Home » Side Dish Recipes » The Best Southern Colelsaw (+Video)

The Best Southern Colelsaw (+Video)

The best southern coleslaw tastes just like the one you get at KFC (or better!) An easy, creamy and slightly crunchy side dish recipe!


I think coleslaw is one of those foods that you either love or hate, in my humble opinion. Most folks who love it expect to eat it at every BBQ or picnic and on top of Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches or my Instant Pot Pulled Pork BBQThis coleslaw is so creamy but still keeps a slight crunch from the cabbage. his coleslaw recipe is always a hit!

Southern creamy Cole slaw recipe in a white serving bowl


Why yes, yes it does! That’s exactly how I describe it to folks. If you love their cole slaw then you’ll love this version. You can chop the cabbage up real fine if you prefer (like KFC) or just leave it like it is straight outta the bag. It’s just a matter of texture.

Instant Pot BBQ Shredded Pork on a hamburger bun with homemade Cole slaw


This is a recipe for a small crowd (at least 8-10 people.) If you don’t need as much, just cut the recipe in half. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, regular white vinegar works fine too. Got some heads of cabbage to use? No problem. Just dice up a head or two of cabbage (about 8 cups) and shred about 2-3 carrots to substitute.

The Best Southern Coleslaw recipe from The Country Cook


  • coleslaw mix
  • sugar
  • milk
  • mayonnaise
  • buttermilk
  • Dijon mustard
  • apple cider vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • freshly grated onion (or onion powder)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
coleslaw ingredients: coleslaw mix, sugar, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, freshly grated onion (or onion powder), salt, freshly ground black pepper


In a large bowl, dump in both bags of coleslaw mix. Note: I tend to like my slaw more finely chopped so I’ll run the cole slaw mix in my food processor (using the pulse setting two or three times.)

shredded cabbage and carrot Cole slaw mix in a large bowl

In a smaller bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Cole slaw dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl

Pour mixture over coleslaw mix.

Cole slaw dressing poured over cabbage Cole slaw mixture in a large bowl

Stir coleslaw to combine. Put cover on bowl and put in the refrigerator to set for at least an hour. This is going to allow the coleslaw mixture to soften just slightly and allow the flavors to blend (if you have the time.)

KFC Cole slaw in a large glass bowl


The Best Southern Coleslaw (+Video)

The best southern coleslaw tastes just like the one you get at KFC (or better!) An easy, creamy and slightly crunchy side dish recipe!
4.91 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Coleslaw, Coleslaw recipe, KFC Cole Slaw, Southern Coleslaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 131kcal


  • 2 (14 ounce) bags coleslaw mix
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or yellow
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder (or 2 Tablespoons freshly grated onion)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • In a large bowl, dump in both bags of coleslaw mix.
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour mixture over coleslaw mix. Stir well to combine. Allow mixture to sit for about an hour before serving, if possible.
  • Stir again before serving.



  • Got some heads of cabbage to use? No problem. Just dice up a head or two of cabbage (about 8 cups) and shred about 2-3 carrots to substitute.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 217mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 29.9mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: August 2011
Updated & republished: July 2019

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Brandie, I will be making this Best Southern Coleslaw this weekend for a party and was wondering how many days the leftovers will keep (due to the buttermilk). What does the lemon juice do for the coleslaw? Thank you in advance for your response. Can’t wait to try it!


  2. 5 stars
    I have tried a lot of Cole slaw recipes and I will tell you this is best. I make this Every time I smoke a Boston butt or do ribs.

  3. 5 stars
    Made this twice, first time I accidentally used honey mustard instead of Dijon, both were the best ever and I’m a country boy and have had a lot of coleslaw!!????????????????????

  4. 5 stars
    You can also put sections of cabbage in the blender with a lot of water, then pulse it until finely chopped.

  5. 5 stars
    Everyone now asks me to make this recipe every year. If I don’t make this slaw – they get so upset. Thank you for making me the star of the BBQ. Ha! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I made this on Saturday for a church potluck yesterday and it was THE ONE i’ve been looking for. I think what really nailed it was your suggestion to let it sit for a while. Seems that softens it a bit and all the flavors come together. I’ve never gotten a compliment on coleslaw from my husband, so it was a big deal that he complimented this one. 🙂 BTW I did try cutting back on the sugar…don’t do that. This recipe doesn’t need any fixin’. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this today as I was looking for something to go with a pork loin I had as leftovers. The great thing about it was I had everything, except the cole slaw mix. I only needed to use 1 bag of slaw as its just me to feed. I used the whole amount of "dressing" and added about a teaspoon of celery seed. Its marinating in the fridge but cant wait to eat it on my Sweet Baby Ray BBQ pork sandwich…

  8. 5 stars
    Hi! Quick question for you 🙂 When you say “2 bags (14 oz) of coleslaw mix, are you saying that you need a TOTAL of 14 oz of mix, or that you need two 14-oz bags of coleslaw mix (for total of 24 oz)? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Love reading your recipes and all the comments that follow. I, too, am a slaw lover. Like mine sweeter rather than vinegary.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this today for our 4th of July lunch. It was the BEST cole slaw I've ever eaten. My husband is not a fan and he ate three helpings!!! We don't have milk or buttermilk so I just used Almond milk and it came out perfect! This will be in our regular rotation now. Thanks for another excellent recipe.

  11. 5 stars
    I made this the day before I needed it. The cabbage became soft (which we all loved!) The flavor was incredible. Better than KFC!

  12. 5 stars
    Made this last night, it was so good, best cole slaw I ever had, thank you for sharing such a great tasting recipe!

    1. So glad it was a winner for you! So glad you came back to let me know how it turned out for you. Hope you find a few more recipes to try. Have a great weekend!

  13. Well Sherrie, I am so glad you found me! Hope you find many new recipes to try and make sure you come back often. I am always cooking up something good in my kitchen.

  14. 5 stars
    This is the way I make mine, except I add a little of my homemade sweet pickles. Just ran across your blog can't wait to look at all your recipes. There is nothing better than southern cooks. Glad I found you.

  15. 5 stars
    Omygosh delish! This recipe is a keeper. I have tried alot of coleslaw dressing through the years but I am definitely in love. Keeper for the rest of my life.

    Thank you so much for this greaaaaaaaaaaat tasting slaw.

    Kindly, Peggy

  16. 5 stars
    Ok, you won me over for 3 reasons ..#1-Cole Slaw..I love a great cole slaw.You cannot without a doubt get a good one out of any deli case at a grocery store. I make mine and slather it on my grilled hot dogs..#2- North and South, I feel in love with both Patrick Swayze and James Read, Orrie and George!! I bought it on Dvd at Walmart. #3-JFG mayonnaise…JFG was a staple at my grandpa's in Tennessee. I live in Ohio and too this day when I go down there I stock up on JFG for my dad and thinking of my amazing grandpa..Thanks for that..

  17. Coleslaw is also great on hot dogs ~ my mom's from WV and taught me that ;)!

    Thanks for sharing! Love your blog!

  18. 5 stars
    Love your recipes. When making coleslaw from a bag mix. Run the slaw through the chop part of your food processor to get a fresh cut taste to your slaw. Then if you sprinkle a tsp of sugar over the cut cabbage, before adding the sauce, it will help cut the bitter taste.

  19. 5 stars
    North and South here too…he is from Ohio (just like my Dad), I am from FL (just like my Mom…and she did try to warn me…lol). Anyway, I LOVE coleslaw…he loves cabbage ANY OTHER way but in coleslaw…can't wait to try your recipe!