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Buttermilk Coleslaw aka “Almost KFC Slaw”

Buttermilk Coleslaw aka “Almost KFC Slaw”

Coleslaw or plain ‘slaw’ as some prefer to call it comes from a Dutch word meaning cabbage salad. While, in the U.S., traditional coleslaw is a combination of shredded cabbage and a mayonnaise-based dressing, slaw can contain any number of ingredients.

If you enjoy testing new flavor blends, you might try adding apples, peppers, almonds or pecans to this recipe. In addition, you may want to substitute yogurt for the mayonnaise.

This recipe is as close as I’ve been able to get to my favorite coleslaw, made by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). It has a sweet and tangy flavor that just screams to be eaten with fried chicken or a spicy BBQ sandwich.

Buttermilk Coleslaw

September 25, 2017
: 8-10
: 30 min
: Easy


  • 8 cups cabbage, shredded (about 1 head)
  • ¼ cup carrots, shredded (1-2 carrots)
  • 2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar (I prefer to use honey)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1½ Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Note: If you use red cabbage, expect that it will naturally dye your coleslaw a light shade of pink. This does not change the flavor! If you prefer not to have pink slaw, either rinse and dry your cabbage after shredding, start with pre-shredded slaw mix purchased from a store (these have been rinsed and are slightly dry) or skip using the red cabbage.
  • Step 1 In a large bowl, using the fine side of a hand-held grater or food processor shred the cabbage. If preferred, you can shred ½ head of each, green and red cabbage to give the dish extra color.
  • Step 2 Shred the carrot(s) and dice the onion. Add these to the cabbage mix.
  • Step 3 In a separate bowl or using a blender, combine the sugar/honey, salt and pepper.
  • Step 4 Next, add the milk and buttermilk to the bowl or blender. Finally, add the vinegar, lemon juice and mayonnaise.
  • Step 5 Blend until smooth. Pour over the slaw mix and fold until everything is well coated.
  • Step 6 Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before serving.

Variations Ideas:
Again, you can mix and match ingredients to find new variations that your family will love.

Here are a few to get you started…
Add a ¼ cup of any of the following:

  • Green peppers
  • Raisins or dried cranberries
  • Apples
  • Almonds, pecans or peanuts
  • Celery
  • Pimentos
  • Toasted sesame seeds or shelled sunflower seeds
  • Pineapple
  • Shredded cheese

Add a 1/8 tsp. of any of the following:

  • Onion powder
  • Dry mustard
  • Celery seed
  • Dill weed
  • Parsley

Other Variation Ideas:

  • Substitute half-and-half or cream for regular milk
  • Use a whole onion and/or substitute a red onion for the white one
  • Add some zing with a splash of Tabasco sauce and cilantro
  • Substitute lime juice for the lemon
  • Substitute broccoli for cabbage
  • Substitute yogurt for mayonnaise

Another yummy idea… Use coleslaw instead of sauerkraut on a Reuben sandwich, hamburger or hot dog.