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This homemade KFC-style coleslaw recipe will be your new favorite side! With just 6 ingredients, you can recreate that sweet, tangy, and creamy flavor. This easy coleslaw is made with a signature dressing and finely chopped cabbage and carrots for authentic texture. Get the step-by-step recipe for making this top-rated copycat coleslaw.

What type of cabbage should I use to make the coleslaw?
I recommend using green cabbage for this recipe. Green cabbage has a crisp texture that matches the coleslaw at KFC. You can also add in some shredded purple cabbage for variation in color. Just avoid using savoy or napa cabbage, as they have a more delicate texture.

Do I need to use a food processor to chop the cabbage and carrots?
While it’s not 100% necessary, I highly recommend using a food processor fitted with the shredding blade to get the right fine, shredded texture of KFC’s coleslaw. Chopping the veggies by hand will leave them chunkier. The food processor mimics the commercial machines used at KFC.

Can I prepare the dressing ahead of time?
Yes! In fact, I recommend making the dressing first and refrigerating it for 3-4 hours before adding the veggies. This allows time for the flavors to properly meld. Store the dressing in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Is apple cider vinegar interchangeable with white distilled vinegar?
Not quite. The apple cider vinegar is key for getting that signature KFC flavor profile. White vinegar would make the dressing too harsh. I suggest sticking with apple cider vinegar or trying white wine vinegar instead.

How long will the coleslaw keep in the fridge?
This coleslaw will stay fresh in a covered container in the fridge for 3-5 days. The flavors may become more pronounced over time. For longer storage, you can freeze the coleslaw for up to 3 months.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 450-500 grams finely chopped cabbage and carrots (about 4 cups)
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Gather your ingredients – mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, spices, cabbage, carrots. Wash and prep the veggies by finely chopping into shreds. You’ll need about 4 cups total. Use a food processor for ultimate texture.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, sugar, vinegar, pepper, salt, and onion powder. Whisk vigorously until fully blended and smooth. This creamy dressing is the key to coleslaw perfection!
  3. Cover the bowl and tuck it away in the fridge to hang out for 3-4 hours. This pause lets those flavors get friendly and develop their full tangy-sweet potential.
  4. Time to get the party started! Add the mountain of shredded cabbage and carrots to the chilled dressing and stir to coat. Keep tossing until each veggie piece is lovingly smothered.
  5. That’s it – a fresh batch of KFC copycat coleslaw ready to serve! Dig into this Southern-style side. The sweet ‘n tangy dressing pairs perfectly with any fried chicken recipe. Enjoy!

Cooking tips :

  • Use shredded green cabbage and carrots for texture
  • Make the dressing ahead; chill 3-4 hours
  • Finely chop veggies in food processor
  • Toss cabbage and carrots in dressing
  • Refrigerate up to 5 days
  • Use apple cider vinegar; don’t substitute
  • Add dressing gradually until coated
  • Gently toss with spoons, not tongs
  • Taste and season with salt, pepper, sugar

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