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KFC Coleslaw Sauce Recipe  

Who doesn’t love a great summer barbecue?

Grilled chicken…burgers…and, of course, a crunchy, tangy coleslaw!

And the Colonel knows a thing or two about making great-tasting slaw.

After all, KFC and summer picnics go together…well, like fried chicken and coleslaw.

And to make the perfect coleslaw, you need the perfect coleslaw sauce recipe.

And this KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe doesn’t disappoint. Your slaw will taste so good that your guests will swear you ran to KFC.

Only we’ll know the secret!

Plus, this recipe is so easy to make you can have it ready in minutes. But don’t wait until the last minute, as your coleslaw needs a couple of hours to chill before serving.

The key to this delicious KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe is fresh buttermilk.

Buttermilk adds the perfect tangy creaminess that pairs well with the chopped cabbage and carrots.

You should be able to find fresh buttermilk in the dairy section of your favorite grocer.

But don’t fret if you can’t. I’ve also included a couple of easy options on how you can make it at home.

Your coleslaw will be a big hit at your next summer cookout with its perfect blend of acid, sweetness, and creaminess.

Serve it will all kinds of grilled meats, burgers, and of course, fried chicken.

So why run to KFC when you can make a great-tasting slaw at home for just pennies?

Read on for the best KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe.

In addition, I’ve included some delicious variations that taste even better than the original.

What Do You Need To Make KFC Coleslaw Sauce



Homemade is always the best for its creamy, rich flavor; however, feel free to use your favorite brand.

When I don’t make my own, I like to use Helman’s.


Buttermilk is fermented milk and is what gives KFC Coleslaw sauce its distinctively tangy flavor.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by adding fresh lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to regular milk.

However, your sauce won’t taste exactly like the original.


Mellows the tang from the buttermilk and thins the sauce.


Balances out the acid and is a critical ingredient in KFC Coleslaw sauce, so don’t skip it.

For more sweetness, you can substitute honey for the sugar.

Fresh Lemon Juice

Adds a bright citric zing to your coleslaw sauce. I recommend squeezing fresh lemons, but you can substitute bottled lemon juice if fresh ones aren’t available.

For a more intense flavor, use lime juice instead of lemon.

Distilled White Vinegar

The acid brings out the flavor of the coleslaw and gives it a delicious tang. Don’t have white vinegar? Apple cider works just as well.

Salt and Pepper

The final touch, but use sparingly so you don’t over-season your coleslaw sauce.


  • Non-reactive mixing bowl
  • Spoon or spatula

How To Make KFC Coleslaw Sauce

Step One: First, add all the ingredients to a non-reactive bowl and mix well.

Step Two: Then, taste your sauce and adjust any of the ingredients until you get your desired flavor.

Step Three: Season with salt and pepper.

Step Four: Your sauce is now ready to use. Add the vegetables and toss until thoroughly coated.

Step Five: Cover and chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving, preferably overnight.

Serve cold.


Other Things To Consider When Making KFC Coleslaw Sauce

You Can Customize Your Sauce

Are you tired of plain old traditional coleslaw?

Then let’s change it up. You can use this KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe to make some delicious variations that are sure to wow the guests at your next cookout.

For example, add some ground cayenne to give your coleslaw some pep.

Add fresh garlic for a more intense flavor.

Or change the vinegar to change the tang. However, I recommend sticking to lighter-colored vinegars, like apple cider or champagne.

You can substitute Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise, but go light on the buttermilk.

The original KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe included a bit of horseradish. So go ahead and add a tablespoon to wake up your taste buds.

For more tangy goodness, add some Dijon mustard.

A teaspoon of celery seeds adds a nice flavor and a bit of crunch.

The bottom line – have fun playing around with the recipe and discovering new flavor combinations.

What Can I Eat with KFC Coleslaw Sauce?

Nothing else tastes quite the same at a summer barbeque than a deliciously chilled coleslaw. And this KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe makes the absolute best.

Your coleslaw will be a big hit at company potlucks, summer barbeques, picnics, or just a quiet dinner at home on the back patio.

The flavors go great with grilled chicken, meats, and pork.

Serve alongside pulled pork sandwiches for an easy summer meal.

And for a special treat, make a Caribbean slaw – add chopped mango, pineapple, red onion, raisins, and jalapeno to the chopped cabbage and carrot. It goes great with jerked chicken or fish!

Tips For Making The Best Coleslaw

With this KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe and a few tips, you’ll have a great-tasting coleslaw every time you make it.

  • Don’t panic if you can’t find buttermilk. Instead, make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a cup of milk.
  • Make sure the carrots and cabbage are chopped into rice-sized pieces before tossing them with your coleslaw sauce. I recommend pulsing them in a food processor as they never seem small enough by simply chopping by hand.
  • Save time and use a prepared coleslaw mix – just make sure the veggies are chopped really fine.
  • Strain your cabbage with a cheesecloth before adding it to the sauce to keep your coleslaw crisp.
  • KFC adds grated onion to get its signature taste, but use the smaller holes on your grater to get the right size.
  • Extra sauce will last a couple of weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. However, once prepared, your slaw will only stay fresh for a couple of days.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute! Coleslaw needs time to sit in the fridge, preferably overnight.
  • Keep it cold. Not only does it taste better, but it keeps it from spoiling.
  • This KFC Coleslaw Sauce recipe tends to have a lot of liquid, so use a slotted spoon when serving.
Yield: Yield: 1 ½ cups of sauce (approx. 12 servings)

KFC Coleslaw Sauce Recipe

KFC Coleslaw Sauce

Love the Coleslaw down at KFC? Then you need to follow this KFC Coleslaw Sauce Recipe if you want to make some yourself, from home!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the mayonnaise, buttermilk, milk, sugar, lemon juice, and white vinegar to a non-reactive bowl and mix well.
  2. Taste your sauce and adjust any of the ingredients.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. When ready, toss with the vegetables until they're thoroughly coated.
  5. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours so the flavors can develop.
  6. Serve cold.
  7. Enjoy!


  • Spice up your slaw with a pinch (or two) of ground cayenne pepper.
  • Change the vinegar to change the tang - apple cider is a great option.
  • Use honey instead of sugar for more sweetness.
  • Don't have buttermilk? Make your own by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of milk.
  • Substitute Miracle Whip for the mayonnaise for a tangier coleslaw sauce.
  • Add a tablespoon of Dijon or yellow mustard.
  • Go back to KFC's original recipe and add a tablespoon of prepared horseradish.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1g

Other KFC sauce guides you may want to read:

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