Copycat KFC coleslaw is one of those rare copycat recipes that really matches the taste of the original! The secret is the creamy KFC coleslaw dressing recipe, which is made with tangy buttermilk, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar to balance out the acid.

Serve it with my air fryer chicken breasts and you’ve got yourself a dinner the whole family will love or make it for your next summer barbecue and everyone will be asking for the recipe!

KFC copycat coleslaw served in a white round bowl

My Favorite Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this might just be the recipe that changes your mind if you don’t consider yourself a fan. There’s a reason KFC’s coleslaw is so popular—and why everyone wants to know the recipe for KFC coleslaw dressing!

Before I started making this recipe, I usually made coleslaw with a dressing made with mayo, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of sugar. It was good, but definitely not KFC-level good. The addition of buttermilk, which is naturally tangy, and lemon juice really makes a difference here. These acidic ingredients are important because they cut the richness of the dressing; of course, with all that acid, you also need to up the sugar so you get the right balance of sweet-and-tangy.

(If you’re looking for more copycat recipes, try my Popeyes Biscuit Recipe and Chic-Fil-A Macaroni and Cheese Recipe, too!)

ingredients to make copycat KFC coleslaw


Here’s what you need to make this KFC coleslaw copycat recipe:

  • Buttermilk – Don’t want to buy a carton of buttermilk when you only need 1/4 cup for this recipe? You can make your own by combining a scant 1/4 of whole or 2% milk with 1/4 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Let it sit for a bit until it curdles.
  • Mayonnaise – Whichever brand and variety is your favorite!
  • Apple cider vinegar – You could swap in another type of vinegar, but if your goal is copying the KFC recipe, I suggest sticking with ACV.
  • Lemon juice – You’ll need 2 tablespoons, which is about one lemon’s worth of juice.
  • Sugar – For that sweet-and-tangy creamy dressing.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Celery seed – Another essential ingredient for nailing that KFC flavor.
  • Bagged coleslaw mix – What did we do before bagged coleslaw mix?! Can you imagine shredding all that cabbage yourself?
steps to make copycat KFC coleslaw

How to Make Copycat KFC Coleslaw

1. Make the KFC Coleslaw Dressing

Whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and celery seed in a medium bowl.

2. Add the Coleslaw Mix

Open up the bag of coleslaw mix and put it in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and stir until the coleslaw is evenly-coated.

3. Chill

Refrigerate the coleslaw for 6 to 8 hours (or overnight) before serving. This helps all the flavors blend together!

copycat KFC coleslaw in a white round bowl


Is KFC coleslaw keto-friendly?

Unfortunately for my keto readers, KFC coleslaw is not keto-friendly, at least if you follow this copycat version of the recipe. The main offender here is the sugar, though, so you might be able to successfully make a keto version of KFC coleslaw by substituting the sugar with Swerve or another granulated low carb sweetener.

Is KFC coleslaw gluten-free?

While I can’t speak for the real deal, the copycat version of KFC coleslaw is gluten-free.

Does KFC coleslaw have egg in it?

Yes, because this recipe contains mayonnaise and mayonnaise is made with egg, it does have egg in it. If you either can’t or don’t eat egg, you can use Just Mayo or another egg-free mayo alternative instead.

wooden spoonful of copycat KFC coleslaw

More Summer BBQ Sides

I don’t know about you, but coleslaw always makes me think of summer cookouts and family gatherings. Here are some more easy sides that are perfect for your next barbecue:

KFC Coleslaw Copycat

Copycat KFC coleslaw is one of those rare copycat recipes that really matches the taste of the original!
4.80 from 5 votes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 6 hours


  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 16 oz pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix


  • Whisk together all the ingredients for the coleslaw dressing.
    1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • Add the coleslaw mix to a large bowl and pour the dressing on top, stirring until well combined.
    16 oz pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix
  • Allow the coleslaw to chill overnight, 6-8 hours, before serving.


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 323mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. 5 stars
    You sure nailed the KFC flavor with this coleslaw recipe! Made it today for the second time and it has that sweet/tart taste we love. Thanks for this keeper recipe!

4.80 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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