I make this KFC Coleslaw at least 6 times a year because it just goes with so many dishes. Everyone I make it for loves it and usually goes back for seconds. I have yet to bring home a bowl that wasn’t empty.
If you love coleslaw with your KFC chicken but don’t want to go to the nearest fast food outlet, then you can enjoy this simple recipe any time you like. It is perfect for summer BBQs and parties as you can make it as much as you want for whoever is coming.
What can you serve KFC Coleslaw with?
You can serve it with anything but it works well with fried chicken which is no surprise! Dishes such as pulled pork, corn on the cob with butter, or even baked beans are good side dishes to serve alongside it. It even works with pasta dishes such as mac and cheese.
- Grated carrots
- Minced onion
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice – fresh squeezed is best
- Granulated sugar
- Ground black pepper
One medium head of cabbage or half a head of a large cabbage will make around 8 cups worth of diced cabbage for the coleslaw. You can also use shredded cabbage if it is very fine.
Aim to use fresh lemon juice where possible as this gives the best flavor but you can use bottled lemon juice if you need to.
If you aren’t a fan of buttermilk you can use regular milk in its place and the coleslaw will just be a little less tangy.
You can use the bags of premixed coleslaw ingredients and add the dressing to it but you’ll find the texture isn’t quite as nice.
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How to Dice Cabbage Like KFC
I use a food processor for this. Cut the cabbage into large chunks before adding the cabbage to the food processor bowl.
Only add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cabbage chunks at a time and pulse for 1 to 2 seconds at a time until the cabbage is roughly the size of grains of uncooked rice. This will give you the KFC texture.
If the texture isn’t important, 6 cups of shredded cabbage can be used. See the notes above.
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How to make KFC Coleslaw
- Combine the cabbage, onions, and carrots in a large mixing dish and toss to combine. The shredded carrots may clump together. When combined with the dressing, they will separate again.
- Take another bowl and combine the rest of the ingredients, stirring until they are smooth and creamy.
- Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix until every piece has been coated with it.
- Put the bowl of coleslaw in a covered dish in the refrigerator. You can eat it right away but it is better if you leave it there for 4 hours or more to allow the flavors to come together.
Don’t be tempted to add more milk, the recipe will provide enough liquid to make the coleslaw the right consistency. Any more and it will get too soggy.
Why do you need to add sugar?
Sugar might seem like something you can miss out in the copycat recipe but it is definitely needed. The coleslaw balances the acidity of vinegar and lemon juice to stop the coleslaw from being too bitter. It makes it a little sweet but that’s what you find in the restaurants as well.
How long does the coleslaw last?
If you store the coleslaw in the refrigerator in an airtight container, you can keep it there for up to five days. When you come to serve it, give it a good stir first just to recombine the ingredients. It is best not to freeze the coleslaw because of the mayonnaise and buttermilk as these don’t freeze very well.
What to do if your copycat KFC coleslaw turned out watery
Give it a good stir and enjoy it! Just like the coleslaw at KFC, this one has plenty of liquid.
No really, if you want it less watery, serve it with a slotted spoon.
CAN I MAKE COLESLAW IN ADVANCE?
Yes! The flavor improves when allowed to sit for at least 4 hours.
I try to make this as early in the day as possible. The longer it sits the better it gets.
We actually prefer to flavor after it has been allowed to sit in the refrigerator for a day.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?
Stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator, this will last 3 to 4 days. The cabbage will be limp after that.
CAN I FREEZE THIS?
No. The recipe contains mayonnaise which doesn’t freeze well, it tends to separate when it has been frozen.
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Copycat KFC Coleslaw
- Place cabbage, carrots, and onions in a large bowl and stir to combine. Some of the shredded carrots may clump together. They will finish separating when mixing with the dressing.
- In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir until smooth and creamy.
- Pour dressing over the cabbage and mix until all of the cabbage has been coated with dressing.
- Place coleslaw into a covered dish and place it into the refrigerator. It can be eaten immediately, but the flavor is greatly improved with at least 4 hours of refrigeration.
- 1 medium head of cabbage or 1/2 of a large head of cabbage will make 8 cups of diced cabbage.
- Thinly sliced cabbage or coleslaw can be substituted for finely diced cabbage. The texture will not be the same as KFC.
- Do not add more dressing than the recipe calls for.
- Do not add any additional milk, you won’t need it. The coleslaw will make its own liquid.
- Fresh lemon juice will provide the best flavor.
- Regular milk can be substituted for the buttermilk for less tang.
- This can be eaten immediately but is best after it chilling in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- A bag of premade coleslaw mix can be substituted, the flavors will be the same, but the texture will be off.