The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe
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The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe

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Today, I’m sharing the very best coleslaw recipe in the world! It’s so similar to a coleslaw made right here in Utah by a famous fried chicken restaurant and drive-throughs. The name of the restaurant is KFC™ or Kentucky Fried Chicken™.

This restaurant is the second largest to McDonald’s™. The company was founded in 1952 with the first franchise opening right here in Salt Lake City, Utah by a man named, Pete Harman. They now have over 22,000 locations globally with units in 150 countries as of December 2019.

Most people in Utah are well aware of the 11 herbs and spices that make such juicy and flavorful fried chicken. Mark and I frequent the restaurant about once a year, if that. Our favorite side dishes are their coleslaw and mashed potatoes with gravy.

You can buy their products in different volumes/packages. Mark likes to buy their bucket size and then refrigerate or freeze what’s left over. Since many of their locations are co-operated with an A&W Rootbeer facility, we’ll usually buy some of that delicious drink too.

I have tried to come up with the right ingredients after years of practicing with different items to make this copycat KFC™ coleslaw recipe. This recipe is creamy, and sweet, but not too sweet, with a little tang to make it the perfect slaw.

If you have a family reunion this year, you may want to make this salad and be ready to hand out the recipe.

The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe

The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe

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The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe

Step One: Gather Ingredients

Gather the ingredients so you’re ready to make this recipe. It’s so easy and tastes so good! Here’s a hint I learned when I taught classes in a fancy kitchen center, if you don’t have fresh lemons, then use this Santa Cruz organic lemon juice.

You will never go back to the cheaper lemon juice, I promise. 16-Ounce Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Juice (only the 16-ounce size). It works great in every recipe calling for lemons, you will love it. It may be hard to find in some grocery stores, just giving you the heads up.


Step Two: Combine Vegetables

Grab a large mixing bowl, and combine the shredded coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, and finely chopped onions. Set the bowl aside while you make the coleslaw dressing.

Combine the cabbage and carrots

Step Three: Combine Dressing Ingredients

Grab a pint-size mason jar or a medium-size bowl. Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, milk, granulated white sugar, lemon juice, and white vinegar. Now, whisk until smooth.

Make the Coleslaw Dressing

Step Four: Pour Dressing Over the Mixture

Slowly pour the homemade coleslaw dressing over the bowl with the coleslaw mix, carrots, and onions.

Pour The Dressing Over The Cabbage

Step Five: Mix Well

You may need a larger bowl if you double the recipe as I did. We have a large family that drops by to visit, so I tend to make a larger batch while I’m at it. Mix thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste.

Larger Bowl

Finished Product

Chill in your fridge for at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh together. Enjoy.

The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw Recipe

4.72 from 7 votes
The Very Best Coleslaw Recipe
Coleslaw Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
2 hrs
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Linda Loosli
Coleslaw Salad Ingredients
  • 1 14-ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
Coleslaw Dressing ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed or bottled
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Coleslaw Salad
  1. 1. Grab a large mixing bowl, and combine the shredded coleslaw mix, shredded carrots, and finely chopped onions.

    2. Set the bowl aside while you make the coleslaw dressing.

Coleslaw Dressing
  1. 1. Grab a pint-size mason jar or a medium-size bowl.

    2. Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, milk, granulated white sugar, lemon juice, the white vinegar and whisk until smooth.

    3. Slowly pour the homemade coleslaw dressing over the bowl with the coleslaw mix, carrots, and onions.

    4. Mix thoroughly and salt and pepper to taste.

    5. Chill for at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh together. Enjoy.

How do I store this recipe once it’s made?

I store it in my fridge in a Tupperware-type container that is airtight.

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How long is this coleslaw recipe good for?

Two things, it can’t stay at room temperature for more than 2 hours or it must be discarded because bacteria will grow quickly in the salad. If properly stored in your refrigerator in an airtight container, it will be safe to eat for 3-4 days.

Can I chop the cabbage instead of buying it in a bag?

Absolutely, this recipe is so flexible, you can purchase shredded carrots and cabbage or shred it all yourself. I purchased the bags to make my life a bit easier, it’s all good, either way.

Can I use purple cabbage?

You can use green or purple cabbage, either way, this recipe is delicious.

Is there a difference between coleslaw and slaw?

I call this salad coleslaw or slaw, but there really are some slight differences, let me explain. Coleslaw is typically made with green or purple cabbage and added to shredded carrots with a mayonnaise dressing.

Slaw on the other hand is made with different vegetables, such as chopped broccoli, chopped carrots, chopped jicama, and chopped onions. In other words, any chopped vegetables will work for slaw. You can use the same salad dressing, it’s so good, I promise, you will love it.

What Can I Serve With This Coleslaw Recipe?

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Final Word

Please let me know if you make coleslaw and what is different in your recipe. When I was growing up, we took mayonnaise with a little milk, a bit of sugar, and some salt and pepper. We chopped the cabbage and stirred it all together. This recipe is so much better, my friends! It’s all about cooking or baking from scratch and teaching our kids and grandkids this awesome skill. May God Bless this world, Linda

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  1. I use to love KFC but about the only thing I like from them now is the coleslaw and gravy. If you ever get a chance to try Popeye it is so good. The thing about them and I had never tried it is they put relish in their coleslaw (at least that is what it looks like). My favorite item is their Spicy chicken sandwich. Sorry, I like some boughten coleslaws or
    Potato salad but I prefer homemade.

  2. 3 stars
    James Beard was of opinion that cole slaw should have only cabbage and that said cabbage should be wilted. He always used his own shredded cabbage, not bagged. I use the cole slaw mix from Sam’s Club.

    Onion in cole slaw? Better than pineapple and marshmallows, I guess, but not by much. Never used it.

    No sugar, please.

    I use ‘Italian Volcano’ lemon juice from Costco. Great stuff at a great price.

    I also use ACV instead of white vinegar.

    I use half mayo and half plain greek yogurt. No milk or buttermilk.

    No dill seed? That is a must-have in the dressing.

    My nephew used to work at a KFC and he said all that he ate there were the biscuits and the cole slaw. I don’t care for sweet slaw. Popeye’s is made with pulverized cabbage mix, also not to my liking. Too much dressing too.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness!!! This is the best coleslaw recipe I have ever tried!!!! Your recipes always are so great and amazing! Thanks for sharing

    1. 5 stars
      I appreciate; her recipes are not complicated and mostly use ingredients that I already have in the house. Carrots, cabbage, onions, sugar, mayo, vinegar and lemons or the juice of my lemons in the freezer. I use a mandolin…low clean up! Handiest gadget in the kitchen!

      1. Hi Roberta, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! Oh, I love using a mandolin!!! I have to cook recipes that are not complicated or I would never cook!! LOL! It has to be easy, right??? Your recipe for coleslaw sounds yummy! Linda

  4. I love this recipe! Just wanted to mention that the Santa Cruz Organic Lemon Juice you mentioned is $18.77 for 2 16 oz bottles at Amazon…that’s .59 per oz. I picked up a bottle of it at Walmart yesterday and it was $2.18 for a 16 oz bottle or .14 per oz. Big difference to the pocketbook balance.
    I love the recipes and information you share with us…thank you!

    1. Hi Lynn, thank you for your kind words. I totally agree with you on the price difference. I do not like going to the store with the price of gas these days. It’s just me, I guess. Linda

  5. 5 stars
    This was amazing! I think it’s my new favorite coleslaw! I’m kind of fussy about coleslaw too! Thanks for sharing! We all loved it!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner last night. Omg!! It was sooo delicious! A new favorite! Thank YOU sooo much for sharing! It paired really well with the bbq chicken we cooked! :)❤️

  7. Thanks Linda! I love KFC but found I prefer the Coleslaw & biscuits! I live in Ky about 40 miles from the original Kentucky Fried Chicken location inCorbin Ky. It was started diring 50’s by a local fellow (Harlan Sanders/who became the original face of Colonel Sanders on ads). It was one of the first fast food ventures to be franchised; John Y Brown bought most of it to franchise it. But the Colonel & secret recipe came with it! Great Ideas from pretty ingenious people. My pantry has become stocked due to your great ideas!

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