Classic and easy Coleslaw Recipe, made with crisp cabbage and carrots in a creamy, tangy and sweet homemade dressing! Just like Chick-Fil-A’s version!
This Copycat Coleslaw is one of those recipes I’m so happy to have. We love making our own versions of restaurant favorites at home… like this Copycat Wendy’s Frosty, and HoneyBaked Ham. This is one of my Copycat Recipes you’ll definitely want to keep on around!
Chick-Fil-A coleslaw was a cult classic… beloved among almost everyone who ate there. Back in 2016, they made the controversial decision to discontinue the recipe and no longer serve it. Insert sad face here!
This coleslaw and the Chicken Salad sandwich, were my ultimate go-to when we’d hit up the drive-thru, and they both were discontinued over the course of a year.
Thankfully, Chick-Fil-A released their recipe for the famous coleslaw around the time they stopped serving it. Of course, I immediately had to try it. And it was good… spot on.
I always try restaurant-released recipes with a bit of skepticism, as I tend to be a bit cynical and think they’d leave out a secret ingredient, so you’d have to go to their restaurant for the real deal. But with Chick-Fil-A, there was no reason to hold anything back, since you couldn’t get the coleslaw from the restaurant anyway.
Plus, Chick-Fil-A is notorious for their kindness, it’s always their pleasure to serve you well.
HOW TO MAKE THIS COPYCAT COLESLAW RECIPE
- Mix part of the dressing. I find whisking the vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper together first really ensures that the sugar is dissolved so you don’t end up with a potentially grainy coleslaw.
- Add the mayo. Add in the mayonnaise and whisk again.
- Stir in cabbage and carrots. Stir well to make sure everything is coated.
- Cover and chill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but longer is better. Making coleslaw a day ahead, or in the morning of your bbq will give it extra flavor and it’ll be even creamier.
Pro-Tip: Instead of making your dressing in a smaller bowl then adding it to a big mixing bowl with the cabbage/carrots, make the dressing in the big bowl, then you only have 1 bowl to wash at the end of the day!
ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS
- PRESHREDDED – choosing to use the pre-shredded bags of green cabbage will certainly save you time, which is why I prefer to use them. You can also use the bags of coleslaw mix that have the cabbage and carrots together and just omit the carrots from the recipe. If you’d rather chop your own, I would use approximately 9-10 cups of green cabbage.
- MAYONNAISE – I definitely prefer using real, full fat mayonnaise. Hellman’s (Best Foods) and Duke’s are two brands from the Midwest that I love. I don’t recommend using Miracle Whip for this recipe, as it’s not the same thing as mayo, and will alter the flavors.
- EXTRA SEASONING – after your coleslaw has been refrigerated, give it a toss, then a quick taste. Add more salt and/or pepper if desired.
VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE
- SWEETER – if you prefer a sweeter coleslaw, feel free to add a bit more sugar.
- SUGAR SUBSTITUTE – I’ve not tested using any sugar substitutes in this coleslaw, but I’m almost certain they could be used. I would follow whatever ratio the package suggests to get the amount.
- GREEN ONIONS – not traditional to Chick-Fil-A, but I love adding some chopped green onions to my coleslaw for added flavor and crunch!
- MILK – if you prefer a slightly less thick and creamy coleslaw, reduce the mayonnaise to 2/3 cup and add 1/3 cup of milk (or buttermilk).
- CELERY SEED – I love the flavor of celery seed in coleslaws, so adding a 1/4 tsp here gives it a nice subtle flavor.
MAKING COLESLAW AHEAD OF TIME
Coleslaw is an amazing potluck recipe because it’s actually supposed to be made ahead of time!
Once you mix it all together, it’s best to refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, but honestly, if you can make it a day ahead of time, it will have the best flavor and texture.
The dressing will coat the cabbage and take away the strong crunch. Generally, it will get creamier and softer the longer it sits in the refrigerator.
Leftover coleslaw should be refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3-5 days.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE
- Mixing Bowl – no fancy tools here, just a lightweight and economical mixing bowl.
- Rubber Spatula – I like to use spatulas like these that are all one piece, as they seem to hold up better.
Coleslaw is great on the side of so many great bbq recipes. Here are a few of my favorites!
- Instant Pot Pulled Pork
- Beef Barbecue
- Pulled BBQ Chicken
- Bourbon BBQ Smoked Wings
- Smoked Ribs
- Coffee Rubbed Burgers
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- 4 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I recommend Hellman's or Duke's)
- 20 oz finely shredded green cabbage, chopped to 1/4" pieces (I usually get 2 (10 oz each) bags of preshredded cabbage and chop it)
- 1/4 cup shredded and chopped carrots chopped to the same size as the cabbage)
- In a large mixing bowl, add vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk together until sugar has dissolved.
- Add mayo and whisk until combined.
- Add cabbage and carrots and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (more is better) and serve cold.
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