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Make-Ahead Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a quintessential American side dish and can be found at almost every backyard BBQ and family picnic. This make-ahead coleslaw recipe takes 10 minutes to whip up and only gets better as it rests in the refrigerator. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish for your next potluck.

WS George Petalware Sugar Bowl Light Green

Do you like KFC?

This coleslaw recipe tastes similar to the original Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw recipe.

Some people suggest using Miracle Whip but I think using real mayonnaise has a much more authentic flavor.

Give this recipe a try and see if you agree.

Disclosure – I may get a small commission for purchases made through affiliate links in this post.

Coleslaw recipe

Key to Success #1 – Load Up the Veggies

Coleslaw is one of those dishes that you can make so many different ways.

You can put so many different kinds of vegetables in it.

I like to use red cabbage, green cabbage, and carrots.

If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, there is a Kitchenaid attachment that is specifically for slicing and shredding vegetables.

This will really help speed up the process of shredding your cabbage.

If you do not have a Kitchenaid, there is a stand-alone Salad Maker appliance that does the same job.

Or many brands of food processors have an attachment that will shred vegetables.

Or you can get a bag or two of coleslaw salad mix from the grocery store. T

here is no shame in letting someone else do the shredding for you.

Key to Success #2 – Make Homemade Dressing

The real winner in this recipe is the homemade slaw dressing.

It’s made from a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

The dressing base is made from real mayonnaise, heavy cream, and buttermilk.

The buttermilk adds a nice tang to the dressing that you will definitely miss if you leave it out.

Then sweeten things up with a little white sugar.

And add a little flavor and acid with both vinegar and lemon juice.

Then season it all up with salt and pepper.

Whisk it all together and you’re ready to go.

It’s as simple as that to make the perfect slaw dressing.

Key to Success #3 – Let the Flavors Mingle

After you make your dressing, put your cabbage and vegetables into a large bowl and pour your dressing over the top.

Use two spoons or a pair of tongs to toss it all together until the cabbage is fully coated with the dressing.

Next, cover your bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Let it marinate overnight if you have the time.

It just gets better as it rests and the flavors start to mingle.

Make-Ahead Coleslaw

 How cute is this litle vintage sugar bowl?

Let’s Talk Substitutions

You can certainly use a bagged cabbage/coleslaw mix in this recipe or you can shred your own using a food processor or a sharp knife.

Instead of heavy cream, you can substitute whole milk if you’d like.

I don’t recommend making any other substitutions.

Easy Coleslaw you can make ahead of time

I hope you’ll give this Make-Ahead Coleslaw recipe a try.

I think it’s just as good as the KFC original and I hope you enjoy it too!

Save this Make-Ahead Coleslaw recipe to your favorite BBQ Meals Board or your Salads and Side Dishes board.

Make-Ahead Coleslaw Recipe - Easy and Delicious
Make-Ahead Coleslaw Recipe - Easy and Delicious

Make-Ahead Coleslaw - KFC Coleslaw Copycat

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This KFC Copycat Coleslaw recipe is a great make-ahead dish for your next BBQ or family picnic. It would be great with some authentic fried chicken and it's super simple to make. It just gets better and better with time. 


  • 8 cups shredded cabbage and carrots
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, or whole milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except cabbage and carrots. 
  2. Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 223mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 12gProtein: 3g

Nutrition Information Provided For Educational and Informational Purposes Only.

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