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Southern Fried Cabbage and Bacon

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Southern-fried cabbage and bacon will become an instant favorite from the first bite. You have tender cabbage that is seasoned to perfection with garlic, onions, and of course salty bacon. Serve this dish up any day of the week or to your guests and watch it disappear instantly. This fried cabbage and bacon is magical, it just works in an incredible way! 

Southern Fried Cabbage and Bacon

If you have never had pan-fried cabbage, you are not living. I mean to tell you this side dish is simple to make but loaded with vibrant flavors. Pair with any main dish and watch it outshine the meal. I used a cast-iron skillet and it worked perfectly for that southern fried cabbage I grew up eating. 

Bacon and Cabbage on a plate

Cast Iron Southern Fried Cabbage And Bacon

This dish is hearty enough to make it a meal on its own if you prefer to go that route over a side dish. Pair with a homemade dinner roll, side salad, or even vegetable, and call it a meal! However, if you choose to serve this fried cabbage you are sure to enjoy it. 

Ingredients for bacon and cabbage

Ingredients for Southern Fried Cabbage

  • Cabbage: One Head of Green Cabbage. Remove the core and stem and chop the cabbage.
  • Bacon: Thick Cut Bacon we used regular bacon but you can try smoky bacon.
  • Onion: One medium size white onion.
  • Garlic: Fresh Garlic or minced works.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: (optional) adds a little heat if you like that.
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions for Bacon and Cabbage Recipe

  1. Cut bacon into chunks and fry in a cast iron pan.
  2. Fry bacon pieces on medium-high heat until brown
  3. Remove bacon from the pan and set it aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Saute Onion and garlic until tender in the bacon fat.
  5. Add cabbage and seasonings to the pan.
  6. Saute stirring frequently until cabbage is tender.
  7. Add cooked bacon back into the pan and stir.
cabbage and bacon on a fork

Tips & Tricks

  • Cut bacon into 1″ strips prior to cooking to cut down on cooking time.
  • Chop Cabbage and remove the core.
  • Use a Cast Iron Pan for the best results but you can use a nonstick pack.
  • If you prefer a softer texture for your cabbage or want to create a sauce, you can add a splash of chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, or white wine to the pan. This will deglaze the pan and add moisture to the dish. Simmer for a few minutes until the liquid reduces slightly.
  • Season the cabbage and bacon with salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs or spices.
  • Wash the cabbage thoroughly and remove any damaged outer leaves. Slice the cabbage into thin strips or shred it, depending on your preference.
Cast iron pan with southern fried cabbage

FAQs about cabbage

This recipe for fried cabbage and bacon is anything but bland. As you can see I use a handful of ingredients to really bring in-depth dimension to the cabbage. As it wilts down and cooks, it really soaks up the flavors for one incredible dish. 

Totally about 15-20 minutes. This fried cabbage comes together quickly. Once you cook your bacon and add in the cabbage along with seasonings, within no time you begin to see your cabbage break down and wilt.

Fried cabbage and bacon are best when served fresh, but you can indeed refrigerate your leftovers. Allow your cabbage to cool slightly and then place it in a container that is airtight. I then wrap it with aluminum foil and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days. With each day the cabbage will become soggier, so I do recommend cooking it sooner than later. 

If you don’t plan to use all of your fresh cabbage up, you can freeze what you don’t use. Just cut your cabbage into quarters and then separate the leaves. Place in a sealable freezer bag and freeze for up to 4 weeks. Then when you go to use it, thaw first and then dice and use.

While any variety of cabbage can work well in a cabbage and bacon dish, Savoy cabbage and green cabbage are particularly popular choices due to their hearty texture and flavor.

Yes, you can experiment with different types of bacon, such as turkey bacon or beef bacon, for a different flavor profile. Keep in mind that the cooking times and fat content may vary, so adjust accordingly.

To prevent the cabbage from becoming mushy, avoid overcooking it. Cook the cabbage until it’s tender but still retains some crunch.

To make cabbage and bacon healthier, consider using leaner cuts of bacon or reducing the amount of bacon used. You can also incorporate more vegetables, such as carrots or bell peppers, to increase the nutritional value of the dish.

Southern Fried Cabbage and Bacon

Cast iron pan with southern fried cabbage

Southern Fried Cabbage and Bacon

Yield: 6
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Southern fried cabbage and bacon will become an instant favorite from the first bite. You have tender cabbage that is seasoned to perfection with garlic, onions, and of course salty bacon.


  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Cut bacon into bite-size pieces and Fry in medium heat until brown and crispy.
  2. Remove bacon and leave grease from the bacon in a pan
  3. Place Onion and garlic in the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes
  4. Chop up your cabbage into bite-size pieces.
  5. Place cabbage in the pan along with spices.
  6. Stir and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
  7. Stir bacon back into the pan and mix with the cabbage.
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1680mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 29g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

So what are you waiting for? Give this simple and easy side dish recipe a try. If you enjoy cabbage you will love the fun twist of fried cabbage. Grab a skillet and your ingredients and get to work on one outstanding dinner dish to serve up. 

What readers are saying:

Readers who have made this recipe are raving about it! Here is what they had to say after feeding their family:

5 star rating
5 star rating
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5 star rating
Made this and it was excellent! Everybody loved it! I wish I would have found this recipe years ago!
Wife and Mom
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
Sooo delicious that the whole family loved this and will definitely be having this again real soon.
Busy Mom

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    1. @Tricia, I am not the op but, the cabbage has to cook in its own juices and not dry it out like an air fryer would do. You can certainly make the bacon in the air fryer but, you want to maintain moisture not take it away.

  1. I see in the nutritional info that there are carbs in this dish. No sugar was mentioned in the recipe. What am I missing?

    1. @Barbara Takacs, vegies have carbs too. Some more than others. Cabbage is low while onion is a bit higher. Using an app like carbmanager will help to learn which foods have how many.

  2. Made it just as recipe called for, turned out great. Thanks for letting me know about freezing cabbage. This is my favorite recipe for fried cabbage.

  3. Pingback: Awesome New Year's Day Meal for Prosperity ~ A Quirky Crafter
  4. I’ve been frying cabbage a long time. That was a veg side when I was young with fried chicken. Cheap foods back in the day. Still love and cook it to this day.

  5. I have did fried cabbage before but never with the bacon. I will be fixing it for new year’s dinner. I add sweet peppers in with my cabbage. I can’t wait.

  6. Add some buttered noodles, and you have the Polish dish called “Haluski”. Cooking for a crowd cheaply! :))

    1. @Christopher Keller, Awesome,Thanks! My Mom was Polish and used to make buttered noodles with tuna. I will now try the Haluski 🙂

  7. Going to try some of these…the look and sound doable as recipes go but pictures also make them look delicious!

  8. I’m making this tonight for the first time. My husband bought a head of cabbage & I didn’t know what to do with it haha. I came across this recipe. Looks so good!!

  9. It turned out delicious! This will become a regular at our house. Loved all th
    e comments of how we can change it up!

  10. How is there so many carbs in this dish ?? I love this Southern Recipe…I live in South Georgia and am overwhelmed by the amount of carbs here…guess I won’t be making it anymore…😞but this is an awesome thing to try if you’re not concerned with a lot of carbs !!!

  11. Looking forward to trying this as it sounds delicious! I am wondering what one would typically serve along side this. I can’t quite decide what would pair well with it since I haven’t had a chance to taste it yet. Maybe some roasted potatoes?

    1. @Monica, being from the South, we grill/fry porkchops to serve with it, along with sliced garden tomatoes. Or Western- style ribs.We also fry potatoes and kielbasa with it and make a complete meal. Love mixing mashed potatoes, made with milk and butter, in with it as a side. We love it baked with pork jowl, Granny Smiths, butter, and several splashes of apple cider vinegar, minus the garlic. I sometimes low bake it whole, with the core removed, stuffed w/half stick of butter and buffalo sauce with mac&cheese. Lastly, make a casserole, saute yellow neck squash and zucchini and sprinkle with flour to make a roux, add chicken broth or cream, stir in cheddar and bake. Thow in some cooked egg noodles if you like.

  12. I’m from Pennsylvania and add apples and top it off with a bit of apple vinegar before serving. Absolutely delicious!

  13. Great recipe! I followed the recipe as written and the fried cabbage and bacon turned out great! Wow! awesome taste and texture with the cripy pieces of bacon.

  14. My mom used to fix this when I was growing up. Delicious and still is…I just cooked this tonight and it was so good!!

  15. i wanted so bad to make this dish good, it looks easy , but it didn’t turn out good at all, I do not know what else to do, i made it twice with the same result. After i put it in the refrigerator the color changed into un unpleasant brown, any advice ??

  16. Made this recipe to the T. Taste really good but I am Hispanic and need more of a kick so I added El Pato hot tomato sauce and let me tell you… it was fire 🔥

    1. @Ashley,

      Sorry about the blank reply, I accidentally hit reply before typing my reply lol and I’m not seeing any way to delete it (GRRRR), I’ve never replied on Pinterest so idk if that’s even an option?
      Anyhow, I sometimes eat this dish as a meal (health conditions that eating smaller meals helps) but I’ve made rope sausages with it (cut up into bite size pieces and added) or I think a pork chop would be good(not added to this obviously lol). Someone above in the comments said to add buttered noodles and it’s a polish dish 😋
      I also think a good steak would be great.

  17. HAPPY 2023! I just made this for our NY’s luncheon and it looks delish looking forward to tasting it! Thanks for sharing

  18. Can you freeze leftover of this. I’m the only one who eats cabbage and even a small head there’s leftover

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