Making KFC Coleslaw at Home

KFC Coleslaw is the quintessential side dish that perfectly accompanies fried chicken, offering a refreshing crunch and creamy tanginess to balance the savory flavors. This homemade version of KFC’s iconic coleslaw aims to replicate the beloved recipe, delivering a deliciously close taste to the original. With finely chopped cabbage and carrots dressed in a sweet and tangy mayonnaise-based dressing, this coleslaw is not just a side dish; it’s a must-have for any fried chicken meal, barbecue, or picnic.



The journey to perfecting this KFC Coleslaw recipe began with a craving for the fast-food chain’s signature side dish and a determination to recreate it at home. After several attempts and adjustments to get the dressing just right, the final recipe was a triumphant success, evoking the familiar taste and texture that had been so elusive. Serving it alongside homemade fried chicken for a family dinner, it was met with enthusiastic approval and disbelief at how closely it resembled the original.

This homemade KFC Coleslaw has since become a staple at family gatherings, picnics, and BBQs, celebrated for its ability to bring the classic fast-food flavor into our kitchen. It’s a testament to the power of a good side dish to elevate a meal and create lasting memories around the dinner table.

Why You’ll Love This KFC Coleslaw

  • Authentic Taste: Captures the unique blend of flavors that make KFC coleslaw a favorite.
  • Easy to Make: Simple ingredients and straightforward preparation.
  • Versatile: Perfect as a side for various dishes beyond fried chicken, including BBQs and sandwiches.
  • Make-Ahead Convenience: Even better when prepared in advance, allowing flavors to meld together in the fridge.

Ingredients Notes For KFC Coleslaw

  • Cabbage and Carrots: Finely chopped for that classic coleslaw texture. A food processor can simplify this step.
  • Onion: A small amount of finely minced onion adds a subtle sharpness.
  • Mayonnaise: The base of the creamy dressing. Use a high-quality mayonnaise for the best flavor.
  • Sugar, Vinegar, and Lemon Juice: Key components of the dressing, providing the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and a dash of celery seed round out the flavor profile of the dressing.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prepare Vegetables: Finely chop the cabbage and carrots, and mince the onion. Combine in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and celery seed until smooth.
  3. Combine: Pour the dressing over the chopped vegetables and mix until evenly coated.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld together.
  5. Serve: Stir the coleslaw before serving, adjusting seasoning if necessary.

Storage Options

  • Refrigerate: Store coleslaw in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s best enjoyed within the first 24-48 hours.


Making KFC Coleslaw at Home

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Author: Maria


For the Coleslaw:

  • Green cabbage: 1 medium head finely chopped or shredded
  • Carrots: 2 medium finely grated
  • Onion: 1 small finely minced (optional)

For the Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise: 1/2 cup
  • Milk: 1/4 cup
  • Buttermilk: 1/4 cup
  • White vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
  • Granulated sugar: 1/3 cup
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black pepper: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Celery seed: 1/4 teaspoon optional, but adds authentic flavor


Prepare the Vegetables:

  • Using a food processor or a sharp knife, finely chop the cabbage. The key to getting that KFC-like texture is in finely chopping the cabbage rather than shredding it into long strips.
  • Grate the carrots and mince the onion. Combine the cabbage, carrots, and onion in a large mixing bowl.

Make the Dressing:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, white vinegar, lemon juice, granulated sugar, salt, black pepper, and celery seed until smooth and well combined. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasonings if needed.

Combine and Chill:

  • Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and stir until all the vegetables are coated evenly with the dressing.
  • Cover and refrigerate the coleslaw for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. This resting period allows the flavors to meld together and the cabbage to soften slightly, mimicking the texture of KFC's coleslaw.


  • Stir the coleslaw well before serving. Check the seasoning again and adjust if necessary. The coleslaw can be served chilled as a side dish to complement a variety of meals.

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