Copycat KFC Coleslaw (Better than KFC)

If you’ve ever had KFC Coleslaw you know it’s some of the best coleslaw around. But this copycat recipe is even Better Than KFC Coleslaw! You can recreate this famous recipe in no time at all! This will soon become your favorite coleslaw recipe, and you will think it’s the perfect side dish for your backyard barbecues.

Homemade copycat KFC coleslaw in a small wood bowl.

What makes KFC Coleslaw so good?

Do you love delicious coleslaw? Crunchy cabbage in a tangy dressing is perfect. And when you make it at home, you don’t need to go out to a chicken restaurant! You can make the KFC coleslaw dressing from whole heads of cabbage and more.

Sometimes coleslaw recipes aren’t well balanced, this recipe gives you just the right amount of creamy dressing, the crispy cabbage will not get too waterlogged with too much dressing. This recipe also balances the right amount of sweet and savory, so it’s always perfect. So the next time you make coleslaw, take this handful of ingredients, and you can make KFC copycat coleslaw and take it to your next picnic.

Why this Recipe Works

My recipe is an incredibly easy way to make homemade coleslaw. If you have never made one of my recipes before, never fear – there are no secret ingredients that are hard to find! You are going to love how good this tastes. This recipe quickly replaced my personal homemade coleslaw recipe when everyone gobbled at my summer bbq. This recipe tastes so close to the real thing, you aren’t going to need to run out to the KFC to get this when you have your next family gatherings. This is the most popular recipe at my summer potlucks

  • Please note: There is no bell pepper in the KFC Coleslaw. This is an optional suggestion only to add the bell pepper to my recipe.

What is KFC Coleslaw made of?

America’s favorite coleslaw is made with these ingredients:

  • Head of green cabbage (you could use a package or two of shredded coleslaw mix)
  • White onion
  • Carrots
  • Miracle Whip Light
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Vegetable oil

Tips & Variations:

  • Please do not use mayonnaise: This Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw recipe is made with Miracle Whip This recipe requires Miracle Whip, which has a nice sweetness. If you use mayonnaise, your recipe will taste like every ordinary coleslaw in your grocery store. KFC Coleslaw became famous because it had less of a vinegary taste to it and more sweetness than other coleslaws. If you go changing it around, you can’t expect it to taste the same.
  • Make ahead of time: It’s important to let the slaw sit and steep in its juices for a minimum of one hour before serving. The longer it steeps the better it’s going to taste. I like to make this coleslaw a day or two before I need to serve it because the flavors get the chance to marry and improve.
  • Option to use tarragon vinegar: I am told by former KFC employees that you can use tarragon vinegar for a more authentic taste. However, I have made this more times than I can count with regular white distilled vinegar.
Ingredients for homemade copycat KFC coleslaw recipe.

How to Make this KFC Coleslaw copycat recipe:

My recipe for KFC coleslaw is with Miracle Whip. This recipe starts with the food processor.

  1. Cut up the cabbage and place it in the food processor.
  2. Cut up the green pepper (if you decide to use it), onion, and carrots at this time. Use only 1/4 to 1/2 of the onion and green pepper but use all of the carrots.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables to the food processor.
  4. Pulse to chop the cabbage and vegetables.
  5. In a large bowl, stir the Miracle Whip, vinegar, oil, and sugar until smooth. Give it a taste and see if it’s sweet with just a hint of vinegar – then you know it’s right. If not, you can just add a hint of what you are missing.
  6. Add the dressing to the veggies and mix well.
  7. Let it stand at least one hour for the flavors to come together.

Make Better than KFC Coleslaw at Home

Yum – this is the perfect side dish for many dishes. I believe there used to be an ad saying something like: “Come to Kentucky Fried Chicken for food that is as good as you get at home!”

Now, you can make food at home that is even better than what you get at KFC – Col. Sanders better watch out! I love to bring this coleslaw to a special event; the bowl always comes home empty. And, even if you have a family member who doesn’t like coleslaw, they’ll come back for seconds.

homemade KFC coleslaw in a bowl

How to store leftover coleslaw

Be sure to store the KFC coleslaw in the fridge. It will last for up to five days after you make it. Store your copycat KFC coleslaw in an airtight container in your refrigerator. I do not recommend freezing this Miracle Whip based coleslaw.

Want more great coleslaw recipes? Try these favorites!

What to Serve Coleslaw With

Love KFC? Try these other KFC Copycat Recipes

Find even more copycat restaurant sides and the best salad recipes.

Did you make and love this Recipe? Give your review below! And make sure you share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Homemade copycat KFC coleslaw in a small wood bowl.

Better Than KFC Coleslaw

You can make homemade coleslaw that tastes even better than KFC with this easy recipe.
4.97 from 33 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coleslaw Recipe, KFC Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 177kcal


  • 13 cups chopped cabbage This is about 1 large head of cabbage or 2 medium heads of cabbage
  • 1 green bell pepper (optional, there is no bell pepper in the KFC recipe)
  • 1/2 cup choped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot 1 medium size carrot
  • 2 cups Miracle Whip Light
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • If you are lucky enough to have a food processor, get it out of your cupboard. Start to cut up the cabbage and place it in the processor. While cutting up the cabbage, also cut up small slices of green pepper, onion, and carrot and add to the processor. 
  • Mixing up the ingredients this way will help distribute the flavors throughout the slaw. You may want to use a little less of the onion, or green bell pepper, but do use all of the carrot.   
  • If you do not have a food processor, no problem, simply chop the cabbage, onions, and carrots into small pieces.  Add chopped green bell pepper if desired. 
  • Now mix Miracle Whip, vinegar, oil, and sugar until you have a smooth mixture. The taste should be sweet with just a hint of vinegar. 
  • Amount of dressing may be increased or decreased according to the amount of slaw you are making. Add to cut up veggies and mix well. Let stand at least one hour to let flavors mix. 



  • Green bell pepper is optional.
  • The cole slaw tastes better the next day!
  • To save time you can use pre packaged already chopped coleslaw.
  • Tarragon vinegar can give this slaw extra flavor.
This recipe was created by Bill Cosby (Bill Cosby from Missouri, not the actor/comedian) but it doesn’t include bell peppers.  I added a bell pepper for a little added crunch.  But it’s only an optional suggestion to add the bell pepper to this recipe.


Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 355mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 43.7mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Marie

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. It was better than KFC. A little confusing on the measurements when I reduced it to 2 servings but it worked. Thank you.

  2. Lori D Evans

    4 stars
    i just made this with bagged shredded cabbage and carrots and finely chopped red onion.
    Dukes Mayonnaise, Olive oil, red wine vinegar, coconut palm sugar, dash of grapefruit juice.
    i love the taste of the sauce. and now it’s marinating to nom nom later on. i just improvised with what i had on hand. thanks for the baseline recipe.

  3. Mary

    My grandmother made coleslaw like KFC and your recipe is the closest one to hers I have seen. She used to sprinkle some sugar over the cabbage & let it sit for a couple of hours. Your recipe just makes sense to me. Buttermilk just isn’t needed when you use milk and vinegar.

  4. Elly

    5 stars
    It’s weird but I have never tried KFC’s coleslaw, I don’t know why. Gotta try this recipe, thank you!

  5. Brielle Luna

    5 stars
    My family was about to have a typical Sunday night dinner at some restaurant here in our city. While I was working, I happened to open this blog of yours and my son asked me to do it. So, I did.
    Our Sunday just got incredible. 🙂

  6. John Pacenta

    I have not tried this recipe yet, but it is similar to the Cole slaw that we made in our restaurant for 30 years, however we did not use bell pepper or vinegar. Instead of vinegar we used unsweetened orange juice. We would use between 3 & 5 gallons a week. There were no food processors then, the cabbage would be grated by hand. I think the vinegar sounds great, and. I will try it the next time I do Cole slaw. (Tip: coleslaw mix will save time for small batches)

  7. Pearl

    Hardly ever buy miracle whip. When I need a sweet dressing, I just add sugar to mayonnaise and milk to thin it out.

    Thank you for the recipe! Love KFC coleslaw! Got packaged slaw in the fridge. Think I’ll add craisins and maybe chopped walnuts. Yum! Nice side to go with bbq tonight.

  8. baltisraul

    5 stars
    Tarragon vinegar takes this from great to outstanding. Do yourself a favor and try it on a batch! In addition the difference is going from great to outstanding is that the tarragon version people ask for the recipe!!!

4.97 from 33 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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