Growing up we would always stop by the Colonel’s and pick up Coleslaw for all of our coleslaw needs.  Even when we didn’t need a special recipe drumstick we still picked up the coleslaw.  Mainly because it was tasty and finely diced.  The smaller dice allowed for a creamier coleslaw.  So ever since that day I have been trying to make it.  I searched online and there are hundreds of recipes claiming to be it.  I have tried most of them, and this one seems to be the best.  This is a popular recipe on the internet and nobody seems to know where it came from.  Some suggest an employee stole it, but in the end, it was probably an ingenious food blogger with a severe case of munchies.

KFC Coleslaw

I have tried this with sliced cabbage and it did not taste the same.  Something about the small dice changes this coleslaw into something magic.

The Colonel’s Coleslaw

  • 1 head of cabbage finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots finely diced (8-10 inch carrots)
  • half a medium onion finely minced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tbs vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper

The key to this coleslaw is the dice of the cabbage and carrot.  The solution, the shredding die for your food processor.  You could do this by hand, but the food processor does it in 10 seconds.  Cut the cabbage into wedges and then feed the wedges vertically into the food processor.  This will give you the perfect dice.


For the carrots, peel them, and then slice them lengthwise into quarters.  Then feed the quarters into the food processor.  If you don’t quarter the carrot, you will get long shreds.  I have a few in my pictures as I didn’t realize that I needed to quarter the carrots until the second carrot.  As for the onion, I sent it through the food processor too.

Place the shredded and diced vegetables into a large bowl.

Finely diced

In a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients.  Whisk the dressing until all of the lumps are gone.

The dressing

Pour the dressing over the vegetables.  Fold the dressing in.  Watch out, you need a really big bowl or else you will get cabbage all over your kitchen. My kitchen looked like a mess, but the end product is totally worth it.

Fold the dressing into the salad

Cover the bowl and place into the fridge to let sit for at least four hours.  I like it to sit overnight for the best flavor.

Coleslaw Money Shot

You have to try this out for your next barbecue.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. This is how I like my slaw for a side dish but as far as a topping to burgers, pork or dogs, I like the shredded cabbage. I actually have this saved in my to try que, just haven't yet.

    • Chris, Totally agreed. As a topping this is not the best coleslaw, but as a side, it is the best.

  2. While you're on the subject of "copy cat" recipes, have you tried one for PF Chang's lettuce wraps? I found one but it has numerous ingredients that I don't have around. Maybe this summer…

    • Heidi – Hard to believe, but I have never been to PF Chang's. I will have to go and try them out.

  3. The Colonel's slaw is my favorite also. Thanks for this, the whisk tip (waiting for it to arrive), and for Wednesdays!

    • Glad you got a whisk. I use that whisk for everything. It is especially great for gravy and pan sauces. It scrapes up all of the little bits from the bottom perfectly.

  4. I did it!!! I actually made something delicious! After tasting this cole slaw at your house made by the master himself, I knew I would need to learn how to make it since I am a huge cole slaw fan, but horrible cook. You make all your directions so clear and if there is any question, the pictures are a great source for step by step help. I pulled out my food processor (received as a wedding gift 28 years ago and still in its original box and never used) and got to work. A little touch and go with the shredding because of my inexperience with the machine, but I persevered and my work paid off. The cole slaw came out beautifully and was a great side to hot dogs and hamburgers. Thanks so much for making someone who has no confidence in the kitchen feel like a real chef!

  5. Liz I am glad that the recipe worked for you. Glad that you got to use the food processor. I appreciate your kind comments. Enjoy the slaw.

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