. And it is not for the better.

  30. says

    My stepdad was a chef in a huge hospital and also really liked KFC cole slaw. He puttered around in the kitchen until he came up with a recipe that is so close you cannot tell the difference. His secret ingredient?

    7 Up!

  31. Sharon Bugar says

    I was looking for a coleslaw recipe that I could make for a side dish with pulled pork. I frankly never liked the coleslaw they sell at the grocery store and KFC was the only kind that I really ever liked. I am so glad I found this “Copy Cat” recipe! I feel confident about this one, especially after reading the reviews from others. Can’t wait to try it!

  32. Judi Johnson says

    I was just wondering why when we scroll down to get the printable recipe it shows a small picture of the product. But when it prints the picture is not there. I like having the picture so I can compare that what I make looks like it is supposed to. Just wondering why that happens

    • says

      Hi Judi. The printable version is designed to remove all photos and advertisements so that there is only black and white text left to print so as to save you on ink. Sorry about that.

  33. Shauna says

    Many many MANY moons ago I worked for the Coronel. I discovered the “secret” dressing for his cole slaw: MIRACLE WHIP! It’s Miracle Whip with a little extra sugar and a little extra vinegar.
    Again, that was many years ago. I haven’t seen a KFC kitchen in quite some time.

  34. Beckie Todd says

    I worked at KFC while in high school in the early 70’s, before the premixed dressing. We used 1 C Miracle Whip, 1 C sugar, 1/4 C cider vinegar, 1/4 C oil and salt and pepper. I double it and it makes enough for 3 good sized cabbages, 1 med to large onion and 3/4 to 1 bag baby carrots, all finely shredded. This makes enough for my now all grown up family with leftovers for snacking at all hours. My kids are not picky and would eat anything that didn’t walk off their plates and would practically inhale this, even when they were still in highchairs!

  35. pete says

    I made this recipe for the first time this summer for our cookout. It was fantastic and everyone wanted the recipe. I have made it at least ten times since.


  1. […] Read More: http://amandascookin.com/2010/06/kfc-coleslaw-recipe.html , http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/05/girl-who-didnt-eat-everything.html , http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jamie-deen/cheddar-and-bacon-twice-baked-potatoes-recipe/index.html Share this:TwitterStumbleUponFacebookPinterestEmailPrintDiggLinkedInRedditTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged buttermilk, chicken thighs, coleslaw, frozen buttermilk, grilled chicken, homemade slaw, honey chicken, KFC slaw, slaw, spicy chicken, spicy honey chicken, twice baked potato.Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

  2. […] either making some of my famous KFC knock off coleslaw (a dairy and sugar free adaptation of this recipe) or this cauliflower salad to share with my tablemates. I hope to see you […]

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