Better Than KFC Coleslaw – An easy coleslaw recipe

KFC Coleslaw is some of the best coleslaw around. This for KFC Coleslaw was created by Bill Cosby (Bill Cosby from Missouri, not the Actor/Comedian). This recipe for KFC Coleslaw is one of the oldest recipes on, and honestly this recipe for KFC cole slaw is one of the best recipes on the site. I hope you enjoy this recipe for KFC Coleslaw.
Better than KFC Coleslaw recipe
Please note there is no bell pepper in the KFC recipe. This is an optional suggestion only to add the bell pepper to the recipe.


Hands down this has to be my favorite recipe for KFC coleslaw. This recipe has been online here for more than 15 years. This is an extremely easy way to make homemade coleslaw. If you have never made this before, never fear I promise, this one is easy. You can use a food processor if you like to chop all of these vegetables. I think that if you cut everything by hand you can get it closer to what is served in the restaurant.

Recipe tips

This recipe requires Miracle Whip, mayonnaise will not taste the same, so please do not substitute one for the other. Miracle Whip has a nice sweetness that goes very well in this coleslaw recipe. I personally like to make this coleslaw a day or two before when I need to serve this dish because the flavors really get the chance to marry and the flavor improves. I am also told by former employes that you can use tarragon vinegar for a more authentic taste, I have made this more times than I could count with regular white distilled vinegar.

You may also want to simply make up the dressing for this recipe, and then use a package of coleslaw mix to avoid chopping all of the vegetables. I love to bring this to a special event, the bowl always comes home empty.

Better Than KFC Coleslaw

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Side Dish
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 10
Better Than KFC Coleslaw

You can make homemade cole slaw that tastes even better than KFC.


  • 1-2 heads of Cabbage
  • 1- Green Bell Pepper (optional, there is no bell pepper in the KFC recipe)
  • 1- Small Onion
  • 1- Medium to Large Carrot
  • 2 cups of Miracle Whip Light
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


If you are Lucky to have a Food Processor Cut up Cabbage, while cutting up Cabbage Cut small slices of Green Pepper and Onion, or Carrot and add to Processor. This will help distribute flavor throughout slaw. You should only use 1/4 to 1/2 of Onion and Green Pepper but use all of the Carrot. If you truly love green pepper or onion you can add all but I do not recommend it.

Now mix Miracle whip, vinegar, and oil, and sugar. Mix smooth. Taste should be sweet with just a hint of vinegar. Amount of slaw dressing may be increased or decreased according to the amount of slaw you are making.

Add to cut up cabbage and Mix well. Let stand 1-hour if possible to let flavors mix. You will be happy with the results.

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  • stephaniemanley

    Wow Amyk811. I haven’t heard anyone need to throw this recipe out. I am sorry you felt it was so bad you had to toss out your creation. I hope you found another recipe you liked more.

  • happyinharned


    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for your suggestions!

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  • Reconmarine7

    This is the KFC recipe that I use and it tastes great:

    1 (16 oz.) bag of coleslaw mix with carrots chopped very fine
    1/4 vegetable oil
    2 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup of Mayonnaise
    1/3 cup of sugar
    1/2 small onion
    salt to taste
    mix all ingredients very well in bowl. cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
    24 hours is better…..48 hours is incredible.
    (note: there is no pepper in the KFC recipe but you can add it later if you like.)

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for sharing your personal recipe.

  • stephaniemanley

    No problem, the recipe is called “Better Than ….” I understand the term is subjective 😉

  • Marc

    Taken directly from KFC’s website dated Feb 2014. There has never been a green pepper in their recipe. I am seeing egg and oil, which I think is strange, but there it is.

    Cole Slaw
    Vegetables: Chopped Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions. Sauce: Sugar, Soybean Oil, Vinegar (Distilled Vinegar, Corn and Cider Vinegar, Malt Vinegar, And Natural Flavors), Water, Salt, Whole Eggs, Modified Corn Starch, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Paprika Extractives, Paprika, And Caramel Color.
    Contains Egg.
    Vegetables: Chopped Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions. Sauce: Sugar, Soybean Oil, Water, Vinegar (Distilled Vinegar, Corn and Cider Vinegar), Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Whole Eggs, Food Starch Modified, Mustard Flour, Xanthan Gum, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Paprika Extractives, Paprika, And Caramel Color.
    Contains Egg.
    *Will contain one of the Ingredient statements above, depending upon regional suppliers

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for putting the exact ingredients on here.

  • Hilla

    Not familiar with miracle whip… What is the dquivelant? Hilla from Israel

    • stephaniemanley

      It is a type of salad dressing. A kind of similar equivalent may be British salad cream.

  • Sal

    My life has come full circle! When I was a kid I remember an advertisement that said, “Come to Kentucky Fried Chicken for food that is as good as you get at home!”
    Now we are excited that we can make food at home that is as good as what we get at KFC!!

    • stephaniemanley

      I think some of this is driven by the fact not everyone cooks every meal at home anymore. Restaurant meals have a lot of appeal with being familar.

  • suzyq

    I have never eaten KFC coleslaw with green pepper in it. Never tasted any onion in it either but that could have sneaked by me if it was very light. I think my own coleslaw is the best but I like it sweet with just a bit of tang. I use cabbage, carrot, regular miracle whip, sugar and milk. I mix it all up and peferably let it sit in the refrigerator overnight but at least for a couple of hours. Cabbage that is grated by hand but not too fine works best.

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you for sharing your version. I appreciate you giving what makes your recipe special.

  • lisa

    I have made Cole Slaw for many yrs .. by guess & by golly . (as Mom would say.. )
    we never add oil. & just enough sugar to make a sweet -sour taste..

    • stephaniemanley

      Lisa, it sounds like your way to make salad dressing is a little different than mine. I hope they are both good.

  • kenkassidy

    I worked for KFC for a number of years and can speak to the recipe quality. KFC did not nor will it ever use green bell peppers in it’s original recipe, so you can omit them per your individual tastes. However, you CANNOT substitute mayonnaise in the recipe or it will taste like every ordinary cole slaw in your grocery store. KFC’s coleslaw became famous because it had LESS vinegar taste to it and more sweetness than other coleslaws so you can’t go changing it to a completely different item and expect it to taste the same. I hand mixed the cole slaw daily for 2 years and this is the closest recipe I’ve seen to the original KFC coleslaw out there. It’s also important to remember to let the slaw sit and steep in it’s juices for at least an hour before serving. The longer it steeps and sits the better it’s going to taste. We never did use vegetable oil in our slaws, but it’s certainly not going to hurt.

    • dale

      Everything else the same, Miracle Whip light, vinegar, sugar and oil? Thanks kenkassidy!

    • snugscat

      I worked for KFC 42 years ago and we didn’t have Miracle Whip light. I was a Manager for two years in Memphis, TN. I knew there was something different from the one they serve today. I liked the original recipe better than the one today. No green pepper in that recipe.

  • Nancy

    I worked at kfc for over 10 years and have tried many copy cat recipes. The darker green you see in the picture are just the darker parts of the cabbages. We would mix 3 big bag of cabbages, 1 bag of carrots and a teeny bag of white/yellow onion with a bag of (Secret) dressing. It’s supposed to sit for 48 hours before we can serve it. I think the green pepper might add a little zing, but if people don’t like it then just omit it. I haven’t tried this yet, but will definitely soon!!

  • Tina Tome

    Is there a certain kind of vinegar that is better to use?

    • stephaniemanley

      I normally use the plain white distilled vinegar.

  • Cathy

    Made this tonight and the family loved it. My granddaughter that doesn’t normally like coleslaw went back for seconds.

    • stephaniemanley

      That’s always great when your family loves what you make for dinner.

  • Anonymous

    I worked at KFC in 1972 and we made the best slaw ever. If I remember correctly, we did not add vinegar so we didn’t have to add as much sugar. As a diabetic, I would use the salad dressing to get the tartness and then add less sugar which would be healther and would still taste great. Don’t use the precut slaw in the grocery store because it has the core in it and that ruins the taste. By the way, in Memphis, TN in 1972, these were the prices: snack $.89, dinner $1.25, thrift box (9 piece) $2.49, bucket 15 pices chicken with dozen rolls and 2 large sides, and $5.25 for a 21 piece barrel. We only had the orginal recipe then but we did a great business.

    • stephaniemanley

      It’s amazing how much prices have climbed over the years.

    • binabug

      the dressing now has vinegar and its 80proof, we make our dressings in the plant and we never have put in onion or peppers, no idea where that came in, there is carrots in the recipe

      • snugscat

        I forgot to put the price on the bucket which was $4.25 and the barrel had a dozen rolls with it. We did have a tiny bit of onion in our slaw and the slaw they serve today is not anywhere as good as it was back then. We made 30 gallons of slaw at a time and quite often we would have to make it every night. I had a 24 hour store and sometimes we would have several buses come through in one night and my cooks would have to call me to borrow from another store if we got slammed. I still make the original chicken if I want it fresh and I still love it.

        • binabug

          oh now we do 2300kgs of slaw at a time, 5 people basically doing this for 8 hrs then the cleaning crew comes in. (we’re doing that tomorrow) Today was 3100kgs of raw mac we mixed up and we cooked 14 totes that contained 400kgs of raw potato ) and its not even busy season yet LOL

  • Anonymous

    Thanks really enjoy your site great recipes.

  • Susieq721

    Tried this recipe and it was absolutely terrific. Thanks for your recipes. Anxious to try more

    • Stephanie Manley

      I am glad you enjoyed his recipe. I hope you get the chance to try many more.

  • Lindsbillinger

    Instead of slicing he coleslaw and carrots, etc…i just bought the bagged coleslaw mix. I used 2 1/2 bags to the dressing amount called for here. It was a good thing i added more cabbage, because the tiny bit of onion i put in overpowered everything else. Very strong onion. whew…I thought this was a great recipe, tasted very similar to KFC and I would def make again…thanks!

    • snugscat

      If you have a good food processor, it is so easy and fast to to make the coleslaw mix. Tastes a lot better also. The mix you buy in the store has the core in it which makes the mix hotter and a different taste to it. Do the carrots and a dab of onion in it and you are ready to go. I make my on pickle relish out of bread and butter pickles and they are so much better than the bought ones. Use whatever pickle you like best. My mom canned her own pickles and she used to do this also.

  • cinthia

    i love kfc´s cole slaw salad i made it with this recipe and it tastes amazing, just like kfc i love it

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  • Lola

    I made this for Thanksgiving. It was delicious. I used Miracle Whip Light. It DOES taste very much like KFC coleslaw. Make it the night before and it tastes better the next day.

  • Penny

    I just find it hard to believe this is KFC recipe. I love their coleslaw! It DOES NOT have Bell Pepper in it and I would know because I have a terrible reaction to Bell pepper. I question the sugar AND miracle whip too. I won’t be making this and I’m disappointed…will look elsewhere for something different

    • Stephanie

      I didn’t say it was their recipe, I said it is ‘Better Than KFC’ cole slaw. I appreciate your insight on the recipe, and hope you find exactly what you are looking for!

    • Cindy

      I beg to differ about the bell pepper. If you go to this link and look at the picture, you’ll see Bell Pepper.

      • Stephanie

        I don’t dispute you. I personally loathe the bell pepper, and so did the author of this recipe. That’s why I call this one Better Than KFC Cole Slaw ;0)

      • Scott

        In the picture see something GREEN. Is it bell pepper? I don’t know. Cabbage goes from white to dark green. Onions can be green, especially green onions. The ad says “Freshly prepared in store with cabbage, carrots and a bit of onion and our signature dressing.” I have made this recipe with bell pepper but I used too much, next time, I used very little and it tasted very much like KFC. I used Miracle whip and sugar like it said. Both were good, I preferred it with very little bell pepper.

        • Stephanie Manley

          This recipe has a small amount of green bell pepper in the recipe.

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  • evvi

    Can you substitute may for miracle whip?

    I would not use Miracle Whip in this recipe, it will not taste the same if you use Miracle Whip if you want it to taste like KFC.

    • Rebecca Fernandez

      does it taste the same to switch to regular mayo?

    • happyinharned


  • Cheryl

    How many does this serve?
    About 10 servings per head of cabbage.

  • Susie

    This is abolutely wonderful. Good recipe

  • Debbie

    When u say green pepper, you mean green bell pepper right?

    Yes, green pepper meant green bell pepper, I made the modification in the recipe to make it easier to understand. Thank you for pointing that out! – Stephanie

  • http://Website(optional) Joy

    This was Excellent ! The only thing I added (being from the Deep South) was a one to two Teaspoons of “Slap Yo Mama” Spice… and Stand Back , Cause it be gone in a Flash !!! Thanks for the Recipe… The Whole Family Loved It !!!!!

    • Diana

      What is the recipe for “Slap Yo Mama” Spice?

  • Jacki S

    This is the best coleslaw EVER!! I have made it at least 10 times.