March 13, 2023| By

Fried Cabbage with Onions and Bacon

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
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Fried Cabbage with Onions and Bacon is a delicious side dish and classic southern recipe. Tender cabbage with crispy bacon, topped with red pepper flakes for a bit of heat - this simple side dish comes together in just 30 minutes!

Enjoy this easy fried cabbage on its own or pair it with Pot Roast, BBQ Baked Chicken, or Buttermilk Cornbread!

fried cabbage in a skillet with wooden spoon.
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I've been posting a lot of family recipes lately - however, this one is super special because it merges my grandmother's recipe AND my mother in law's recipe. So cool right?

My grandmother actually fries her cabbage in fatback grease (her's is more of a southern fried cabbage recipe) and my mother in law uses butter - so I decided to do a nice mix of both - kinda.

I pan-fried cabbage in a mix of butter and bacon grease (fatback is not the easiest ingredient to find), seasoned it up, and let it cook down in a large cast iron dutch oven. The end result was amazing.

The smoky flavor from the savory bacon and all of the flavor from the seasonings makes this not only an easy side dish, but the perfect side dish for just about any time of year.

What You'll Need

a skillet filled with fried cabbage with onions and bacon with a piece of bread on the side.

A few simple ingredients go a long way for this easy recipe! Here's what you'll need to make fried cabbage:

Fresh Cabbage - you'll need three pounds of green cabbage. This can either be a big head of cabbage or two small ones.

Basic Spices - all you need for this recipe is a little bit of seasoned salt and red pepper flakes. In this case, less if more because most of the flavor comes from the salty bacon.

Bacon - I used Center Cut Smoked Bacon, chopped it into bite sized pieces and cooked it on low to allow the bacon at to render. Cooking on low heat also allows the bacon to crisp up really nicely too - making this the ultimate comfort food.

Butter - when pan-frying cabbage, you need a nice amount of fat in the pan. I used butter to deglaze the pan to grab every piece of flavor from the bacon while still adding additional flavor from the butter itself.

Yellow Onion - onions provide great flavor, especially when frying.

Sugar - yep. You need a tablespoon of sugar! It doesn't particularly sweeten the cabbage, but more so cuts the saltiness and balances out all of the flavors.

Equipment wise, I recommend using a large pot or dutch oven. You can also use a deep skillet with a lid or cast iron skillet.

How to make Fried Cabbage with Bacon

fried cabbage in a pan topped with bacon.
  • Cut bacon into chunks and add to a large pot over low heat. Allow the bacon fat to render and for the bacon to become crispy, about 15 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and increase the heat to medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt, then add sliced onions and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Add chopped cabbage to the potin small batches and allow it to cook down. Once all of the cabbage is added, season with seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, and sugar.
  • Cook until desired texture is reached. Add bacon back to the sauteed cabbage and serve with a little hot sauce (optional).

Variations and Substitutions

  • Add other kinds of meat. Try using ground beef, smoked sausage, or ground turkey instead of regular bacon.
  • Don't eat pork? Use turkey bacon instead or omit the bacon entirely.
  • Vegan? Dairy free? Use vegan butter and vegan bacon instead!
  • If you're trying to keep this a low-carb recipe, replace sugar with stevia or omit the sugar entirely.

What to serve with Fried Cabbage

up close photo of fried cabbage on a spoon with bacon bits.

Enjoy delicious fried cabbage with just about anything. This southern classic is great as a main dish but also pairs well with a variety of meats and sides. Here are some of my favorite dishes:

If enjoying for St. Patrick's Day, make this recipe with mashed potatoes and guiness short ribs, or corned beef!

Recipe FAQs

Can fried cabbage be broken?

Yes, store in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to reheat, add to a pan over low heat and cover with a lid, stirring occasionally until it's warmed throughout.

How do you know when fried cabbage is done?

Cabbage can be cooked to your desire. Essentially - taste as you go. If you prefer crunchier cabbage, you'll cook for less time. If you prefer a mushier cabbage, cook for at least 10-15 minutes.

Is fried cabbage good for you?

Fried cabbage is pretty low in calories and has a lot of fiber and nutrients. It also has a nice bit of fat, so while this is a great dish to enjoy every once in a while, I wouldn't necessarily deem it has "healthy".

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Let's stay connected on social media and continue to cook together! Also, if you decide to make this recipe, please leave a star rating on the recipe card and leave a comment below! Tag @BritneyBreaksBread on Instagram and hashtag #britneybreaksbread so I can see your creations! I hope that you love this recipe as much as we do!

fried cabbage in a pan topped with bacon.

Fried Cabbage Recipe

Fried Cabbage with Onions and Bacon is a delicious side dish and classic southern recipe. Tender cabbage with crispy bacon, topped with red pepper flakes for a bit of heat - this simple side dish comes together in just 30 minutes!
Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Calories: 179kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven or Large Pot

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Cabbage (sliced)
  • 5 pcs Bacon (chopped into bits)
  • 6 tbsps Butter
  • 2 small Yellow Onions (sliced)
  • 2 tsp Seasoned Salt (more if desired)
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Sugar

Directions

  • Cut bacon into chunks and add to a large pot over low heat. Allow the bacon fat to render and for the bacon to become crispy, about 15 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and increase the heat to medium heat. Add butter and allow it to melt, then add sliced onions and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Add chopped cabbage to the potin small batches and allow it to cook down. Once all of the cabbage is added, season with seasoned salt, red pepper flakes, and sugar.
  • Cook until desired texture is reached - about 7 minutes for crunchier texture and 15 minutes for a softer texture. Add bacon back to the sauteed cabbage and serve with a little hot sauce (optional).

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 918mg | Potassium: 431mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 672IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dinner, Holidays, Lunch, Side Dish, Sides, Soul Food
Cuisine: African-American, American

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