This KFC coleslaw copycat recipe with diced cabbage in a sweet and tangy dressing will tempt your taste buds and have you craving more! Have this fast-food favorite in your refrigerator in 15 minutes.
I make this recipe 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 being home a bowl that wasn’t empty.
Green Cabbage – You’ll need about 1/2 of a large head. (This post contains affiliate links which means we may earn fees.)
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.
Carrots – 1/2 of large peeled carrot or 2 baby carrots will be all you need. I use the small or coarse holes on a grater for prepping. Finely diced carrots can be substituted.
Onions – I use white onions. You won’t need more than 1/4 of a small onion. This needs to be finely diced.
Buttermilk – Buttermilk is recommended. Regular milk can be substituted, but it will not be as close to KFC’s.
Mayonnaise – do not substitute this a salad dressing like Miracle Whip. It is too sweet.
Lemon Juice – Use fresh lemon juice for this. The stuff in the bottle leaves an aftertaste in this recipe.
Vinegar – I use plain white distilled vinegar.
Sugar – Use white, do not try and substitute with brown.
Salt & Pepper – there is not much of either one in this recipe. I recommend allowing your family and guests to adjust accordingly to their own tastes.
Combine the cabbage, carrots, and onions in a large bowl.
Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, white vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper in another bowl. (Photo 1)
Whisk to combine. (Photo 2)
Pour the dressing over the cabbage mix. (Photo 3)
Stir until well combined. (Photo 4)
Place the coleslaw into a covered container and place it into a refrigerator.
Do not add more dressing than the recipe calls for. The coleslaw will produce its own liquid as it marinates.
Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavors.
Regular milk can be substituted for the buttermilk, the flavor will be altered though.
This recipe is best after it has sat for at least 4 hours, 24 hours would be even better.
A bag of premade coleslaw mix can be substituted, the flavors will be the same, but the texture will be off.
CAN I MAKE THIS 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.
SUGGESTED MAIN DISH PAIRINGS
Of course, this recipe pairs well with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit! But I also serve it regularly with other main dishes.
Here are a few of my favorites:
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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.