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Unleash the potential of one of the most healthy and budget-friendly vegetables with this Fried Cabbage and bacon recipe. Thinly sliced cabbage and onions, cooked until tender with crispy bits of bacon, this easy side dish pairs well with your favorite meats, or enjoy it on its own for a quick meal.

southern fried cabbage recipe with bacon in a bowl

Why You’ll Love This Crispy Fried Cabbage Recipe

  • Cabbage Really IS Delicious! If you’ve been bypassing cabbage in the produce section, it’s time to give this nutritious, inexpensive, and long-lasting vegetable a chance. When it comes to cruciferous vegetables, preparation is key (same with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic). Pan fried with bacon drippings, then perked up with a little lemon juice or vinegar to make it tangy, this southern fried cabbage is downright delicious. You will be reaching for cabbage recipes (like Roasted Cabbage) after this!
  • It’s a Versatile and Easy Side Dish. Whether you need a fast weeknight side like Sautéed Cabbage or are looking to make a big-batch, budget-friendly recipe, this easy fried cabbage recipe is just the thing. It pairs well with just about any protein and could even be served alongside pasta, casserole (like Broccoli Quinoa Casserole), or anything else you enjoy!
  • Cabbage Is Good for You. Cabbage is a powerhouse of vitamins (particularly vitamin C), minerals, and antioxidants. It’s also high in insoluble fiber, which can help with digestion. Cabbage has a low calorie count too, so it’s an excellent addition to any meal (try it in my Cabbage Soup and Cabbage Roll Soup too).
Fried cabbage recipe without bacon or with bacon in a skillet

How to Make Fried Cabbage

The Ingredients

  • Cabbage. Incredibly nutritious but commonly overlooked, cabbage shines in this simple recipe. It becomes tantalizingly caramelized, crisp, and coated in sumptuous bacon flavor.
  • Bacon. A delicious way to add satisfaction to this fried cabbage recipe. The cabbage is cooked in the bacon drippings, meaning it gets a crowd-pleasing flavor boost.
  • Onion. Once cooked and caramelized, the onions add a touch of sweetness.
  • Spices. A mix of salt, garlic powder, and pepper makes fried cabbage flavorful.
  • Worcestershire. My secret to making this the best fried cabbage recipe! Worcestershire sauce is an umami powerhouse.
  • Lemon Juice. Helps wake up the cabbage with acidity and keeps it from tasting bitter.

The Directions

slicing cabbage to fry
  1. Halve the Cabbage. Remove the stem of the cabbage, then cut it in half.
sliced cabbage on a cutting board
  1. Slice the Cabbage. Cut the halves into fine ribbons.
frying bacon for fried cabbage
  1. Sauté the Bacon. Transfer the bacon to a plate. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
cooked onions on a pan for simple fried cabbage
  1. Sauté the Onion. This will smell heavenly.
frying cabbage in a pan
  1. Sauté the Cabbage with Oil and Spices. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
crispy fried cabbage recipe in a pan
  1. Stir in the Worcestershire. Remove the pan from the heat and add the acid and bacon. DIG IN!

Recipe Variations

  • Fried Cabbage with Sausage. As my Cabbage and Sausage Skillet can attest, this pairing is delish! Sauté slices of smoked sausage with the bacon (fried cabbage and kielbasa would be scrumptious).
  • Fried Cabbage and Potatoes. Add potatoes (cut into 1/2-inch cubes) to the pan with the onions. (You could also serve this dish with a side of Potato Pancakes.)
  • Vegetarian Fried Cabbage. Make the cabbage without bacon; use butter or additional oil instead of the bacon drippings.
  • Parmesan Fried Cabbage. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top of your finished fried cabbage. (Try this on Sautéed Brussels Sprouts next!)
  • Fried Cabbage with Turkey Bacon. Use thick-cut turkey bacon. Turkey bacon will produce significantly less drippings than regular bacon, so you will need use a little extra oil or butter.
fried cabbage with bacon and onions

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate fried cabbage in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week.
  • To Reheat. Place cabbage in a microwave-safe bowl or on a plate and reheat gently in the microwave until warm. You can wake up your leftovers up by adding another sprinkle of salt and a splash of lemon juice after reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, trim and slice the cabbage. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Sauteed cabbage with bacon being scooped with a spoon

Leftover Ideas

Leftover fried cabbage can be the jumping-off point for so many tasty meals.

  • Take a note from Corned Beef Hash and serve the leftovers with a runny egg for a tasty breakfast.
  • Top a bowl of cooked gnocchi with fried cabbage for a hearty meal.
  • Add sliced smoked sausages to the leftover cabbage. Add some red pepper flakes if you like things a little spicy.
  • Add leftover fried cabbage to a Baked Potato.

What to Serve With Fried Cabbage and Bacon

fried cabbage recipe with bacon served in a bowl
  • Non-Slip Cutting Board. When cutting ingredients like cabbage, you need a stable cutting board.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife. Using a sharp, high-quality chef’s knife makes all the difference in recipe prep.
  • Sauté Pan. Perfect for making this healthy fried cabbage recipe. If you don’t own a sauté pan, a Dutch oven will also work.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Cut the Cabbage Thin. To ensure the cabbage caramelizes and crisps, remove the core, then slice it thinly.
  • Use a Large Skillet and Don’t Stir Too Often. The cabbage needs plenty of space to brown and crisp evenly. If it’s too crowded, it will steam. Leaving the cabbage undisturbed in the pan for minutes at a time gives the surface time to brown and crisp.
  • Add a Little Acid. One of the keys to ensuring cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables don’t taste bitter is to add a touch of acid. Try fried cabbage with vinegar (like apple cider vinegar) or lemon juice.
  • Season Well. As with any vegetable recipe, kosher salt is critical for flavor. From there, enjoy your own variations by adding garlic, herbs, cheese, or your spices of choice.

Fried Cabbage

4.80 from 15 votes
Crispy pan fried cabbage recipe with bacon and onions is the best comforting side dish! This simple fried cabbage recipe is easy and so delicious!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 strips thick-cut bacon cut into lardons (1/4-inch crosswise strips)
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 large head green cabbage or savoy cabbage about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus additional to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Trim off the stem end of the cabbage to create a flat base. Stand it up on the base, then cut in half from its top down through its core. Place the cut sides down on the cutting board.
  • Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible around the core so that you have fine ribbons. Discard the core.
  • Heat a large sauté pan or similar heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Sauté the bacon until crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings from the pan.
  • Add the onion and cook until it is browned and softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the oil, cabbage, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Don't feel like you need to constantly stir it—letting it sit undisturbed a few minutes at a time will help it become caramelized and DELISH.
  • Stir in the Worcestershire and let cook 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and reserved bacon. Taste and add a few grinds of additional black pepper and/or salt if you like, or more lemon juice if you'd like to brighten it up even more. Serve warm.

Video

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate fried cabbage in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week.
  • TO REHEAT: Place cabbage in a microwave-safe bowl or on a plate and reheat gently in the microwave until warm. You can wake up your leftovers up by adding another sprinkle of salt and a splash of lemon juice after reheating.
  • Adapted from my Sautéed Cabbage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 4)Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 6gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 15mgPotassium: 490mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 233IUVitamin C: 86mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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12 Comments

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  1. It sounds wonderful and I plan to make it ;however, where is the sodium amount in the nutrition information? Some of us need to watch that.

    1. Hi Nancy, I stopped including sodium info because it can vary so much depending upon what products you used, and I found a lot of conflicting info online, so ultimately I didn’t feel comfortable publishing it because sometimes it wasn’t even in the ballpark. If you’d like to calculate it yourself, there are lots of free tools online (myfitnesspal.com is popular). I hope that helps!

  2. WOW! I decided to go a little non-traditional with our St. Patrick’s Day meal so I made this recipe to go with my corned beef in place of traditional boiled cabbage, potatoes, carrots, etc.

    It was fabulous!!! This is going in our dinner rotation to compliment a lot more than corned beef. I shared it with my Facebook cooking club group and they are stoked to try it!

    Fantastic recipe, Erin – thank you for sharing!5 stars

  3. We had this for dinner last night with cornbread and it was delicious! Thank you for another amazing recipe!5 stars

  4. Delicious and so easy to put together. Cabbage is actually one of our favorite vegetables and then with the seasoning in this recipe,it was over the top. Thanks for a great recipe – it will get used alot!5 stars

  5. I was honestly just trying to clean out our fridge with this recipe, but wow did this one impress! Minimal ingredients and amazing flavor! Loved it as a main but it would go great with any meat or even eggs.5 stars