Simple, quick, and delicious, this Southern comfort food - fried cabbage with bacon and onions is simply delicious!
If you love cabbage recipes, I have a delicious collection of 40+ Best Cabbage Recipes (featuring both green and red cabbage recipes).
You can also use sauerkraut in place of regular cabbage in this recipe.
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
How To Make Fried Cabbage
Cook the bacon. In a large cast-iron Dutch oven or skillet, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat for 12-15 minutes.
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Or you can also cook bacon in the oven.
Saute onion and garlic. In the skillet with remaining bacon grease (you can keep it all, but I prefer discarding some for a healthier option and to let the bacon absorb smoky flavors), add onions and cook until translucent.
Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add cabbage and more flavor. Add the chopped cabbage, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, seasoned salt, and black pepper.
Saute. Stir to combine and saute for 7-10 minutes and until cabbage becomes tender.
Return the crispy bacon back to the pan.
Serve! Stir in the butter, taste for seasoning and serve while warm.
Leftover cabbage can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stove.
- Related: Old Fashioned Cabbage Casserole
- You can cook bacon in strips and crumble later, but dicing it beforehand slightly reduces the overall cooking time.
- Great tips on how to cut cabbage like a pro.
- Sauteed cabbage typically cooks quickly, around 7-10 minutes when chopped into 2-inch bite-size pieces. Watch it closely to avoid overcooking.
- Fresh garlic is indispensable; no substitute matches its flavor. While you can use garlic powder, it won't be the same. Feel free to use extra fresh garlic, beyond the recipe instructions.
Avoid overcooking the cabbage; aim for a tender, not soggy texture with a bit of crunch.
What To Serve With Fried Cabbage?
- Cabbage goes well with everything from pork chops and beef to lamb, chicken, and other poultry.
- You can even call it a meal! Serve this fried cabbage with bacon as it is, instead of the main course. We love to add cooked quinoa or rice into the mix!
- Paired with a side salad and dinner rolls makes everything even better.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
- To Store. Properly stored this dish will keep in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
- To Reheat on the stove, you may need to add some warm water if it's dry or some extra butter for reheating.
- To Freeze. Freeze for 2 months but the cabbage will not be as crisp after thawing as when freshly made.
- To make it ahead, you can cook the bacon 1-2 days prior. Chop the cabbage 3-4 days in advance even.
- For a spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Include cooked grains like rice, quinoa, or your favorite (pasta works too, reminiscent of the Polish dish Haluski.
- Add veggies - sweet bell peppers. Dice it medium thick and add it together with onion.
- Go meatless - omit bacon and simply cook everything in olive oil. If you want to add protein, white beans will work amazingly here.
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Fried Cabbage With Bacon Recipe
- 12 oz thick-cut bacon, pork or turkey bacon, about ½ inch or smaller
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 head of cabbage, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- In a large cast iron dutch oven or large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Or you can easily cook bacon in the oven.
- In the same skillet with leftover bacon grease (you can leave all in but I prefer discarding half of it or a little more just to make it a little healthier and enough for bacon to pick up the smoky flavors) add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the chopped cabbage, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, seasoned salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and saute for 7-10 minutes and until cabbage becomes tender.
- Return the crispy bacon to the pan. Sti in the butter, taste for seasoning, and serve while warm.
- Leftover cabbage can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stove.
ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES
Cabbage is ready when it becomes tender, but the degree depends on the dish and personal preference.
I prefer cabbage tender yet still crisp, especially in this Fried Cabbage and Bacon recipe.
Cooking cabbage in bacon fat adds smokiness and saltiness.
Seasoned with garlic, onions, and a touch of brown sugar, it's perfectly flavored.
Customize with additional seasonings like sweet or smoked paprika, cayenne, or hot sauce, but don't omit the garlic!
If you want to improve your digestive health, fiber-rich cabbage is the way to go.
This crunchy vegetable is full of gut-friendly insoluble fiber, that helps to keep the digestive system working like a clock! I love how incredibly healthy this veggie is.
Cabbage usually cooks fairly quickly. If you cut it into 2-inch pieces it should take you about only 10 minutes.
The cabbage should be more tender by this time but still has some crunch to it. For more tender results, cook it for longer, 15-20 minutes.
It should soften during cooking (any method) but maintain its shape.
However, the desired tenderness may vary based on the dish; for soups, you might prefer a softer cabbage.
To cook it crispy, add ample oil to the skillet and stir-fry over medium-high heat.
In theory, you can freeze fresh cabbage for later use. The thing here is that it won’t be as crisp after defrosting as when fresh or stored in the fridge. But it is ideal for cooking in soups and stews.
Simply cut it into cubes or grate it and store it in a freezer-safe container with a tightly sealed lid. Freeze for up to a month.
Recipe inspired from here.