Cabbage and crispy bacon is a classic combination of country flavors! This traditional southern side dish is quick, easy, and always a family favorite.
Table of Contents
🗝️ Key takeaways
- Old-fashioned fried cabbage is a hearty dish that's inexpensive, too.
- Quick and easy one-pot side dish that works for any busy family dinner. Add smoked sausage, chicken, or cooked ground beef to make it a meal.
- Make it ahead and warm it up when you're ready to eat (but leave the cooked bacon in a ziploc by itself and add it in just before serving)
Southern fried cabbage and onions become sweet and tender as they cook; absorbing the flavors of the bacon, garlic, and chicken broth or stock.
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
There are plenty of variations to this southern fried cabbage recipe. Here are some of my favorites.
- Add a little garlic powder if you want.
- A sprinkle of crushed red peppers is delicious!
- Fried cabbage and potatoes are another classic combination. Just add small, peeled and cubed potatoes with the cabbage and cook until they are cooked through. This is a great way to use up leftover potatoes, too!
- A Louisiana fried cabbage recipe is made by adding sliced andouille sausage in with the bacon and using about a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning instead of the salt and pepper. Serve over cooked white rice.
- Fried cabbage and noodles is another simple side dish. Just stir in ½ pound of cooked, drained egg noodles in during the last 5 minutes of cook time.
If you'd like to keep this vegetarian simply leave out the bacon and use 2 tablespoons of butter or oil to saute in. Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Fry the bacon; remove from pan. Pour off all the bacon fat, reserving a couple of tablespoons.
- Saute onions
- Add cabbage.
- Add stock and seasoning and cook according to the instructions in the green recipe card below.
Click on the image to watch me make this recipe from start to finish with extra tips! (Video opens in a new tab).
Leftover fried cabbage should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eaten within 4 days or so.
You can also freeze it after cooking. It'll be fine for up to 3 months.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Don't get fancy. The best southern fried cabbage recipe is made with the plain, ordinary green of cabbage. Other types don't hold up as well.
- Any sauteed cabbage recipe should be cooked over medium heat so that it doesn't scorch.
- The cabbage core should be removed because it is tough and doesn't cook down well.
- Some people like to add a teaspoon or so of brown sugar to give this easy side dish a little sweetness.
- Make this a main dish by slicing up smoked sausage or kielbasa and adding it with the onions.
- Cut the head of cabbage into 1-inch pieces. If you slice it in thin shreds it's just not as good.
- Add the bacon JUST before serving. If it simmers with the cabbage it will get unappetizingly floppy.
- Make sure the bacon is extra crispy! It adds texture as well as flavor to the dish.
- Give the cabbage time to soften but try a bite of it every couple of minutes. Some people like it with a little crunch and some like it very soft. If you taste it every few minutes then you'll know exactly how long to cook it next time!
- If you taste your southern fried cabbage and feel like it's just missing "something" sprinkle a little apple cider vinegar over it.
- I think this recipe works best in a cast iron skillet but any large skillet will do.
- Bacon grease adds flavor but you can use olive oil or butter if you prefer.
Cut it in half from its top-down through the tough core. Now, place it on the cutting board, cut side down, and slice it around the core. Throw the core away and repeat with the other half.
This southern fried cabbage recipe has about 7 net carbs per serving.
📚 Related recipes
🍽️ Serve with...
Southern fried cabbage is a great side dish for almost anything!
- Fried pork chops and gravy, mashed potatoes and a side of fried cabbage? It doesn't get more southern than that!
- This is delicious with chicken fried steak!
- Try it with this seasoned bottom round roast.
- Be sure to have plenty of buttermilk biscuits on the table.
🥄 Restless Chipotle recommends
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📞 The last word
My mom used to keep a pressed glass vinegar cruet filled with tiny, hot peppers and vinegar on the table. It had a matching stopper and you'd pull the stopper up and dribble some of that tangy, spicy goodness over your fried cabbage.... mmmm.... nothing like it!
If you've got lots of cabbage on hand be sure to try these crockpot cabbage rolls!
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Southern Fried CabbagePrint Pin Recipe Save Saved!
- 6 slices bacon, cut in pieces
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 ½ pounds cabbage, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- ⅓ cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, or more to taste
- crushed red pepper flakes, optional, to taste
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- Saute the bacon in a heavy skillet until crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the skillet and set aside.
- Spoon off all but about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.
- Add the onions to the skillet and saute until they just begin to become translucent.
- Add the cabbage and garlic; saute, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and seasoned salt. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it is as tender as you like and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
- Stir in the bacon and serve.
- The best variety for fried cabbage is the plain, ordinary green cabbage. Other types don't hold up as well.
- Some people like to add a teaspoon or so of brown sugar to give fried cabbage a little sweetness.
- Make this a main dish by slicing up smoked sausage and adding it with the cabbage.
- Cut the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. If you slice it in thin shreds it's just not as good.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Originally published March 29, 2021. Last updated October 3, 2023, for editorial improvements.