Sunday, March 21, 2021

KFC Coleslaw Copycat recipe

We just love Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw and have enjoyed it many, many times over the years. We also have a family coleslaw recipe from my mother-in-law called
Grandma Joan's Coleslaw we also enjoy, but there's just something about the Colonel's coleslaw that's special.

KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise opened in Utah in 1952. 

KFC popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as "Colonel Sanders"Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising to this day. KFC's original signature product is pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders' recipe of 11 herbs and spices, and his coleslaw recipe was a close runner-up. (source: Wikipedia)

On a quest to recreate his sweet yet tangy coleslaw I searched and searched the "interwebs" for the best copycat recipes and believe me there are a bunch of them out there ... shocker! Hahaha of course there are because people love it, so off I set to the test kitchen to make up a few and see what I could come up with and this is my result.

You'll quickly see this coleslaw gets its kick from 2 acids, both lemon juice and vinegar, then throw in a nice amount of sugar, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to round out the dressing.

What do you need to make KFC Coleslaw?

  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Onion



1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk (add 1 tsp lemon juice to regular milk to make your own buttermilk)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
2 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups shredded then diced cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium head)
1 medium carrot, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced

Shred the cabbage, carrot, and onion and dice finely; mix all veggies in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the veggies and stir all with a spoon to fully incorporate.

Cover the bowl with a saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. The flavors need a chance to blend and develop for the best tasting coleslaw.

Stir again before serving.


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  1. This looks really good, Mary! I can't wait to get my hands on the ingredients so I can make it!! :-)

  2. Geeze, this sounds and looks amazing. Now all I need are a few pieces of your Southern crispy fried cheeeekin, Mary!! xo

  3. I love KFC coleslaw and can't wait to try this recipe.