Make Your Own KFC Cole Slaw

The fast food restaurant chain, KFC, is best known for their fried chicken. (Some of us even remember when the restaurants were called Kentucky Fried Chicken instead of KFC). But running a close second in popularity to their chicken is the KFC Cole Slaw. In fact the restaurant’s website proudly declares:

“We take shredded cabbage, diced carrots, and just a sprinkle of onions and mix them all in a delicious dressing for what a lot of folks consider to be the world’s best cole slaw.”

Indeed, it’s the dressing that makes the traditional cole slaw blend of shredded cabbage and carrots taste so yummy over there at KFC. Oh, and the sugar they put in it too. Everything seems to get a smidge tastier with sugar.

After doing some searching for a homemade copycat KFC cole slaw recipe, it seems that most of the recipes to be found are versions of the recipe from the Top Secret Recipes book by Todd Wilbur.  And it’s a good one!  I’ve been making my version of this recipe too these last few weeks and the family gobbles it up.

The only small adjustments I have made to the recipe is to eliminate the buttermilk and simply use regular milk. I also like to add a sprinkling of celery seed over my finished cole slaw.

Copycat KFC Cole Slaw Recipe

Adapted from Top Secret Recipes

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Milk (or 1/4 cup Milk and 1/4 cup Buttermilk)
2-1/2 Tbl Lemon Juice
1-1/2 Tbl White Vinegar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
Sprinkling of Celery Seed (optional)

Combine all the ingredients (except the celery seed) in a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Another good method is to combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and then shake to combine. The mixture will be quite thin.

Gradually pour the dressing over the cole slaw, stirring after each addition, until you have a consistency that you like.

You can either make your own cole slaw by shredding one head of cabbage, 1 medium carrot, and adding 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, or you can cheat a little bit and use a bag of prepared cole slaw. This dressing makes the right amount for a 16 oz bag of prepared cole slaw.

Once you have your finished cole slaw in a serving bowl, you can sprinkle some celery seed over the top if you wish for decoration and a little extra tastiness.

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  1. There is no milk, celery seed or lemon juice in the original coleslaw recipe. Also, we did not use white vinegar, it was a different flavored vinegar.

  2. Since I found your recipe, I have made it many times. Makes a great slaw for fish tacos, topping a chopped BBQ sandwich, or just as a side. I don’t know how close it is to KFC since I do not eat there. All I know is this stuff ROCKS!! Thanks

  3. Your are missing crushed pineapple!! Thats their secret ingredient!!! Use the whe juice & pineapple!!

  4. Tried this recipe, my opinion, too sweet and too much lemon flavor. I added more mayo and vinegar to save my slaw.
    Your did not tasted like the KFC I’ve had,

  5. I just made this. Had to use up some cabbage and found your recipe. It is absolutely delicious. Thank you for posting.